The usual suspects … and a few surprises as well?
People 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:
- #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:
- #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 …