Next to pro sports teams and maybe famous citizens not named Pauly Shore, nothing gets people talking city pride like a "best-of" Internet list. "Most Livable City," or "Sexiest City," or "Best Small Town to Start a Knitting Blog," you get the idea.
But what about a list that ranks the cities at the TOP OF MOST LISTS?!?! Pretty meta, right? Well, that's exactly we've compiled. After culling 44 different best-of lists from all over the world wide web, we gave cities points based on where there fell in the top 10. Then we tallied the results and -- out of a total of 50 locales -- determined the 16 towns that are pretty much the best at FRICKIN' EVERYTHING!
16. Provo, UT
While definitely not high on anybody’s list for best beer, nightlife, or sex, Provo is the spot to settle down, raise a family, and start a business. The home of Brigham Young University ranks in the top 5 for housing investment and business/career, as well as for raising kids and work-life balance. It's also one of the smartest towns in America.
15. Miami, FL
Anyone who’s been to Miami for more than a weekend can tell you there are very few things the city does well. But what they're good at, they do better than anyone else. Which is why the 305 only made six of the 44 lists, but still landed in the top 15. It ranked #1 in "most sex" and "best nightlife," and #2 in "most popular tourist destination" and "sexiest." All in all, the results are a little top heavy, but then again, that can pretty much be said about most of Miami’s population.
14. Denver, CO
Though nobody's really come out with a list of "Best Cities for Weed" yet, Denver still does other intoxicating substances well, ranking #2 in "beer." Also, if you’re inclined to start a gym, brewery, or marijuana dispensary, this is your place; it ranks high in "fitness," "health," and "business."
13. Philadelphia, PA
If you’re retired and like nice hotels, meet your top 2015 vacation destination. The lone #1 spot Philly took (besides best cheesesteaks, of course) was for "nice hotels." Then again, the only Best Travel Destination list it even made was from the AARP. Even if you’re not tapping your IRA for a night at the Ritz-Carlton Philly, the city also scored high for "food," "skylines" and "singles." Whether those singles are octogenarians, however, is anybody's guess.
12. Chicago, IL
There’s a reason Chicago is called America’s Second City (even though it’s technically the third largest. Details, details...). Jack of all trades and master of none, Chicago is really good at a lot of things, but isn't the best at anything. That said, it still lands at #12 thanks to high rankings for its "food," "sports," and "skylines," as well as for being a "favorite tourist destination."
11. Raleigh, NC
Nowhere is business more booming right now than in Raleigh. Despite being closer to Duke than any person should legitimately want to live, Raleigh is the fastest growing city outside of Texas, ranked #1 for "business and careers." It also cracked the top 10 best cities for "young professionals," "young entrepreneurs," and "raising a family."
10. Austin, TX
Probably because you can name at least two people you talked to TODAY who are “thinking about moving to Austin,” the Texas capital ranks as the #1 city to invest in housing. The second-fastest-growing city in the country is also among the "coolest" and "best dressed," and has some of the top food, nightlife, and jobs.
You gotta give Rick Perry credit, the man knows how to bring business and jobs to a state. While Texas towns rank high on nearly all lists related to "housing investment," "growth," and "young entrepreneurs," Houston is the fastest-growing city in the country. And that's in terms of both population and waistline: H-town is also America's #1 "fattest city."
LA is the #1 city for "single women," mostly because the guy-to-girl ratio at any given bar is usually at best 3-to-2. It’s like North Dakota with better weather. That said, it's also one of the "sexiest" and "best dressed" towns in the country with high scores for "nightlife." For some reason though, Angelinos only have the 10th most sex.
If anyone ever tries to tell you beer isn’t good for you, send them to Portland. This quirky city in the Pacific Northwest rates #1 for both "beer" AND "fitness," as well as #5 for "food." We assume this is what happens when you’re publicly shunned for driving a car and perpetually have to fit into skinny jeans.
6. Boston, MA
Much like they’ve done with pro-sports championships, Boston took home more #1 titles than any other city on the list not named New York. It isn't called the Hub for nothing, ranking tops in "singles," "smartest," and "sports." They also cracked the top 10 for "coolest (hmmm... this seems suspect)," "most livable," "most visited," and "most number of homegrown celebrities with insanely grating accents."
5. Dallas, TX
Ask any guy who’s lived at home and he’ll tell you: the key to hooking up is having your own place. Nowhere is this better proven than in Big D, where they rank as the #1 place to "rent and own property" and #5 in places to "invest in housing." Which is why they’re also the third fastest-growing city in America, and have the second most sex.
4. New York, NY
Though New Yorkers who’ve never left New York still insist "the city" is the best in the world at everything, people who’ve actually been to other places only rated it tops in three categories: "best dressed," "most visited," and "favorite international tourist destination." While it missed the top business, professional, and entrepreneurial rankings, the Big Apple did still rate highly for "sexiness," "nightlife," and "food."
3. Seattle, WA
Though, shockingly, Seattle didn’t land on lists about nice weather or good Super Bowl play calling, it did top our rundown of best skylines. And next to San Fran, it appeared on the most lists in total (16), including best for "careers," "fittest," "food," and "favorite tourist destinations."
Watch cable news for an hour and you’ll probably get the impression that DC can’t do anything well. But even though the politicians struggle, the city itself ranks #1 for "single guys" and "coolness" (although, again, may have to throw a flag here). It also lands in the number two spot for "healthiest residents."
Even though the city by the bay is the best at a lot of things, stuff like cool summers and liberal politics aren’t necessarily pluses to everyone. So even though SF appears on an astonishing 20 “best of” lists -- including "fittest," "smartest," "sexiest," "most livable," "best dressed," "healthiest," and "best for singles," it only topped one list we surveyed: "jobs." Oh, and this one that you just finished reading.