Top-Rated Cities to Visit in the United States

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Get travel inspiration for spring and summer getaways in the U.S. from Travel & Leisure’s list of the World’s Best Awards. Charleston, South Carolina, ended up among the top-ranked cities, as did several other Southern destinations. Find out where your favorite destinations landed on the list.

Charleston, South Carolina

Charleston, South Carolina, tops Travel & Leisure’s reader poll of best cities to visit in the United States

Travel & Leisure’s readers always put New York City and San Francisco on the magazine’s annual World’s Best Awards for U.S. cities. In 2016, the latest awards, several Southern cities ranked high. The list of winners, the result of a vote by the magazine’s online readers, provides ample travel inspiration for spring or summer getaways. If you have  favorite getaway spots or best-loved hotels, vote for them through March 6, 2017, and maybe your special places will make Travel & Leisure’s 2017 awards.

Travel & Leisure’s 10 Best Cities in the U.S.

1. Charleston, South Carolina: The combination of gracious, historic homes, trendy hotels, and award-winning Lowcountry cuisine make Charleston a popular destination. The city is within an hour or so of several popular beach locales.

2. New Orleans, Louisiana: Stroll the French Quarter, listen to New Orleans-style jazz, indulge in cuisine that ranges from Cajun and to fancy molecular meals.

3. Savannah, Georgia: Live oak trees draped with Spanish moss lace the streets that open to a series of green squares with benches and sometimes fountains. Visit historic houses and art museums and enjoy the city’s fine restaurants.

4. Santa Fe, New Mexico: Situated in the foothills of the Rocky Mountains, Santa Fe combines a scenic location, more than 200 art galleries, interesting museums as well as food that reflects a mix of Hispanic, Native American and other influences.

5. Nashville, Tennessee: Come for the city’s renowned country music, but stay to explore art museums and sample food from the ubiquitous barbeque, to hot (spicy hot) fried chicken and trendy fusion cuisine.

San Francisco, California

San Francisco has traditionally been a favorite among Travel & Leisure readers.

6. San Francisco: Take kids to the Exploratorium and the California Academy of Science, tackle the steep hills with teens on a guided bike tour and relax in Golden Gate Park.

7. Chicago, Illinois: Explore the city’s noted museums such as the Field, Museum of Science and Industry and the Shedd Aquarium. Take advantage of the warm weather by going on a street art hunt from Millennium Park.

8. New York City: Begin where you left off on your last trip to the Big Apple. That could mean visiting the 9/11 Memorial Museum and the American Museum of Natural History as well as exploring the Brooklyn Museum of Art and the newest winery in Williamsburg.

9. Austin, Texas: Choose from Austin’s eclectic mix of draws — the LBJ Presidential Library, tickets to the Long Center for the Performing Arts, cooling off at local swimming holes and visiting Texas Hill Country wineries.

10. Asheville, North Carolina: Explore the lavish Biltmore Estate, browse the River Arts District, and drive the nearby Blue Ridge Parkway to hiking spots.