Thrillist, an online media website that covers travel, food, and entertainment, has released their Coolest Small Cities in the United States list for 2022-2023 and their findings are based on quality of life, affordability, and urban amenities.
The article included places throughout the entire United States from Alaska to Florida. Indiana's 4th largest city, Bloomington made the top of the list.
Home to just over 84,000 people, Bloomington offers all the charm of a smaller American town imbued with enough culture–bars, restaurants, and museums to keep up with the trendiest metro areas that the United States is known for, i.e; Chicago, Brooklyn, and San Francisco.
Known as a quintessential college town with a quirky indie vibe, Bloomington offers residents an endless list of things to do and see. Bloomington's downtown district alone is home to over 150 restaurants and cafes. B-town also has a wide variety of global cuisine making it a foodie hotspot.
This, coupled with the fact that Bloomington also features countless music venues, art galleries, and top-quality sporting events, plus tons of ways to enjoy the great outdoors from fishing to hiking, it's not surprising this tiny city made the list of coolest places in America.
In a time of soaring inflation, rising rents, and cramped living conditions, young city dwellers are looking to the midwest for more affordable places to call home. Amongst this list, Bloomington was joined by 3 other inland cities including Hot Springs, Arkansas, Eau Claire, Wisconsin, and Bozeman, Montana.
According to Rent Cafe, the average rent in a city like Bloomington is about $1,000. Compared to cities like New York where the average rent is currently over $4,000 a month, it's no surprise that living here makes for a happier and less stressful quality of life, where residents don't have to squeeze into a 900-square-foot space with two other roommates.
In the coming years, it will be interesting to see just how many young people leave the coastal cities that dominated populations in the past for the small inland towns of the midwest, forever shifting the American cultural landscape as we know it today.