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Top 25 Cities to Find Someone Who Wants to Cuddle

I'm a Midwesterner with a background in writing and media. My articles are mainly about relationships, dating, and heartbreak.

When the weather gets cold, people tend to look a little harder for someone they can cuddle up with on the couch. Certain cities inspire more romance than others.

When the weather gets cold, people tend to look a little harder for someone they can cuddle up with on the couch. Certain cities inspire more romance than others.

Best U.S. Cities to Find a Romantic Partner During Winter

The data scientists at MoveBuddha.com have figured out what are the best U.S. cities for cuddling. They shared some of their data with me, and it looks like if you're wanting to find a partner over winter, you'll have better odds of finding someone if you live in the Midwest or in suburban/upstate New York. All of Ohio's six most populous cities appear in the top 25.

When the temperatures drop, people tend to want to find a partner who can keep them warm. It's also when your aloof cats might want more couch space and will kick you out of their space.

"Cuffing Season" isn't a scientific term. It's essentially from October to Valentine's Day when singles get more serious about dating. Cold weather and less daylight make people feel lonelier. When the temperatures drop below freezing, it makes it hard to want to get out and do anything. It's easier to exercise at home, cook at home, and mingle at home.

So what are the top cities to find a romantic partner to cuddle with through the long winter nights? I've got that listed below. For more insights, and the methodology MoveBuddha used to come up with these conclusions, please refer to the references section at the bottom of this page.

MoveBuddha also found that these trends will continue for the foreseeable future. These cities have certain charms that will make them great for dating (in winter) for years to come.

The infographic map shows where dating trends during winter, particularly for cuddling and warmth.

The infographic map shows where dating trends during winter, particularly for cuddling and warmth.

Best U.S. Cities for Cuffing Season

RankCity

1

Ann Arbor, MI

2

Rochester, NY

3

Buffalo, NY

4

Madison, WI

5

Syracuse, NY

6

Minneapolis, MN

7

Dayton, OH

8

Cleveland, OH

9

Grand Rapids, MI

10

Denver, CO

11

Akron, OH

12

Des Moines, IA

13

Fort Collins, CO

14

Pittsburgh, PA

15

Spokane, WA

16

Berkeley, CA

17

Toledo, OH

18

Omaha, NE

19

Albuquerque, NM

20

Salt Lake City, UT

21

Milwaukee, WI

22

Cincinnati, OH

23

Columbus, OH

24

Boston, MA

25

Eugene, OR

College Towns Perfect for Dating

Every city in the top 25 is home to a major university. Dating odds improve if you have a nearby college. People want to date someone who is smart, and campuses often provide plenty of chances for people to interact, socialize, and dream about a future together.

Cuffing season is basically the definition of winter and cuddling.

Cuffing season is basically the definition of winter and cuddling.

Colder Cities Rank in the Top Ten

Syracuse, NY is the coldest location on the list; winter temperatures average between 30 to 37°F. The city receives about nine feet of snowfall per year.

Berkley, CA has the warmest weather on the list with temperatures lingering around 47 to 59°F.

Denver, CO ranked the highest in terms of finding a significant other. The population there is 31% between the ages of 18-34, and nearly half of that group is single and living on their own. Denver's gender ratio is fairly even.

It's easier to find a girlfriend in Syracuse than a boyfriend, and in Salt Lake City it's easier to find a boyfriend. Both cities have a noticeable gender disparity.

  • 53% of the population in Syracuse is female.
  • 53% of the population in Salt Lake City is male.

Couple Activities: Coffee Shops, Restaurants, and Museums

CitiesCoffee Shop Density / 100KCoffee Shop Density ScoreRestaurant Density / 100KRestaurant Density ScoreCost of 3-Course Meal# of MuseumsRate of Museums for Every 100K

Ann Arbor

66.20858935

3.4

193.7812371

8.9

$60

34

27.5

Rochester

87.06844337

4.5

113.5675348

5.2

$60

40

18.9

Buffalo

86.22269166

4.5

86.22269166

4

$65

49

17.6

Madison

72.63563593

3.8

88.94159502

4.1

$75

34

12.6

Syracuse

59.21141165

3.1

161.4856681

7.4

$60

19

12.8

Minneapolis

117.6949231

2.9

55.81992492

2.6

$66.94

49

11.4

Dayton

64.40808966

6.1

174.3628491

8

$50

33

24

Cleveland

61.83483563

3.3

64.40808966

3

$58.50

56

15

Grand Rapids

109.7291423

3.2

120.6533378

5.6

$60

25

12.6

Denver

39.22795646

1.7

33.5419456

1.5

$65

80

11.2

Ann Arbor is a fantastic place for singles. There are plenty of great places for dates including fancy restaurants, museums, and sporting venues.

Ann Arbor is a fantastic place for singles. There are plenty of great places for dates including fancy restaurants, museums, and sporting venues.

1. Ann Arbor

Ann Arbor is the fifth-largest city in Michigan, and there is plenty to do there, making it easy to set up a memorable date.

  • The city is west of Detroit.
  • It's home to the University of Michigan.
  • There are several museums dedicated to art, archaeology, science, and history.

If you love creative or artistic dates, Ann Arbor is the perfect place to be. The University Musical Society brings music, dance, and theater into the area. Shakespeare in the Arb presents one play every June in downtown Ann Arbor. There is also a symphony, a ballet theater, and several other performing arts venues.

One cool thing that's in Ann Arbor, an art installation: "fairy doors". The small rounded doors are throughout the city. These are perfect for Instagram photo stops.

The bibliophiles among us will adore this city. It ranks first for the number of booksellers and books sold per capita. It has a large public library system, and it is home to the Gerald R. Ford Presidential Library.

The creativity doesn't stop there. Ann Arbor hosts an annual film festival and has regular fairs. Ann Arbor is a fairy tale like dream hidden in the Midwest.

The city is also open to marijuana. It has a long history of openness to cannabis. It is decriminalized there. The city strives to be progressive and compassionate.

If it's your thing to take someone on a date to a college sports game, Ann Arbor has got your back. Michigan Stadium is the largest American football stadium in the country and the third-largest stadium of any type in the world. It has room for more than 107,000 people.

Ann Arborites have a delightful array of restaurants and coffee shops. You can find any style of food to your heart's content. If I was still single and looking for a job, I would seriously consider moving here.

Rochester is a beautiful city with a vibrant nightlife. There are several universities, so you can expect to run into people and have lively and intelligent conversations.

Rochester is a beautiful city with a vibrant nightlife. There are several universities, so you can expect to run into people and have lively and intelligent conversations.

2. Rochester

If you want to move to New York state, and you want to skip New York City, there are three cities where dating is a little easier.

Rochester has a lovely view of Lake Ontario. Founded in 1788, it is one of the oldest cities in the United States. It's the birthplace of several iconic companies: Kodak, Xeros, French's, and Western Union. Today it's a global center for science, tech, and research.

Rochester is where you can find a smart partner. The city is home to several universities including the University of Rochester, Rochester Institute of Technology, and Eastman School of Music.

The city has a rich artistic culture. It is home to several music festivals, and it is ranked as one of the top-10 music scenes in the United States, according to Bloomberg. The George Eastman Museum is home to the oldest photography collection in the world.

The metro ranks high on lists for quality of life, raising a family, public schools, and a low unemployment rate. You're likely to find a partner who is happy and satisfied with life. (Though the inner-city does have a sharp divide with the more affluent, southern suburbs.)

Rochester is well known for its nightlife. The East End district is loaded with nightclubs, coffee shops, and upscale restaurants. Monroe Avenue is known for smoke shops, cigar bars, and hookah lounges. University Avenue has art galleries that stay open late.

The city has a large LGBTQ+ community, so you can expect friendliness and openness here. It's also fairly easy to meet up with fellow college students or young professionals.

Buffalo is an educational and food hub. Its biggest attraction is Niagara Falls.

Buffalo is an educational and food hub. Its biggest attraction is Niagara Falls.

3. Buffalo

Just a two and a half-hour drive west from Syracuse is our third top city for winter cuddling. It's the gateway to Canada: Buffalo. One of the biggest attractions: Niagara Falls.

A personal aside: my husband lived in Buffalo for about a year. He was attending the University of Buffalo for his PhD. He decided academia wasn't the right fit for him, so he quit and moved to St. Louis. I'm glad he did because we crossed paths in Missouri and eventually got married. Granted, Missouri doesn't have any cities on the Top 25 list, so I won't blab about it too much. (St. Louis is great! We have a free zoo and classical art museum!)

For the sports lovers, Buffalo has two major-league sports teams: the Buffalo Bills (NFL) and the Buffalo Sabres (NHL).

The city is home to a few music legends: the Goo Goo Dolls, Ani DiFranco, and Spyro Gyra.

Mainstays of Buffalo cuisine include: beef on weck, pizza, kielbasa, sponge candy, and fish fry. The city is home to a large number of refugees and immigrants, which has resulted in a plethora of ethnic restaurants. You could try something new every day.

Travel + Leisure ranked Buffalo the 7th best US city to visit in 2021, noting its growth and leisure attractions. There are numerous art, history, and science museums.

What would get me to visit the city? The wings! The National Buffalo Wing Festival is a celebration of the staple SuperBowl food. Note: a lot of people don't like getting their hands messy on a date, so make sure your date is comfortable with wings and messy foods if you decide to take someone with you to this kind of event.

Madison is the perfect place to have a date with something cheese-loaded, a craft beer, and plenty of ranch. Follow that with a bike or hike into a beautiful vista.

Madison is the perfect place to have a date with something cheese-loaded, a craft beer, and plenty of ranch. Follow that with a bike or hike into a beautiful vista.

4. Madison

The capital of Wisconsin has plenty of cheese, beer, and spring rolls to keep people happy for the next few centuries. This Midwestern city is a great place to date if you like cheese curds, ranch dressing, and hot and spicy cheese bread. If you don't like cheese, what are you doing in Wisconsin?

Think farm-to-table restaurants, gastropubs, and bakeries. The city is home to the largest producer-only farmers' market in the country. When going to restaurants you can expect fish fry on Fridays, prime ribs on Saturdays, and chicken on Sundays. Wash everything down with a craft beer and then enjoy some recreational activities.

Madison is a hub for winter sports: ice skating, hockey, skiing, snowkiting, and fishing. The rest of the year you'll see people sailing, biking, and hiking. Madison is big on Midwestern comfort foods and has bike paths galore. It is only one of five cities in the United States to receive the platinum level designation from the Bicycle Friendly Community.

Bars, nightclubs, coffee shops, and live music venues keep people happy after work. The Freakfest Halloween Party is a mainstay of October.

Music, art, and sports lovers can all find what they want in this city. Madison has more liberal voters than the rest of the state. This is considered an LGBTQ+ safe city.

And because it's completely strange I have to mention that the city voted the Plastic Pink Flamingo as its official bird. This eclectic city may just win over my heart.

The cuffing season study strongly favored cities in New York, minus the biggest one of all. You could easily take a drive from Buffalo to Rochester to Syracuse to see if these cities fit your vibe.

The cuffing season study strongly favored cities in New York, minus the biggest one of all. You could easily take a drive from Buffalo to Rochester to Syracuse to see if these cities fit your vibe.

5. Syracuse

The third city from New York to rank on the list. Syracuse is about an hour and a half drive east of Rochester. The city is known for its education system.

If you're looking to date a doctor or nurse, head to Syracuse. The biggest employer is State University of New York Upstate Medical University followed by St. Joseph's Hospital Health Center.

There is a good chance that if you date someone in this city, they'll either be associated with academia or health care.

The Erie Canal is the backbone of the city. The Erie Canal Museum is dedicated to preserving its history. The city has several other museums that would be great for first dates. This includes the Everson Museum of Art and the International Mask and Puppet Museum.

Dates where you get up and move can help you stay warm. Syracuse has more than 170 parks and recreational spaces. This includes the first public golf course in the United States (1901) at Burnet Park. During the winter holidays, Onondaga Lake Park hosts a light show that's two miles long.

Music is a big part of the leisure activities in Syracuse. There are two annual live jazz festivals. The city has a symphony, opera company, and (though not music-related) Shakespeare festival. Syracuse Stage is known for creative and experimental shows.

If you're looking for a goth or emo date, the city is known for its heavy metal scene. From 1997 to 2003 it held Hellfest, a hardcore music festival.

And the best dates always come with good food. Syracuse is known for its Italian food. A quick Google search of the city's most well-known restaurants will bring up a long list of Italian restaurants followed by Polish eateries and trendy urban joints.

Minneapolis has a lot to offer for those looking for a romantic partner. It has a vibrant music scene, four professional sports teams, and lots of beautiful lakes.

Minneapolis has a lot to offer for those looking for a romantic partner. It has a vibrant music scene, four professional sports teams, and lots of beautiful lakes.

6. Minneapolis

The most populous city in Minnesota sits along the banks of the Mississippi and Minnesota Rivers. The city is abundant with water, not just with two big rivers but 13 lakes, plus other wetlands, creeks, and waterfalls.

If you want to be with someone who has a good, charitable heart, Minneapolis is the right place for you. In 2017, Minneapolis–Saint Paul ranked first among cities for volunteering. 46.3% of the population spends time on charitable acts.

Minneapolis may have the biggest music scene on this whole list. It was the launching pad for Bob Dylan, Prince, and Lizzo. The city also has an orchestra, opera, jazz clubs, and everything in between.

This is also a great place to date because of the variety of restaurants. Minneapolis is home to the Jucy Lucy, a burger with cheese stuffed into the middle. The city is home to the first vegan butcher shop, Herbivorous Butcher. If you've never tried Somalian cuisine, Minneapolis has several eateries in this style.

Minneapolis is a good place to find a fellow literary nerd. The city is home to three nonprofit publishers: Coffee House Press, Milkweed Editions, and Graywolf Press. (I've sent poetry to all three, and none of them were interested.) The University of Minnesota Press publishes books and journals. With all that brainpower focused on books, you're sure to meet another book lover.

Sports lovers, Minneapolis will definitely keep you entertained. The city is home to four professional sports teams: the Minnesota Lynx (WBNA), Minnesota Timberwolves (NBA), Minnesota Twins (MLB), and Minnesota Vikings (NFL).

Dayton is the land of never-ending pizza and never-ending bike trails. I suppose, if you're eating pizza all the time you'll need the bike trails.

Dayton is the land of never-ending pizza and never-ending bike trails. I suppose, if you're eating pizza all the time you'll need the bike trails.

7. Dayton

The birthplace of aviation will entertain history aficionados. There is a lot to learn about the city and its role in WWII.

Dayton is the Midwestern mecca for art lovers. Dayton is home to the Benjamin and Marian Schuster Performing Arts Center, a symphony, opera, and ballet. The Schuster Center hosts concerts and is a popular wedding venue. Traveling Broadway shows come to the city.

Who doesn't love wide lanes? Or am I the only one who was on the same page as Elaine Benes on a certain episode of Seinfeld? Dayton's downtown area has broad streets, about two to three lanes full in each direction. This will make parking and driving easier for a date. The streets have always been broad because Dayton was a shipping hub, and the city wanted wide enough streets for wagons to get through. If only all streets had been designed wide throughout the country.

Downtown expansion beginning in the early 2000s has revitalized the area and encouraged newcomers to stay. The city has 340 paved bike trails, the most paved trails of any city in the United States. A craft beer boom in the 2010s led to a rise in breweries.

Pizza is a big deal in Dayton. It is home to several pizza chains, including Marion's Piazza and Cassano's. Dayton is also known for candy, particularly Esther Price Candies.

It doesn't have a major sports team, but there are several minor league and semi-pro sports. This includes the minor league baseball team the Dayton Dragons.

If you find a date in Dayton, they most likely work in healthcare, education, or government. The top three employers are Premier Health Partners, Kettering Health Network, and Montgomery County.

Could you find love in Cleveland like Liz Lemon did on 30 Rock? Although, that didn't work out for her...

Could you find love in Cleveland like Liz Lemon did on 30 Rock? Although, that didn't work out for her...

8. Cleveland

It's another city in Ohio. Cleveland is the largest city on Lake Erie, which is sexy if you think about it long enough. The city is home to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, one of its biggest tourist draws.

Cleveland is another city on this list that has museums dedicated to art and natural history. It also has a thriving music scene with dozens of theaters and venues.

Cleveland is also a big sports city with three major sports teams: the Cleveland Guardians (MLB), Cleveland Browns (NFL), and Cleveland Cavaliers (NBA).

The city is known for its good food. There is an abundance of Italian, Polish and Central European foods. Friday night fish fries are very popular. Steakhouses and farm-to-table eateries are all the rage.

Ohio produces the 5th most beer in the country; the largest brewery is in Cleveland, Great Lakes Brewing Company. Breweries are everywhere in Cleveland; the highest concentration of them is in the Ohio City neighborhood.

Cleveland is a great place if you want a partner who is environmentally conscientious. The city's extensive cleanup of Lake Erie has made it a leader in sustainability. The city has worked hard to improve its water and air quality. It is now looking into ways to use renewable energy.

Appropriate for cuffing season, Cleveland hosts an annual holiday celebration with a light show called Winterfest.

Beer, furniture, and Frank Lloyd Wright. Somehow this Michigan city is a trifecta of those three things.

Beer, furniture, and Frank Lloyd Wright. Somehow this Michigan city is a trifecta of those three things.

9. Grand Rapids

Grand Rapids is the economic hub of West Michigan. It is affectionately nicknamed "Furniture City" because it is home to five of the world's leading office furniture companies. Maybe that's not the sexiest thing, but at least you know there's always furniture in Grand Rapids. Think of it like this: there is always money in the banana stand. (If you haven't seen Arrested Development, you're probably lost.)

The summers are warm and humid, the winters are cold and snowy, and spring and autumn fly by in the blink of an eye.

The city is experiencing rapid growth, so if you're new in town you'll easily come across other newbies.

  • Number 1 City, Most Manufacturing Jobs - Grand Rapids/Kentwood (Smartest Dollar, 2020)
  • Number 1 Metro for Sustainability - Grand Rapids, (Site Selection Magazine, 2019)

The city has a wide selection of venues for musicians. It's home to one of the oldest museums in the country, the Van Andel Museum Center. The city is also home to one of Frank Lloyd Wright's houses, the Meyer May.

If you like beer, Grand Rapids is the place to be. It has been internationally recognized as a beer city. In 2019, CNN Travel named it one of the "15 Best Beer Cities" along with Belgium, Germany, and Brussels, Belgium.

Beautiful scenery and a lot of diversity. Denver is attractive to people of all kinds.

Beautiful scenery and a lot of diversity. Denver is attractive to people of all kinds.

10. Denver

Rounding out the top ten: The Mile High City. Denver is east of the foothills of the Rocky Mountains. You can enjoy the hustle and bustle of the city and take a break from everything in the beautiful surrounding landscapes. The city is just as its nickname states: it's literally one mile above sea level.

Denver has more than 200 parks and 29 recreation centers. There are plenty of outdoor date options: skiing, hiking, biking, and fishing. The outdoor opportunities are one of the biggest draws to Denver, as well as its open policies toward cannabis.

Denver is known for its southwestern foods. You can find New Mexican cuisine, the Colorado burrito, Denver omelet, empanadas, and tamales. Rocky mountain oysters and rainbow trout are other well-known specialties.

Denver is an incredibly diverse city bringing together people from all walks.

The city has several Korean and Chinese food restaurants. There are three big Asian-American festivals every year: the Dragonboat Festival, the Moon Festival, and the Chinese New Year celebration.

Denver also has one of the largest Mexican-American populations in the U.S. Cinco de Mayo celebrations draw in more than 500,000 people every year.

Denver is well known for its tolerance of the LGBTQ+ community. There are gay bars throughout the city. There are also several pride-themed festivals.

Demographics

CitiesPopulation (Truncated)Percentage of 18 to 34-Year-Olds: Single/Lives AlonePopulation Aged 18 to 34Percent of Population 18 to 34 FemalePercent of Population 18 to 34 MaleBalance of Male/Female (Zero Is Best)Balance of Male/Female (10 Means Population Is More Evenly Distributed)

1. Ann Arbor

121,850

11.6%

49%

48.50%

51.50%

-3.00%

3.7

2. Rochester

211,320

12.11%

32%

50.81%

49.19%

1.62%

7.4

3. Buffalo

278,340

12.30%

30%

50.61%

49.39%

1.22%

9.7

4. Madison

269,840

14.20%

40%

49.10%

50.90%

-1.80%

7.6

5. Syracuse

148,620

9.44%

34%

53.06%

46.94%

6.12%

1.6

6. Minneapolis

429,950

14.56%

36%

48.98%

51.02%

-2.05%

6.3

7. Dayton

137,640

10.12%

31%

50.15%

49.85%

0.30%

10

8. Cleveland

372,620

13.10%

26%

50.77%

49.23%

1.53%

8.4

9. Grand Rapids

198,910

8.74%

33%

49.43%

50.57%

-1.15%

8.7

10. Denver

715,520

14.82%

31%

49.63%

50.37%

-.074%

10

Methodology

The study looked at cities with populations of at least 100,000. Data were analyzed from the 2020 census. More than 300 cities were compared.

Cities were ranked 1-10 based on couple activities, availability of coffee shops and restaurants, winter weather, and vaccination rates.

Only cities that MoveBuddha could obtain complete datasets were included in the final ranking.

References

  • "2019 U.S. Gazetteer Files". United States Census Bureau. Archived from the original on January 16, 2020. Retrieved July 27, 2020.
  • "A Brief Chronology of the Development of the City of Buffalo". National Park Service. Archived from the original on November 4, 2014. Retrieved October 29, 2014.
  • Ann Arbor Guide 2003–4". Ecurrent.com. 2003–2004. Archived from the original on December 10, 2004. Retrieved January 6, 2022.
  • "Annual City Parks Data Released by The Trust for Public Land". Trust for Public Land. Retrieved January 9, 2022.
  • Barber, Casey (August 2, 2019). "Say Cheers to the 15 Best Beer Cities around the World". CNN Travel. Retrieved January 9, 2022.
  • Bay, Scott (September 18, 2020). "50 Best Places to Travel in 2021 for a Much-needed Vacation". Travel + Leisure. Archived from the original on May 15, 2021. Retrieved January 10, 2022.
  • "Ohio craft-beer production ranks 5th in U.S.; 3 breweries in top 50" .cleveland.com. April 14, 2021. Retrieved January 9, 2022.
  • Patterson, Thom (June 4, 2019). "The most generous state in America". CNN (Warner Media). Retrieved December 1, 2020.
  • Robison, Joe. Cuffing Season: 25 Cities to Find Your Very Own Winter Cuddle, MoveBuddha, 20 Dec. 2021, www.movebuddha.com/blog/cuffing-season-cities/.
  • "The Geography of America's Music Scenes". Bloomberg.com. August 6, 2012. Archived from the original on June 30, 2020. Retrieved June 29, 2020.
  • "U.S. Census QuickFacts". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved January 9, 2022.

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2022 Andrea Lawrence