America’s Favorite Cities 2008
Charlestonians are America’s friendliest people. The city got second-place rankings for its noteworthy neighborhoods, vintage stores, flea markets, and peace and quiet. Not surprisingly, many travelers found the club scene (No. 24) disappointing.
The Big Apple received the most No. 1 ratings this year, getting top marks for its shopping; classical music and theater; stylish and diverse residents; people watching; and skylines and views. Where was its weak point?The city ranked last for peace and quiet.
Museums and galleries, and historic sites and monuments in the nation’s capital ranked first; the city was also voted the No. 1 cultural getaway. Just don’t plan on going there for a romantic retreat (No. 23) or an active/adventure vacation (No. 24).
Austin got high marks for people: they came in second place for friendliness and athleticism, and third place for intelligence and attractiveness. The city also has great bands and live music (No. 2) and a buzzing singles/bar scene (No. 4).
The city is best in the country for cafés and coffee bars, farmers’ markets, and intelligent people. Environmental awareness (No. 2) and public parks and access to the outdoors (No. 4) also scored well. Just be sure to pack an umbrella for that rainy weather (No. 23).
Sin City dominated the nightlife category, finishing first for cocktail hour, the singles/bar scene, and late night/clubs; people also voted it the top wild weekend destination. The city came in last for public parks and access to the outdoors.
Visitors rated Chicago’s skyline and views second in the country. Its cultural offerings—including theater (No. 2), classical music (No. 3), and museums and galleries (No. 3)—also placed well. But the cold weather (No. 25) was a turnoff.
San Francisco’s high marks were for its notable neighborhoods (No. 1), local boutiques (No. 2), specialty stores and farmer’s markets (No. 3), cafés and coffee shops (No. 3), and destination restaurants (No. 3). Affordability (No. 23) was its lowest ranking.
A model city for urban planning, Portland ranked No. 1 for public transportation and pedestrian friendliness, safety, cleanliness, public parks, and environmental awareness. It didn’t score in the bottom five for any overall category.