The 10 Friendliest Cities in the U.S.

Burlington, Vermont
A “live and let live” feeling pervades this New England college town that’s “fun, laid-back, and artsy… winter or summer.” “The locally brewed beer is incredible,” “fresh meals at farm-to-table restaurants were too many to count,” and “fantastic bike paths along Lake Champlain” make one newcomer “feel very much in tune with its natural surroundings.”
New Orleans, Louisiana
“Favorite overall reason to visit New Orleans: the awesome, friendly locals” just about sums this “high-energy, eclectic, and always fun” charmer. “This is truly a place meant for enjoying life. Extraordinary sensory experiences at every turn, and it seems as if everyone wants you to have a good time.”
Jackson, Wyoming
“The people are friendly and the views are out of this world” here below the “breathtaking Tetons.” It’s a “genuine taste of the original American West” that includes “fantastic nightlife for the younger crowd.” And let it be known that a raft trip down the Tetons was “the most enjoyable experience” one reader “ever had with clothes on.”
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Asheville, North Carolina
“We loved Asheville,” raved one reader. “Good restaurants. Gay-friendly (although we aren’t gay). Lots of arts, theatre companies, art galleries,” with an”eclectic, fun, and lively River Arts District.” It’s “an all-around wonderful small city,” says another reader. “Great mountain scenery and friendly people. Always a smile from those you meet.”
Santa Fe, New Mexico
Readers appreciated the peerless vibe—”this is an amazing town that is totally different from the norm”—and the “spiritual scenery” of the surrounding countryside. “The atmosphere of friendliness and artistry,” especially in the town square, along with delicious local food “draws us like a magnet. It’s just one of those places that has captured our hearts.”
Austin, Texas
That whole “Keep Austin weird” thing? One reader found the city “contrived and self-conscious,” while another reveled in how it made the Texas capital “quirky and fun.” Regardless of where you fall, it’s hard to dismiss how rich with charm Austin is: “The Driskill Hotel is bar is really fun at any time, afternoon or evening, full of local characters and politicians…a riot!” “Take a Segway tour with a singing, guitar-playing guide” or stop to “watch the bats fly (take a blanket and sit below Congress Avenue Bridge).”
Nashville, Tennessee
Nashville’s atmosphere is hard to match: Music City, with its ever-present guitar strum, “has so much character, is the perfect size, has great live music, delicious restaurants, friendly people, affordable accommodations… the list goes on.” “It’s a city of characters and the vibe of downtown is hard to beat.” “We came on vacation and never left.”
Savannah, Georgia
“Bubbling with Southern charm,” the locals of Savannah are so “fun and talkative” you’d think it was an act. (It’s not.) The city feels eminently walkable and safe, but it’s not all azaleas and smiles: “Rating a city’s friendliness is always dicey,” says an honest reader. One reader noted that the “cultural divide between races is subtle but present,” while another said the “general laid-back atmosphere” and squares fringed with moss made for a “peaceful” setting.
Park City, Utah
Our readers raved about Park City—”the friendlier and more casual” mountain town, where even at the height of winter ski season or the Sundance Film Festival in January, “the locals were extremely friendly and welcoming.” Service is also a top priority at the resorts: One guest of the Montage Deer Valleytold a story about how her children were greeted by name on arrival, given a stuffed animal, and found hot chocolate and cookies waiting for them in the room. Who doesn’t like that?
Charleston, South Carolina
One reader put it perfectly: “People speak to each other!” (Ha. All those poor Northeasterners not used to a ‘hello’ on the street.) “The city is so lovely and easy to get around on foot.” “Charleston is by far my favorite city!,” says another reader. “It has the charm of the South, the sophistication of the city, and a warmth and friendliness that is unmatched.”
“Everything in Charleston is perfectly designed for visitors to be comfortable, safe, and well taken care of,” said another. In short, even as the city grows, Southern hospitality lives.
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