Rule of cool: Cities below the radar

Plants Sites and Parks
March 1, 2001

Looking for recent grads or 20-somethings to bolster your business, but having trouble finding them? PS&P takes a look at some metros that may fall under the corporate radar, but have become gathering places for the under-30 crowd who want to enjoy their play as much as their work.
Many young professionals are “focusing more on a work-life balance,” says Danyel Barnard, editor in chief of Experience magazine ( Although many will flock to New York, San Francisco or Boston to make their fortunes, just as many are going to smaller places with lower costs-of-living. This list describes just a few of those cities.

Oakland, California
Portland, Oregon
Richmond, Virginia
Indianapolis, Indiana
Burlington, Vermont
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

This list of cool cities is nowhere near complete. Savannah, Ga., and Charleston, S.C., both historic tourist towns, are quickly becoming hip alternatives to Atlanta. Jacksonville, Fla., is attracting young people with its sunny weather and low cost of living.

Other cities-Austin, Texas and Minneapolis-have received too much press in recent years to make this cut. They have inadvertently broken the first rule of cool: If too many people think it’s the place to be-then it’s not.

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