The Best Places to Live in the US for Design Lovers

The Best Places to Live in the US for Design Lovers

Exploring the top 15 cities that combine quality of life and design excellence

Each year, U.S. News & World Report releases its highly anticipated list of the Best Places to Live in the US. While factors like quality of life, job market, and affordability are crucial considerations, we believe that access to art and design should also be a key factor in determining the best cities to live in. Taking inspiration from the U.S. News list, we have narrowed down the top 75 cities to the 15 best places to live for design lovers. These cities not only offer a high quality of life but also provide a thriving creative scene, including museums, cultural institutions, and innovative architecture.


To compile our list, we started with the U.S. News ranking of the top 75 cities. However, we did not include Green Bay, Wisconsin, which topped the U.S. News list, as it did not meet our criteria for design-centric amenities. Instead, we focused on cities that excelled in both quality of life and design offerings. Factors such as access to museums, art, cultural institutions, and top-notch architecture played a crucial role in our selection process.

Boulder, Colorado – A Haven for Design Lovers

Boulder, Colorado, with its breathtaking natural beauty and vibrant cultural scene, takes the top spot on our list. Ranked #4 on the U.S. News list, Boulder offers a unique combination of outdoor adventure and artistic inspiration. The city is renowned for its commitment to sustainability and its thriving creative community.

With its stunning mountain backdrop, Boulder provides endless opportunities for outdoor activities, including hiking, biking, and rock climbing. The city’s famous Pearl Street Mall is a hub of artistic energy, lined with galleries, boutiques, and street performers. Boulder is also home to the University of Colorado Boulder, which contributes to the city’s vibrant arts and culture scene.

The city’s commitment to sustainable design is evident in its architecture, with many buildings incorporating green features and energy-efficient design principles. Boulder’s commitment to the arts is further exemplified by its numerous art galleries, theaters, and music venues, providing a rich and diverse cultural experience for residents.

Ann Arbor, Michigan – Where Quality of Life Meets Design Excellence

Ann Arbor, Michigan, known for its charming tree-lined streets and vibrant downtown, takes second place on our list. Ranked #1 for quality of life by U.S. News, Ann Arbor offers a thriving arts community and a rich history of architectural innovation.

The city is home to the University of Michigan, which contributes to its vibrant cultural scene. The University’s Museum of Art showcases a diverse collection of artwork, ranging from ancient Egyptian artifacts to contemporary pieces. Ann Arbor also hosts the Ann Arbor Art Fair, one of the largest outdoor art fairs in the country, attracting artists and art enthusiasts from around the world.

Architecturally, Ann Arbor boasts a mix of historic and modern buildings. From the iconic Burton Memorial Tower to the cutting-edge design of the University of Michigan Museum of Art, the city offers a diverse range of architectural styles that captivate design lovers.

Madison, Wisconsin – A Creative Hub in the Heartland

Madison, Wisconsin, known for its picturesque lakes and vibrant cultural scene, secures a spot on our list. Ranked #15 on the U.S. News list, Madison offers a thriving arts community and a strong emphasis on design.

The city’s State Street, a pedestrian-friendly thoroughfare, is lined with art galleries, boutiques, and restaurants. The Overture Center for the Arts, a stunning architectural masterpiece, hosts a wide range of performances, including theater, dance, and music.

Madison’s commitment to design is also evident in its architecture. The Monona Terrace, designed by renowned architect Frank Lloyd Wright, is a striking example of organic architecture, seamlessly blending with its natural surroundings. The University of Wisconsin-Madison campus features a mix of historic and modern buildings, showcasing the city’s architectural diversity.


While U.S. News & World Report’s list of the Best Places to Live in the US provides a valuable starting point, we believe that access to art and design is an essential consideration for design lovers. Boulder, Ann Arbor, and Madison, among others, offer a combination of quality of life and design excellence that make them ideal places to live for creative individuals. These cities provide a vibrant arts scene, innovative architecture, and a commitment to sustainability, making them havens for design lovers seeking inspiration and a high quality of life.