Which four cities belong on your Mt. Rushmore? My version does not include NYC - the Big Apple deserves its own mountain.
1.) Boston, Massachusetts: Beantown is arguably the best college city in the US. Berklee School of Music, great public transportation, loads of history. Although I don't particularly mind the cold, Boston is about as far North as I'd ever want to live.
2.) London, England: On our last visit, my wife and I sat in Hyde Park for about an hour and had trouble identifying all the unique languages we heard passers-by speak - gotta love that. The rain would be annoying if the museums weren't so astonishing.
3.) New Orleans, Louisiana: Music, food, food, music. Try timing a visit to coincide with JazzFest - what a blast! In rabidly red Louisiana, the Big Easy is an oasis, much like Austin in neighboring Texas. Be prepared to sweat but who cares when you can carry around a frozen daiquiri?
4.) San Francisco, California: I've yet to discover a thing I don't like about San Francisco. It's got college life and a transportation system that rivals Boston, the multiculturalism of London, music & food & politics akin to New Orleans. And the year round weather is spectacular. If not for the nuisance of an occasional earthquake, it would be perfect.
Please share your Mt. Rushmore of cities with me; anxious to hear about places that turn others on.