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America’s Favorite City 2008 Round 1

See the results and vote for your favorite city!

The results are in for Round #1 of travelandleisure.com’s America’s Favorite City bracket game—and there are some surprises!

In the East/Midwest region, the government regulators of Washington D.C. (the top city for historical sites and cultural getaways) exterminated the mouse of Orlando (#1 for family travel, of course). New York City, next-to-last in friendliness, showed it can fight dirty by knocking out the #2 city for cleanliness, Minneapolis, with a whopping 81% of the vote. And Philadelphia just can’t get any brotherly love: America voted the city last in the category of attractive people, then had America’s Friendliest City, Charleston, ring its bell with 57% of the vote.

The biggest upset news came out of the West/Southwest region: the metropolis of Los Angeles was eliminated by a city one-tenth its size—Honolulu. It wasn’t even close: 61% of the voters chose the island life. The winner of the Wild Weekend category, Las Vegas, shot out in front of Santa Fe, while San Diego ousted Denver and Dallas in a three-way race. The closest matchup was Portland, Oregon vs. fellow hipster Mecca, Austin, Texas. Portland scored the win, but by just 4 percentage points.

So what’s on tap for this week?Well, we're down to 12 teams and 6 matchups, so things are starting to get serious. Boston faces Miami. New York takes a belt at the Beltway of Washington, D.C. And Chicago, fresh off its defeat of New Orleans, will try to blow away the courtly but surprising contender, Charleston.

Out in the West, it’s sin vs. sunshine as Las Vegas faces San Diego. There’s no love lost between Seattle and San Francisco, so the winner is anyone’s guess. And the Cinderella city, Honolulu, will surely try to leverage the power of the lei against Portland.

We collected more than 109,000 votes in Round #1 of this head-to-head competition between cities. It’s not surprising: people have very strong feelings about their favorite destinations. During the original voting for the entire America’s Favorite Cities survey—a partnership between travelandleisure.com and CNN Headline News—there were more than 600,000 completed surveys.

In that survey, people voted for characteristics of different cities—the best city for dining, the top destination for shopping, the safest city, the most attractive people…45 items in total. But our bracket game is even more competitive, since only the city with the most votes each week moves on. The other is eliminated!

Don’t let your favorite city be eliminated! Go to www.travelandleisure.com/afc/2008/game/ and vote. Then vote again. And again. We’ll have the results of Week #2 next Monday, September 29.

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