Portland and Seattle Make the Top Ten in U.S. News Best Places to Live List

U.S. News analyzed the 125 most populous metro areas to find the best places to live. To make the top of the list, a place had to have good value, be a desirable place to live, have a strong job market and a high quality of life. Click here to see the rankings.

The top-ranked west coast city is Portland at #6: 

Historic home in Portland. Photo credit: Sarah Shelton for U.S. News

Portland’s population toes the line between an innocent playfulness and a shameless wild side. Naked bicycle rides, a fully costumed adult soapbox derby and Voodoo Doughnuts – a bakery that is known for making one-of-a-kind donuts – are a sampling of ways residents live up to the unofficial city motto: “Keep Portland Weird.” Locals tend to be friendly and laid-back while maintaining a healthy work ethic. This, combined with Portland’s emphasis on self-expression, has created a breeding ground for many independent businesses and startups.

Seattle is ranked #10

To answer the question on many people’s mind: “No, it doesn’t rain all the time.” Seattle gets less rain annually than Boston, New York City, Philadelphia, Miami and many other major metro areas. The natural beauty of Seattle – it’s surrounded by both mountains and water on two sides – is one of the biggest draws for residents.

The scenery and proximity to nature, perhaps, contribute to Seattle’s inherent attitude: one of calm and patience. Locals are mocked for always allowing others to merge on the freeway, but that attitude extends to everyday life, where coffee shops harbor intellectual discussions, and nightlife is more about chilling with a beer at the bar than wild nights on the dance floor.