There is no universal definition of “hip.” For some, it’s hipster — that ironic cool that has been perfected by the likes of Brooklyn and Portland. For others, it’s trendy and fashion forward, showing off the latest, chicest clubs, restaurants, and boutiques, a la Miami or LA. And while big cities are often known for being hip, smaller cities get passed over, but that shouldn’t be the case.

To find the 10 hippest mid-sized cities, we grabbed the U.S. cities with ranks #100-900 by population according to census data and sorted them by the preferences of our Trendsters Tribe. They’re smaller, sure, but each celebrate cool in their own unique way.

Chattanooga, TN

Why it’s hip: The hipster movement has infiltrated Tennessee’s fourth largest city, and the hold it’s got is strong: from underground music and public art to trendy food trucks and artisanal coffee, there’s a lot of hip culture to take in.


Where to go: The Bluff View Art District is a great spot to wander around in your quest for art, culture, and coffee (Rembrandt’s Coffee House is a good bet for the latter).

Other cities mentioned in the article:
Palm Springs, CA; Napa, CA; Burlington, VT; Santa Cruz, CA; Salt Lake City, UT; Des Moines, IA; Cambridge, MA; Santa Fe, NM; Charlottesville, VA

Published on: March 1, 2016
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