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Thread: Favorite Under-Rated Cities

  1. #126
         
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    I'm obviously biased here, but I'm still a huge fan of both Scranton and Wilkes-Barre, once prominent mining industry centers that are now struggling to revitalize themselves amid a sea of the sprawled-chaos that is much of Pennsylvania! Scranton, (pop. 74,000) and Wilkes-Barre (pop. 43,000) both offer hundreds of historically-significant buildings, yet most are being allowed to decay as newcomers from NY/NJ are flooding into the newer, cheaper housing developments in the nearby suburbs. It's a true shame; both cities have so much to offer to those with a love of unique urban living!

  2. #127
    Cyburbian TexanOkie's avatar
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    1. Indianapolis, IN - I've never heard anybody compliment Indy, but their downtown area is really nice, clean, occupied, and full of monuments. I love it.

    2. Tulsa, OK - Anybody who thinks of Oklahoma as a run-down, flat, dusty place has obviously never been to Tulsa. Tulsa also has one of the best medium-sized city skylines, IMO.

    3. Fort Worth, TX - I think Fort Worth suffers from living in the shadow of Dallas when it comes to national prominence. However, Fort Worth's culture is very unique, while Dallas' is really bland. Fort Worth is a lot more "Texan", if that makes any sense to anyone. Cultural opportunities in Fort Worth rival those of cities much larger than Dallas, and the urban feel of the city is more grounded in history than Dallas (and most every sun-belt city) and their glass office building sprawl. Also, downtown Fort Worth and the neighborhoods immediately adjacent to it have a large population, which contributes to round-the-clock presences in the entertainment and business districts downtown such as Sundance Square.

  3. #128
    moderator in moderation Suburb Repairman's avatar
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    Fernando Costa is heading up some great things in and around downtown Fort Worth, certainly worthy of attention.

    "Oh, that is all well and good, but, voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same way in any country."

    - Herman Göring at the Nuremburg trials (thoughts on democracy)

  4. #129
    Cyburbian rcgplanner's avatar
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    One Vote for Little Rock

    I was in Little Rock last week for a job interview and I was quite impressed with the city. The downtown is in the midst of undergoing a large revitalization. Markham Street is lined with many tree lined streets with beautiful examples of older homes. The scenery of West Little Rock (minus the endless strips of big-box retail) is beautiful with the hills and bluffs of the Arkansas River. Plus Little Rock is fairly close to Memphis, OKC, DFW.

  5. #130
    Cyburbian biscuit's avatar
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    I just killed a couple of hours walking walking around downtown Greenville, SC and can report that I was pretty impressed with what has happened in the four years since I last wondered around. The new Falls Park on the Reedy River was as good as any urban park I've visited, and the level of design in the new surrounding buildings is fairly high by the local standard.

    I would highly suggest a quick visit to any Cyburbian traveling I-85.

  6. #131
    Cyburbian rcgplanner's avatar
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    I would agree with you Biscuit. I am orginally from the Upstate of SC and when I came back on a break from school in May, I made sure to check out downtown and the new West End. Greenville has most certainly cleaned up the West End and Downtown.
    Greenville has really become a nice urban center. I always thought Greenville had some great potential. Now the entire Upstate has become a center of automotive engineering, with BMW and all the off-shoots of it and now ICAR and Clemson University.

  7. #132
    Super Moderator kjel's avatar
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    Let's hear it for Greenville, SC! Ok so I am a bit biased having lived there for 4 years, but it has undergone an amazing transformation even in the time I was there. I would also like to add Greenwood, SC...for a small town of 20K they have a wonderful Main Street and there's always something going on.
    "He defended the cause of the poor and needy, and so all went well. Is that not what it means to know me?" Jeremiah 22:16

  8. #133
    Cyburbian Masswich's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by drucee View post
    TORONTO.
    Why, oh why, does this city get so few leisure tourists?
    We go there as often as possible as tourists. Maybe someday we'll become honorary Canucks. My 4 year old can't go a week without talking about the CN Tower, and I love the neighborhoods.

    Others I like:

    - Grand Rapids, MI is underrated although the area around it is not underrated, which may be part of the problem.

    - Of course Portland, ME and Portsmouth, NH but these are not underrated.

    - I liked Halifax, NS a lot when I was there. Best things about it were the deep, deep harbor and the lack of a waterfront elevated highway.

    - St. John (or is it St. John's - cringe awaiting the "don't you know the difference" response from Canadians), NB

    - North Adams and Lee, MA, are both nice towns you don't hear much about.

    - Duluth, MN is nice other than the weather, the unfortunate downtown highway and the casino

    - Milwaukee is truly "up and coming." Used to go there every year when my in-laws lived there but they've moved and I miss it.

  9. #134
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    I think TexanOkie is onto something.

    Though instead of Tulsa, I would say:
    1. Oklahoma City, OK. Good, reasonably priced restaurants downtown, an accessible State Capitol building, and an absolutely moving and fitting monument to the victims at the Federal Building.

    2. Indianapolis, IN...the reasons have been listed above.

    3. Providence, RI. At least downtown, the city is aesthetically pleasing and historically enlightening, and you can find a place to relax in the evening (based on my single two-hour visit!)

  10. #135
    Cyburbian TexanOkie's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by arborite View post
    Though instead of Tulsa, I would say:
    1. Oklahoma City, OK. Good, reasonably priced restaurants downtown, an accessible State Capitol building, and an absolutely moving and fitting monument to the victims at the Federal Building.
    Bricktown is nice, as is the area immediately adjacent to the state capitol. However, outside of these two areas, and possibly the Paseo and Norman, the Oklahoma City area is really lacking in actual urban areas and destinations. On top of the that, the natural terrain (outside of the extremely low-rising rolling hills scattered about the surrounding area) is dull, flat, and contributes to the "dusty" mantra that surrounds Oklahoma mystique.

  11. #136
    I wish to also support Richmond. Classic city with lovely rivers nearby for citizens to enjoy.

  12. #137
    Cyburbian Rygor's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by TexanOkie View post
    1. Indianapolis, IN - I've never heard anybody compliment Indy, but their downtown area is really nice, clean, occupied, and full of monuments. I love it.

    2. Tulsa, OK - Anybody who thinks of Oklahoma as a run-down, flat, dusty place has obviously never been to Tulsa. Tulsa also has one of the best medium-sized city skylines, IMO.

    3. Fort Worth, TX - I think Fort Worth suffers from living in the shadow of Dallas when it comes to national prominence. However, Fort Worth's culture is very unique, while Dallas' is really bland. Fort Worth is a lot more "Texan", if that makes any sense to anyone. Cultural opportunities in Fort Worth rival those of cities much larger than Dallas, and the urban feel of the city is more grounded in history than Dallas (and most every sun-belt city) and their glass office building sprawl. Also, downtown Fort Worth and the neighborhoods immediately adjacent to it have a large population, which contributes to round-the-clock presences in the entertainment and business districts downtown such as Sundance Square.
    Interesting you name those, because I would also name Indianapolis and Tulsa high on my list. I've been to both and both seemed like very liveable cities. Another I might add to the list is Columbus, Ohio. It's big but doesn't seem too big, has nice neighborhoods including a cool Germantown, has Big Ten sports (Ohio State), is a capital city, has a large convetion center and gets plenty of big events, and seems pretty economically stable. Pretty affordable, too.
    "When life gives you lemons, just say 'No thanks'." - Henry Rollins

  13. #138
    Cyburbian bocian's avatar
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    How about Durham, Greensboro, and Winston-Salem in North Carolina? Wilmington in Delaware? Trenton in New Jersey? Bethlehem, Easton and Allentown in PA? How about Norfolk VA? Lastly, a small jewel that's overlooked: New Castle, Delaware...

  14. #139
    Cyburbian TerraSapient's avatar
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    I'm going to jump on the St. Louis train with the other people who mentioned it.

    I visited two winters ago and just fell in love with the place. The housing stock is amazing and the downtown area seems to be receiving a lot of attention. Other than my cab driver dropping me off at 2am at the wrong hotel and me having to walk two blocks in 20 degree weather... it was one of the best trips to a random destination I have taken.

  15. #140
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    Grand Rapids, MI

    Kalamazoo, MI

    Traverse City, MI

    Cincinnati, OH

    Athens, OH

    Columbus, OH

    Beaufort, SC

    Charleston, SC

    San Antonio, TX

    Indianapolis, IN

    Madison, WI

  16. #141
    Cyburbian Rygor's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Johio View post
    Grand Rapids, MI

    Kalamazoo, MI

    Traverse City, MI

    Cincinnati, OH

    Athens, OH

    Columbus, OH

    Beaufort, SC

    Charleston, SC

    San Antonio, TX

    Indianapolis, IN

    Madison, WI
    There are a few of those I would hardly call "overrated" (Charleston, San Antonio, Madison).
    "When life gives you lemons, just say 'No thanks'." - Henry Rollins

  17. #142
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    Quote Originally posted by Rygor View post
    There are a few of those I would hardly call "overrated" (Charleston, San Antonio, Madison).
    Not by someone who didn't know a lot about them before going.

  18. #143
    Cyburbian Rygor's avatar
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    Oops! Meant to say "underrated".
    "When life gives you lemons, just say 'No thanks'." - Henry Rollins

  19. #144
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    Lots of good ones on this list. Most of mine are seconds, but here they go:

    Oakland + Berkeley: yes, both are overshadowed by SF to the west, but both have their charms. Overall, Oakland is still too auto-oriented for my taste, but there are some cool walkable neighborhoods and the city has a lot of diversity and character as others mentioned. Give downtown Oakland some time and it will be great. Maybe the best part about Oakland is the booming culinary scene East Bay; lots of Chez Pannise alums are opening up their own spots. Berkeley has a ton of potential; maybe one day they'll figure out their downtown plan.

    Savannah, Georgia is just an amazing little city. History, architecture, people. I love it!

    I used to live in the DFW area as a child and recently revisited Ft. Worth for a family reunion: I was blown away. It has a great downtown, and still retains a bit of that 'ol west charm.

    My family is all from Oklahoma City, so I have to give some big ups to the planners working on bringing their downtown to life and the OKC residents who voted for the MAPS tax to build new a new park and light rail. Too bad the surrounding areas are a mess, though.

  20. #145
    Cyburbian RPfresh's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by phortytwo View post
    Oakland + Berkeley
    Seconded. I would say that, although SF, Wine Country and Monterey are major tourist destinations, a huge part of the Bay Area is untapped as far as tourism (not that we need any more of that). I guess you could say the same about any urban area - I enjoyed Brooklyn and Queens the last time I was in NYC but that's probably not on most people's to do lists. I'm actually trying to write a travel guide that will include a lot of the bay, so maybe I'm biased. Also

    Arcata/Eureka, CA

    While it's a little rough around the edges this college town always impressed me when I went up to visit a friend that was going there. Lots of culture for a small area.

  21. #146
    Cyburbian stroskey's avatar
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    Kansas City. That town is so fun and it is a mix of Southern and Midwestern values all rolled into one.
    I burned down the church to atone for my transgressions.

  22. #147

  23. #148
    Cyburbian TexanOkie's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by stroskey View post
    Kansas City. That town is so fun and it is a mix of Southern and Midwestern values all rolled into one.
    It's got a touch of the Old West in it, too, from it's days on the fringes of civilization between the East and West - the destination (along with many towns in KS) of cattle herded up from Texas. People often label MO/KS/NE/SD/ND as Midwest without thinking, when in reality these places (well, maybe not most of MO) were unsettled long before many places out west were. I love the Great Plains. They kick a$$.

  24. #149
    Cyburbian Rygor's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by TexanOkie View post
    It's got a touch of the Old West in it, too, from it's days on the fringes of civilization between the East and West - the destination (along with many towns in KS) of cattle herded up from Texas. People often label MO/KS/NE/SD/ND as Midwest without thinking, when in reality these places (well, maybe not most of MO) were unsettled long before many places out west were. I love the Great Plains. They kick a$$.
    That's right. It wasn't called the "Great American Desert" for nothing. It was mostly bypassed by settlers and considered unliveable until they realize they were sitting right on top of the biggest underground water source in the western hemisphere, the Ogallala Aquifer. Once irrigation of the land started for crop growing (only in the early 1900's) did it begin to populate more rapidly.
    "When life gives you lemons, just say 'No thanks'." - Henry Rollins

  25. #150
    Cyburbian RPfresh's avatar
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    Forgot one that I hope has been mentioned - Boone, NC is awesome.

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