Here at Milwaukee Record, we employ a sentient machine known as the Great Job Milwaukee Bot to keep track of the city’s many appearances on dopey online lists, as well as any time a national publication deigns to acknowledges our pathetic Midwest existence. In the past, the infernal machine has brought us news that Rolling Stone likes Summerfest, that Travel + Leisure thinks we’re ugly as dirt, and that Bay View is the 13th “hottest hipster market in America.” Today, the Bot takes an in-depth look at a Huffington Post piece from last week, in which Milwaukee was crowned “America’s best-kept secret.” beep-boop-beeeeeep…

Titled “The Rise And Rise Of America’s Best-Kept Secret,” the piece discussed how lowly ol’ Milwaukee “transformed from dairy belt to rust belt to digital belt.” As expected, it got a rise and rise out of the usual suspects: OnMilwaukee‘s Jeff Sherman Bot dutifully wrote it up (“Because, as I always say, a city is only as good as the stories it tells,”) and the Milwaukee Business Journal just went ahead and republished it. Never mind that the piece was written by ManpowerGroup Chairman and CEO Jonas Prising, and that it read more like a corporate recruitment pitch (“We attract talent from Texas, California, Canada, the Netherlands and elsewhere to join this Midwest melting pot…”) than a feel-good listicle.

Oh, and never mind that America is apparently loaded with other “best-kept secret” cities. Below, the Great Job Milwaukee Bot has rounded up 11 such examples, along with some lines from their respective pieces that, with just a few details changed, could easily be about Milwaukee (or any of the other cities).

America’s Best Kept Secret: St. Louis (Odyssey)
“Whenever you think of the best cities in the United States you can’t help but think of New York City, Los Angeles and Chicago, to name a few. But what about those underdogs that are making a name for themselves and contributing some of the best this nation has to offer in culture, entertainment and generosity? Well, today I’ve decided that it’s time America’s little brother stopped hiding in the shadows and came out for the world to take notice. Today I present to you St. Louis.”

7 Reasons Detroit is America’s Best Kept Secret (Retale)
“But beneath the trauma exists a movement to dust off the city’s ‘rust’ from “Rust Belt” and ready the city for renaissance.”

Hip, hip, hooray for trendy Portland, America’s best-kept secret (Evoke)
“In addition to the delicious food on offer, the city is famous for its microbreweries, which is something that every US city likes to brag about, but those boasts seem hollow next to Portland’s. At the last count, there were 71 breweries in the city, and the Brewvana beer tours aim to introduce visitors to just a few of them.”

Hannibal, Missouri—America’s Best Kept Secret! (Bob Yapp’s About Your House)
“Another positive sign of things to come in Hannibal are the upper story lofts in the downtown. These spaces have been largely unused for decades and are now being converted into upscale, Chicago/New York style lofts at an amazing pace.”

Jacksonville, Florida: America’s Best Kept Secret (The View From A Drawbridge)
“Very few people bother stopping here. It’s like we’re the world’s biggest small town.”

Salt Lake City: America’s Best Kept Secret (Young Professionals Salt Lake City)
“Let’s be frank, when you found out you were relocating to the Salt Lake City area, you may have been a tad bit apprehensive. Utah, specifically Salt Lake City, is given very little attention in the media. When you hear about Salt Lake City and/or Utah, images of vast temples and polygamist families may come to mind.”

11 Reasons Aurora, New York, is America’s Best Kept Secret (Country Living)
“With the recent opening of Wallcourt Hall, a 17-guest-room inn that once served as an all-girls preparatory school, Aurora is embarking on the next chapter of its story.”

Tybee Island, Georgia: America’s Best Kept Secret (Yahoo! Lifestyle)
“Ride a bike: The island is flat with wide, tree-lined streets. Daily rentals at Fat Tire Bikes start at $12.”

Why beautiful Charleston is America’s best kept secret (The Telegraph)
“Charlestonians are generous, hospitable, fine people that welcome foreigners like me who are ‘from off,’ and yes they are a little eccentric, quirky and possibly antiquated, which only enhances to the charm of what is now my city.”

Why This One Little Town Is America’s Best Kept Secret (Only In Your State)
“Sitka is an Alaskan small town that is full of unexpected natural treasures and boasts a fascinating history of cultural exchange.”

Oak Ridge: America’s best-kept secret (Times Free Press)
“Behind walls, inside behemoth buildings, scientists toiled away developing a nuclear weapon that would end the war and change international relations forever. Oak Ridge [Tennessee] was established in 1942 by the federal government specifically as a production site for the Manhattan Project, the top-secret name of the World War II atomic bomb project.” [Okay, this one’s pretty unique.]

BONUS: Milwaukee (again)
Top 10 Reasons Why Milwaukee Is America’s Best Kept Secret (Culture Trip)
“When people think of Milwaukee they usually associate it with Hollywood stereotypes involving The Fonz, Lavern & Shirley and maybe, if you were paying attention, That 70’s Show—all multi-cam TV sets depicting a rust belt-ish life that is missing many important details.”

About The Author

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Co-Founder and Editor

Matt Wild weighs between 140 and 145 pounds. He lives on Milwaukee's east side.