These cities promise to exceed your expectations.
Meggie Dials left Illinois for Indianapolis 13 years ago. “Mostly, people think of Indy as a quiet town in a rural state,” Dials, VP of sales at a local tech company and founder of The Sussy Project, told Travel + Leisure. “But we are so much more.”
Dials touted Indianapolis’s long list of perks: major sports teams, a thriving music scene, one of the country’s top children’s museums, and friendly locals. “We have a community of people that love our city, that can get to work without hours of traffic, can afford beautiful homes and can find grassy areas for kids to play at every corner. And, maybe most importantly, we are nice.”
T+L readers agree, and think that Indianapolis is one of America’s most underrated cities.
In the annual America's Favorite Places survey, readers of all stripes evaluate hundreds of cities and towns across a range of categories, from the friendliness of the locals to the quality of the pizza. Unlike Travel + Leisure's World's Best Awards, which encourages readers to weigh in on travel experiences across the globe, the America's Favorite Places survey is a way for locals to share what their hometowns do best.
Other destinations that readers think deserve a better reputation include a petite Northeast city with a revitalized arts scene, a Southwest town with stellar access to hiking and skiing, and a town in California with restaurants that are well worth their high prices.
Did your hometown make the cut? From big cities on the East Coast to small, southern hubs, don’t overlook these U.S. cities.
Travel + Leisure’s America’s Favorite Places survey opened on 10/8/2015 and closed on 04/15/2016. It was open to everyone, and ran alongside a sweepstakes. The open-response survey asked respondents to submit their favorite place and rate it in over 65 categories, including affordability, notable restaurants, and public parks. Cities are defined as governed bodies with a population over 100,000.