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Best downtowns

pwright1

Member
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Besides New York and Chicago which downtowns do you find have plenty of action, nightlife, retail and people in North America?
 
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Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, and Washington DC's CBDs are pretty lively. Several smaller southern towns like Charleston, Savannah, Asheville, Chattanooga and Miami Beach also have vibrant downtowns.
 

Cardinal

Cyburbian
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Locally, both Madison and Milwaukee have lively downtown areas. I agree to an extent with Runner on Portland - except that I could not find an open coffee shop after six. Minneapolis is not too bad, although it has been years since I have been there.
 

Chet

Cyburbian Emeritus
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10,624
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pwright1 said:
Besides New York and Chicago which downtowns do you find have plenty of action, nightlife, retail and people in North America?
I was in Chicago for Saturday's Cubs / White Sox show down. The whole Wrigleyville area is great on game day. (even if the damned Sox won)
 

biscuit

Cyburbian
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3,904
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lakelander said:
Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, and Washington DC's CBDs are pretty lively. Several smaller southern towns like Charleston, Savannah, Asheville, Chattanooga and Miami Beach also have vibrant downtowns.
The only problem with Pittsburgh's downtown is that , being a neighborhood centered city, the downtown area is not the center of nightlife on the weekends, but it is beautiful and pretty lively during the work week.

Another southern city with a great downtown area is Greenville, SC which has a very vibrent Main St. area to be newer, more suburban city.
 

Jeff

Cyburbian
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4,161
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Philly!! Everything NYC has but less traffic and the people don't pretend to be as "glamorous" as they do in NYC.
 

donk

Cyburbian
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6,970
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Does Uptown Saint John count as a downtown? If so it is a great place.
 

oulevin

Cyburbian
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178
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I second that of Seattle and DC, and would throw in Fort Worth, Austin, and believe it or not, Columbus, Ohio (North Shore district). Cleveland has retail, but it's mostly enclosed, off the street. For a small town, you can't get much better than downtown Oxford, MS.
 

BKM

Cyburbian
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6,464
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San Diego??

Some of the new housing in downtown San Diego has been rpetty impressive. Not sure I like Horton Plaza-it makes my teeth ache its so sugary. :)
 

t-dot

Member
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Spoken like a true American

New York and Chicago may be America's largest centres, but their Canadian Counterparts do offer much of the same downtown vibrance. Toronto is the busines, financial and cultural centre of Canada. It is a very diverse, open city with endless international, national and provincial ties, all without loosing its "small-town" feeling. A remarkable characteristic when you have 6 million people living in the city's metropolitan area. Our major Canadian centres are often stereotyped to be "typically Canadian," however, with millions living in our four major centres, these cities' vibrant downtown life is Canadian. New York, Chicago, Los Angeles and Toronto, too much a like to get along?
 

RandomPlanner

Cyburbian
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1,588
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Better late than never, ... I guess

I agree with Montreal and Boston, two of my favorite cities.
I also vote for Nashville -- there's always something to do there, but it has more of a down-home feeling to it (and this coming from a yankee)!
 

jresta

Cyburbian
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1,474
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Phl!

We win!







There's really not a lot that happens in any CBD after 6pm but my favorite cities are Boston, Chicago, and Philadelphia. DC gets high marks for quality of life but it has no soul. The other three cities seem to know where they came from and embrace their culture. In Canada it's Montreal, Toronto, and Vancouver in that order.
 

DetroitPlanner

Cyburbian Emeritus
Messages
6,241
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27
Looks a lot like Bronson, MI! well if you took away the tall buildings, trendy stores, added a few cows, and a polish festival with a tractor pull.
 

michaelskis

Cyburbian
Messages
19,447
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Now this is a great list! I don’t have objections with any city listed above, I loved downtown Philly, the equitable blend of historic buildings and modern skyscrapers along with an unlimited choice of activities make it a phenomenal place.

I would like to add Grand Rapids Michigan to the running. While Grand Rapids is not as well known for anything other than furniture, the home of Gerald Ford (and being the first city in the US to Fluorinate its water) downtown has been under a major transition from industrial production hub to an interactive vibrant downtown. Event venues such as Van Andel Area, DeVos Place, the renovated Civic Theater, and the BOB (big old building) along with numerous bars, restaurants, coffee shops, night clubs, and the GR public museum provide a real destination environment.

To add to the mix of everything, many of the older historic buildings have been refurbished and turned into mixed use, or condo residential, including a the Historic Union High School. and The Hillmount.

Additionally, over a billion dollars of new development in and around downtown has been approved or is under construction. Riverhouse and the new JW Marriott Hotel & Conference Center are just two of the buildings that will greatly change the Grand Rapids Skyline.
 
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