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In which city are you most
likely to get a rude reception from locals? Travel + Leisure readers
have crowned America’s capital of crabbiness.

Which is worse when you’re
traveling: the local driver who blithely cuts you off in traffic or the surly
cabbie who gives you attitude right to your face?

Such skirmishes no doubt
fueled this year’s America’s Rudest Cities contest, voted on by Travel + Leisure readers. Three-time-champion Los Angeles, home of road rage, went head-to-head
with classically brusque East Coast cities such as Boston, New York, and
Washington, D.C.—all of which landed in the top five.

New York ultimately claimed
the title of No. 1 rudest city, a dubious award determined as part of T+L’s annual
America’s Favorite Cities survey, in which readers rank 35 major cities in
categories such as the best pizza,
the most pedestrian-friendly
streets
, and even the most reliable wireless
coverage
.

A look at this year’s rudest
top 20 reveals one overarching trend: the bigger the city, the bigger the
attitude—or at least its perceived attitude. “People in big cities tend to be very direct,” says Diane Gottsman, a national etiquette expert and owner
of Protocol Etiquette School of Texas. While that alone can be fine, she adds,
“it’s no excuse for being rude. ”

Smaller cities often have a
slower pace, which may help explain why New Orleans, Savannah, and Charleston
all ranked in the top five for friendliness. They are also literally warmer
cities, which may further mellow the locals.

But don’t give too much
credit to southern hospitality. Atlanta
made it into the rudest top 10—perhaps because it’s a sprawling metropolis, or
because visitors expected more charm from the Georgian capital. Similarly, some
visitors assume that they’ll get an all-smiles welcome in Orlando; any subsequent
disappointment helped land the city at a grumpy No. 9.

New Yorkers, meanwhile, have
long endured the notion that everyone expects them to be hostile. But
are they just misunderstood?

“People in New York are
constantly in a rush,” says Big Apple manners expert Thomas P. Farley, who
writes the blog What Manners Most.
“Certainly, they don’t linger on corners smiling, waving, and waiting to help
people. But once you’ve stopped a New Yorker and asked them for directions,
they’re usually more than helpful.”

And if someone gives you guff
anyway? “Move on,” says Gottsman. “You can’t take it personally. If you do,
then you start getting rude.”

America's Rudest Cities

In which city are you most
likely to get a rude reception from locals? Travel + Leisure readers
have crowned America’s capital of crabbiness.

Which is worse when you’re
traveling: the local driver who blithely cuts you off in traffic or the surly
cabbie who gives you attitude right to your face?

Such skirmishes no doubt
fueled this year’s America’s Rudest Cities contest, voted on by Travel + Leisure readers. Three-time-champion Los Angeles, home of road rage, went head-to-head
with classically brusque East Coast cities such as Boston, New York, and
Washington, D.C.—all of which landed in the top five.

New York ultimately claimed
the title of No. 1 rudest city, a dubious award determined as part of T+L’s annual
America’s Favorite Cities survey, in which readers rank 35 major cities in
categories such as the best pizza,
the most pedestrian-friendly
streets
, and even the most reliable wireless
coverage
.

A look at this year’s rudest
top 20 reveals one overarching trend: the bigger the city, the bigger the
attitude—or at least its perceived attitude. “People in big cities tend to be very direct,” says Diane Gottsman, a national etiquette expert and owner
of Protocol Etiquette School of Texas. While that alone can be fine, she adds,
“it’s no excuse for being rude. ”

Smaller cities often have a
slower pace, which may help explain why New Orleans, Savannah, and Charleston
all ranked in the top five for friendliness. They are also literally warmer
cities, which may further mellow the locals.

But don’t give too much
credit to southern hospitality. Atlanta
made it into the rudest top 10—perhaps because it’s a sprawling metropolis, or
because visitors expected more charm from the Georgian capital. Similarly, some
visitors assume that they’ll get an all-smiles welcome in Orlando; any subsequent
disappointment helped land the city at a grumpy No. 9.

New Yorkers, meanwhile, have
long endured the notion that everyone expects them to be hostile. But
are they just misunderstood?

“People in New York are
constantly in a rush,” says Big Apple manners expert Thomas P. Farley, who
writes the blog What Manners Most.
“Certainly, they don’t linger on corners smiling, waving, and waiting to help
people. But once you’ve stopped a New Yorker and asked them for directions,
they’re usually more than helpful.”

And if someone gives you guff
anyway? “Move on,” says Gottsman. “You can’t take it personally. If you do,
then you start getting rude.”

Getty Images

America's Rudest Cities

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