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Top 10 Cities for Recent Grads

By Gradspot Dot Com

#3: SEATTLE (pop. 598,541)

[Photo by ngader]

The Pacific Northwest often gets a bad rap as a place where ugly, granola-eating freaks get rained on a lot, but those who live in Seattle have compelling evidence that it's a perfect city for recent grads. The surrounding area is beautiful, offering great skiing in the Cascade and Olympic Mountains, as well as tons of hiking, mountain biking, and mountaineering opportunities (there’s even a biking terrain park underneath the I-5 freeway). Tech geeks, beer nerds, and outdoors mavens live together amiably, chilling at the incredible REI flagship store and thinking about what it would be like if Kurt Cobain were still alive.


Major Industries: Big-biz technology and tech-related venture capital
Climate: Generally cool with lots of rain (Winter—41°F, Summer—65°F)
Transportation: Hop in the whip and prepare for traffic
Avg. Price of a One Bedroom Apartment: $956*
Cost of Living Index Value: 132**
Closing Time: 2AM
Professional Sports: MLB—Mariners; NFL—Seahawks
Famous Foodstuffs: Fresh fish
You'll love it if… you're a tech genius who moonlights as an extreme skier
You'll be miserable if… you're like Missy Elliott and "can't stand the rain"
Best Thing Ever: Some of the freshest coffees in the world
Worst Thing Ever: Traffic jams


Seattle is a city of unique character. You feel it when riding your bike along Lake Washington, or grabbing a fresh coffee at one of the local shops, or grubbing some incredible local seafood eats, or skiing in the Cascades, or at a show in one of the local venues. The feeling makes you want to be there, continue to be there, because being part of a community like Seattle is just something that feels good and right. But really, you won't know what it's like until come here.... — Charlie F., Microsoft

Sick of the hipsters in Brooklyn, Portland, and San Francisco? Seattle has a noticeable dearth of the long-haired, intentionally short-trousered type. And no, we aren't quite like the characters from Grey's Anatomy, either—much fewer monologues, and the ferry system (albeit an extensive one) typically only plays a role in the lives of retirees living a laid-back lifestyle on the islands of the Sound.

What we do have are a number of established, thoughtful neighborhoods, each with their own unique personality, as well as a real-estate bubble that is bursting a little slower than the rest of the nation. Our restaurants are dominated by prominent "big name" chefs; outside of Seattle, brewery and winery tours are a favorite weekend activity.

As for outdoor activities, any day of the year (the water temperature only changes by a few degrees from summer to winter), Seattleites can don a thick wetsuit and surf a three hour drive from the city. In the opposite direction, only an hour from Seattle, is Snoqualmie Pass, where skiing or snowboarding is possible until 10PM any night of the week during winter. — Andrea J.

Gradspot.com Rating: 89/100

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This top 10 list is extremely helpful and interesting to a soon-to-be graduate like myself! I referred this top 10 list on my own blog, aftergradavenues.com.

Considering a move to Chicago in the near future. So glad to see it's #1!

This entire list is entirely bogus. NYC is number 2? Are you kidding me? Fine, NYC has alot of fun stuff going on but were not talking about fun places to take a quick weekend. How about a place where 90% of the grads that move their have to move back out within a year!? I would not take this list as anything but a fun little description of a few cities. I live in LA and can say that only 15% of my city thinks it is in 'entourage', get a clue before you start judging cities based on average rent and 'closing time' (which is 4am in LA btw)

Houston is a great city to live in, but be careful of some of the neighborhoods. After Katrina, the murder rate has gone through the roof. Also if your gay, your only safe in, like, a handful of neighborhoods.

Do not move to CA unless you are moving here for a job that you have already been offered! I know a lot of people that have moved out here excited to start their career, just to find that the job market sucks and they can't get a job. You would be much better off on the east coast.

This list was helpful, but as a recent grad (and life-long resident) of Boston, I was disappointed in how one-sided the description of Beantown was. It seemed like whoever wrote it took a very cliche snapshot of "bro" culture (frats, Sox, beer) instead of actually realizing the unique diversity (one of the largest percentages of international residents), enormous push for arts and alternative culture (MFA, ICA, MassArt), and a pretty serious knack for fashion. C'mon guys! Let's wake up and smell the cliches and try to steer away from them.

I just looked through the blog rankings, and I have to say, they are pretty worthless. Seems like something a couple nitwits whipped together over a weekend, without any real analysis. Their descriptions of the cities are so one-dimensional they are practically worthless.

At first I thought Boston may be ranked only #5 because rents are so high, but NY #2?? NY is a great city, but for recent college grads, it's not so great.

And the blog makes Boston sound like the entire city consists of frat guys watching Red Sox games. Are you kidding me???? North End is worlds apart from Back Bay, which is distinctly different than Southie, which couldn't be more different than the South End, which has a very different population than Beacon Hill. And NOT ONE of those neighborhoods is populated by drunken frat guys types. If the blog were only rating the neighborhoods of rating Allston or Brighton, sure maybe. But you're hard pressed to find much of that outside of those 2 neighborhoods (and if you were just rating those 2 neighborhoods, then the rent drops to about $800 for a 1 BR).

The T stops running too early, but aside form that, it really is a perfect city for young adults (recently ranked #1 for dating scene for young adults). There's the club scene, the preppie scene, the monied crowd scene, the sports-guy scene. It's about as diverse as a city gets.

Knock it for high rent, sure. But the reason rents are so high is because demand is so high. Young adults flock to the city. Let's get some better analysis here, guys.

BTW, as someone who lived in Boston, NY, and L.A. in my 20's, and traveled frequently to Chicago, Atlanta, and D.C. for work, I'd rank them as follows (for recent college grads):

1. Boston
2. D.C.
3. Chicago
4. L.A.
5. Atlanta
6. NY

Boston is exactly as you describe it. This place sucks.

Boston is just like Scranton, with clams!

Atlanta is a fecund garden of kewlness! It's like a breeding ground for an indie-hound like meh! I saw a Throbbing Gristle concert back in the early eighties. I saw R.E.M. when they were just a faint "murmur." My girl Emma gave Robert Pollard a handj0b to get backstage passes to a G.B.V. concert. The place is still kicking too! I bought a thrift store t-shirt for 30 bucks in Little Five Points. I LOVE THIS TOWN BABY!

I was born and bred in NY so I may be biased and would have to say NYC is the greatest city in the world! If you just graduated college and are exploring a move, check out www.postgradapartments.com. We are currently in NYC, Boston and Chicago and plan to be in ten more cities by December of this year!

Ummmm...Chicago summer avg is definitely higher than that (try about 88-95F) and the winters are colder (10-20F)

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