July 27, 2012 / 3:50 PM / 7 years ago

Houston tops list of coolest U.S. cities

Traffic flows at dusk with the downtown Houston skyline in the background as night falls. October 3, 2008.

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Washington D.C may be the political center, New York is the financial hub and Los Angeles has its share of stars, but Houston is the capital of cool in the United States.

A new ranking by Forbes.com puts the Texas city, better known for oil, NASA and cowboys, at the top of its list of hip and trendy places to live, ahead of the Washington, D.C. and Los Angeles.

“Houston enjoyed 2.6 percent job growth last year and nearly 50,000 Americans flocked there in response — particularly young professionals. In fact, the median age of a Houston resident is a youthful 33,” according to Forbe.com.

Using data from Sperlings Best Places, Forbes.com ranked the cities by looking at entertainment options, the number of restaurants and bars, recreational, outdoor and cultural activities, cost of living, green spaces, and job opportunities.

It found the influx of young professionals in Houston has prompted an increase in restaurants, galleries and stylish housing, which along with a thriving theater and art scene make it an enviable place to live.

Dallas and Seattle were also high on the list, coming in fourth and fifth, while San Francisco and New York just squeezed into the top 10.

California and Texas tied with five cities each in the top 20.

The full list of cities can be found at: here

Reporting by Patricia Reaney; Editing by Christine Kearney and Steve Orlofsky

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