5 of the best cities in the U.S. for creative college graduates

New York City and Los Angeles are usually the two big cities that everyone thinks about when it comes to finding a home after graduation. While these cities are amazing and have a lot to offer young individuals, they are also extremely expensive and their mass appeal can make it hard to find entry-level jobs and affordable housing. If your dream is to leave college behind for a city, here are five cities to consider:

Seattle Cityscape with Mt. Rainier
“If your dream is to leave college behind for a city, here are five cities to consider…”

1) Seattle, Washington

Seattle is such an overlooked city. In addition to having great night life, dining, and entertainment, it also provides the chicken soup for your creative soul. Ample bookstores including the famous Elliot Bay Book Company, record stores, coffee shops perfect for writing or reading, and museums all nurse creativity and make Seattle the perfect place to call home.

2) San Francisco, California

In the grand scheme of things, people tend to treat San Francisco like Los Angeles’ younger, less attractive sibling. In reality though, it’s a terrific place to settle down. San Francisco is a culture hub, bearing tons of international marketplaces including a Chinatown, making it simple for you to expand your horizons. Like Seattle, San Fran is home to many cool attractions and museums such as The Exploratorium . It’s also the place to be if your dream is to ride everywhere in cable cars. Inspiration for artists, writers, and musicians is around every turn.

3) Boston, Massachusetts

Most people associate Boston with history. However, while Boston is a great place for history buffs to congregate, it’s also the home to many creative people. Home to Emerson College (a college for writers, filmmakers, actors, and other people looking to go into creative fields), Boston is filled to the brim with nature attractions perfect for those seeking some inspiration, theaters, and more.

4) Denver, Colorado

You can’t beat Denver if you want to be in touch with nature while still enjoying top notch food and entertainment. Take a hike in the mountains, take some pictures, scribble your thoughts in a journal and then adjourn to a playhouse for a show. You get the best of both city life and nature in Denver.

5) Portland, Oregon

While Oregon may seem like a “blah” state, Portland is actually one of the most creative cities in the U.S. Like the other cities on the list, it has everything a creative person could possibly want, from quiet bookshops, to noisy theaters, to thought provoking museums. However, at the same time, Portland is fairly affordable and so a great choice for a post-college grad trying to make it in the real world.

While NYC and LA certainly have their appeal, you can trade the insane population sizes and astronomical rent for these just as interesting places to call home.