Where do I go I want to live now that college is over?
It’s the same question thousands of bros ask themselves in the summer following the best four (or more) years of their life.
The problem is that the intermission between college and the real world gives you plenty of lazy time to ponder it. Probably too much time.
You start to overthink things like: living at and/or close home for a year won’t be so bad (it really is) or working in a cold weather city has it perks (it really doesn’t).
In those hours (or perhaps minutes) spent contemplating where you want to go, you’ll begin to make a list in your head of what traits you’re looking for in your destination.
They’ll probably include highlights such as: warm weather, reasonable cost of living, location, population (size), attractive (and partially clothed) female demographic, lifestyle (nightlife included), and opportunity to make a grotesque amount of money.Well, later this summer Bud Light is taking over a town and creating Whatever, USA and got us thinking…what are the best post-grad cities in America? So here is my top 10. If I missed anything, let me know in the comments.
1. San Diego
Southern California, gorgeous women and one of the healthiest cities in the country – can’t get much better than this gem. Living on the water right after school is pretty damn impressive, I think even your dad would be jealous.
Plus, it’s cheaper to live here than in other Cali metropolis’ San Francisco and Los Angeles.
Also, San Diego is a great launching point to see other parts of the country – and world – you wouldn’t otherwise see until your retirement years: the American southwest, Mexico and Central America.
If you’re pondering vacations to these places in your young 20s, then you’re doing pretty well for yourself.
Probably a bit biased here, but Austin has one of the greatest nightlife scenes in the country and is a young persons city at heart. The weather is perfect, the women beautiful and the food absolutely delicious.Most of all, it doesn’t overwhelm you like other big Texas cities like Dallas and Houston. You can create enough space for yourself while maintaining a social pulse.
And, considering the proximity to the University of Texas, you’ll felt like you’ve never left college.
Speaking of proximity, you have to love a place that’s home to the University of Arizona. However, that’s not the lone reason why this city is ranked so high – though the women alone warrant a top spot. Cost of living is reasonable, weather is unwaveringly warm, and the opportunity for wealth is waiting for you to knock.
It’s certainly far from other destinations, but Tucson definitely offers pretty much anything as dude would want in his early years.
4. Tampa Bay
Like the previous three choices, the weather and women play a huge factor here but Tampa’s location is what sets it apart.
Not too close to the Caribbean, yet still right on the coast, the city is ideally situated in Florida compared to its competitors Miami and Orlando (which, for the record, aren’t bad choices to settle in if you’re a young 20 year old male).
Factor in a crazy night life, low cost of living (compared to places like New York), and bikini clad everywhere, Tampa is a no brainer for this list.
5. New Orleans
Excitement, excitement, excitement. Get ready to rage it up in one of America’s most reckless cities and have the time of your life.
While the crime rate is unattractive, the Big Easy does have other selling points, like it’s unique cultural flare and passionate nightlife.
Although not as quiet as some of the other areas on this list, New Orleans does fulfill any sort of adventure needs you might want to have checked off.
To summarize, you’ll never be bored.
6. New York City
Whatever you lose in cost of living and weather, you make up for ten fold in nightlife and opportunity. If you’re goals are to have a great time with friends and make stupid amount of cash, then this is your place; they don’t call it the greatest city in the world without a reason.
Similar to NOLA, you’ll never be bored and that could be more valuable to you than anything.
Plus, location wise you can’t get much better. If you want to escape the bright lights of the big city, then you can trip to Boston, Philly, and Washington DC without much problem.
Note: I wish there were room here for Boston, Philly and DC – three institutional American cities, but I couldn’t justify them as “paradise” locations.
Far from the beach, the capital of the Rocky Mountains has plenty to offer within the city limits but you’ll probably find its best offerings in the skiing, biking, hiking and camping options outside of the city.
Similar to Austin, Denver won’t overwhelm you with it’s size: you can settle in and be your own person while still socializing quite often. Also, it’s not too costly and it’s one of the healthiest places in the country despite legal marijuana.
Unlike other spots on this list, Denver is a “paradise” for what it offers when the weather turns cooler. The Rocky Mountains aren’t going anywhere, and that’s good enough reason to settle in here for a while.
Friends and family will be visiting you soon enough during Christmas to go skiing, so you won’t have to go anywhere.
I desperately wanted to leave Miami off this list but it wouldn’t seem justified considering the city is synonymous with paradise.
The weather is too nice and the women are too fine to snub South Beach. It’s club scene is the best in the country, so nightlife-wise it’s on the same map as New York, which a lot of other cities can’t say.
Good music, great people and one of the best atmospheres in the country. While Nashville doesn’t lend itself as easy to the paradise label as some other cities not included on this list (Las Vegas, Salt Lake City, Los Angeles, etc.), I believe it does belong because it offers the perfect balance of everything that was listed above: cost, size, looks, culture/lifestyle and opportunity.
The only knock I have against it is that it’s land locked.
If water is the difference maker on your checklist, then check out this spot:
10. San Juan (Puerto Rico)
Technically a part of America, this Caribbean treasure could easily be tops on the list, but I feel like that would be cheating seeing as how it’s not mainland America.
Speaking of mainland vs islands, some may be wondering where Honolulu or other island communities are on this list, and that’s a good question.
Two reasons: I’ve never been to Hawaii so it’s hard to throw it on here based solely on reputation (though I’ve heard island culture is quite expensive and isolating). And, most importantly, how easy would this list have been if it were just 10 island destinations?
Paradise means a lot more than being surrounded by water, palm trees and almost naked women.
While we can’t share any exact details, we do know that Bud Light is taking over a town and creating Whatever, USA and it promises to be the ultimate post-grad paradise. Come to think of it, quenching my thirst at a Bud Light drinking fountain sure sounds nice right about now. I sincerely hope the town has one, or several hundred, of those. Secure your ticket to Whatever, USA by heading to UpforWhatever and proving you’re up for whatever with a 10 second audition video.