In the immortal words of Timon and Pumba, “There’s magic everywhere.” But don’t listen to all the stories online that may tell you that love is dead in America and that disaster is in the air. It isn’t. You just need to know where to look.

And we made it easy and did the hard looking for you. We here at the Movoto Real Estate Blog took it upon ourselves to figure out just which mid-sized cities (100,000 to 200,000 population) were the most romantic.

To determine which places would set your heart aflutter, we looked at marriage statistics and the number of flower shops, parks (for your romantic strolling needs), romantic restaurants, and wedding planning businesses in 174 mid-sized cities. (For more details about our methodology, scroll to the bottom of the article.)

Here are the top 10 most romantic mid-sized cities in the country. Smooches!

1. Torrance, CA
2. Carlsbad, CA
3. Sunnyvale, CA
4. Huntington Beach, CA
5. Bellevue, WA
6. Naperville, IL
7. Salt Lake City, UT
8. Glendale, CA
9. Santa Clara, CA
10. Oceanside, CA

1. Torrance, CA

Congratulations, Torrance. You are hereby crowned Movoto’s 2015 Most Romantic Mid-Sized City in all of the country. The trophy is in the mail.

If you’re looking for love, here’s where you need to go.

Torrance had the lowest (remember, that’s the best) Big Deal Score of 19.6, meaning that romantically speaking, Torrance is a really big deal. A. Big. Deal.

Torrance’s best score was in the Flower Shop category, giving it some real flower power, having one flower shop for every 2,309 people. It also boasts plenty of romantic restaurants, with one for every 2,644 people.

2. Carlsbad, CA

There’s nothing bad about Carlsbad, which was an oh-so-close second place that it was almost too close to call, with a Big Deal score of 24.2, only .2 away from first place. But, we had to call it. And there ain’t no shame in a silver medal.

Carlsbad was in the top 10 both for most flower shops (one for every 2,309 people) and most wedding planning businesses (one for every 5,594 people), so you’ll never run out of flowers for that special occasion and also have more than enough options for figuring out that perfect day. Once you find the perfect person.

3. Sunnyvale, CA

California, again? Yup. You bet. It’s not like we are biased or anything. The numbers speak for themselves. And Aphrodite must have her eyes set on California.

It was Sunnyvale’s marriage to divorce ratio that helped it ride Cupid’s arrow all the way to third place on the list. With a 7.3 percent divorce rate, Sunnyvale is the second best place for marriages to stay together in the top 10.

I guess things really are sunny and happy in Sunnyvale.

4. Huntington Beach, CA

Sure, being a beach may be cheating when it comes to romance, but that is no reason to kick huntington Beach off its rightful place as fourth on our list.

Huntington Beach was the real “Lady and the Tramp” of the list though, having the best romantic restaurant score out of any of the cities in the top 10, with one romantic restaurant for every1,653 people. Nom nom nom.

Places like Matsu Restaurant and The Speakeasy are just a few of the many places you can take that special someone out for a night on the town.

So, if you’re hungry for romance, Huntington Beach is where it’s at.

5. Bellevue, WA

Leslie Knope would be proud. Bellevue rounds out our top five and did so thanks to having one park for every 2,465 people. Gotta walk in them all. Go parks!

And when were say a lot of parks, we mean it. Bellevue has nearly twice as many parks as any other city on the list. That’s quite a green thumb.

So get out there. Walk around. Enjoy the scenery with someone you love. Enjoy Bellevue’s… view.

6. Naperville, IL

If you are looking for long lasting romance, Naperville, IL is the place to go.

Not only was Naperville the most committed city on the list (with only a 6.85 percent divorce rate), but it had the second lowest divorce-to-marriage percent of any of the 174 other cities on the list. Good news all around.

That’s commitment. Naperville, whatever your city motto is, might we suggest changing it to “The City Of Commitment.” Way to keep the romance strong!

7. Salt Lake City, UT

The city that gave us great things like “The Book Of Mormon” is also quite a sweetheart, if you get to know her.

And Salt Lake City wasn’t just romantic in one category, oh no. SLC placed in the top 10 in three of our magical romance categories. Salt Lake City was eighth for romantic restaurants, 10th for wedding planning, and… (drum roll please) first overall for flower shops, with one shop for every 1,965 people. Not just first for the top 10, but first out of every city we looked at on the list.

There is no better mid-sized city in America for finding flower stores. So if you forget that anniversary, you’ll always have some place to run.

8. Glendale, CA

The list returns to California for our eighth city, good ol’ Glendale.

Glendale was another fauna and floral city, ranking second out of all the cities we looked at for floral shops, with one for every 2,048 people. It also did well in the marriage department, with just a 7.74 percent divorce rate.

Glendale was 12th out of all 174 cities for romantic restaurants, so it’s got you covered across all the bases. The food, flower, and marriage bases, that is. You dog, you.

9. Santa Clara, CA

Nipping on Glendale’s heels is Santa Clara.

Santa Clara had very solid and consistent scores across the board, helping it to crack the top 10 but not enough to catapult it to the top of the list. It was 14th for wedding planning, with one planning business for every 7,272 people, 15th for romantic restaurants, and 16th for marriage.

And nothing wrong with that. Consistency is another key factor in romance. Way to represent, Santa Clara.

10. Oceanside, CA

I mean, come on, what’s romantic about living near an ocean? The waves, the sand, the surf… Actually, now that you mention it…

Oceanside rounds out our top 10 list. It had the second highest wedding planning score of any city in the top 10, with a planning company for every 6,611 people, so if you’re looking for people help make that special day just a bit more special, head on down to Oceanside.

Though, don’t forget, sometimes surprise romance can be just as much fun.

Love Is In The Air

So there you have them, the top 10 Most Romantic Mid-Sized Cities In America. If you’re trying to woo that special someone, it might be worth looking into a mini-vacation. I’ve heard that “Hey honey, I hear Bellevue is pretty this time of year” works wonders.

Or, if you haven’t found that person yet, these are always good starting points. It takes more than flowers and parks to make a relationship last, but it’s a start.

XOXO. Get out there and spread the love.


How did we mix up our magic Love Potion No. 9 formula to figure all this out? Easy. We used Yelp to gather four different measures of a city’s romantic-ness that are needed for all stages of a blossoming relationship.

We looked at the number of romantic restaurants (for those date nights), the number of parks (for late-night romantic walks and other rendezvous), the number of flower shops (duh), and the number of wedding planning businesses. We then adjusted for population to figure out, for example, how many flower stores each city has per person.

That was a start, but was only part of the picture. These get us to the marriage part of the relationship: but we wanted an even more accurate picture, so we also used the 2008 to 2012 U.S. Census American Community Survey to look at the the percent of people who are married and the percent divorced.

We then subtracted the divorce percent from the married percent to determine the relationship percentage between people who got married and actually stayed that way. The more people that stayed married, the better a city ranked in terms of romance on our list.

Boom. So that’s how we determined the categories. Using those five factors, we then ranked each one from 1 to 174 to get our Big Deal Score. From there we were able to come up with our top 10 based on each city’s ranking in each category.

Most Romantic Mid-Sized Cities In America

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