“All the hot girls wear glasses,” observes a character in IFC’s hit sketch comedy show, "Portlandia." And in the Oregon city that "Portlandia" so bitingly mocks, residents hang out in feminist bookstores and peruse artisanal knot stores. Despite the satire, "Portlandia" does touch on a certain geeky quality (a Pedalpalooza bike festival, real-life feminist bookstores) that locals legitimately love.
And, unsurprisingly, Portland’s inherent nerdiness landed it squarely on this year’s list of the geekiest cities in the United States.
While the definition of “geeky” is open to interpretation, Travel + Leisure readers showed a clear preference for cities with vibrant student communities, a plethora of comic book shops, and community-supported Comic Con festivals.
In the annual America's Favorite Places survey, readers of all stripes evaluate hundreds of cities and towns across a range of categories, from the friendliness of the locals to the quality of the pizza. Unlike T+L's World's Best Awards, which encourage readers to weigh in on travel experiences across the globe, the America's Favorite Places survey is a way for locals to share what their hometowns do best.
From popular college towns to major tech and startup communities, these are the best places in the country to get your geek on.
Travel + Leisure’s America’s Favorite Places survey opened on 10/8/2015 and closed on 04/15/2016. It was open to everyone, and ran alongside a sweepstakes. The open-response survey asked respondents to submit their favorite place and rate it in over 65 categories, including affordability, notable restaurants, and public parks. Cities are defined as governed bodies with a population over 100,000.