The 10 Biggest Western Cities (in the United States)

The biggest Western cities in the US are known for their diversity of landscape, food, and culture. They are some of the oldest cities in the country and most of them enjoy excellent weather throughout the year.

Here are the 10 biggest Western cities ranked by population.

Table of Contents

The Biggest Western Cities

1Los Angeles3,898,747
3San Diego1,386,932
4San Francisco873,965
8Las Vegas641,903
10San Bernardino222,101

1. Los Angeles: 3,898,747

It may come as no surprise that Los Angeles is the largest city in the western part of the country. It has an excellent international profile with multiple attractions for all types of tourists.

Some head straight to the Hollywood sign; others are interested in the relaxed atmosphere of the Huntington Gardens or the excellent views from Griffith Park.

If you’re interested in experiences rather than walking LA streets, you can head over to the California Science Center or the Warner Bros Studios. The Disneyland Resort and Pacific Park are among the main attractions for those with kids.

But a distinct experience for concerts and other outdoor activities can also be experienced at the Hollywood Bowl.

Automotive fans also have something to see and experience in LA as The Petersen Automotive Museum can be an interesting stop for car history enthusiasts.

The Pacific Coast Highway is another excellent choice for drivers who want to experience one of the few truly impressive coast drives around the country.

2. Phoenix: 1,608,139

Phoenix is the second-largest Western city with plenty to offer any type of visitor. It is a city of culture, sports, and good food.

If you love culture, you need to visit the Phoenix Art Museum and the Arizona Capitol Museum. The Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art is also nearby for those wanting a little day trip.

Sports fans also have plenty to see here as there are plenty of successful teams to come out of Phoenix and the Arizona Cardinals, Arizona Diamondbacks, and the Phoenix Suns are located here.

3. San Diego: 1,386,932

San Diego is one of the largest Western cities with a strong impact on the country’s economy. Apart from the high number of small and local businesses, this city is also home to some major large corporations.

Tech giant Qualcomm is headquartered here. Nokia, LG Electronics, and the security giant Websense also have a significant workforce here in San Diego.

4. San Francisco: 873,965

San Francisco is not just the startup scene of the West but of the entire country. The city is now known around the world as one of the top destinations for a career in the tech world. There are multiple tech giants headquartered in San Francisco.

Uber and Visa are among the important international giants here. But it is also the home of Yelp and Twitter. With a significant role in the social media world as well as in IT financing, San Francisco is also a city of innovation.

Quality of life is diminishing in San Francisco, however. You will need to earn more here to have a similar lifestyle to other cities on the west coast.

The high number of technology employees might make it difficult for those with non-tech jobs to live comfortably within the city, especially when it comes to the cost of living.

5. Seattle: 737,015

Seattle is another growing Western city. It has been known to offer attractions for all types of tourists and holds multiple yearly festivals that attract hundreds of thousands of visitors.

You can also relax here by walking the trail around Green Lake Park. This large city is an excellent destination for sports fans as well.

Successful teams here include the Seattle Seahawks, Seattle Mariners, Seattle Kraken, and Seattle Dragons.

6. Denver: 715,522

Denver is Colorado’s cultural, economic, political, and sports hub. This incredible city has also been slowly gaining attention in the minds of the youth as it offers excellent leisure activities.

The Denver Pavilions is a great place for shopping as well as for art lovers with its multiple boutique-style galleries. The Denver Performing Arts Center is another top cultural venue within city limits.

The city also features incredible stadiums such as the Ball Arena, Empower Field, and Coors Field.

7. Portland: 652,503

Portland had a humble beginning when it was planned as the end of the Oregon Trail. But this port city has seen impressive progress in the past 200 years.

Portland was once a place of high crime, as goods were coming in and out of its port constantly and made a good target for criminals.

But immediately after the Second World War, Portland began to place itself on the map as one of the most important industrial hubs of the country, especially when it came to the sale of natural goods such as timber.

Today, Portland is known as one of the top cities for street food. It holds multiple international street food festivals of high profile. It is also the city with some of the best and most numerous craft breweries on the west coast.

8. Las Vegas: 641,903

Las Vegas is also called “Sin City” for its abundant nightlife and gambling. It’s the place to go for betting and people from all over the country come here to try their luck. It has also been highly ranked in the hospitality industry.

Some of the best US hotels are found right here. Apart from gambling, Las Vegas is also known for its shopping scene and incredible shows.

9. Sacramento: 524,943

Sacramento might not be comparable in size to LA, but this California city is the home of the state governor. As a result, it has the most political influence in the state.

It’s also the city with the highest number of lobbyists. Education and medicine are key aspects of daily Sacramento life after its political side.

10. San Bernardino: 222,101

Image: Wikimedia / Atomicwarrior76

San Bernardino might be the smallest city on the list, but it has plenty to offer. It’s located close to the Mexican border, and it enjoys both North and Central American cuisine influences.

This city has also been known for less traditional foods – it’s the home of the first McDonald’s. Today, the city is also home to a growing number of students who study at the esteemed San Bernardino California University.