Which Coastal City Should You Live In?

By: Zoe Samuel

Which Coastal City Should You Live In?
Image: Shutterstock

About This Quiz

The coastal cities of the world exist primarily because of trade. Deep ports, access to waterways that were the ancient highways of trade, the housing to accept an influx of immigrants and the jobs to give those people an income all contribute to a virtuous cycle of urban growth. Coastal cities have a lot in common, but they also have a lot that makes them different from each other.

Timing is part of what sets coastal cities apart. While Manhattan was colonized, just a few miles to the north, City Island was established as a rival. It never really worked out, and now City Island is just a neighborhood in the Bronx, part of New York City. Similarly, Miami had a long history with trade in the Caribbean, including piracy, but it wasn't until the 20th century that it really took off, giving it a much more contemporary vibe than say, Boston or Philadelphia.

Geology also plays a role. New York is mostly built on bedrock, allowing the willy-nilly building of skyscrapers, while San Francisco endures the slow leaning of the Millennium Tower, built on mud that isn't supporting it in the best of circumstances and could totally fail in an earthquake.

Finally, trade and culture form the bedrock we experience the most. Boston sports several large universities, giving parts of town a young, hip vibe. San Francisco is the world's hub of tech businesses, making it the preferred home of many a startup. Chicago (on the coast of a great lake) is a transport hub with top colleges, stock and commodity exchanges, and a creative community.

Which should you call home? It's a matter of priorities. Take this quiz, and we'll help you out.

How much do you like to surf?
Loads, dude!
I've done it a little. It's fun.
I like to boogie board.
I do some body surfing, but that's all.

Advertisement

Would you consider scuba diving?
Maybe, if I could find a good teacher.
To see a shipwreck? Sure!
Just as long as I do it in the summer!
Yeah, on vacation

Advertisement

How often do you go to see live theater?
A couple of times a year
Maybe once a year
Very rarely
At least once a month

Advertisement

How often do you find you need to travel to Asia?
All the time!
Rarely
Every once in a while
Never

Advertisement

Do you aspire to work in entertainment?
Yes! I want to be a movie star!
Not unless it's a reality show
No, thanks
Perhaps in theater

Advertisement

Can your job be done remotely?
Not at all
About half of it
All of it
Only a little of it

Advertisement

How much stimulation do you require on a daily basis?
More than the average, I suppose.
Not too much
Very little
Loads. I need massive amounts.

Advertisement

Do you care if you don't know any of your neighbors?
I don't care at all.
I'd really like to know them.
I'd like to know at least most of them.
As long as I know my adjacent neighbors, I'm happy.

Advertisement

How important is local history?
Who cares?
Deeply important
Fairly important
Only as important as the direction things are headed

Advertisement

Do you like getting to use languages other than English?
Sure, but as an option
Rarely
No
Absolutely

Advertisement

Do you want to work in tech?
Only for the likes of Tesla
Yes, I have an idea for a killer app.
Nope
I'd rather work on the money side of that.

Advertisement

Do you mind tourists?
I think they're great.
I don't mind them if they're respectful.
I hate tourists, unless I am one.
I love tourists.

Advertisement

How do you feel about cold weather?
I hate it!
I'm not a fan.
I love it!
I can bear it.

Advertisement

How much value do you place on manners?
None
Lots of value
Being polite costs you nothing!
Manners are important. Being polite about them isn't.

Advertisement

What sort of dwelling appeals to you?
A bungalow
An antebellum house
A new build house
An apartment

Advertisement

Do you mind a long, painful commute?
I look forward to a painful, if not long commute.
I don't want it to be long.
I need a short, pleasant drive.
The longer and more unpleasant the better!

Advertisement

How much do you like to get around on foot?
Not at all! Feet were made by God to push pedals on a car.
I like to do it now and then, as a lark.
I'll do it in the nice weather, but that's all.
I love walking. It's my thing.

Advertisement

How often do you find you need to fly to Europe?
Never
From time to time
Rarely
Often

Advertisement

How important is a low cost of living?
Not all that important
Somewhat important
Very important
Totally unimportant

Advertisement

How much do you feel you need to be "where the action is?"
A lot
I just don't like the sound of that.
I don't want to be there, thanks.
It's my number one concern.

Advertisement

How important is a low crime rate?
Not all that important
Very important
Not important
Really important

Advertisement

How quiet do you need things?
Fairly quiet
Very quiet
Like the grave
I can't think if things are quiet.

Advertisement

How seriously do you take your relaxation?
I relax hard.
Fairly seriously
Not seriously at all
Not too seriously

Advertisement

How much do you like to get your outdoorsman on?
A bit, from time to time
Only on special occasions
A lot!
Never

Advertisement

How do you feel about intense humidity?
Nope. No thanks.
I quite like humid weather.
I don't mind it in the winter.
I think humidity is fine in doses, but not all the time.

Advertisement

What's your idea of a great social activity?
Pool party!
Dinner party
Ice fishing
Movie night

Advertisement

How important is ethnic diversity?
It's important.
It's fairly important.
It's not very important.
It's hugely important!

Advertisement

What's your idea of highbrow entertainment?
A musical
The opera
Our regional Shakespeare company
A Nobel Prize winner giving a talk at a major university

Advertisement

How do you feel about stifling heat?
I love the heat.
I can live with the heat.
I'm not a fan of the heat.
I don't like it, but I like complaining about it.

Advertisement

Which natural disaster's immanent arrival freaks you out the least?
Earthquakes
Hurricanes
Polar Vortex
All of the above

Advertisement

You Got:

Featured