The Best Cities in the United States

T+L has recently come out with their annual best cities in the U.S. survey amongst their readers, and it includes a couple of surprises.

Though the criteria for what score each city receives is not included in the article, we mostly agree with their list, save one or two cities that were left off, and a shuffling up of the order.

Below, we’ve compared Travel and Leisure’s list with our own list. Comment below if you agree with our edition of the list, and what cities you would put on your own top 15 cities in the U.S!

T+L List:

15: Portland, Oregon

14: Seattle, Washington

13: Boston, Massachusetts

12: San Antonio, Texas

11: Honolulu, Hawaii

10: Asheville, North Carolina

9: Austin, Texas

8: New York City

7: Chicago, Illinois

6: San Francisco, California

5: Nashville, Tennessee

4: Sante Fe, New Mexico

3: Savannah, Georgia

2: New Orleans, Louisiana

1: Charleston, South Carolina


HudsonWorks List

1: Charleston, South Carolina

No disagreement here! Charleston is not only the Jewel of the South, it is also the Jewel of the United States (add more info after)

Harbour View Charleston


2:San Francisco, California

Leap frogging a couple of cities and knocking New Orleans from it’s runner up perch, San Francisco is an incredible town. Perhaps it is a little unaffordable, but with such natural beauty, charm and innovation in the city, it’s hard not to fall in love with the city by the bay.



3: Savannah, Georgia

Simply put, Savannah is gorgeous. From the live oak tree and Spanish Moss covered trees to the charming squares sprinkled around this coastal city, Savannah is a must for any traveler.


Savannah Roofing Experts


4: Nashville, Tennessee

Barbecue, country music, honky-tonks, and southern hospitality, what more could you want from a town?




5: Chicago, Illinois

Though it may be windy, the second city offers some of the great cultural institutions in the world. The birthplace of the skyscraper, Chicago is recovering from decades of suburbanization to once again become the center of it all.




6: Boston, Massachusetts

Tea Parties, World-Class Academic Institutions, Indelible charm and history, and arguably the best sports town in the country, Boston is the birthplace of urbanism in America.



7: Austin, Texas

As the Capital of Texas, Austin embodies the bigger is better moniker that is so accurately associated and embraced by Texans. One of the fastest growing cities in the country and a haven for creatives, Austin is an outdoorsmen’s, foodies’ and urbanite’s dream.




8: New York, New York

As the largest city in the country, and one of the most important in the world for finance, fashion, the arts and so much more, New York is the cultural heart of the world


9: Honolulu, Hawaii

Though half an ocean away, Honolulu is one of the prettiest cities in the world. With great surf, beaches, hiking and laid-back culture, Honolulu is a must visit for all Americans.

Huffington Post


10: Los Angeles, California

How LA did not make T+L’s list is quite surprising, and we believe it deserves a little more credit. Here, we’re considering LA as Los Angeles County to include Malibu, Santa Monica and the other great towns that make up this sprawling metropolis in addition to the vibrant DTLA.


11: Seattle, Washington

The heart of Cascadia and the gateway to the Pacific Northwest, Seattle is home to Tech Giants like Amazon and Microsoft, and also one of the most livable (if rainy) cities in the country

Oregon State

12: Portland, Oregon

If Portlandia can’t make you love the Rose City, maybe cities and even more so, fun, aren’t your thing. The home of hipsters, and where young people go to Retire, Portland is one of the most exciting cities in North America.

SVP Portland

13: New Orleans, Louisiana

The French Quarter, Beignets and jazz, New Orleans is as diverse a city as there is in the states, a true gem.

French Quarter


14: Asheville, North Carolina

With historic architecture, Blue Ridge Mountain Southern Charm and a vibrant arts scene, Asheville is a young and hip oasis tucked away in the mountains.



15: Santa Fe, New Mexico

A cultural mecca overlooked by many, Santa Fe has one of the largest concentrations of museums per capita in the US. A destination not to be missed by any culture junkies, head southwest for a charming desert oasis.

Santa Fe Real Estate Property


And one Honorable Mention: Philadelphia

Philadelphia has the opportunity to be not only one of the great US cities, but one of the best cities in the world. With world class cultural institutions, history unrivaled in North America and some of the best architecture of any American City, Philadelphia has the best of San Francisco, Boston and New York together.

However, Philadelphia also has the worst of Detroit, Camden and St. Louis. With run down and abandoned neighborhoods, high crime rates and dangerous streets intermingled in good neighborhoods, Philadelphia is only at 50 percent of its potential. By encouraging stronger communities and developing and revitalizing abandoned buildings and lots, Philadelphia could one day become an Alpha + city, all the tools for success are on the table.




Disagree with our list? Comment below which towns you would have included and why for a chance to make it on our countdown next year!



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