Special Report

These Are America’s Cultural Capitals

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15. Boston, Massachusetts
> Cultural establishments, per 100k: 251.4
> Population: 684,379

The cultural center of New England, Boston is arguably America’s most historic city. It is filled with monuments to the past and structures connected to the American Revolution. The city is also renowned for a long literary tradition, with many acclaimed authors having called it home at one time or another — among them Hawthorne, Thoreau, Emerson, Longfellow, and Alcott. It is also a city of bars, restaurants, performing arts establishments — and of course it’s famous for its fanatical support of its sports teams.

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14. Baltimore, Maryland
> Cultural establishments, per 100k: 253.8
> Population: 609,032

Baltimore is known for its seafood, especially its Maryland blue crabs. But the city has much more to offer, with plenty of places to try a range of cuisines and lots of bars, craft breweries, theaters, and other cultural attractions. The Inner Harbor is home to the National Aquarium, one of the largest in the world.

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13. Denver, Colorado
> Cultural establishments, per 100k: 260.9
> Population: 705,576

At the foot of the Rocky Mountains, Denver is a vibrant metropolis with easy access to incredible nature. The city is home to a plethora of craft beer breweries and is known for its live music. There is also a good variety of museums and art galleries including the Denver Museum of Nature and Science and the History Colorado Center. Red Rocks Amphitheatre, one of the nation’s most iconic entertainment venues, is less than 20 miles away.

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12. Austin, Texas
> Cultural establishments, per 100k: 261.2
> Population: 950,807

Keep Austin weird, right? The Texas capital has all kinds of food, drink, and more to keep anyone entertained and, yes, weird. Austin is a hub for Texas barbeque and Tex-Mex food, and is famous for its live music scene. It also hosts the annual multidisciplinary mega-festival South by Southwest as well as the Austin City Limits Music Festival.

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11. Minneapolis, Minnesota
> Cultural establishments, per 100k: 279.1
> Population: 420,324

The biggest city in Minnesota, Minneapolis has one of the largest modern art museums in the U.S. (the Walker Arts Center). It’s home to the celebrated Guthrie Theater and to many acclaimed restaurants. There are also several parks and natural areas in and around the city, as well as tunnel and bridge systems that allow citizens to avoid the biting winter cold.