Across America, many suburbs are becoming vacation-worthy hot spots, with modern restaurants, great shopping, and plenty of parking space. Americans have a love-hate relationship with the ever-growing communities outside the country’s big cities. The quest for more space than cities can afford often means giving up the commodities that cities provide. Yet, a number of suburbs around the country have taken on the task of providing residents and visitors with the same hip, trendy lifestyle without the chaos and confusion of city life. Below, we have come up with a list of the top 10 coolest suburbs of the most happening cities.
Coral Gables, FL
Suburb of Miami
Why it’s Cool: Tree-lined boulevards, fountains, and winding roads make up “The City Beautiful.” Developed by George Edgar Merrick in the 1920’s, the Mediterranean architecture and its own Downtown, full of restaurants, goes toe-to-toe with those in downtown Miami, which is only seven miles away. A city dedicated to fine living without the madness of Miami Beach. Get a taste of fine boutiques and specialty stores along Miracle Mile with the hottest new styles and the best in traditional artisanal products.
Suburb of Nashville
Why it’s Cool: Franklin has labeled itself “America’s Favorite Main Street.” In the last 30 years, the population has boomed. Keeping the Main Street preserved at its center gives Franklin the inviting feel of the sweet, small Southern town that it is. In addition to a wide array of local, national and international beer, there is an annual brewfest that draws in large crowds for a weekend of beer AND coffee celebrations. A smaller version of Nashville with a history rooted in the Civil War, a visit to this suburb is well worth the twenty minute commute.
Suburb of Cleveland
Why it’s Cool: Everyone in Lakewood already knows that Lakewood has been the place to live in Cleveland for some time now. A few minutes from the waterfront and a few more minutes to Downtown, it’s a prime location that’s undergone incredible development in recent years. Everything you could ever want is now on Detroit Ave. Bowl a game and see a show at Mahall’s, complete the Tour of Beers at the Winking Lizard or build a tin of flavored popcorn at Campbell’s Sweets.
Suburb of Denver
Why it’s Cool: With city vibe, but on a smaller scale than Denver, visitors will be drawn to the dining, shopping, and nightlife in Boulder. Get back to nature at Boulder Mountain Park or grab a drink and bite to eat at Mountain Sun Pub & Brewery. Arts and culture enthusiasts will love Boulder’s numerous galleries and the Boulder Museum of Contemporary Art. Upscale restaurants like The Kitchen Boulder, and Frasca Food and Wine are perfect for a special night out. Since it’s a college town (University of Colorado Boulder), something is going on every night of the week.
Suburb of Indianapolis
Why it’s Cool: About 25 minutes northwest of Downtown Indy, Zionsville channels the whole charming small-town vibe with a easily walkable, brick-paved Main Street that draws people in from the general Indianapolis area for afternoons of shopping and eating. My Sugar Pie delivers one of the finest renditions of a signature state dessert that you’ll find anywhere. Traders Point Creamery runs a restaurant and dairy bar heavily supplied with goods from its ample farmland.
Winter Garden, FL
Suburb of Orlando
Why it’s Cool: Winter Garden, aka “a charming little city with a juicy past” that sits right on Lake Apopka. What separates out Winter Garden from the rest of the Orlando suburbs is its historic Downtown with a row of restaurants, and the Plant St. Market, a totally refurbished indoor farmer’s market featuring a brewery, a European bakery, a juice bar, a specialty butcher shop, a whole-bean coffee shop, coal-fired pizza, and even an oxygen bar.
Oak Park, IL
Suburb of Chicago
Why it’s Cool: Oak Park is rich with history and culture. Tour the home and studio where Frank Lloyd Wright spent much of his early career and then check out all the spectacular homes he built nearby. Not far from there you’ll find Ernest Hemingway’s childhood home and museum. Throw in the fact that Oak Park is connected to the CTA which makes it a shorter trip to Downtown Chicago than some of the far reaches of the actual city.
Suburb of New York City
Why it’s Cool: Home to many New York artists and a growing population of media professionals, the town features the Montclair Art Museum, Montclair State University, and a mix of smaller theaters offering indie film and live performances. Funky shops, galleries, and tempting restaurants line Bloomfield Avenue.
Suburb of Atlanta
Why it’s Cool: Located 20 minutes north of downtown Atlanta, on the banks of the Chattahoochee River, Roswell has been winning over young urbanites (the population’s average age is 35) with its mix of Old South and the culture and food of a cosmopolitan city. This bike-friendly, walkable community has an established restaurant base, beautifully repurposed 19th-century architecture, and an evolving arts scene that includes three theaters.
Mt. Lebanon, PA
Suburb of Pittsburgh
Why it’s Cool: Part of this town’s allure is the friendly vibe and proximity to downtown Pittsburgh, six miles away. It’s also on the light-rail line, better known as the T, making the constant trips between downtown a breeze. Social life bustles along Washington Road, where you’ll find charming boutiques and bistro-style dining options as well as specialty shops like Dinardo’s Candy.