Haute & Cool in the USA: Las Vegas and New York City Top Forbes’ Coolest Cities List

Are you living among the cool? Forbes has revealed its annual list of “America’s Coolest Cities.” Read on to find out which Haute Living markets made the cut and where your city ranks in 2010.

Like Forbes, Haute Living, is more apt to ensue the word cool with a million, or billion, dollar figure, so how did Haute Living‘s cities fare on its editorial ally’s list? It comes as no surprise to us that seven Haute cities made the top 10 coolest cities in our red, white, and blue.

Forbes identifies that the word is “elusive and hard to define,” and sure enough it is, but one thing that is for certain: cool is a good thing. By now you probably have your bets on which city won the battle of the cool, so we’ll start with the big guns. East meets west in a tie for the No. 1 ranking. Few would think of the Big Apple and Sin City as counterparts, but according to the exclusive Forbes poll, conducted by market research company Harris Interactive in July, New York City and Las Vegas are the hippest destinations in the United States.

Harris asked 2,104 adults across the country which of the 40 largest metropolitan statistical areas in the United States were “the coolest,” then Forbes linked data from AOL City Guides to see how closely the population’s discernment of cool related to the reality of how much a city had to offer, which the media outlet defined by the number of bars, nightclubs, restaurants, museums, galleries, live theater venues, and sports stadiums in each city. In retrospect, people’s perceptions of cool matched up with how much a city had to offer in terms of fun, but there were some notable exceptions to the trend, including one of the coolest-ranking cities. Las Vegas takes the No. 1 spot based on Harris’ survey, but the city comes in toward the bottom for nightlife, galleries, concert venues, museums, and live theater venues, however its partner in cool, New York City, scores No. 1 across the board.

Putting a ring on it? Super-global New York has topped the list for three years running, sharing the win with another city for the first time, but what Harris’ study reveals of especial interest to the country’s largest city is that of the single people polled, New York ranked No. 1, while the largest percentage of married people thought Las Vegas should win the crown. The study also found a correlation between a city’s cool status and age. Even though the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority put the average age of vacationers in Vegas at 50 in 2009, respondents between 18 and 34 years old thought Las Vegas was cooler than New York.

Another factor that may be affecting cool is…LeBron James? The king of the cool may have had something to do with the Magic City’s move from 19th place in 2009 to its current ranking at No. 9, although true Miamians know that it doesn’t take a NBA star to make the city sizzle. Besides its hot beaches, beautiful people, and rowdy nightlife, the introduction of Swiss-born Art Basel in 2002 and the rising art scene in Miami’s Design District have further established the city’s elite cultural presence.

Forbes proclaims that most cities have seen little change over the past four years, but while Miami made the biggest leap in coolness, five out of 10 of Forbes’ 2010 winners saw improvement in the past year, including Haute Living’s Las Vegas, Chicago (No. 4), and Los Angeles (No. 8) markets.

Haute Living regions further on down the cool hierarchy, but ever so eminent, are Oakland, which counts San Francisco in its MSA, coming out at No. 5, San Diego, which garnered the No. 7 ranking, Philadelphia (No. 24), Boston, Dallas, and Atlanta.

“America’s Coolest Cities”

1 – Las Vegas

1 – New York

3 – Seattle

4 – Chicago

5 – Oakland

6 – Orlando

7 – San Diego

8 – Los Angeles

9 – Miami

10 – Washington, D.C.

For more on “America’s Coolest Cities,” as deemed by Forbes, check out the full article on Forbes.com.