Take A Visual Tour Of America’s Favorite Towns

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For about six months at the end of 2015 and beginning of 2016, Travel and Leisure ran an open-response survey asking respondents to submit their favorite towns. The user-submitted towns were rated in over 65 categories including affordability, notable restaurants, and public parks. Towns with less than eight votes were discarded and each entry was ranked based on the average score. The survey considered a town to be any governed body with a population of less than 100,000.

Having visited most of the places on this list, we are a bit skeptical of people’s opinions [We’re looking at you, people who put Atlantic City in the top five!], but to each her own. If you’re late on planning a summer road trip, this list is the perfect map. Tour the Atlantic Coast or head out west to the number one spot!


1. Park City, Utah

Moose walking down the street, world class skiing, and fame-o’s! What more could you ask for? Oh, weather, booze, and a thriving restaurant scene? Fine. Park City is on point and hitting on all levels. Check out the excellent High West Distillery or Riverhorse on Main, one of the best restaurants in the state.


2. Provincetown, Massachusetts

Provincetown is ironically located at the very tip of Cape Cod. It’s one of the most LGBT friendly communities in the country, has amazing beaches, great nightlife and plenty of coffee for the morning after.


3. Santa Fe, New Mexico

People like Santa Fe because of its art scene, history, margaritas and “peaceful vibes.” They also like the possibility of watching Game of Thrones in George R.R. Martin’s movie theater, a quality strangely omitted from the survey.

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4. St. Augustine, Florida

People love old stuff, and St. Augustine is as old as it gets when it comes to U.S. cities. Unique beaches, quirky shopping, and sassy Starbucks employees land this Florida town in the top five.


5. Atlantic City, New Jersey

As any Jersey native knows, this is beyond puzzling. Any reasonable person will consider AC a personal hell, but apparently nightlife is enough for T+L readers. Sure, AC has some good food and people watching, but sh*t, it’s depressing.


6. Harrisonburg, Virginia

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October #35mm

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The Shenandoah Valley is a hot spot for nature lovers. Harrisonburg also plays college town to James Madison University students. People ranked it high because of delicious burgers and beers, which are pretty legit reasons to love a city.

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the PLOT thickens… @upnthevalley #HHAYRN

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7. Portland, Maine

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happy sun🌞day!

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Portland is a relaxing New England town with cobblestone charm and awesome food including lobsters as far as the eye can see. Readers also enjoy the town’s bookstores, plus there are way less hipsters than Portland, Oregon, which is a big plus.


8. Staunton, Virginia

Road trip along the Blue Ridge Mountains and wind up here, at mile marker 0. Staunton is rated well because of the town’s unique music and theater scenes. It is also home to some great antiquing. (See, people love old stuff!)


9. Traverse City, Michigan

Traverse City sits on the northeast side of Lake Michigan. It’s super romantic, there’s a lot of outdoor adventure, and fun festivals. A little research and you’ll find people surfing here, which is a cool little surprise.


10. Asheville, North Carolina

Always a favorite among travelers and artists, Asheville is another stop along the Blue Ridge Parkway. Visitors enjoy a range of live music entertainment and undeniably great food courtesy of two James Beard nominees.

To check out the other 20 favorite towns, enjoy Travel & Leisure’s super frustrating-to-scroll-through list here.