The state capital of Texas, this ever evolving city packs a powerful punch for live music, delicious food, and opportunities to enjoy hiking and time by the water. Don’t be fooled by the temperature as this big city has a dedicated fiber arts scene and is home to some seriously gorgeous yarn shops including Gauge and Hill Country Weavers! Worried about staying cool? Well don’t fret because Austin is home to Barton Springs Municipal pool, a fun community swimming spot that is three acres large! Pool party, anyone? Austin also offers paddle boarding, kayaking, and canoeing. After OML, there’s always the OML afterparty, and makers would have a blast on Austin’s Congress Bridge to witness the city’s famous departure of more than 1.5 million bats flying into the night sky! Well known Austin makers include Sonya of Woolenboon and Gavriella of Gavriella Makes, and it’s also home to Pom Pom Magazine HQ!
Austin is no doubt a Southern gem of a city and strong contender for OML 2020!
New York City
The concrete jungle, the city of big lights, where it’s totally true that if you can make it here, you can make in anywhere! New York City is definitely where we will *insert Alicia Keys voice* maaaake stuff, big lights will inspire you! All singing aside, this fast paced city has affectionately earned its ‘city that never sleeps’ nickname. Comprised of five distinct boroughs, NYC is filled with a wealth of diversity, culture, cuisine, and around the clock fun. Known for its theater and art scene, the Big Apple will not disappoint if you’re looking for sweet musicals, museums, and concerts. Popular tourist attractions include the Empire State Building, Statue of Liberty tours, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, and beautiful Central Park strolls! NYC is a major yarn scene and home to popular LYS including Brooklyn General Store, Knitty City, and Purl Soho. In order to keep this relatively brief I’ll skip my long winded review of NYC’s food scene (the city offers pretty much every cuisine you can imagine) so let me just say this .. YUM. If you’re a foodie + a maker (#itme), NYC is home to some seriously incredible stars including OML 2016 Keynote Alexandra of Two of Wands, as well as Alexander of Alex Creates, Teresa of Debrosse, and Nancy of Getting Purly.
This city will not disappoint if you’re looking for late night adventure and excitement. Fun fact: New York City was the location of our very first Our Maker Life meetup five years ago? Talk about a throwback! Or better yet, anniversary reunion! Grab your metro card, knitting needles, and a New York bagel and meet us in Times Square if this is your city choice for OML 2020!
Ah, San Francisco. *Cue opening credits to the Full House 90’s sitcom*. Just imagine it, you in that convertible car seat riding through the city instead of little Michelle. Many of you have strongly voiced that the West Coast is the best coast and after doing some research into this city, this little Rhode Islander is almost convinced! San Francisco is home to gorgeous views, a forgiving climate, and a wild amount of local yarn shops (including ImagiKnit, Atelier Yarns, and Firebird Yarns)!
San Fran is also home to amazing tourist destinations with a myriad of activities for everyone! Love animals? Check out the San Francisco Zoo or visit the famous seals of Pier 39! Love the dark and mysterious? Look no further than a tour of Alcatraz Island! Additionally, San Francisco is nothing short of a perfect photo opportunity at every corner. Its beautiful greenery and gorgeous ocean views are sure to impress and if you love the outdoors, make sure to arrive a day early and hike through the picturesque Muir Woods! San Francisco leaves room to embrace your full inner maker tourist with the chance to trolley tour across the city and even drive the Golden Gate Bridge! Are you voting San Francisco for Our Maker life 2020?
A sweet spot in Minnesota, Minneapolis is truly a jack of all trades on this year’s city poll! Home to a variety of adventures, Minneapolis is home to both natural and man made phenomenon ready for exploring! Known as the Land of 10,000 lakes, walking through the Chain of Lakes area (like Lake Harriet and Bde Maka Ska) is a must do! Each July, Minnesota hosts a live music festival in this area called Aquatennial Festival! What a splash! Don’t forget the famous Minniehaha Park, a gorgeous area known for its scenic views along the edge of the Mississippi River. If you’re more interested in a less natural setting, fret not! Minneapolis is home to the Mall of America which boasts 4.8M square feet (that’s enough to fit seven Yankee stadiums inside!), Nickelodeon Universe Amusement Park, its own indoor roller coaster and the Sea Life Minnesota Aquarium. Minneapolis is also home to Weisman Art Museum at the University of Minnesota and is famous for its contemporary art collection. This city is nothing short of eclectic and offers inspiration at every corner. Like most cities, Minneapolis offers a diverse food scene particularly known for strong Swedish cuisine, and its LYS (like StevenBe and Knit & Bolt) are truly swoon worthy. With lots to see and do, the team and I are not surprised that many makers are playing a strong hand by voting OML 2020 Minneapolis!
Known as the City of Roses, Portland is quite the bouquet with its gorgeous climate (warm, dry summers and cool, rainy winters) and major tourist attractions. The city is known for its parks, bridges, and eco friendly outlook. Home to some of the country’s best micro breweries and coffee shops, Portland is sure to satisfy those sip and stitch needs! The city also offers beautiful botanical sights including the Portland Japanese Garden, Lan Su Chinese Garden, Washington Park, and the Leach Botanical Garden. Looking for unexpected inspiration on your newest designs? Look no further than the Portland Art Museum and the Oregon Zoo, two of Portland’s well known treasures. Portland offers incredible historical bike tours with brewery and winery components as well.
Pearl Fiber Arts, Starlight Knitting Society, Knitting Bee, Twisted, and the Brooklyn Tweed HQ comprise Portland’s LYS yarn scene. Amazing makers from Portland include OML 2018 Keynote Jessica of The Hook Nook and OML 2018 panelist Vincent of Knot Bad as well as Morgan of Morthunder and Rachel of Ritual Dyes!
This city truly has something for everyone and is really bringing the voting heat in the race to OML 2020! Are you Team Portland?
The OML vision is centered on cool makers meeting up in cool cities (our resume includes NYC, Toronto, Chicago, and Calgary). We are so excited to see you at OML 2020! City poll voting is open until November 07. Do you have voting criteria such as weather, fun, sightseeing, and/or LYS? Share in the comments below!