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Travel + Leisure readers have ranked cities with the best-looking people—and the secret may lie in equal parts of jogging and smiling.

Is
it something in the water? What makes the locals of one city so consistently
attractive or not?

That’s
what Tennessee marketing exec Natalie Roberson wonders every time she visits
one South Carolina city. “I look and feel
like a troll every time I'm in Charleston,” she says. “Their bone structure,
the preppy clothes, and the consistent—almost persistent—friendliness make
everyone prettier.”

Last
year, Travel + Leisure readers agreed and ranked Charleston No. 1 for
attractiveness in the America’s Favorite Cities survey. But now Charleston has
lost its best-looking title to another comely city—and one with a very
different vibe.

Across
this year’s most attractive American cities, we found distinct personalities: in
San Diego, the perfect weather has perhaps given locals a sunny glow, while
Salt Lake City, known for its clean living, may lend itself to a corn-fed,
well-rested appeal. In San Francisco—with its high rankings for culture,
intellect, and fine dining—the locals exude an aura of urbanity.

Just
because you’re “cool,” however, doesn’t mean you have to swat away admirers.
Portland, OR, scored high on many features in the survey—environmental
awareness and cool food trucks—but landed near the bottom of the list for
looks. Perhaps some regional tendencies just don’t translate. “Why does the
soul patch ‘work’ in Portland,” wonders San Francisco–based Web publisher Sara
Ost, “but it repulses women in any other metropolis of the world?”

A
city’s ranking in the friendliness category might also play a part: New York
City landed well outside the top 10 this year for good looks, despite its
winning fashion sense. Readers also perceived, shall we say, an attitude
problem.

Like
New York, many cold-winter cities suffered from a lack of warm smiles—and
perhaps the chance to get outside and stay in shape. Denver, however, was an
exception. With plenty of hiking, biking, and skiing, the Mile High City is home
to the fittest folks in the land, according to the survey.

“The
entire city of Denver has been indoctrinated by bizarre health and fitness
regimes, such as kettlebell swinging,” says British Web marketer Matthew
Barker. “They’re all completely bonkers—but they look great.”

America's Most and Least Attractive People 2011

Travel + Leisure readers have ranked cities with the best-looking people—and the secret may lie in equal parts of jogging and smiling.

Is
it something in the water? What makes the locals of one city so consistently
attractive or not?

That’s
what Tennessee marketing exec Natalie Roberson wonders every time she visits
one South Carolina city. “I look and feel
like a troll every time I'm in Charleston,” she says. “Their bone structure,
the preppy clothes, and the consistent—almost persistent—friendliness make
everyone prettier.”

Last
year, Travel + Leisure readers agreed and ranked Charleston No. 1 for
attractiveness in the America’s Favorite Cities survey. But now Charleston has
lost its best-looking title to another comely city—and one with a very
different vibe.

Across
this year’s most attractive American cities, we found distinct personalities: in
San Diego, the perfect weather has perhaps given locals a sunny glow, while
Salt Lake City, known for its clean living, may lend itself to a corn-fed,
well-rested appeal. In San Francisco—with its high rankings for culture,
intellect, and fine dining—the locals exude an aura of urbanity.

Just
because you’re “cool,” however, doesn’t mean you have to swat away admirers.
Portland, OR, scored high on many features in the survey—environmental
awareness and cool food trucks—but landed near the bottom of the list for
looks. Perhaps some regional tendencies just don’t translate. “Why does the
soul patch ‘work’ in Portland,” wonders San Francisco–based Web publisher Sara
Ost, “but it repulses women in any other metropolis of the world?”

A
city’s ranking in the friendliness category might also play a part: New York
City landed well outside the top 10 this year for good looks, despite its
winning fashion sense. Readers also perceived, shall we say, an attitude
problem.

Like
New York, many cold-winter cities suffered from a lack of warm smiles—and
perhaps the chance to get outside and stay in shape. Denver, however, was an
exception. With plenty of hiking, biking, and skiing, the Mile High City is home
to the fittest folks in the land, according to the survey.

“The
entire city of Denver has been indoctrinated by bizarre health and fitness
regimes, such as kettlebell swinging,” says British Web marketer Matthew
Barker. “They’re all completely bonkers—but they look great.”

istockphoto

America's Most and Least Attractive People 2011

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