America's Best Cities for Singles 2010
What makes a good singles scene? Sometimes it’s charming
locals—or just a whole lot of bars. Here’s where to go for both.
Social media strategist Jani Bowe moved to Chicago from Minneapolis in 2007 and was glad she did. “Before moving to Chicago I wondered where on
earth all the 20- to 30-year-olds went, as the dating scene in Minneapolis was extremely thin,” she says. But she found a lot more
action in the Windy City. “Chicago is a vibrant, tech-savvy city, and this is
where people come to start their careers,” she says. “So many men, so little
Lots of people feel the same way. Chicago came in as the
sixth-best U.S. city for singles in the annual America’s Favorite Cities survey, where Travel + Leisure readers rated urban areas on culture,
and even how good-looking the locals are. Of course, the race for the top singles cities boils down, in
many ways, to how good the bar scene is. It explains, for instance, why
party-centric cities like San Francisco and New York slid into the top 10 as easily as a Jell-O shot.
That’s not to say smaller cities don’t have their appeal for
unmarried types. Austin cracked the top 5 thanks to its unbeatable
music scene and smart,
friendly locals. But the capital city wasn’t the lone star in Texas—nearby Houston also has a sizzling scene. What gives? Warm-weather spots did well in the survey,
since more people can get out year-round to enjoy the city’s offerings. Having
good cultural outlets, as Houston does in spades, doesn’t hurt either.
Some warm-weather spots defy that logic, though, like Orlando,
where you’re more likely to trip over a stroller than stumble upon a singles
meanwhile, won in the AFC survey for romance but scored low for its singles scene—implying that people come here when
they’re already in love, or are too busy pushing strollers to hold a mai tai
Meanwhile, some chillier places apparently make their own
heat—perhaps that’s why Chicagoans ranked only No. 19 for friendliness.
Smaller cities tended to rank higher for local charm, and offer a different
kind of bar scene. Providence came in at No. 10 for singles, perhaps thanks to its friendly people and neighborhood joints,
while Nashville is perfect for anyone—single or not—who wants a night on the town backed up by
a steel guitar.
So what’s your poison? Read on to see which city has the
singles scene for you.