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America’s Favorite City: The Final Round

See the results and vote for America’s Favorite City.

This week’s competition

In the end, a contest always comes down to a simple choice between two things.

Marky Mark or Nicholas Cage? Nob Hill or Beacon Hill? The Big Dig or the Golden Gate Bridge? Snow or fog? English colonial history or Spanish colonial history? Ted Williams or Willie Mays?Such are the weighty factors that may be considered when one chooses between the final pair in travelandleisure.com’s America’s Favorite City bracket game.

San Francisco is the home of the Giants, the cradle of gay rights, a city of hills and stunning views, of colorful Victorian mansions and Haight-Ashbury squats.

Boston’s charm lies in its contrasts: distinguished colonial history (the Tea Party! Paul Revere!) and high culture, as well as its simpler pleasures like Fenway Park, fried clams, and a stroll through the Commons.

Last week’s results

Last week’s bracket was comprised of tricky three-way races. In the east, New York, Boston, and Chicago were matched up. Perhaps Bostonians’ civic pride was spurred on by the Red Sox’s performance in the American League Division series, but the city trounced its competitors, racking up 46% of the votes.

Out west, Honolulu, San Diego, and San Francisco were pitted against each other. And this, too, was not a close race. San Francisco cast out its Summer of Love vibe and the votes poured in: 51% of respondents chose to pledge their hearts to San Francisco.

How to choose between these two coastal stars in the final match-up

Both cities boast academic Meccas across the water—Berkeley looms as large in San Francisco as Cambridge does in Boston—which have helped with their rich literary histories and respective prominence in new technology. The cities both scored high in the America’s Favorite Cities survey for notable neighborhoods, with San Francisco landing the #1 spot and Boston coming in fourth of the 25 cities ranked. Boston ranked higher for overall culture (#3, with high scores in classical music and historic sites proving its strengths), though San Francisco trailed not far behind at #5. Travelers rate the City by the Bay higher both for destination restaurants and cheap eats, but the two cities ran neck-and-neck for antique shopping and as an attractive cultural getaway. How’s a traveler to decide?

So which will it be?Will you carefully weigh all the attributes or go with your gut?Which city would you rather visit?Which city will dominate 2008 as America’s Favorite City?Go to travelandleisure.com and name your favorite.

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