As Congress struggles to agree on comprehensive immigration legislation, the next wave of immigrants is already arriving in America—mermaids. These sea sirens are drawn to our shores by changing ocean conditions, rising sea levels, and the lure of a career in the entertainment industry following the commercial success of Disney’s The Little Mermaid. It won’t be long before these mer-folk abandon their underwater kingdoms to live closer to humans.
Estately scoured America for cities that would provide the best habitat for a mermaid. We gave out points for proximity to water, abundance of sailors (Navy bases, busy ports), ample seafood, and local mermaid enthusiasts. In the end, we arrived at this list of the 13 Best Cities for Mermaids to Live. Of course this is all under the premise that mermaids exist, something Estately refuses to take a position on.
13) NEW ORLEANS, LA
New Orleans has a lot of shrimp, just a whole mess of shrimp coming in daily by the boatload. And when a mermaid’s had her fill of shrimp she can feast on blue crabs, crawfish, and raw oysters. Plus, New Orleans sees an abundance of boat travel going up and down the Mississippi river, and during Mardi Gras mermaids can flop their way down the street and people will just think you have an awesome costume.
- Employment: The Mermaid Lounge closed down years ago, but mermaids could find work as an underwater welder, or perhaps open a swim-up daiquiri stand?
- Dating: The dating site OK Cupid has a page showcasing hundreds of singles interested in shrimping. It could be love at first bite.
- Friendship: Join the Sirens of New Orleans, which Gambit describes as an “all-women’s marching/dancing group decked out like mermaids in custom-made corsets, flowing wigs and nautically-themed tiaras.”
12) WEEKI WACHEE SPRINGS, FL
The “world’s only city of live mermaids,” Weeki Wachee Springs boasts a population of just 12, and is home to the legendary mermaid shows at Newton Perry Underwater Theater. Since 1947, mermaids have performed in an aquarium-like setting for the likes of Elvis Presley, Don Knotts and many more. Once one of the most popular tourist sites in Florida, it doesn’t get as much attention as it used to, but it’s still a great show.
- Employment: Performer for the mermaid shows.
- Dating: There are some single mer-folk on staff so perhaps a single mermaid could turn it into her own episode of The Dating Game.
- Friendship: They may be bashful, but the local manatees make great friends that never borrow your clothes and forget to give them back.
11) NEW YORK, NY
Via: Wiki Commons
Provided mermaids avoid swimming to frequently in the Hudson River, New York City is great habitat for finned females. The Port of New York and New Jersey is the third busiest in the country, and if that isn’t enough sailors for a siren the city is also home to Fleet Week. This annual occurrence unleashes thousands of Navy men on the city, a virtual sailor buffet for those who long for a navy man.
- Employment: It would be flat wrong for The Mermaid Inn or Mermaid Oyster Bar to not hire a mermaid since they named their businesses after them.
- Dating: Fleet Week (see above) or seek out modern day financial pirates on Wall Street.
- Friendship: Make friends with Mermaid Lanai and the Mermaids of New York at Coney Island’s Mermaid Parade and then head to Mermaid Spa for some scale scraping (exfoliating scrub) accompanied by traditional Russian vodka and cold beer.
10) LAKE TAHOE, CA/NV
Via: Romain Guy, Flickr
Icy mountain lakes don’t sound like typical mermaid habitat, but Lake Tahoe makes up for the chill with one big plus—NO SHARKS. Many of the homes along the water do have outdoor hot tubs so it’s easy to take the chill off. Also, the local casinos have buffets offering all-you-can-eat shrimp and crab legs, and the menfolk of these mountains are attractive, fit, and have bushy beards like 19th century sailors.
- Employment: Cocktail server at Raw Bar, a popular bar with mermaid logo and mural.
- Dating: Perhaps a knowledgeable gentleman at the Tahoe Maritime Museum?
- Friendship: Tahoe Tessie is a Loch Ness Monster-type creature that’s probably lonely and looking for a buddy. Tessie and a mermaid could tip over stand up paddleboarders together and lament being mythical creatures that don’t exist.
9) NASHVILLE, TN
The next step in the evolution of country music will no doubt come from an infusion of sea shanties sung by some stunning siren. Obviously, this would be perfect for a mermaid, although she’d face some stiff competition from Nashville’s Music City Mermaid, the “city’s only musical mermaid.” An upside to Nashville is that it’s traditionally put more emphasis on voice than body type, so a tail instead of legs won’t be an issue like it would be in pop music.
- Employment: To be a performer at the Aquarium Restaurant‘s 200,000-gallon aquarium it is imperative that the mermaids do NOT snack on the aquarium’s fish. This would be grounds for dismissal.
- Dating: One of those nice young men from the Vanderbilt Rowing Club will probably take a mermaid out for some fried catfish.
- Friends: Explore the waterfalls of Middle Tennessee and get some ink with a heavily tattooed local mermaid performer—and potential partner in mermaid crime—Mermaid Noveli, .
8) MYRTLE BEACH, SC
With a subtropical climate, miles of sandy beaches, and mermaid-positive culture, Myrtle Beach is an ideal home for mermaid looking to have it all. Shop for pastries at Mermaid Cakes, eat fresh crab under the boardwalk, or hit the links at Captain Hook’s Adventure Golf.
- Employment: Performer in the mermaid show at Ripley’s Aquarium (photo above).
- Dating: Myrtle Beach hosts 200,000 bikers during Myrtle Beach Bike Week. Bikers are a lot like pirates.
- Friendship: African-born slaves told tales of merfolk when they arrived in South Carolina. These mermen and mermaids are probably hanging out at one of the 30+ shipwrecks off the South Carolina coast.
7) SACRAMENTO, CA
Sacramento lies at the confluence of the American River and Sacramento River, so there’s plenty of agua to splash around in. The local real estate market is filled with affordable homes, and hundreds of them have pools. The city is connected to San Francisco Bay by a channel so mermaids can always swim off to play with seals and seek out sailors.
- Employment: Perform at Dive Bar, a local drinking haven with a giant tank above the bar where mermaid performers swim around.
- Dating: For mermaids into mythical creatures come-to-life, meet one of the Maloof-family’s menfolk and you’ve got yourself a real-life Gollum.
- Friendship: Meet friends at the Sacramento Promenade of Mermaids, a local parade of mermaids, mermen, pirates, and sea creatures.
6) OAKLAND, CA
Because of their aquatic isolation, mermaids tend to use outdated slang, and so do hella people in Oakland. Linguistic similarities aside, Oakland is home to the fifth busiest port in America (ahoy there sailors), has a pirate for their NFL team’s mascot (The Raiders), and there’s even a mermaid statue in Oakland City Center.
- Employment: Cashier at the Mermaid Boutique
- Dating: Local rap group Digital Underground is known for the song Underwater Rhymes, in which they rap about life under the sea. Check and see if Money-B is single. If not, then move on to Shock G or his alter ego Humpty Hump.
- Friendship: Ever since the days of Oakland’s early settlers there have been numerous reported mermaid sightings at Oakland’s Lake Merritt. Joggers have even claimed to have spotted a mermaid there recently. Mermaids need to team up and use the buddy system.
5) CAPE COD, MA
Ralph Cahoon painting via: afanews.com
In the 1984 mermaid movie Splash, a young Tom Hanks falls in love with a mermaid played by Darryl Hannah after a momentary meeting in the waters near Cape Cod. That movie was awesome so even though Cape Cod isn’t a city, but a mermaid tail-shaped cape jutting out into the Atlantic, it still makes the list. The area also has a variety of delicious sea creatures swimming about, some tasty chowder on shore, and it was home to the premier mermaid artists in America—Ralph and Martha Cahoon.
- Employment: Become a nautical concierge for Nantucket Mermaids, a model for Cape Mermaid, or hustle mermaid-themed art and trinkets for Nantucket Mermaid.
- Dating: Look for love amongst the cadets at the Massachusetts Maritime Academy on Buzzards Bay. Sean is probably your best option, but Jamil and Tyler are also kind of dreamy.
- Friendship: Hang out with the good people at the traveling boutique Mermaids on Cape Cod.
4) LONG BEACH, CA
Via ponderful.tumblr.com — Neptune’s Extravaganza in Long Beach (1933)
In a stroke of clever marketing, Long Beach recently declared itself the “Aquatic Capital of America,” which was a bold way to attract mermaids to its shores. All the same, Long Beach has the second busiest port in America, miles of sandy beaches, kitschy mermaid photo stands, and a tradition of dressing up as mermaids. Also, the city’s vast marinas are filled with sailboats to distract as they leave and return to port. Sorry, but that’s just something mermaids do for fun, even though it’s dangerous.
- Employment: Become a longshoreman at the Port of Long Beach because the salary and benefits are fantastic.
- Dating: Obviously, mermaids are inspired by the story of The Little Mermaid falling in love with a human prince. However, it should be known that the local rapper known as Prince Of Long Beach is not an actual prince.
- Friendship: Make friends with aspiring mermaids at Sea Siren Mermaid Camp.
3) SEATTLE, WA
The Emerald City is located on Puget Sound, which provides an exceptional aquatic playground for mermaids. There are harbor seals to keep as pets, ample octopus wrestling opportunities, two of ten busiest U.S. ports in Seattle and neighboring Tacoma, and a handful of naval bases heavily stocked with sailors. The crab are plentiful, and there are plenty of houseboats for sale should a mermaid choose to settle down with a lonely tugboat captain. The one downside is on top of the constant cloud cover there’s a prudish preference for clothing cover, including that of the original Starbucks’ logo, which had the audacity to bare her bosoms when the company first started.
- Employment: For a mermaid looking to spend some time with Mariners and make some good money there’s definitely a need for a decent batter on the Seattle Mariners, the cities slumping pro baseball team.
- Dating: During the city’s Seafair Parade, Seattle is crawling with sailors and the salty Seafair Pirates. A friendly mermaid will have her pick of the litter.
- Friendship: There are occasional Mermaid Meetups, where mermaid enthusiasts put on their faux fins and swim about with each other. A real mermaid would be their hero and could probably have them pay for drinks.
2) NORFOLK, VA
Norfolk’s brisk maritime traffic keep the harbor so hot it stays ice free in winter, perfect habitat for merfolks. A lonely mermaid should have no trouble seeking out sailor company at the nations sixth busiest port, or at the area’s many ship yards. And in Norfolk it’s always Fleet Week because Naval Station Norfolk is the homeport of the US Navy’s Atlantic fleet. A bashful mermaid will positively blush when she sees the Mermaids On Parade, made up of dozens of mermaid sculptures dotting the city.
- Employment: The Mermaid Winery or the gift store Mystic Mermaid
- Dating: Norfolk is a city for mermaids to play the field and not get tied down.
- Friendship: Make friends and rock out with local band Mermaids in the Basement.
1) SAN DIEGO, CA
San Diego may be pricy, but it wins the title of Estately’s Best U.S. City for Mermaids to Live. An absolute mermaid paradise, the city has sandy beaches, fantastic weather, and lots of chubby harbor seals to pal around with. The waters team with wildlife, including kayakers that spook easily if a mermaid were to slap the hull of their kayaks with her tail. And Sea World offers mermaids the opportunity to witness killer whales firsthand, but without being chewed to bits.
Sailors are always in season in San Diego, the principal home to the U.S. Navy’s Pacific Fleet, as well as numerous Navy SEAL teams and their training center. For mermaids that are able to sprout legs when they’re on dry land, there’s a Mermaid Half Marathon, as well as the Mini Mermaid Running Club for mer-kids. San Diego is the gateway to Tijuana should a mermaid be looking for some south of the border fun! Just watch out for the Tijuana’s sewage, which sometimes floats north toward San Diego.
- Employment: Work at Pacific Paradise Mermaid Camp, make America proud and become a Navy SEAL, or work at the Coronado Brewing Company—they’ve got a mermaid on their logo.
- Dating: Should a mermaid tire of sailors, she can meet pro surfers and hunky bros at Trestles, a collection of popular surf spots.
- Friendship: You can probably hang with professional mermaid performers like Mermaid Shelly, Mermaid Kiara, or the friendly mermaids at My Mermaids. You won’t all be going to any Mermaid concerts because the band broke up this year.