"Shh. Don’t tell everyone."
Travelers looking for the next undiscovered, under-the-radar destination, pay attention. According to Travel + Leisure readers, you’ve been seriously missing out on these 20 amazing cities.
In our annual America's Favorite Places survey, we ask T+L readers to dish about their hometowns — the place they grew up or have lived in and know better than anywhere else on Earth. Unlike T+L’s World's Best Awards, which encourages readers to weigh in on travel experiences across the globe, the America's Favorite Places survey is a way for locals to share what their hometowns do best.
Readers ranked their hometowns and cities across a range of categories, from the quality of the pizza to the friendliness of the locals. We also ask if they think their city is wildly overrated, or an overlooked jewel.
Locals from these destinations, which range from the Southwest to the Northeast (but are mostly centered around the nation’s less-traveled Midwest), largely feel like they’ve been overshadowed by neighboring cities, or dismissed as "flyover territory."
Some cities have had a difficult time shrugging off hard times or negative impressions. (One Clevelander wondered in our survey: "when are people going to stop asking, ‘is the river still on fire?’ That was…50 years ago.")
Buffalo and Indianapolis are the only cities on this year’s list of underrated American hometowns that also appeared on last year’s list. Meaning plucky travelers have a lot of exploring to do in 2018.