Sometimes it can really pay off to live close to the action. While many cities don’t have the most exciting downtown area, there are certainly a few that are well known for having a vibrant downtown part of town. Below are some of the most vibrant of these areas in the United States.
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Downtown Austin is well known for its many music venues, bars, and off kilter restaurants. 6th Street specifically is the center of the vibrant downtown area and is full of things to do. There is also Rainey Street nearby, which is full of bars that used to be housed. You can’t go too far in downtown Austin without running into a food truck or counterculture store.
The downtown area also has the historic Driskill Hotel, the original Whole Foods, and Stubb’s Barbecue. It is no surprise that it serves as the center for the gigantic South By Southwest Music Festival every year. There are numerous pedicabs around downtown as well to create an even more unique experience.
The city is gentrifying quickly and this has mostly centered around this area. New high rises and hotels are being built, while the east side of downtown provides a more bohemian feel with older houses within walking distance of the main thoroughfares. Finally, the University of Texas is also a short walk from downtown, and it has a plethora of quirky shops, coffee shops, bars, and restaurants.
Downtown Chicago is sometimes referred to as “The Loop” and it is full of attractions. This part of town has access to both Lake Michigan and the Chicago River, and it is full of cultural institutions. Downtown has such landmarks like the Willis Tower, Grant Park, the stainless steel “bean”, and the Art Institute of Chicago. It is also central to the extensive L train system and many shops, bars, and restaurants.
Getting the famed Chicago deep dish isn’t too difficult either in the downtown area as renowned establishments like Giordano’s and Pizano’s are both in the area. Like Austin, Chicago has a large number of food trucks too, so you’re never too far from a Chicago-style hot dog when you are downtown.
3. Old Town Scottsdale
While Old Town Scottsdale might not be quite as well known as some of the other areas on this list, it does not disappoint. In addition to being a fun vacation destination, the area is home to numerous restaurants, an Arts District, Entertainment District, and Scottsdale Fashion Center, one of Arizona’s most popular high-end malls.
Old Town Scottsdale is easily walkable and there are bike rentals and trolleys available to get you around without a problem. Furthermore, Old Town Scottsdale is close to numerous golf courses, museums, Arizona State University and even spring training facilities. The area is home to many resorts and is also within stone’s distance of Greater Phoenix.
These are just a few of the reasons why so many people have been moving to Scottsdale and the condos for sale in Old Town Scottsdale are both beautiful and affordable when compared to other bustling downtown areas. Add in the construction of new hotels such as the Caesars of Republic in the downtown area, and it’s easy to see why people of all ages are flocking here.
Those interested in real estate investing have also taken note of Old Town Scottsdale, especially investors who target Airbnb rentals. Between the numerous shops and restaurants, Spring Training facilities in Scottsdale, and a variety of fun events, short-term rental investors can earn a high ROI during the Fall, Winter, and Spring.
4. Santa Monica
Downtown Santa Monica is another well known hotspot for many reasons. Most famously is the 3rd Street Promenade, which is only open to pedestrians and features a vast array of shops and street performers. The area is lit up with beautiful lights and features one of the best outdoor shopping malls around. The promenade is also very close to the Santa Monica Pier, which is a great spot for fishing, has an amusement park, and many concession stands.
You’re never too far from the Pacific Ocean either and downtown Santa Monica has easy access to Greater Los Angeles via the Expo Line. Downtown Santa Monica just steps away from beautiful spots like Santa Monica State Beach, Palisades Park, and Pacific Park so makes sure to bring your flip flops if you plan a visit or decide to live in the area.
5. Salt Lake City
Downtown Salt Lake City is full of attractions that have led the area to become a hotspot for young professionals. Downtown also holds the distinction of being the oldest part of the city. The most visited part of downtown is Temple Square, which is of course known for its historic buildings and landmark architecture. The Vivint Smart Home Arena, home of the Utah Jazz and host of many large events, is also in the vibrant downtown area.
Downtown is also host to cultural institutions like the Eccles Theater, the expansive City Library, state of the art City Creek Shopping Center, and renowned music venue, The Depot. The Wasatch Mountains are also easily viewable from the downtown area and there’s plenty of transit to get around the city easily. The area is also the host of The Gateway, which is combination retail, residential and business center.
Thus, all of these cities have excellent downtown centers worth checking out if you plan to visit or even move. You will never be too far from the action if you stick to these areas.
I would give this article a 6/10 but I wouldn’t think about it too hard if it isn’t going onto a popular, high traffic website.