Nerd When you’re thinking about moving to a new city, it’s important to do your homework. You’re not just looking for a place that has great public transportation and reasonably priced housing. You also want a community of like-minded people to share your interests and ideas with. This is especially true for any self-described nerd, who doesn’t want to end up stuck in a city full of sports fans or opera lovers who couldn’t pick an Infinity Stone out of a police lineup.

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Lucky for you (some of you, anyway), the United States is inundated with cities of all sizes that are more than willing to meet your nerdy needs. Whether you're into comic books, board games, or LARPing, there are special classes of city that are custom-built for catering to a geek subculture. Here are the three best U.S. cities that are steeped in nerd culture and ready to accept you into their ranks.

Marietta, Georgia
Marietta, Georgia

It might surprise you to learn that Marietta was recently chosen as the nerdiest small city in the U.S. by, but when you look at the statistics, the designation starts to make sense. Marietta has every corner of nerd culture covered. It’s saturated with comic book stores, vintage video game shops, and hobby shops.

The growing tech and aerospace industry suggests that there is a large community of young professionals with enough expendable income to keep these places in business. It also hosts a major comic book convention that goes far above what you would expect from a city of less than 60,000. So if you’re looking for a nerdy city that’s still on the upswing, Marietta is a solid choice.

Denver, Colorado
Denver, Colorado

With its huge snow-covered mountain peaks and decidedly hippie vibe, Denver is just about as close to Middle Earth as you can get in the U.S. Like Marietta, Denver is one of the fastest growing cities in the U.S. -- due in large part to an expanding tech and financial sector -- and Forbes named Denver the best city for business and careers in 2015.

What was once an outpost for gold miners and cowboys heading west has suddenly become a permanent settlement for board-game loving techies and LARPing accountants. The major streets are lined with excellent and eclectic book stores, toy shops, and entertainment venues.

Considering its size and popularity, Denver is also a surprisingly affordable city that has an abundance of great apartments within a short bike commute from the city center. It’s always nice to know that you won’t have to walk all the way from the Shire to meet your friends for an indie board game session.

Lancaster, Pennsylvania
Lancaster, Pennsylvania

Lancaster is a great example of a city that celebrates its history while offering residents something new and perhaps a little different. Located about 60 miles west of Philadelphia, Lancaster combines a colonial-American feel with a diverse community of beer-nerds, museum-lovers, and hyper-literates. According to, that placed Lancaster tenth on its list of nerdy cities, it has more museums and bookstores per citizen than almost any other city in the country.

The city has read its dragon lore, but it also knows how to use it. Lancaster utilizes its acres of beautiful, rolling outdoor space and Dutch-style castles to host some of the Northeast’s most notable LARPing festivals in the spring and summer.

Above all else, Lancaster is a weird city that has totally embraced its weirdness, and it’s more than willing to welcome new oddballs with open arms.


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