Best Cities in the U.S., According to Gen Z
While they're not yet making as much as their millennial, Gen X and boomer counterparts, Gen Z is starting to become a market force. That and they're the current trendsetters of the world — at least until Gen Alpha takes over.
As such, we should all (young or old) pay attention to where Gen Z is traveling to. According to a recent study, the social media-obsessed generation loves cities, probably because they provide an endless amount of things to do and infinite picture-worthy spots.
So, what U.S. cities are Gen Z obsessing over? Here are the top 10.
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10. Nashville, Tennessee
No. of TikTok views: 9.5 billion
Of course Gen Z would love Nashville. The city is known for its rowdy music scene, live performances and bars with generous happy hours. Girl groups in particular seem to flock to the city, hopping on the cute trend of cowboy boots and pink hats. Sounds like an absolute blast!
Where to stay: Virgin Hotels Nashville
*Rankings are based on a Portland Real Estate study.
9. Boston, Massachusetts
No. of TikTok views: 12.9 billion
Gen Z cares about learning history and understanding social movements, so what better place to go than Boston? Protest has been a part of the city's story almost since it was founded, with events like the Boston Tea Party happening here. Visitors love doing the Black History Trail, which takes them to important spots like Black Churches and Underground Railroad Sites.
The other thing Boston rules at? Food. Don't leave without trying Boston cream pie, lobster rolls and roast beef sandwich.
Where to stay: Moxy Boston Downtown
8. Atlanta, Georgia
No. of TikTok views: 15.4 billion
Atlanta is another city known for its activist movements and its food. The southern metropolis was Martin Luther King Jr.'s home for years and an epicenter of the Civil Rights Movement. Of course, Gen Z (and everyone else) is spending time at the National Center for Civil and Human Rights.
Afterward, you can spend time in Piedmont Park to enjoy some green and go to Little Five Points to shop in boutique stores and get some great food.
Where to stay: Renaissance Atlanta Midtown
7. Dallas, Texas
No. of TikTok views: 15.7 billion
Gen Z, are you ok? Why anyone would willingly go to Dallas for vacation is beyond us. Yes, the city has interesting museums and Downtown is fine. But there are much better places to go within the U.S. (heck, within Texas!) than this bland city that largely resembles a giant Walmart parking lot.
The city's one saving grace is its amazing brisket, which we guess is enough of a reason to visit if you love meat enough.
Where to stay: Aloft Dallas Downtown
6. New York City, New York
No. of TikTok views: 17.1 billion
Now we're talking. If ever there was a city that is the center of the universe, it's New York. Is it grimy, dangerous and full of rats? Yep. But that somehow enhances its character — this isn't a place for weaklings and no one cares if you visit or not. In return for putting up with its unsavory sides, you'll get cultural events, underground concerts, an amazingly wacky fashion scene and just overall good vibes.
If you want to live in your main character era, a visit to New York is a must.
Where to stay: citizenM Times Square
5. Houston, Texas
No. of TikTok views: 23.7 billion
Aaaand we're back in the realm of ... really? This city?
Hey, maybe we're just not in with the times. Houston is definitely better than Dallas. Besides museums, it has an eclectic food scene that includes Vietnamese and Viet-Cajun cuisine. That's something we can definitely get behind on.
But the fifth best destination in the U.S.? We hardly think so.
Where to stay: Blossom Hotel Houston
4. Las Vegas, Nevada
No. of TikTok views: 26 billion
Going to Vegas might be cliché, but it's always fun, and that's what Gen Z cares about. They don't feel guilty about doing things everyone else is doing. The obvious is fine as long as it makes for a good post.
Basically, do it for the story.
Where to stay: The Venetian Las Vegas
3. Chicago, Illinois
No. of TikTok views: 34.3 billion
Chicago is cold and heartless for most of the year, but visit in the warmer months and you'll find one of the coolest (get it?) cities on the planet.
Divided into neighborhoods that have a distinct personality, Chicago boasts world-class museums, large waterfront parks and some really amazing food. Plus, there are tons of alternative, underground spaces that make for a unique experience.
Where to stay: The Gwen
2. Los Angeles, California
No. of TikTok views: 39 billion
Glitz and glam are the essence of Los Angeles. Is it the most basic city in the U.S.? Most definitely. Its shallowness is only rivaled by places like Dubai, which do the glitz and glam even better.
Still, where else in the world can you wake up with the false hope that you're going to run into a celebrity?
Where to stay: Hotel Figeroa
1. Miami, Florida
No. of TikTok views: 52.3 million
There is no other city that Gen Z dreams about more than Miami. And we get it.
Miami is objectively the most fun and interesting city in the U.S., probably because it feels like it's not in the U.S. (this coming from a Miami native). Will you hear more Spanish than English? Possibly. Will you find the best Latin American food in the country? Without a doubt.
Yeah, Miami is also extremely shallow and preoccupied with status and looks, but at least the beach is prettier than those on the West Coast and the clubs are filled with people who are actually dancing — Miamians are not standing for any of that standing around bobbing your head while looking pretty nonsense.
Where to stay: Kimpton Surfcomber