50 Most Beautiful Cities in the US

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In this article we take a look at the 50 Most Beautiful Cities in the US. Click to skip ahead and jump to the 10 Most Beautiful Cities in the US.

What else can be more pleasant pastime in these pandemic-stricken times than read about the 50 most beautiful cities in the US? In order to enjoy this trip you don't need to take even one step, as this virtual tour will fly you across America. So nestle into your favorite armchair with a glass of wine in hand and check out these gorgeous, emerald-necklaced cities.

At first let's make clear what beauty is. It's an attribute of an entity that is in balance with nature and harmony, which results emotional well-being and attraction. Undoubtedly, a beautiful city is attractive. But how did it begin? There was a famous campaign, called the City Beautiful Movement. It was not only a social, but an architectural reform, too, which started in the America of 1890s and flourished in the 1900s. The purpose was to introduce that beauty didn't only stand for itself, didn't only exist for its own sake but to combine beauty with architecture would create something new, something moral and would show the civic virtue of the modern urban residents. Initially, the movement could be linked to four cities: Chicago, Cleveland, Detroit and Washington D.C. (Obviously, you can find all of them on this list. Actually, Cleveland is on the 30th, Detroit is on the 15th, Chicago is on the 8th and Washington D.C. is on the 3rd spot.) It's not surprising, since as you can see in our former article, the 20 cities with the most skyscrapers in the world, Chicago was home to the first modern skyscraper, the recently demolished Home Insurance Building that was built in 1885. Thus, we can see how progressive Chicago was as early as in the late 19th century. However, the movement was a response to urbanization, increased immigration and number of births. The movement was widely introduced to public during the World's Columbian Exposition in Chicago in 1893, and the popularization continued on the Louisiana Purchase Exposition 1904. From this time the beautification movement spread unstoppably across America. Lots of cities joined the movement, such as Des Moines, Baltimore, New York City, Philadelphia - just to name a few. All these cities will be familiar while reading through this compilation. Yes, descendants followed the examples of their ancestors. Supporters of this philosophy thought that the movement would result a more harmonious society with higher quality of life; while its critics opinionated the whole beautification was highly "overhyped". We think the truth is somewhere in the middle. The futurity has come, and has made its verdict.

And what is the verdict? Not only does the modern man appreciate the efforts of the ancestors, but the architects directly went back to the Hanging Gardens of Babylon in order to use the brainwave of green roofings. What does this term mean? Green roof means a rooftop which is covered with vegetation in soil. Why is it important? According to a WHO study on Urban Green Spaces, green roofs have numerous positive results, such as decreasing air pollution and the "impacts of extreme weather". Cities, like Washington D.C., Nashville, Deis Moines, and Houston, New York are well-known for creating large green spaces on rooftops of public buildings in order to enlarge the green areas within their boundaries. However, Washington D.C. holds the first place in green roofing, as in 2018 Green Roofs for Healthy Cities (GRHC) nominated Washington, D.C. "the greatest square footage of green roof installations of 2017 as the city registered over 1 million sq ft of green roofs"!

So what makes a city beautiful ? Above all, the size of the green area; the quantity of parks and old buildings; the colorful, vivid markets; clean streets and air and many other aspects. In order to compile this list of the 50 most beautiful cities in the US, we consulted Humanitarian Data Exchange and chose green area per capita as important data to rank these cities, but also collected some other arresting basic information about the cities, such as population, city area, number of National Historic Landmarks, and number of parks. We checked out the last two years in the source, and we couldn't see any changes. Comparing this compilation to our former list of the 50 most forested cities in the US, we can observe that only 33 out of the 50 cities are present on both lists. This is because the latter article ranked the cities by the total land area per forested area; while we made rankings by green area per capita and we only used data of cities above the population of 100 000. What's more, we can learn further arresting results, such as Seattle is the most forested city, but concerning to the green area per capita it lags behind on the 44th spot. New York, the city of skyscrapers is also the city of parks, as it is home to more than 1,000 parks, but concerning to green area per capita it stands only on the 33rd spot.

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Most Expensive Cities to Rent in America in 2015

Cities often undertake beautification or "placemaking" to build the community spirit and celebrate and revive the cultural histories of the place. Placemaking is therefore, a term used for the process of cultural rebuilding to strengthen neighborhoods or places of livelihood. However, there are often other more important issues that are addressed in the guise of placemaking. For instance, the "Silent Lights" project in Brooklyn to illuminate a dark underpass actually served the purpose of making the alleys safer for school children. Similarly, placemaking also has a strong economic aspect. Think about it, when you think of moving to a new the beauty and of the place if often one of the major considerations, right? To attract skilled workers and in turn more companies that create more jobs, beautification plays a stronger role than what appears on the surface. It ultimately builds and benefits the economy. Often, real estate companies have a strong role to play in the building and redevelopment projects of the cities. And, with the recent awareness around sustainable buildings and projects, and shifting towards green energy reliance, sustainability is soon becoming one of the major aspects in placemaking projects. Real estate companies are also shifting focus towards promoting green energy. Recently, American company Prologis (NYSE:PLD)was named amongst the top 100 most sustainable companies, and the has been incorporating Green Building principles in its leased properties in several cities in the country with the ultimate goal of cleaner air and greener surroundings. The company also has a program for provision of solar energy solutions on lease.

If you consider moving to a new city, this list will also be a great help, but we also recommend to read through the 18 cities with the best air quality in the US as well as 9 states that banned plastic bags, if you are aware of your environmental footprint.

And now, without a further ado let's open the virtual door to the sights of the 50 most beautiful cities in the US.

50. Sacramento, California

Population: 513 624

Area: 99.77 sq mi (258.41 km2)

Green area m² / capita: 126.22

Number of National Historic Landmarks: 45

223 parks make the city beautiful, so that you can feel home in Sacramento.

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15 Highest Paying Cities for Teachers

Belyay/Shutterstock.com

49. San Francisco, California

Population: 881 549

Area: 46.91 sq mi (121.51 km2)

Green area m² / capita: 162.29

Number of National Historic Landmarks: 283

More than 220 parks ensure fresh air in San Francisco, that's why it's pleasant to live here.

Pixabay/Public domain

48. Oklahoma City, Oklahoma

Population: 655 057

Area: 620.78 sq mi (1,607.80 km2)

Green area m² / capita: 164.65

Number of National Historic Landmarks: 133

The city has 1 park for every 3,995 citizens, so if you live here, you are really a lucky one!

47. Jacksonville, Florida

Population: 911 507

Area: 874.67 sq mi (2,265.39 km2)

Green area m² / capita: 217.45-

Number of National Historic Landmarks: 1

Jacksonville is definitely "The City of Parks" as its green area is exceptionally outstanding and amazing! It includes over 400 City Parks, 7 State Parks, 3 National Parks, and dozens of arboretums and gardens, all this span more than 80,000 acres! Visiting Jacksonville should be on everyone's bucket list.

Pixabay/Public domain

46. New Orleans, Louisiana

Population: 390 144

Area: 349.85 sq mi (906.10 km2)

Green area m² / capita: 238.92

Number of National History Landmarks: 26

Stop in New Orleans for a few days and admire its 2 major parks, 200 smaller parks and squares and over 450 000 trees believe us, it's worth it.

Pixabay/Public domain

45. Toledo, Ohio

Population: 272 779

Area: 83.83 sq mi (217.13 km2)

Green area m² / capita: 253.08

Number of National History Landmarks: 60

The city maintains 125 parks across Toledo, which means lots of days to walk around. Yet another reason for staying over for couple of days.

Pixabay/Public domain

44. Seattle, Washington

Population: 753 675

Area: 142.07 sq mi (367.97 km2)

Green area m² / capita: 275.20

Number of National History Landmarks: 379

Altogether from A to Z 413 parks make people's life colorful in the city of Seattle!

Pixabay/Public domain

43. Austin, Texas

Population: 978 908

Area: 326.51 sq mi(845.66 km2)

Green area m² / capita: 276.70

Number of National History Landmarks: 8

233 parks speaks about Austin is devoted to health and recreation on the list of the 50 most beautiful cities in the US. As beauty and health have the same paths.

Pixabay/Public domain

42. San Antonio, Texas

Population: 1 547 253

Area: 504.64 sq mi (1,307.00 km2)

Green area m² / capita: 294.72

Number of National Historic Landmarks: 9

Among numerous wonderful parks, there are 13 of them which are really exceptional ones, as you can see in this image.

Pixabay/Public domain

41. Charleston, South Carolina

Population: 137 566

Area: 135.10 sq mi (349.92 km2)

Green area m² / capita: 302.88

Number of National Historic Landmarks: 34

There are 35 parks in Charleston which mean the isles of tranquility for everyone.

Pixabay/Public domain

40. Boston, Massachusetts

Population: 692 600

Area: 89.62 sq mi (232.11 km2)

Green area m² / capita: 317.07

Number of National Historic Landmarks: 57

Boston is a city that really believes in the importance of recreational parks, as it includes a respectable number of 217 city parks.

39. Clearwater, Florida

Population: 116 946

Area: 35.85 sq mi (92.85 km2)

Green area m² / capita: 384.66

Number of National Historic Landmarks: 6

Clearwater is home to 181 parks which are beautiful green ornaments of the city.

Pixabay/Public domain

38. Atlanta, Georgia

Population: 506 811

Area: 135.73 sq mi (351.53 km2)

Green area m² / capita: 466.88

Number of National Historic Landmarks: 9

Among numerous parks and gardens, Atlanta is home to the Old Fourth Ward Skate Park. What is sure, if you visit here you will have a great time in a glamorous city!

37. Baton Rouge, Louisiana

Population: 220 236

Area: 86.45 sq mi (223.90 km2)

Green area m² / capita: 542.65

Number of National Historic Landmarks: 81

Including over 100 parks, Baton Rouge is a jewel among the emerald trees.

Pixabay/Public domain

36. Tampa, Florida

Population: 399 700

Area: 175.83 sq mi (455.40 km2)

Green area m² / capita: 567.78

Number of National Historic Landmarks: 3

Tampa includes an outstanding number of parks, so you can enjoy fresh air in 178 emerald green parks here.

35. Salt Lake City, Utah

Population: 200 567

Area: 110.34 sq mi (285.77 km2)

Green area m² / capita: 630.24

Number of National Historic Landmarks: 137

Salt Lake city has numerous parks spanning a total area of 735 acres, offering lots of possibilities for young and young at heart.

34. Omaha, Nebraska

Population: 478 192

Area: 140.98 sq mi (365.14 km2)

Green area m² / capita: 638.82

Number of National Historic Landmarks: 93

With its 186 moss-green parks, Omaha really deserves its place on the list of the 50 most beautiful cities in the US.

33. New York City, New York

Population: 8 336 817

Area: 468.19 sq mi (1,212.60 km2)

Green area m² / capita: 658.36

Number of National Historic Landmarks: 158

New York is the city that not only has the most skyscrapers in the world, but it has by far the most parks, as it is proud home to 1008 parks!

Pixabay/Public domain

32. Akron, Ohio

Population: 197 597

Area: 61.93 sq mi (160.41 km2)

Green area m² / capita: 696.78

Number of National Historic Landmarks: 57

Having 16 main parks, Akron is a jungle-green city and offers you many possibilities to recreation and develop your health.

mark smith nsb/Shutterstock.com

31. Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Population: 300 286

Area: 58.34 sq mi (151.11 km2)

Green area m² / capita: 754.30

Number of National Historic Landmarks: 171

Pittsburgh has a gorgeous green necklace with its 165 parks, every each of these parks mean an emerald pearl on this queenly necklace.

Pixabay/Public domain

30. Cleveland, Ohio

Population: 381 009

Area: 82.48 sq mi (213.62 km2)

Green area m² / capita: 767.40

Number of National History Landmarks: 258

There are 19 metro parks in Cleveland which mean really joyful tours for you.

Pixabay/Public domain

29. Dayton, Ohio

Population: 140 407

Area: 56.55 sq mi (146.46 km2)

Green area m² / capita: 776.63

Number of National Historic Landmarks: 0

Although you can't find any historic landmarks, don't worry, as you can still enjoy the 19 local parks in this pretty city.

Pixabay/Public domain

28. Miami, Florida

Population: 467 963

Area: 56.07 sq mi (145.23 km2)

Green area m² / capita: 818.05

Number of National Historic Landmarks: 51

Miami is not only a sun-flooded, bright city, but it can boast with more than 148 parks, too. If you happen to visit Miami, don't skip its beautiful parks, either!

Pixabay/ Public Domain

27. Dallas, Texas

Population: 1 343 573

Area: 383.44 sq mi (993.10 km2)

Green area m² / capita: 895.35

Number of National Historic Landmarks: 2

An incredible number of 300 parks can be found in Dallas, which raises the city among the most beautiful cities in US.

Pixabay/Public domain

26. Portland, Oregon

Population: 654 741

Area: 144.98 sq mi (375.50 km2)

Green area m² / capita: 944.24

Number of National Historic Landmarks: 3

There are 30 parks spanning 10,000 acres, which ensure peace and recreation for both citizens and visitors.

25. Orlando, Florida

Population: 287 442

Area: 294.61 km2 (113.75 sq mi)

Green area m² / capita: 989.80

Number of National Historic Landmarks: 56

We are half way through our list of the most beautiful cities in US. Orlando has several public parks, but the most famous ones are the individual theme parks, such as Walt Disney World and SeaWorld Orlando.

Pixabay/Public Domain

24. Charlotte, North Carolina

Population: 885 708

Area: 307.26 sq mi (795.80 km2)

Green area m² / capita: 1,020.06

Number of National Historic Landmarks: 0

This is the second city where we couldn't find any historic landmarks, but Charlotte's 21 amazing parks will compensate you.

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23. Birmingham, Alabama

Population: 209 403

Area: 145.61 sq mi (377.13 km2)

Green area m² / capita: 1,088.11

Number of National Historic Landmarks: 3

Can you imagine a city with 119 parks? And walking in them breathing the scent of the autumn-forest? Visit Birmingham and you will experience it individually.

Pixabay/Public domain

22. Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Population: 1 584 064

Area: 134.28 sq mi (347.78 km2)

Green area m² / capita: 1516,56

Number of National Historic Landmarks: 67

When the nature calls you whispering your name, you can be sure to have a great time in one of the city's 62 parks.

21. Grand Rapids, Michigan

Population: 201 013

Area: 45.63 sq mi (118.19 km2)

Green area m² / capita: 1,688.72

Number of National Historic Landmarks: 43

Grand Rapids can bounce with 74 city parks in total which show how important is health for this lovely city.

Pixabay/Public domain

20. Indianapolis, Indiana

Population: 876 384

Area: 367.97 sq mi (953.03 km2)

Green area m² / capita: 1,712.12

Number of National Historic Landmarks: 8

With its 6 outstanding state parks, Indianapolis covers all the imaginable outdoors activities from cycling to ziplining.

Pixabay/Public Domain

19. Raleigh, North Carolina

Population: 474 069

Area: 147.64 sq mi (382.38 km2

Green area m² / capita: 1,853.36

Number of National Historic Landmarks:3

With its more than 50 parks, Raleigh is among the 50 most beautiful cities in the US.

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Fastest Growing Cities In America Raleigh

Pixabay/Public Domain

18. Little Rock, Arkansas

Population: 197 484

Area: 119.99 sq mi (310.77 km2)

Green area m² / capita: 1,884.49

Number of National Historic Landmarks: 259

Little Rock has 20 beautiful parks where you can enjoy sunshine, fresh air, and recreational sports to improve your health.

17. Baltimore, Maryland

Population: 593 490

Area: 92.05 sq mi (238.41 km2)

Green area m² / capita: 1,939.65

Number of National Historic Landmarks: 25

There are 19 main wonderful parks in Baltimore, spanning a total area of 4,000 acres with more than 28,000 park trees and 94,000 street trees. Walking among them is an exceptional experience!

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vovan/Shutterstock.com

16. Tulsa, Oklahoma

Population: 401 190

Area: 197.48 sq mi (511.47 km2)

Green area m² / capita: 2,050.42

Number of National Historic Landmarks:1

Tulsa, "Paris of Oklahoma" (by Chandler Bing, Friends) includes 135 parks within its borders. Walking in them is a healthy pastime.

Pixabay/Public domain

15. Detroit, Michigan

Population: 670 031

Area: 142.89 sq mi (370.08 km2)

Green area m² / capita: 2,096.99

Number of National Historic Landmarks: 11

The city includes more than 100 public parks, whichever you choose you will have a great time.

14. Milwaukee, Wisconsin

Population: 590 157

Area: 96.18 sq mi (249.12 km2)

Green area m² / capita: 2,475.87

Number of National Historic Landmarks: 7

With its 140 parks, Milwaukee offers lots of possibilities for recreation, so if you have even a little time, just sit on a bench in one of them with a cup of coffee in hand. Breathing some fresh air is always a good idea.

13. Buffalo, New York

Population: 255 284

Area: 52.48 s mi (135.92 km2)

Green area m² / capita: 2,640.94

Number of National Historic Landmarks:164

You can spend a wonderful time in one of the over 180 parks in Buffalo, and we firmly believe you will love this nice city.

Pixabay/Public domain

12. Madison, Wisconsin

Population: 259 680

Area: 101.53 sq mi (262.96 km2)

Green area m² / capita: 2,698.26

Number of National Historic Landmarks: 8

For its area of 101.53 sq miles, Madison includes 246 parks which makes this city exceptionally beautiful.

Pixabay/Public domain

11. Des Moines, Iowa

Population: 203 433

Area: 90.66 sq mi (234.81 km2)

Green area m² / capita: 3,023.47

Number of National Historic Landmarks: 2

This charming city can bounce with 75 parks, where you can really feel cozy, happy and relaxed. Visiting Des Moines is a must.

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Disclosure: No positions. The 50 beautiful cities in the US is originally published on Insider Monkey.

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