10 coolest cities in the Midwest

America’s heartland too frequently gets labeled as flyover country -- the states you fly over to get between the East and West coasts. But take another look and you’ll notice that the Midwest harbors some of the country’s coolest college towns, hippest city neighborhoods, cheapest real estate, best cuisine and all-around greatest places to live and visit.

Text by Chelsea Lin | Photo editing by Mike Hipple

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226Comments
Jan 29, 2013 8:12PM
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HELLO?  Where is Grand Rapids, MI on the list?  Talk about cool - and FRIENDLY - destinations, GR is it!  VA Arena, FM Gardens & Sculpture Park, and nature to rival anywhere (try KCMG Garden).  Good place, good people, WOW on scenery
Jan 29, 2013 8:09PM
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This article failed terribly at doing Minneapolis / St Paul justice. The Twin Cities are well known for their diversity, arts, low unemployment, health, and culture! And yes I say that as a world-traveled San Francisco native who moved here ten years ago and couldn't be happier. The TC has the highest rate of literacy in the entire US, the highest rate of same-sex households per capita in the entire US (even beating out CA, go figure!) the highest percentage of people who bike to work, EVEN in our brutal winters, an enormous muslim population, and more theater seats per capita than anywhere else in the country except for Broadway. We have an incredibly vibrant arts and music culture and a well known food scene. Our universities, spiritual centers of all kinds and museums are incredible. We have so much fun in outdoor activities year round. Our annual gay pride parade is NOT to be missed - total riot! Plus there are jobs galore, especially in the health field, and housing is half the price it is on the coasts.

I'd never live anywhere else. It's like all the best parts of every major city I have lived in, world wide, combined.

Jan 29, 2013 8:05PM
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Love Chicago and Columbus, but my last trip to Cleveland was beyond boring. 

Jan 29, 2013 8:03PM
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Any town associated with Obama is a looser!
Jan 29, 2013 8:02PM
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I think the relevant point is that there are a lot of great destinations in our country outside of the coasts.  All these places (I've been to about half) can offer a great time, and a lot of places not on the list can, too.  It's really more dependent on you than anything else.  And the coasts are still great, too.  Get out and live!
Jan 29, 2013 7:52PM
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do not forget the blues, BUDDY GUY is king
Jan 29, 2013 7:49PM
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A better list would be to rank the Metro areas.  For instance, St. Louis city is small but St. Louis metro is the huge and that is where alot of its attraction lay.

Jan 29, 2013 7:45PM
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Oh yeah, St. Louis wines are world renowned... No thanks, I'll just keep flying over.
Jan 29, 2013 7:38PM
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I wouldn't say that Lake Michigan and its paltry little strips of gravel, aka beaches, are "more than sufficient to stand in" for Cali's beaches. Not by a long shot.
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