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Where to Go With a College Degree and No Life Plan: 10 Best Cities to Move to After College

Now that you’ve graduated from college, you really don’t want to move back home.  Who can blame you?  After four years of being able to do your own thing, you really don’t want to have to move back with your parents.  You don’t know where life will take you next, but being micromanaged by parents or jumping into graduate research papers isn’t on your agenda.  If you’re willing to take a chance and move somewhere looking ahead in life with no regrets, we have some suggestions for you.  Here are the top 10 cities for young adults to move to after college.

10. Denver, Colorado – Move one mile up.


Denver is the perfect city to wine and dine on the town while looking for that special someone. The lower downtown neighborhood is prominent for its numerous clubs, bars, and restaurants and the city itself has been voted best city for singles three times in the past decade. If you’re the outdoors type, there is plenty to do just beyond the city limits where you can enjoy the spectacular mountain scenery that’s hard to find anywhere else in the country.

9. New York, New York – Enjoy nightlife in the city that never sleeps.


Over eight million people and 300 square miles make New York City the largest metropolitan center in the United States. Often referred to as the capital of the world, New York’s streets are bustling with people from every country on Earth. There are thousands of restaurants, bars, clubs, and theaters throughout the city’s five boroughs, along with the most notable sporting venues in North America. Entertainment, fashion, advertising, and marketing make up a significant part of the city’s economy (not to mention Wall Street). It’s a bit pricey to live there, but who really needs a car nowadays?

8. Washington, D.C. – Find your cause in our nation’s capital.


If you don’t have any big plans for your life, find a cause other people worry about and get really, really passionate about it. You’ll have an abundance of choices in Washington, D.C. Not only is it the official capital of the United States, it’s the capital of lobbying and non-profits as well. Even if you’re lacking passion, organizations in DC are always looks for young people willing to work to get any experience on their resume. If you’re a history buff, then you’ll feel right at home with some of the largest and most prolific museums and historical sites in the nation. On top of all of this, DC is filled with recent college graduates (as well as students still in college) and has hundreds of nightlife venues.

7. Chicago, Illinois – Hold onto your hat in the windy city.


The wind off of Lake Michigan may be harsh at times, but it never diminishes the spirit that has excelled in Chicago for decades. Think New York, except slightly smaller with more Middle America hospitality. It’s the perfect place to live if you’re looking for a sprawling metropolis to start a career in finance, consulting, or politics (so long as you’re a Democrat). Unique foods and a diverse culture make this city a recent college graduate’s dream.

6. Charlotte, North Carolina – The gem of the South.


If you’re the more relaxed type who wants to enjoy relatively warm weather year round, then Charlotte is the city for you. The city continues to grow rapidly and is home to numerous finance, automotive, and energy corporations. Charlotte is a city where the people are friendly and the vibrant southern culture shines brightly, from the food to the music and sports. If you’re not a true southerner, don’t worry; you’ve got plenty of time to learn.

5. San Francisco, California – Where being different is the norm.


Being normal is boring, and San Francisco doesn’t have many boring people. If you enjoy the company of a wide array of tolerant and easy-going people, from liberal young professionals to the easy going and unemployed, then this is the city for you! The bay area is home to “Silicon Valley,” the proclaimed computer technology capital of the world. San Francisco has temperate weather year round and is pretty easy to adapt to (minus the steep hills). Although it may not be the epicenter of counter culture that is was in the 1970’s, this city has an inherent ability to embrace the unique and empower individuals to live and be happy.

4. Minneapolis, Minnesota – Plenty of choices in the twin cities.


Minneapolis is like a smaller version of Chicago with an added dash of appreciation of the outdoors (and a twin called St. Paul). Known for its numerous lakes, Minnesota has lakeside cabins and camping grounds all over the state, including many just outside of the twin city suburbs. The greater Minneapolis area is a growing hotbed of business and consulting jobs for young adults eager to start a career. The city itself is filled with theaters, restaurants, and night clubs that make it one of the best kept secrets to young adults across the country.

3. Seattle, Washington – Wide awake in the coffee capital of the world.


Seattle’s winters may be cold, gray, and wet, but do not let that discourage you from experiencing the emerald city of the Pacific Northwest. The city is nestled right along the Puget Sound and is known for its coffee, its seafood, and its alternative “hipster” culture. Aerospace technology and marketing are two major industries in Seattle. If you can’t stand light rain and traffic jams on the freeway, then you should probably look somewhere else. But if you enjoy beautiful summers, an awesome walking city, and spectacular scenery, then Seattle is the place to be.

2. Boston, Massachusetts – It’s like you never left college.


With approximately 300,000 college students living in the city during the school year, Boston is college city, USA. Walk outside, throw a stone, and you’re bound to hit a university or education center of some sort. The locals can be quite abrasive (they’re often suspicious of people they don’t know who are nice), but Boston is the perfect city if you’re just not ready to move on from the college life. Downtown is packed with cheap bars and restaurants that are great for a small budget. This haven of intellectualism is mixed with blue collar roots that make Boston one of a kind.

1. Portland, Oregon – Where young people go to retire.


If you walked outside and saw a marching band of hipsters, an anarchist protest, and zombies on bicycles, you might think that it’s the apocalypse. In Portland, that’s called Saturday. The city of roses is truly the most interesting city in the most unique state in America. Where else can you find someone getting a substantial fine for littering but only a warning for shooting a shotgun towards the sky out the car window? Downtown is filled with eating and drinking establishments as unique as its residents. Combine that with the prominent atmosphere that encourages you to relax and smell the roses and you’ve got yourself the best place for young adults to move to after college.

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