Need a city sorting hat? Check out the best places for Gryffindors, Hufflepuffs, Ravenclaws and Slytherins.
“So, what Hogwarts house are you in?” isn’t just a fantastic conversation starter and foolproof pick-up line (trust me when I say all the best relationships start this way), it’s also a question that provides instant and profound insight into someone’s personality.
Here at Livability, our goal is to help you find your best place to live, so we would be remiss if we didn’t put on our City Sorting Hat and offer some relocation advice based on your Hogwarts house. Check out the best locations for Ravenclaw, Hufflepuff, Gryffindor and Slytherin below.
Are college towns great places to live for everyone? Yes, they are. But for knowledge-hungry Ravenclaw, living in a college town is basically a must. In addition to brain-boosting amenities and activities like world-class libraries, guest lectures and community education classes, college towns tend to foster a culture of learning in which Ravenclaws thrive. Eavesdropping on intellectual conversations wherever you go? Check. The chance to sit next to a astrophysicist at your favorite bar? Check. The intense buzz of studying in every coffee shop the week before finals week? Check.
Some good options:
Ann Arbor, MI: The #1 city on this year’s Top 100 Best Places to Live list and home to the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor is a charming city full of ridiculously smart people, great food, and fantastic bookstores.
Cambridge, MA: The home of both Harvard and MIT, Cambridge is basically an intellectual amusement park for Ravenclaws. As if the Ivy League presence wasn’t enough, Cambridge is teeming with history and is known for being a mixing pot of cultures — with so much to see and do and learn, it’s very difficult to get bored here.
Berkeley, CA: Home of prestigious UC Berkeley as well as a thriving cultural, literary and activist scene, Berkeley offers plenty of activities to keep Ravenclaws engaged and intrigued.
Gryffindors are known for being courageous and loyal and charismatic, which is all accurate, but here’s the truth about Gryffindors in a nutshell: they need to shine. Natural showmen and entrepreneurs, they love forging new paths and being in charge. To do that, they need to live somewhere that sets them up for success in their chosen field. Cities that foster innovation and excellence are a perfect fit for Gryffindors, who thrive on the challenge of rising to the top of their game — and being recognized accordingly.
Miami Beach, FL: Perhaps the best place in the country to indulge Gryffindor’s love of flash and glamour, Miami Beach also provides a surprisingly welcoming and diverse community. With a thriving art and food scene, there’s always something exciting happening here.
Des Moines, IA: An up-and-coming city experiencing an influx of young residents, Des Moines is a great place to make a name for yourself. Gryffindors will love not only the tight-knit community and entrepreneurial opportunities here, but the chance to help shape the future of a small-but-growing city.
Ah, Slytherin, the most misunderstood of all the houses. While Slytherins often get a bad rap for, you know, being evil (thanks a lot, Malfoys), the essence of Slytherin is really ambition, intensity, cunning, and getting things done — by any means necessary. Slytherins need to be somewhere where they can feel powerful, where their voices matter, and where they can see the tangible effects of their actions in their communities. Politically active urban centers and swing states are a natural fit, as are cities with strong job markets to reward that famous Slytherin ambition.
A few promising options:
Palo Alto, CA: The intense competition and innovative spirit of Palo Alto is a perfect fit for tech-focused Slytherins, who would thrive on the constant wheeling and dealing in Silicon Valley.
Raleigh, NC: The capital of a politically shifting state and a hotbed of big-name universities (Duke, North Carolina State and University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill are all located nearby), the Raleigh-Durham area provides Slytherins with ample opportunity to stimulate their minds and get involved on the local and national stage.
Boulder, CO: Activism and engagement is a way of life in Boulder, where residents pride themselves on speaking up and making a difference. In addition, entrepreneurial Slytherins will love the fact that Boulder is one of the best places in the country to start your own business.
Community-oriented Hufflepuffs should avoid the anonymity of big cities in favor of small towns where neighbors know each other’s names and take care of each other. Ideal for Hufflepuff? Charming, vibrant communities that feel like hidden gems. Hufflepuffs do best in aesthetically pleasing cities that value the arts, and a great food scene is non-negotiable — after all, it’s no coincidence that the entrance to the Hufflepuff common room is located in a nook off the kitchen corridor.
A few places that fit the bill:
Viroqua, WI: A truly hidden gem, Viroqua is a small town in Wisconsin that just happens to be a foodie paradise, packed with organic farms and world-class restaurants. Out of 4,400 residents, a whopping 3,500 are members of the local food co-op. It’s safe to say even more of them are Hufflepuffs.
Provo, UT: A friendly and tight-knit community surrounded by gorgeous mountain views, Provo’s charming downtown and thriving restaurant scene make it a perfect fit for Hufflepuffs.
Olympia, WA: Olympia is a Pacific Northwest gem where residents take pride in their city. With a focus on the arts and an ever-expanding roster of great restaurants, Hufflepuffs will never tire of exploring all this city has to offer.