Which Cities Have the Best Downtowns? Two Possible Answers

1) 16 Cities With "Classic" Downtowns

The downtowns in these cities all have:

1. A department store
2. A train station
3. A first-run movie theater
4. A professional sports team

New York City
Los Angeles
Chicago
San Diego
San Francisco
Indianapolis
Boston
Seattle
Washington, D.C.
Portland (Ore.)
Sacramento
Minneapolis
New Orleans
Providence
Spokane
Charleston (W.V.)



2) The "Best" Downtowns (In Order)


For this ranking - which is somewhat more subjective - a city can get 10 possible points, one for each of the following:

1) A good setting, with an obvious physical feature such as a river, lake, or mountain.
2) A decent skyline, with at least five buildings that are more than 150 feet tall.
3) At least one downtown department store.
4) Amtrak service, with an interesting (old or new) downtown station.
5) Some other type of train service - light rail, commuter train, subway, trolley, etc.
6) At least one of the city's major museums downtown.
7) A first-run or independent movie theater downtown.
8) A pre-World War Two movie theater downtown that's been restored as a performing arts center.
9)
A downtown theater (which may be the same one as in number 8) that hosts either an orchestra, an opera company, or touring Broadway shows.
10) At least one professional sports team that plays downtown.

A half-point can be earned if one of these features is close to downtown.

Here are the cities with the highest scores:
10 points: San Diego, Washington D.C., Boston, New York City, Pittsburgh, Seattle.
9.5 points: Chicago, New Orleans, Baltimore, Portland (Ore.), Providence.
9 points: Los Angeles, Oakland,
Sacramento, San Francisco, Denver, Wilmington (Del.), Minneapolis, Philadelphia.
8.5 points:
San Jose, Newark, Spokane.
8 points: Miami, Tampa, Indianapolis, Portland (Maine), Buffalo, Cleveland, Chattanooga, Memphis, Norfolk, Milwaukee.

Las Vegas has the lowest score, with one point.