You know, people who live in New York or LA have it good. Aside from the housecat sized rats and suffocating smog their dating pools are just HUGE… and think of all the fun dating activities big city residents have (I mean really, is there any faster way to love than a first-date stroll by the Naked Cowboy?) I’ve done a little research and I’ve been fortunate enough to travel a bit around this great country of ours and I’m here to tell you, singles: don’t despair! There are tons more great cities for dating and here’s my totally official unofficial list of the Best Cities for Singles 2011.
I’m gonna start off slow here and hit you guys with a no-brainer. The Washington DC area has over 5,000,000 people and nearly a third of them aren’t married. A haven for educated intellectuals, DC has the highest first-marriage age in the entire country (around 30 for both men and women) so it’s more or less a varitable playground for the footloose and fancy free.
Best features for singles: Tons of speed dating options citywide, dozens of individual neighborhoods with their own restaurants and bar scenes and unlimited free date potential with museums and scenic monument walks.
Most famous singles: John Edwards (yeah, because he’s a catch.)
What a great city Austin is. Contrary to popular belief, Austin’s not a very big place and has only about 800,000 residents. What it lacks in population, though, it makes up for in “coolness factor” and the male to female single ratio here remains pretty even, which is an anomaly. Job rates are up in Austin, bringing even more new young blood into the city and residents who run out of fun date ideas here are just plain boring.
Best features for singles:An unparalleled indie music scene, southern gentlemen with southern manners and more casual, eclectic restaurants than you can shake a stick at.
Most famous singles: Lance Armstrong and Sandra Bullock (it’s a tie and on that note, why aren’t these two dating?)
Okay, I may be a bit biased since I actually live here but hear me out. Over 70% of Charlotte residents are under 44 and with a population of over 700,000 and climbing, this city’s on the rise. Young professionals dominate the social scene here and there are plenty of them since there are several national banks headquartered in the Queen City. If you like men (or women) in suits, look no further.
Best features for singles: Four pro or semi-pro sports teams that are always hosting games, a culinary scene skyrocketing in acclaim, outdoor activities and road trips galore, and a cost of living that hovers somewhere between Akron, Ohio and a cement pillar under a bridge.
Most famous singles: Currently it’s that girl from The Bachelor who’s technically still single and as of a couple of weeks ago, Cam Newton.
By now everyone’s heard the stories about how diverse and alternative Seattle is but did you know it’s a haven for smart, eco-conscious singles? With a strikingly young population, Seattle’s been hit hard by the economy but that’s just led many establishments to slash prices and cater to a younger, more casual crowd. In addition to being oh-so-cool, Seattle’s quickly gaining a reputation for being one of the gay-friendliest cities in America.
Best features for singles: Farmers markets and a locavore culture inspire home-cooked dates, dozens of outdoor activities like hiking and rafting and an “indie” vibe second to none – think coffee houses, art shows and neighborhood theater. Also, plaid is an acceptable first date option.
Most famous singles: Apolo Ohno, the Olympic skater, is the closest you’ll come to a Seattle celebrity. It’s not a “glamorous” city and therefore doesn’t host many celebs, but that’s part of the draw.
Colorado long ago gained a reputation for being an outdoorsman’s paradise but Denver is up and coming into full-fledged metropolitan area in its own right. With a population right around the 600,000 mark, Denver residents are young, healthy and athletic making for quite the attractive dating pool. Denver has a casual vibe and a big-city feel and hey, by the way, it’s nestled in the middle of some of the most beautiful countryside the US has to offer. Bonus!
Best features for singles: Outdoor activities, outdoor activities, outdoor activities. Also, tons of cool breweries and supply company headquarters to tour as well as a wide range of professional sports. Denver’s like Chicago’s warmer, more athletic little brother.
Most famous singles: John Elway. Okay, so he’s not technically single but the guy doesn’t have the best marriage track record so really, it’s only a matter of time.
In making this list I noticed a few glaring trends. If you ask me, the best cities for singles are usually those that just make “city” status, not the huge metropolises of the world. Smaller cities lead to more acquaintance connections and we all know by now these connections are often what precede romance. To be a great singles city, a town has to have tons to do, a thriving cultural scene and (duh), lots of singles. The good news about any of the cities on this list is if you move there based on my totally unscientific recommendations they’ll be plenty of things for you to enjoy, single or not. And living in a city that’s just as good for the hooked-up as the hooking-up is the ultimate goal, is it not?