• Pasadena City Hall (photo by Duncan McInnis)Pasadena has been named the snobbiest mid-sized city in America by Movoto.com.

      What criteria did Movoto use to create their “Snobbiest” ranking?

      To start, we had to determine what sorts of things snobs would like, and then looked at those factors for 100 mid-sized cities. Those snobby statistics were:

      • 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)
      • Country clubs per capita (the more the better)

      We gathered this data from the 2010 U.S. Census and business listings. We then ranked each city in each category from one to 100, with one being the best. From there, we averaged each place’s scores into one Big Deal Score, with lower scores being better. The locations with the lowest Big Deal Scores became our top 10 smug and snooty cities.

      So a quick recap would reveal the following:

      > The city of Pasadena has a very well educated population with Nobel Prize winners at Caltech and rocket scientists (real ones) at JPL. ✔

      > The city has plenty of art galleries and museums. ✔

      > We (thankfully) have few fast food establishments. ✔

      > And we boast one of the most awesome architectures and homes. ✔

      In that case, we will wear the badge of Snobbiest with honor.

      Here’s the list:

      Everyone’s a snob about something. Wine, video games, books, clothing, food…you probably have your own particular thing you’re snobby about. Still, there are some places where people are just a little more stuck up than others, and you might be surprised where those are.

      1. Pasadena, CA

      10 Snobbiest Mid-Sized Cities In America
      Source: Flickr user Rex Gray
      By a landslide, Pasadena was our snobbiest place to call home. This city had a ton of performing arts venues, art galleries, nearby country clubs, and private schools for the more selective sort to choose from. It also had the fifth highest median home price, so you bet your next château will have the garden tub and breakfast nook you always dreamed of.

      We should also mention that this rosy little town is home of the Tournament of Roses Parade and Rose Bowl, where only the best teams and best floats get to strut their stuff. However, snobs in search of something more cultural and less touristy might rather take in a show from the Pasadena Symphony Orchestra at the Ambassador Auditorium. We hear anyone who’s anyone will be there.

      2. Thousand Oaks, CA

      10 Snobbiest Mid-Sized Cities In America
      Source: Flickr user Allan Bromberg
      Keeping the Southern California theme going, Thousand Oaks offers la crème de la crème in the way of refined eating on our list. This place had the lowest number of fast food restaurants per capita in our top 10, plus some very decadent high-class eateries to choose from. I mean, you simply cannot get more decadent than lobster mashed potatoes at Mastro’s Steakhouse.

      That wasn’t the only snobby stat that Thousand Oaks had, however. This city held third place in both median home price and household income. High society definitely thrives here, as there are plenty of private schools, performing arts, and country clubs to go around. Anyone up for a game of tennis or golf after high tea?

      3. Alexandria, VA

      10 Snobbiest Mid-Sized Cities In America
      Source: Flickr user m01229
      There’s a bit of a stereotype in Virginia that the northern part of the state is kind of snobby, and for this city that generalization is pretty true. For starters, this city had the third highest number of college grads, at over 60 percent, so the brightest and best like to call this area home.The locals definitely have a more cultured and artistic eye, which is why they were second place for art galleries per capita.

      Maybe you’re looking to make sure that little Joey is raised right in the Mother of States. That’s not a problem here either, as Alexandria had the sixth most private schools per capita. If you’re worried about paying for that school, never fear, this place had the seventh highest household income as well. Nothing but the best for these fancy folks.

      4. Naperville, IL

      10 Snobbiest Mid-Sized Cities In America

      Source: Flickr user TEDxNaperville
      If this place seems like a bit of an odd man out on our list, don’t be fooled. Naperville had the second highest household income, and over 66 percent of locals had a college degree, so these are some world-wise and wealthy people. Plus, they’re able to congregate together in their seventh place country clubs, probably to sample wine and discuss recent stock market trends.

      This city may not have the highest ranking in refined restaurants, but it does have a somewhat refined palate. If you don’t believe me, you can try the cuisine at Morton’s The Steakhouse and you’ll know for sure you’re in a place all about class. Just be sure to bring a well packed wallet, these savory steaks do not come cheap. Who ever said the best things in life are free? It definitely wasn’t Naperville.

      5. Santa Rosa, CA

      10 Snobbiest Mid-Sized Cities In America
      Source: Flickr user Wally Gobetz
      If you were wondering when the first wine-snob friendly place would appear on our list, congratulations, you’ve found it. Known as the biggest city in Wine Country, this place is also one of the biggest centers for snobs in the nation. With a high median home price and high household income, locals here are used to living the highlife, likely while sipping a nice Chardonnay or Cabernet Sauvignon.

      What you might not know is that Santa Rosa is also a great place for art. With the seventh best performing arts rank and a very high score for its art galleries, creative snobs will easily find something suitable for their entertainment interests. Well, at least they’ll find something they won’t turn their nose up at.

      6. Fort Lauderdale, FL

      10 Snobbiest Mid-Sized Cities In America
      Source: Flickr user Daniel Piraino
      We didn’t forget about all you snobby Floridians out there, and the numbers certainly say that you have your own snooty Mecca to go to. Fort Lauderdale had a high performing arts rank, quite a few nearby country clubs, and the fourth best arts galleries per capita. Not to mention all those chic fashions you lovely people sport out there, you really do look divine.

      This place didn’t really score poorly across the board as far as snobby stats went, which seems fitting. After all, no one in Fort Lauderdale could stand for anything being poorly done. Just take a visit to Valentino’s Cucina Italiana and you’ll know exactly what we mean, even if you have the most picky tastes.

      7. Glendale, CA

      10 Snobbiest Mid-Sized Cities In America
      Source: Flickr user Chris
      A lot of celebrities call this California city home, and who’s more snobby than a celebrity? All the beautiful people are just dying to live in this upscale city, as demonstrated by its sixth highest median home price. And can you really blame them? Lots of performing arts, few deplorable fast food restaurants, and plenty of art galleries all make this a snob paradise.

      Those in the mood for performing art can always take in a show at the Glendale Centre Theatre. Those in the mood for something a little more stationary can head to Trimona Cafe and Art Gallery. Just make sure you take someone who knows their stuff, or the depth and relevance of some of those paintings might go completely over their head.

      8. Sunnyvale, CA

      10 Snobbiest Mid-Sized Cities In America
      Source: Flickr user Meg Lauber
      If you want a place where the rich can live, love, and play, then Sunnyvale is probably the spot for you. With the highest median home prices on our list and the fourth highest household income, this city showed it knew how to cater to high society as well as the highbrow. This place also had the fifth highest percent of college grads, so these privileged people have had professional teaching on how to be prim and proper (but still manage to be pretty friendly).

      The elite socialites here are able to enjoy performing arts at many different venues. There are also many upscale eateries for foodies and wine snobs, so grabbing some sashimi at Sawa Sushi can easily be a regular thing or just something for when you’re trying to show off your chopstick etiquette to a few friends.

      9. Fullerton, CA

      10 Snobbiest Mid-Sized Cities In America
      Source: Flickr user Nathan Gibbs
      We did say that California was represented in a big way on this list, and this makes six snobby spots in the Golden State. Snobs who love culture, museums, and creation will adore this mid-sized city, as it had very high marks in performing art, art galleries, and is home to the STAGEStheatre. For guitar purists, this was also the birthplace of Fender Guitars, which are simply the best in the way of instrumental elegance…in the rock and roll world anyway.

      If you’re not so much into guitars and and instead prefer fine dining, you can find that here too. Summit House can give your sweet tooth that refined flavor it craves, and allow you some decadence in the way of prime rib or cocktails. It’s got a high price tag, but this city had the eighth highest median home price on our list as well, so we expect snobs here to be at least fairly well off.

      10. Eugene, OR

      10 Snobbiest Mid-Sized Cities In America
      Source: Flickr user Trey Ratcliff
      Last up is our only Oregon representative, Eugene. The city had decent scores across the board, with standouts in the way of performing arts and art galleries. This is also a very green place, and people will turn their noses up at you if you dare to put that aluminum can in the garbage.

      While this truly lovely locale is certainly ripe for the arts sorts, local snobs should also be ready to test their taste buds. With eateries like Marché, the elite can enjoy ambiance as well as quality, and with places like the Ninkasi Brewing Company even beer snobs can flex their IPA palates.

      Do you agree? Let us know.

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        • Wafic Khalil

          Wafic Khalil is the Editor in Chief of Colorado Boulevard. He leads content development and design for our newspaper, e-newsletters, website, and live events, as well as the overall direction of the paper. An accomplished artist in film and music, he has a Bachelor’s in film and video from MassArt and a Master’s in Fine Arts from CalArts.

          Colorado Boulevard is your place for enlightening events, informative news and social living for the greater Pasadena area.
          We strive to inform, educate, and work together to make a better world for all of us, locally and globally.

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      1. Vanessa Llamas Huang says:

        I have lived in Pasadena for two years. Definitely not “snobby” in a bad way. I have met some of the friendliest people here. I love it!

      2. Arturo Monroy says:

        Snob implies being pretentious. We don’t pretend. We have good taste. Period.

      3. Rebecca Lang Smith says:

        I fell into paradise via the back door… all I did was rent an apt in Pas a year ago, and it was love at first sight… this is my 17th move and it’s a keeper ♥ (and I think “snob” is derisive, negative, and wrong)

      4. Jackie Horrick says:

        Apparently, I live in the snobbiest mid-size city in America. After looking at the criteria they used for ranking, I have to say that may not be such a bad thing. I do wish instead of having so many private schools they would pour that money into our public schools and help them out a bit.

      5. Sophie Jihanian-Seyranian says:

        I love it… We’re snobby in a good way… Awesome city…♥ Pasadena.

      6. Melissa King says:

        hahaha Props to my hometown T.O. for getting the number two spot. T.O. and Pasadena are just too awesome, people who have never lived there just don’t know.
        2 mins

      7. Monica Guillen Juri says:


      8. Natalie Christine says:

        Everyone is so nice in Pasadena! Want snobby? Check out the west side.

      9. Joan Dean-Edwards says:

        well… i can see where they’re coming from!!!

      10. Gina JMac says:

        it’s a beatiful and friendly city.

      11. Jessica Hardin says:

        Compared with Beverly Hills????

      12. Carolyn Ann says:

        Oh my gosh, we actually *were* voted the snobbiest city! Too funny. On Friday night in Old Town, a kcal 9 reporter interviewed my friend and asked her if she agreed that Pasadena is the snobbiest city..I thought it was a joke or something, I was so confused. lol

      13. Nicole LeBoeuf says:

        Whaaa?! We are not snobby. We just know that our city is wonderful

      14. Mark Pickell says:

        It’s a bit “Stepford” for sure.

      15. Rome Grant says:

        I’ve lived here for 7 years and absolutely LOVE it!

      16. Hanne Marie Nordrum says:

        It’s the best city I know

      17. Terisa Carver says:

        I love living in Pasadena and people here are very friendly. The criteria used has no relevancy in determining snobbery.

      18. Robin Southworth says:

        Having relatives in Santa Rosa and having lived in SoCal, Eugene, and Chicago, I’d put Naperville, Eugene, and Santa Rosa at 1-2-3, respectively.

      19. Kristin Fyfe says:

        “Snob” implies looking down on others. I see people of all backgrounds and tastes enjoying themselves in Pasadena. It’s a top date spot for east LA County and the diverse range of people who live therein.

      20. Robert Bilheimer says:

        not really

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