Eight of the top 15 cities for this year are located in the American South. They are places where the past is still very much alive, with Williamsburg, which came in at number 12, among them. The Virginia town turns a holiday into a live history lesson, which makes it especially well-liked with families. At Colonial Williamsburg and Jamestown Settlement, visitors may experience early American culture, as well as more modern flavors at nearby eateries.
Savannah, a charming city with soul, is ranked No. 4. The cobblestoned streets, oak-shaded squares, and lacy architecture, as well as how the city keeps up with the times, were praised by readers for their classic beauty. Traditional staples like grits (topped with foie gras) and crispy chicken are given a contemporary twist at restaurants like the Grey and Cotton & Rye (dusted with sumac).
The longtime favorite New Orleans placed second this year. The calm residential districts, the boisterous Mardi Gras parades, the street music, and the laid-back people are all beloved by fans of the Big Easy. An advice from a World’s Best voter: “Stock up on antiques and pralines!” Readers will undoubtedly be ready to help one of the American communities most severely affected by the COVID-19 outbreak as soon as they are able to.
New York placed sixth and Chicago fifth on the list, two of the biggest cities in the nation, although many of the winners were smaller or midsize communities. The top three cities, Nashville (No. 11), Asheville (No. 9), and Minneapolis/St. Paul (No. 14), are all large enough to be intriguing (vibrant arts and culinary cultures, stores and marketplaces showcasing regional artisans of all stripes), but manageable and inviting. California’s Carmel-by-the-Sea is the lone little exception. It has fewer than 4,000 people and is just off the well-traveled Highway 1 corridor, but the sights lure many, many more.
No city has yet managed to topple Charleston from its eight-year perch, though. Discover why, as well as which other cities and towns made this year’s list of the top American cities, by reading on.