Condé Nast Traveler and its readers weigh in on America’s friendliest and unfriendliest cities.

The usual suspects … and a few surprises as well?

cntPeople say there’s wisdom in crowds.

If that’s the case, then the ~128,000 people who participated in the Condé Nast Traveler Readers’ Choice Awards survey in 2015 must count for something when it comes to which cities are America’s friendliest.

… And the survey results show that if you want to find America’s friendliest folks, head south and west.

That is correct: Of the ten cities rated the most friendly, just one is located in the Northeast … and absolutely none are in the Midwest.

For the record, here are the ten friendliest American cities based on the Condé Nast survey:C

  • #1 Charleston, SC America’s friendliest city
  • #2 Park City, UT
  • #3 Savannah, GA
  • #4 Nashville, TN
  • #5 Austin, TX
  • #6 Santa Fe, NM
  • #7 Asheville, NC
  • #8 Jackson (Jackson Hole), WY
  • #9 New Orleans, LA
  • #10 Burlington, VT

Of course, there are also the ten unfriendliest cities as determined from the same survey — no doubt the subject of just as much curiosity.

Those seem to be just as clustered — but elsewhere — primarily in the Northeast, but also a few in California.  And Detroit, too:n

  • #1 Newark, NJ America’s unfriendliest city
  • #2 Oakland, CA
  • #3 Atlantic City, NJ
  • #4 Detroit, MI
  • #5 Hartford, CT
  • #6 New Haven, CT
  • #7 Dover, DE
  • #8 Wilmington, DE
  • #9 Los Angeles, CA
  • #10 Baltimore, MD

I have no earthly idea if these rankings are accurate or not; it’s actually well-nigh impossible to have a definitive listing based on a ranking criterion that’s so subjective.

But having lived in both Nashville and Baltimore — and having visited 13 of the other 18 cities — I do get a sense of where the Condé Nast survey respondents are coming from.

How about you? Do you think that any of these cities are unfairly ranked?  And what other cities do you think should have made it on either list?  Like New York City or Philadelphia, for instance?

Incidentally, the 2016 Readers’ Choice Survey results are currently being tabulated and are due to be published in October.  It will be interesting to see if there are any big changes in the listings …

Saints and Sinners: The Ten Most Sinful Cities in the United States … and the most Saintly

deWhich cities in America are the “most sinful” of the bunch? Perhaps they’re the ones whose monikers or mottos seem to suggest as much:

  • Always turned on.
  • Big beach. Big fun.
  • The city that never sleeps.
  • Glitter Gulch
  • Live large. Think big.
  • More than you ever dreamed.
  • Sin City
  • Sleaze City
  • Tinseltown
  • Town on the make.
  • What happens here, stays here.
  • What we dream, we do.
  • The wickedest little city in America.

While some of the descriptions above hardly represent what city boosters would want to convey about their burgs, a surprising number of them are actually the end-result of formal marketing and branding efforts – focus-group tested and all.

[How many cities do you think you can name for these slogans?]

tr logoBut put all of that aside now … because the online residential real estate website Trulia has been busy doing its own analysis of which cities qualify as being among the nation’s most “sinful.” Earlier this month, it published its listing of the ten most “sinful cities” in the United States.

How did Trulia compile the list? For starters, it limited its research to the 150 largest metropolitan areas.

Next, it used a variety of data such as drinking habits, the number of adult entertainment venues and the number of gambling establishments to determine the cities where it’s easiest to succumb to the eight deadly sins – among them gluttony, greed, lust, sloth and vanity.

For each “offense,” Trulia examined statistical measures that serve as key clues – stats like how many adult entertainment venues there are (for lust), and exercise statistics (for sloth).

Obviously, a mega-city like New York or Los Angeles is going to offer many more outlets catering to the sinful nature of mankind compared to smaller urban centers. So Tulia has “common-sized” the data based on per capita population, making it possible to determine the destination in which it’s easiest to satisfy one’s whims (or vices).

So – drumroll please – here’s the resulting Trulia Top Ten, listed below beginning with #10 and moving up to the ignominious honor of being the most sinful city of the bunch:

  • #10 Columbus, OH
  • #9   San Antonio, TX
  • #8   Las Vegas, NV
  • #7   Shreveport, LA
  • #6   Louisville, KY
  • #5   Toledo, OH
  • #4   Tampa, FL
  • #3   Philadelphia, PA
  • #2   Atlantic City, NJ
  • #1   New Orleans, LA  

I suppose few people would quarrel with New Orleans coming in at #1 on the list; anyone who has spent any time in that city knows must know how much of an “anything goes” atmosphere exists there. (Few tourists seem to avert their eyes to what they see, either.)

Atlantic City? Las Vegas?  Pretty much the same thing.

But what about Louisville, or Toledo, or … Shreveport?? OMG!

Of course, the same statistics Trulia crunched to determine who sits atop the “Sin City” list also reveal which cities are their polar opposites – the places Trulia calls America’s “saintly sanctuaries.”

Which cities are those?  Here’s that list:

  • #10 Cambridge, MA
  • #9   Greeley, CO
  • #8   Asheville, NC
  • #7   Boise, ID
  • #6   Claremont-Lebanon, NH
  • #5   Raleigh, NC
  • #4   Tuscaloosa, AL
  • #3   Ft. Collins, CO
  • #2   Ogden, UT
  • #1   Provo, UT

I think fewer surprises are on this list.

Tr

For details on the Trulia analysis and to read more about the methodology employed, click here.

What’s your take? Based on your own personal observations or even first-hand experience, which cities would you characterize as the most “sinful” … and the most “saintly”?  We’re all interested to know!