The 10 Best Cities In The United States

What cities do Americans love most? Conde Nast Traveller decided to find out. Here are the results of the Conde Nast Traveller Readers’ Choice Awards for Best Cities in the United States.

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10. Napa, California

Readers' Choice Rating: 78.1

Culture: 74.8
Friendliness: 78.3
Atmosphere: 85.1
Restaurants: 87.1
Lodging: 81.1
Shopping: 60.1

Known as one of the finest wine regions in the world, Napa also has the cuisine to match: It's home to French Laundry, one of the most highly acclaimed restaurants in the world, among others. And the rolling hills with endless grapevines make the 'mini Tuscany' 'one of the most beautiful places on earth'

9. Savannah, Georgia

Readers' Choice Rating: 78.6

Culture: 84.2
Friendliness: 82.8
Atmosphere: 83.6
Restaurants: 81.2
Lodging: 75.0
Shopping: 62.2

Even though it dropped from last year's spot at number 7, Savannah has 'got it all,' said one reader. Thanks to its mix of history, art, shopping, nightlife, and 'delicious food,' 'you can't have a bad time.'

8. New York City, New York

Readers' Choice Rating: 78.7

Culture: 86.9
Friendliness: 56.7
Atmosphere: 79.6
Restaurants: 87.3
Lodging: 78.1
Shopping: 83.8

It's no surprise that New York made our list of Top 10 Cities in the United States, though it is a bit of a surprise that it dropped from the fifth to eighth slot. Still, our readers say the city is 'electric,' with something to do around every corner. Aside from Broadway shows, Central Park, Times Square, shopping, and dining, 'no city gets you more in the holiday spirit than New York.'

7. New Orleans, Louisiana

Readers' Choice Rating: 78.8

Culture: 82.7
Friendliness: 80.4
Atmosphere: 82.2
Restaurants: 85.4
Lodging: 76.0
Shopping: 64.4

Our readers call New Orleans 'a magical city.' Not surprisingly, it gets its highest marks for culture, atmosphere and restaurants; our readers say it has 'the best food in the U.S., with live music around every corner.'

6. Carmel, California

Readers' Choice Rating: 79.0

Culture: 74.4
Friendliness: 73.0
Atmosphere: 89.1
Restaurants: 85
Lodging: 81.0
Shopping: 70.8

By far the smallest city on our list, Carmel, Calif. has a big personality with 'endless charm and beauty.' The city is known for its 'quaint cottages and shops,' and the restaurants and 'artsy boutiques' make for a great weekend getaway. What may garner Carmel the most attention however, are the 'picturesque' and 'romantic' ocean views.

5. Chicago, Illinois

Readers' Choice Rating: 79.2

Culture: 82.3
Friendliness: 68.0
Atmosphere: 78.8
Restaurants: 85.0
Lodging: 80.9
Shopping: 80.4

The 'terrific architecture' and 'great ethnic food' help make Chicago a must-visit city (even though it dropped a couple spots from last year's list, where it owned the No. 3 slot). The restaurants, skyscrapers, museums, and waterfront all add up to a 'perfect city for solo, friend, family, or romantic getaways.'

4. Honolulu, Hawaii

Readers' Choice Rating: 79.5

Culture: 81.9
Friendliness: 79.0
Atmosphere: 83.0
Restaurants: 78.5
Lodging: 79.8
Shopping: 74.4

The endless beaches and constant sunshine helped Honolulu place high on our readers' list. The 'genuine friendliness and hospitality' of the people make Honolulu a major draw, and the ocean views and fresh seafood 'can't be beat.'

3. San Francisco, California

Readers' Choice Rating: 79.9

Culture: 84.8
Friendliness: 68.6
Atmosphere: 82.4
Restaurants: 86.5
Lodging: 79.2
Shopping: 78.0

San Francisco nabbed third place (down from last year's No. 2 spot) with its 'world of culture' and 'class.' 'I left my heart…' said one reader, which may have something to do with the 'great art museums, opera, food, symphony, and beautiful neighborhoods.'

2. Santa Fe, New Mexico

Readers' Choice Rating: 81.2

Culture: 86.4
Friendliness: 77.7
Atmosphere: 85.7
Restaurants: 84.2
Lodging: 78.7
Shopping: 73.4

Our readers found Santa Fe to be 'pure magic'; a 'heaven where souls vacation.' Their love bumped it from last year's spot at No. 4 on this list. 'Go for the atmosphere, architecture, food, and open spaces,' said one reader, or 'take a whole day to explore the galleries.'

1. Charleston, South Carolina

Readers' Choice Rating: 83.2

Culture: 84.5
Friendliness: 84.3
Atmosphere: 86.4
Restaurants: 86.0
Lodging: 82.1
Shopping: 75.1

With 'sand, sun, history, good food, and friendly people,' Charleston is a consistent hit with the travellers who venture to this 'gracious and beautiful' city (in fact, it's taken first place on our list of Top 10 Cities in the United States for three years now and has been rated as the friendliest). Nearby beaches and impressive architecture draw visitors, but it's the 'insanely nice' locals who enhance 'magnificent' bed and breakfasts and 'amazing shopping.' 'The charm of this city brings me back every year,' praised one devoted fan. 'The food, history, architecture and people are wonderful,' said one reader. 'A bucket list city!'

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