The Best Cities in America for Singles
Travel + Leisure readers agree: Ann Arbor is one of the country’s best cities for singles.
In the annual America's Favorite Places survey, readers of all stripes evaluate hundreds of cities and towns across a range of categories, from the friendliness of the locals to the quality of the pizza. Unlike Travel + Leisure'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.
“People in Ann Arbor are more willing to engage in intimate and genuine conversations, whether they know you well or if you’ve just met,” said James Bee.
Born, raised, and educated in the Michigan city, Bee touts its open atmosphere as pivotal to fostering relationships. He met a past girlfriend in Chinese class, another friend met her fiancé in a local cafe, and one of his professors met his wife playing in the same co-ed soccer league. “Ann Arbor supports a wide range of interests, so it’s a great place to find the right people, whether that means friends, language partners, or dates.”
Which other cities do T+L readers recommend for singletons? One theme across many of the top scoring destinations is, unsurprisingly, an active bar scene — helpful for making friends as well as meeting a potential suitor.
Read on for the full list of America’s favorite cities for singles, including the number one city where they're ready to mingle. And be sure to cast your vote in this year's America's Favorite Places survey.
Anyone hoping to date men or women in uniform should head to Norfolk, Virginia, home to the world’s largest navy base and NATO’s Strategic Command headquarters. Mingle with the city’s admirals, officers, and first mates at annual jazz and food festivals, or over dinner and drinks in the buzzy Waterside District.
San Antonio, Texas
Remember the Alamo, yes, but also remember some mints next time you’re in San Antonio. Readers give the Texan city high marks for its dating scene, thanks in large part to a winning combination of standout cocktail bars and the outgoing locals who patron them. The city also earns a perfect score for friendliness.
Wilmington, North Carolina
The filming location for teenage dramas like "Dawson’s Creek," "One Tree Hill," and A Walk to Remember, Wilmington has an uncanny ability to inspire residents — fictional and real — to seek out romance. Where do they find it? At the city’s beaches (thank the great weather), a slew of annual festivals (perfect for chance encounters), and in the dozens of coffee shops around town.
With the Rockies as the city’s backdrop, Denver has to be one of the most scenic destinations for a date. The Colorado state capital’s singles can meet suitors while hiking, skiing, or snowboarding in the nearby mountains. Off the slopes, they mingle over drinks — most likely a local beer, made in any of the nearly 60 breweries within city limits.
Las Vegas, Nevada
Endless nightlife options and a booming daytime party scene make Vegas one of the country’s best cities for singles, according to T+L readers. But there’s more to Sin City than meeting at a rave. After locking eyes from across the crowded pool or dance floor, up the classiness factor and get to know your new paramour at any of the Michelin-starred restaurants along the Strip.
Walt Disney World is the place where dreams come true, and T+L readers think Orlando, its home city, is a dream destination for singles, too. Giving it high points for its music and bar scene, they think Orlando’s sun-kissed residents have many opportunities to find a Prince or Princess Charming of their own.
New Orleans, Louisiana
Between the jazz bars and the bar crawls, it’s difficult not to meet people in New Orleans. A combination of excellent music options, notable restaurants, and pulsing nightlife make NOLA one of America’s favorite cities for singles.
San Diego/La Jolla, California
San Diego has a gorgeous coastline where equally gorgeous residents show off their surfing (and sun-bathing) skills. Hang ten with them at the Trestles beaches before before hanging out over beers from one of 120 local breweries.
Music City draws an ever-growing flock of singer-songwriters, who come to Nashville in search of fame, fortune, and (it turns out) a few flings. Readers think the city has a great singles scene, bolstered not only by its myriad bars with dancing and live music options — perfect for meeting people — but also by its residents. Nashvilleans earn high marks for their enviable looks and a near perfect score for friendliness.
Detroit - 4.67
Young entrepreneurs, musicians, teachers, artists, urban planners and even farmers are all breathing fresh life into Detroit. And while they’re at it, they’re encouraging a vibrant coffee culture, bar and music scene that make the city singles-friendly. One possible conversation-starter on a first date: Detroit vs. Chicago deep dish (Motor City gets a perfect score for pizza).
Ann Arbor, Michigan
University of Michigan makes Ann Arbor a mecca for intelligent, hip sports-lovers, landing it in the top five of singles-friendly cities. Students make up over a third of the local population, fueling a need for lots of cafes, craft brewers, and dive bars. Come game day, however, the only place to meet people is at Michigan Stadium, the country’s largest, where more than 100,000 people congregate to watch the Wolverines tack on challengers.
T+L readers are smitten with Madison, mostly because it’s hard not to fall for the locals. Friendly, smart, quirky, athletic, and attractive, Madisonians seem to have the full package. Best of all, the city’s dozens of cafes, bars, and concert venues create ample opportunities to mingle.
Atlantic City, New Jersey
You might expect that an abundance of slot machines might make for a rather sad solo experience in Atlantic City. Think again. These days, there’s way more to the Jersey resort town than its casino floors, and T+L readers have noticed. They love the party town for its fun-filled opportunities, including sunbathing on beautiful beaches, walking the iconic boardwalk, and dancing the night away at high-end clubs and bars. Fittingly, readers also voted the city a favorite destination for girlfriend getaways.
At the tip of Cape Cod, Provincetown lures vacationers summer after summer. They come not just for the beaches, but also for the welcoming community that’s developed over the generations. One of the country’s leading LGBT destinations, P-Town has a celebratory vibe that encourages visitors to get to know one another, be it admiring art galleries in the pedestrian-friendly downtown or attending dance parties (at the bars, in vacation homes, or on the sand).
Key West, Florida
T+L readers give it a perfect score for its singles scene, cementing its number one position on this year’s survey. And with little wonder. The quirky resort town at the southernmost point of the United States is a favorite party and LGBT destination with a welcoming atmosphere. Each night, locals and visitors alike gather at Mallory Square Dock for a communal sunset celebration. Then, the party moves en masse to Duval Street, famous for its restaurants and bar crawls.