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Survey names best city in America, and we don't think you're gonna agree

Photograph: Alia Akkam
Photograph: Alia Akkam

Travel + Leisure has just announced its annual list of the best cities to visit in the U.S. and the result is, frankly, a bit of an upset. 

Think New York would top the list with its world-class theater, ridiculous number of excellent restaurants and sights and attractions for days? You'd be wrong. 

Expect Chicago to take the crown by virtue of its unique lake-and-culture two-punch? Not to mention the friggin Bean! Schnope. 

What about L.A.? San Francisco? Try again. 

The best city in America—and the world, according to T+L's ranking of the planet's top 30 places to visit—is Charleston, South Carolina. 

A survey of T+L readers that took into account sights and landmarks, culture, food, friendliness, shopping and value, the perpetually-on-the-rise Southern charmer outscored all other cities. And clearly, the readers are having a bit of a southern moment: Charleston (home to America's best burger) is followed by New Orleans (home to the country's best fried chicken) at number two and Savannah at number three. All three cities made the top ten in the publication's world rankings

Sweat, juleps, Spanish moss, B&Bs and jazz are very much in right now. 

Here is the full list: 

1. Charleston, South Carolina         

2. New Orleans

3. Savannah, Georgia

4. Santa Fe, New Mexico

5. Nashville

6. San Francisco

7. Chicago

8. New York City

9. Austin, Texas

10. Asheville, North Carolina


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