America's Most and Least Attractive People
Niels van Kampenhout
Travel + Leisure readers have crowned the U.S. cities with the best-looking people—and beach bums need not apply.
When travelers from Seattle come to the desert, Heidi Lamar often thinks one thing: these people look fabulous.
“Our aestheticians are always amazed at how great their skin is,” says the owner of Spa Lamar in Scottsdale, AZ. Thanks partially to the fact that the skin-damaging sun stays behind Seattle’s clouds much of the year, folks from the Pacific Northwest, she says, “have a natural, youthful glow that makes both men and women beautiful.”
Perhaps it’s why Seattle natives made the top 10 for good-looking locals, according to Travel + Leisure readers. The annual America’s Favorite Cities survey asks readers to evaluate 35 major metropolitan areas on features like museums, street food, and the friendliness of residents. The survey allows for repeat voting, and some cities turned out the vote more than others.
This year’s results reveal some bold choices in the category for attractive locals. Sun-kissed southern Californians, for instance, got shut out of the top 10, replaced by northern-city locals who often embrace a more hipster aesthetic. The nightclub-ready lookers of Miami and the Big Apple, meanwhile, got pushed aside for the more casual, corn-fed types from the Midwest.
Of course, sex appeal is more than just skin deep. Sonita Lontoh, a tech exec from Silicon Valley, says that she finds that people from cities such as Portland, OR, and Chicago have an earthy magnetism. “They have an inner confidence that shines. You won’t see Barbie-like, Baywatch babes in these cities, but people who are comfortable in their own skins.”