Have you wondered which cities in the United Sates have the best, most welcoming atmosphere? Every year the magazine Conde Nast Travelers publishes a list of friendliest cities in America. The ranking is based on the Readers’ Choice Survey, so it’s travelers and locals themselves who pick the cities. If you look for the coziest and most pleasant places in the United States, you’ve got your answers. Not all the cities are known tourist destinations, but each one of them has something interesting to offer. Read the list below to find out what else, besides of kindness and hospitality, you can find in the friendliest cities in America.
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Charleston, South Carolina
The historic part of Charleston is full of old handsome churches, flowery gardens, lovely bridges and verandas. With tons of art and beautiful architecture, Charleston is gorgeous. It’s a stylish town, but not in the way world-known art hubs tend to be. Much cozier, Charleston is artsy, but simple. You’ll see happy tourists and locals walking on the cobblestone streets, breathing in the scent of jasmine, chatting and smiling to each other. Enjoy strolling around the town and then stop in one of the restaurant’s to have a delicious dinner and try the craft beer. A curiosity for dance enthusiasts: the town gave a name to a famous swing dance. It’s a cheerful and energetic style, just as the town itself.
With one of the biggest historic districts in the country, Savannah, Georgia invites visitors for a small trip back in time. Gracious mansions, Colonial buildings and public squares are wonderfully preserved. Walks around the town are fabulous, but you’ll also want to have a break and sit for a while on one of the plazas or take a cruise on the Savannah River. Behind the Savannah’s pretty surface there’s a darker and spookier side – many old buildings are said to be haunted. For adventure-seekers there are ghost tours organized by locals. Don’t worry though, on the streets of the city you won’t see anything scary or suspicious, only museums, horse carriages, fountains and beautiful antebellum architecture.
San Antonio, Texas
Despite of being one of the biggest cities in the United States (7th, to be specific), San Antonio is cozy and pleasant. The downtown is busy, but you won’t feel overwhelmed by its liveliness. Instead of rushing workers, shopping galleries and large banks, you’ll mostly see joyful tourists, souvenir shops, museums and nice hotels. It’s a rare gem. Cultural, eventful and bustling like large a metropolis, but warm and easygoing like a small town, San Antonio is a perfect mixture of both.
Scenically located amongst mountain peaks, Telluride feels like a world on its own. Great for outdoor enthusiasts, the town is knows for ski resorts. Pack your skis, a warm jacket and head to the American winter wonderland. Besides of skiing, dogsledding and snowmobiling are also popular attractions. If you’re not fond of snow, no worries, Telluride’s equally charming in the summer. You can hike, trek, stroll and participate in one of many festivals held in the city. Blues, bluegrass, film, and wine – the festivals offer a variety of themes, there’s something for everyone.
New Orleans, Louisiana
New Orleans is on the bucket list of every jazz fan. It’s delightfully artistic, musical and atmospheric. The spirit of its rich history still floats around the streets. New Orleans, like no other place, celebrates beauty: in the sounds, views and flavors. Restaurants serve so many delicious foods you’ll constantly have a dilemma what to choose, bars are so numerous and inviting you’ll want to visit them all, historic architecture so pretty it won’t stop amazing you. The town also hosts lots of incredible events, so if you have a chance, join one of the festivals. You’ve got lots to choose from: the famous Mardi Gras and Jazz Fest, Satchmo SummerFest, French Quarter Festival, Southern Decadence and plentiful others.
Fort Worth, Texas
Forth Worth is sometimes referred to as Cowtown – not without a reason. To see a live version of a Western movie, come to Fort Worth. If you don’t feel its Cowboy vibe as soon as you arrive, wait till you see the cattle drives. They aren’t as numerous and spectacular as they used to be in the old times, but each morning in the historic district you can see a mini cattle drive. Still not enough? Weekends with the rodeos will surely convince you then. The town offers some modern attractions too, such as lovely restaurants, cultural institutions and sport events.
Jackson Hole, Wyoming
A getaway to Grand Teton National Park and Yellowstone, Jackson is a popular holiday destination. Many people have their own vacation homes there, so you’ll meet lots of relaxed holiday-makers. What makes them relaxed is not lazy afternoons and sunbathing though. Most of Jackson’s visitors are active outdoor enthusiasts. Climbers, skiers and hikers stop by the town on their way to the marvelous mountain tops. Jackson is a beautiful town and its surroundings are picturesque all year long.
(tie) Nashville, Tennessee
The ultimate destination for country music fans and wannabe singers, Nashville shakes its goodies to the rhythms of American folk. Go to any bar, get a drink (preferably something in the style, like… a bottle of booze, let’s say) and watch the spectacle. Dancers, songwriters (good and bad), comedians, yodelers, fiddler/harmonics/banjo/guitar players will do their best to keep you entertained. If it doesn’t sound like your kind of fun, you can also play golf, walk around the town, and watch a theatre play or go to a student party – there’s lots of things to do in Nashville, even for those who don’t feel like to jump when they hear country.
(tie) Key West, Florida
Located on the island of the same name, Key West is a charming and quirky town. Artsy and eccentric, it’s a place favored by individuals, free birds and romantic poets. You can sigh with melancholy at the romantic sunsets, head to an exquisite art gallery, sunbath all day and/or party all night. It’s definitely one of the pretties and friendliest cities in America. If you feel under the weather, go to Key West – the island’s tropical beauty and relaxed atmosphere will surely cheer you up.
Asheville, North Carolina
Artistic in the bohemian way, Ashville is a bustling (but not over bearing) town with creative (but not snobby) locals. Great for modern hippies and green travelers, Ashville has lots of vegetarian restaurants, little craft shops, vintage stores, festivals and art galleries. Since the city’s surrounded by beautiful national forests, you can make some delightful day-trips. Don’t forget to visit the Botanical Gardens at Asheville, they’re gorgeous.
Be careful when you visit one of the friendliest cities in America – you might want to stay there! These cities are not only perfect holiday destinations; they’re also wonderful places to live in. Let us know which one of them you are going to visit first!