Forbes has once again included Bethesda (or more accurately the “Bethesda-Frederick-Rockville Metro area”) in the top 20 of its annual list of coolest American cities.

This time around, Bethesda comes in at No. 19, one spot ahead of Santa Ana, Calif., and not far behind such actual cities as Los Angeles (in a tie for No. 16), San Antonio (No. 15), Miami (No. 13) and New York (No. 11).

Washington, D.C. was No. 1, which almost immediately drew plenty of snark and doubt as to the veracity of the rankings.

For what it’s worth, the Bethesda-Frederick-Rockville Metro area scored a 95 on Forbes’ Arts & Culture Index, an 89 in the Recreation Index and boasted a population made up of 24.6 percent millennials, or the generation of people age 20-34.

Bethesda was recently named America’s snobbiest “small city” by a real estate website and is regularly featured on rankings of towns and cities based on apparently random metrics.

In 2012, Bethesda came in as the No. 17 coolest city on the Forbes list, which surprised many.


The rankings are commonly a source of derision. D.C. wasn’t the only city that faced it on Wednesday.

Here’s Dave Weigel, a national politics reporter for Slate, on Bethesda’s inclusion on the Forbes list:

lol bethesda– daveweigel (@daveweigel) August 6, 2014