Best Of The West: The Where, The When, and The Why People travel to new areas for many reasons, particularly at important stages of their life. For those looking to head West, here are some of the best cities to move to based on what part of life you find yourself at. BEST CITY TO… Be a student in – San Francisco Hilly San Francisco is the city to be in for those leaving the nest. Located a hop skip and a jump away from two of America’s most prominent universities, Stanford University and the University of California, Berkeley, San Francisco is ranked as the 3rd best student city in the US. And sitting right next door is Silicon Valley, where young tech-savvy individuals can find their niche in one of numerous start-ups. A remarkable landscape paired with innovative and young thinking makes San Francisco ideal for the under 30s. Budget Beware: Though the city is more affordable than New York City, amenities can still be quite expensive! Party in – Las Vegas Anthony Quintano – Flickr Creative Commons This one is basically a no-brainer. Labeled as “The Entertainment Capital of the World,” Las Vegas has everything to entertain and please even the most fervent of party-ne’er-do-wells. For lads or ladies looking to throw birthday parties, bachelor (or bachelorette!) week-ends, or company events, the City of Lights is sure to please. Vegas receives less than 5 in of rain a year, so sunny weather is guaranteed. While there you can’t miss out on the casinos that line the Fremont Street Experience, many of which retain their charming old-school feel like the the Golden Gate Hotel & Casino built in 1906. For anyone looking for a good time, Vegas is the place to be. Caution: Despite the fact that the State of Nevada is known for its extra-adult entertainment industry, prostitution is actually illegal in Las Vegas (so if anyone comes to you offering some extra-fun, it’d be wise to politely decline). Have your wedding – San Diego Kenneth Hagemeyer – Flickr Creative Commons For the couples who have decided that they must have a beach wedding, then San Diego is the place to be The southernmost town in California, (it is only about 20 miles from the Mexican border) it is blessed with temperate weather year-round, with May, June and July temperatures hovering around mid-70s. Bridal parties won’t have to worry about their guests getting heat stroke, their makeup melting off, or even pit stains. And with 70 miles of coastline to choose from even the worse of the bridezillas will find a strip they like. Food Tip: San Diego has the highest number (7,000) of farms than any other city in the US and produces more avocados than anywhere else in the country, so be sure to get some fresh produce on the menu! Start a family – Denver When starting a family parents generally look for cities that can either provide their children a great education or a safe environment. Fortunately, Denver can provide the best of both worlds. Colorado was ranked first by a study done by WalletHub in terms of “School-System Quality.” Denver is also among the top ten safest capitals in the US and like most of the west coast, has great weather. For kids who need space to grow and discover themselves, Denver has a multitude of great places to visit like the Children’s Museum of Denver, the Wings Over the Rockies Air and Space Museum, and the Denver Zoo. And parents can rest easy knowing that they’re safe. Fun fact: Denver brews more beer than any other city in the US, so stressed-out and sleep deprived new parents can get their fix! (On average, over 200 different beers are brewed daily) Retire – Astoria Located right at the border between Oregon and Washington, Astoria’s Port has historically served as an economic stronghold for the Pacific Northwest. More recently, it’s been eclipsed in use by its neighboring cities, Portland and Seattle. Consequently, Astoria retains a quieter and quainter vibe, perfect for the retiring folks seeking some peace and quiet. Astoria is blessed with temperate temperatures throughout the year, much like the rest of Oregon, making the entire state appealing for those looking to retire. The city maintains its port roots and offers an amazing array of seafood restaurants, and has recently begun expanding its microbrewery and pub range. For those who are fans of Seattle, Astoria is like its smaller and quieter little cousin that everyone loves. Historical fact: Astoria was built in 1876 and many of the original Victorian homes built in that era remain, yielding a truly unique cityscape. Think there are better places to go? Let us know below!