You know, it’s okay to have refined tastes in life. Knowing a Cabernet from a Merlot is nothing to be ashamed of, and appreciating the different periods in Picasso’s career isn’t a bad thing. Still, if you like the finer things and are proud to proclaim it to all, you’re probably going to be labeled a snob at some point.
But you’re not alone. In fact, there are whole cities of people like you who are likely to be called snobby by non-residents. Here at the Movoto Real Estate Blog, we’re a bit snobby ourselves, especially when it comes to houses. So, we thought we’d take a look at which small cities would be right for people who are a little more highbrow than the rest. Those Snobbiest Small Cities in America are:
As in our Snobbiest Mid-Sized Cities list, California reigns supreme in the elitism department, but that’s hardly surprising. It is a pretty wonderful place, after all, and Californians know it. If you want to see where your hometown ranked, you can check the 50 snobbiest cities at the bottom of the list. So, what is that certain je ne sais quoi that makes a place considered snooty? Why, it’s simply obvious if you look at it the right way.
How We Created This Ranking
When creating this ranking, we had to refine our search a little, as well as our tastes. Still, we kept this by the numbers, as we do with all our Big Deal Lists.
We first made a list of places in the U.S. with populations between 65,000 and 45,000 people. Then, we collected data from the 2010 U.S. Census and business listings in criteria that many consider snobby (think Frasier and Niles Crane):
- Median home price (the higher the better)
- Median household income (the higher the better)
- Percent of population with a college degree (the higher the better)
- Private schools per capita (the more the better)
- Performing arts per capita (the more the better)
- Art galleries per capita (the more the better)
- Fast food restaurants per capita (the fewer the better)
We omitted any places that we could not get the data for, and that left us with 309 places. Then, we ranked each place in each category from one to 309, with scores closer to one being better and more snobby. Once we had that, we averaged each place’s rankings into one Big Deal Score. The place with the number closest to one for that score became our snobbiest place.
Now, as we said earlier, “snobby” doesn’t necessarily mean bad. Most of these are wealthy communities with many opportunities for work, education, and culture. Heck, we’d probably be pleased as punch to live in any one of these. However, with all that culture, wealth, and exclusivity comes people who have simply the most rigid of standards that must always be met. These 10 places cater more to those sorts of people.
Let’s look more in depth at why each of these simply devine locales ranked where they did in our rigid standards then, shall we?
1. Palo Alto, CA
Consistently, Palo Alto has been ranked one of the wealthiest and best educated places in the nation. And they know it, too.
Locals are proud of where they live and arent afraid to brag about it if it comes up in conversation (or even if it doesn’t). However, with the numbers they raked in for our list, they certainly deserve their bragging rights.
This place had the highest median home price (over $1 million on average), the fourth highest household income, and the fourth highest percent of college grads at nearly 80 percent.
It also had a large amount of private schools, so that little Junior can be brought up right, and a wide selection of art galleries for the more cultured type to peruse.
Throw in such delightful attractions such as the West Bay Opera, and you have a perfect place for the snooty to live, love, and play their way.
2. Bethesda, MD
It’s been said that you’ve got to be carefully taught, and Bethesda locals have certainly got that part of being snob down pat.
Over 83 percent of locals have at least a college degree, which is the highest percent on our entire list.
What’s more is that this place had the third highest household income and the highest median home price, so that people who wish to live well and be known for it won’t have much trouble around these parts.
While this place did have quite a bit of fast food, it also had a ton of performing arts and arts galleries, as well as the 15th highest private schools rank. Besides, with eateries such as Bistro Provence around for those who like upscale french cuisine, who would want to get a fast food burger anyway?
3. Brookline, MA
Home of The Country Club, one of the oldest country clubs in the world, Brookline has a long history of snobbery.
Nowadays, however, it boasts being a wonderful place to live, start a family, or retire. At least, for those well off enough to afford it. The median home price here is $681,900, so if you’re looking to move here, you better start saving up now (and check our listings).
People here are quite well educated in the ways of culture and refined living, especially considering their third place rank in college graduation percentage.
They also seem to know a thing or two about healthy eating, seeing as they had the third fewest non-fast food restaurants per capita. Or maybe they just prefer not to insult their taste buds with anything less than the amazing hanger steak at the Barcelona Wine Bar.
4. San Rafael, CA
The snobs around these parts are not likely as wealthy or intensely educated as in our top three, but they certainly know a thing or two about culture.
With a ton of art galleries and the third best performing arts on our list, it’s easy to see where locals get their wealth of knowledge about creative vices. Besides, quite a few celebs make appearances at the Christopher B Smith Rafael Film Center, and who knows more about snobbery than celebrities?
To live here, you might have to be at least a little wealthy, however. The median home price here ranked fifth, at $811,000, so you can bet your new chateau will have space for that grand piano you’ve always wanted to dabble with.
5. Walnut Creek, CA
Another California location, and yet another place that knows how to indulge in arts and culture.
Locals here aren’t afraid to get a little classy by visiting one of the numerous art galleries or one of the 10th best performing arts attractions, like Diablo Ballet. This place also had a slightly more educated attitude, considering over 60 percent of locals had a college degree.
There’s quite a bit of fast food here, but foodies know well that there are plenty of more elite places to tickle the tastebuds. If you want to know what it is to be a food snob in Walnut Creek, just stop by Va de Vi Bistro & Wine Bar, and you might just spoil yourself for life.
6. Hoboken, NJ
Locals here definitely are world-wise and well off. For starters, this place had the ninth highest household income on our list, with a startling average of over $100,000 per household. Hoboken also had the seventh highest percentage of population with at least a college degree. True, there were fewer private schools here, but there were other stats to keep this place elite.
The performing arts and art galleries here both ranked in the top 30, and there were few non-fast food restaurants here for those who can’t stand not to have filet mignon with every meal. If you’re more into the art culture, you can always hobnob in Hoboken at the Barsky Gallery.
7. Oak Park, IL
You might be surprised to see another Illinois locale on our list (especially after Naperville ranked so highly on our last snobby piece), but the reasons this place is good for snobs are pretty apparent.
If locals aren’t catching brunch at Hemmingway’s Bistro, you might be able to find them strolling through one of the numerous art galleries in the area, the sixth most per capita on our list.
Of course, these fine folks aren’t just elitist in the ways of art, they’re also well rounded in their education. With many private schools and with over 60 percent of the population having a college degree, Oak Park locals know a thing or two about how to hold themselves in all sorts of company.
8. Encinitas, CA
The first location in our two-way tie for eighth place, Encinitas has a lot to offer.
Between the Self Realization Fellowship Hermitage & Meditation Gardens for people wishing to enjoy only the best scenery, and the Encinitas Spa (for those who can afford it) this place is just better than other locations in so many ways. Many locals will be the first to tell you just that, too.
Encinitas is pretty snob-friendly, just by the numbers as well. This place had the sixth best performing arts, featuring attractions as the Encinitas Ballet, and a wide number of art galleries to get your creative culture from.
Of course, every snob knows that these attractions don’t come cheap, and thus the median home price here is the 11th most expensive on our list.
8. Rockville, MD
Tied with Encinitas, this Maryland locale had some seriously snooty stats keeping it in the ranking for best hometowns for the highbrow.
For starters, locals can send their little ones to elite private schools, the fifth most per capita on our list. And once Junior has accrued all this handy knowledge,they can flex their artistically-inclined minds at one of the numerous art galleries or museums in the area.
More than that, people who live here are likely to continue on to academic greatness, with over 61 percent of the population gaining at least a college degree.
With all of that education and study going on, is it any wonder that the elite locals make an average household income of almost $90,000?
10. Laguna Niguel, CA
The last refined hometown at the fifth Californian city on our list is Laguna Niguel, which had great snob-scores across the board.
There were plenty of art galleries and performing arts to go around, and parents will be pleased to see there are many private schools to select from. Besides that, there are many upscale neighborhoods with amazing views. Simply the best place to have a black tie dinner affair, don’t you agree?
Of course, those beautiful views don’t come cheap, and homes here cost an average of $748,300. Then again, the locals here make an average household income of over $97,000, so maybe that price tag is a little more reasonable for them.
After all, living well among others like you is just worth the price of admission.
The Best Of Life For The Best People
Not everyone in these places thinks they’re the crème de la crème, or looks down their noses at others, but these 10 cities are just more comfortable for what society calls “snobby” folk.
In all honesty, our criteria denote safe, wealthy, and interesting places to live (if you like that sort of thing.) And who are we if we cannot laugh at ourselves a little? We’ll see you in the comments section, once you finish that next glass of Pinot Noir, of course.