Whether they’re giving you side-eye or waving a foam finger in your face, some cities can’t seem to break the ice with travelers.
Fair or not, locals in Miami are known for being a little aloof.
“They’re multilingual, beautiful, and wealthy,” said the Florida-based travel blogger Christine Austin. “For regular folks, visiting here can feel like stumbling into a nightclub full of supermodels while you’re wearing yoga pants.”
But she insists it’s not mere vanity that makes the residents so brusque: “It's hot here — like, all the time,” she said. “The kind of heat that makes you just want to blame someone.”
Whether it’s the heat or the velvet ropes, Miami made its debut as the No. 1 rudest city, according to Travel + Leisure readers. In the latest America’s Favorite Places survey, voters ranked big cities (with populations over 100,000) for such cosmopolitan features as their world-class museums, chef-driven restaurants, and cocktail lounges. But the survey also scored some quality-of-life features, like how walkable a city is, how safe it feels, and how cordial (or not) the locals seem.
This year’s list of America’s 15 Rudest Cities includes some returning winners — or losers, depending on your prerogative — as well as some shakeups. New York City, for instance, shed its title as the rudest in the land, and only three of the top 15 are located in the stereotypically gruff Northeast. Nine of the surly cities also scored highly for passionate sports fans, so perhaps that in-your-face enthusiasm is rubbing out-of-towners the wrong way.
To be fair, rudeness in cities on the list can be in the eye of the beholder. Manila-based travel blogger Marlon Uy Cana says that while he has experienced some classic New York City attitude, he has found just as many friendly locals — when he makes a little effort.
“Most New Yorkers were courteous, and I’ve chatted with them on the subway,” he said. “But as a tourist, I say ‘Hi’ first, and a big smile goes a long way. You get back what you give.”
From the Pacific coast to the frosty eastern seaboard, these are the year’s rudest cities. (To check out the ones that impressed travelers with their congeniality and good vibes, check out our list of America’s Friendliest Cities.)
Travel + Leisure’s America’s Favorite Places survey opened on 10/8/2015 and closed on 04/15/2016. It was open to everyone, and ran alongside a sweepstakes. The open-response survey asked respondents to submit their favorite place and rate it in over 65 categories, including affordability, notable restaurants, and public parks. Cities are defined as governed bodies with a population over 100,000.