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The Top 5 Small Cities In The U.S.

More than 128,000 of our readers rated their favorite cities in the U.S. -- in fact, we got so much feedback, we had to divide our list in two. This roundup features the country's smaller cities, with populations under 150,000. Counting down...
10/29/2015 06:50pm ET | Updated December 6, 2017
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by Katherine LaGrave, Edited by the Editors of Condé Nast Traveler

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More than 128,000 of our readers rated their favorite cities in the U.S.--in fact, we got so much feedback, we had to divide our list in two. This roundup features the country's smaller cities, with populations under 150,000. Counting down...

5. Savannah, GA (above)

Overall Rating: 82.258

Postcard-worthy Savannah has no shortage of snappable views. Stroll along its cobblestoned historic district past horse-drawn carriages, ornate architecture (and haunted buildings) or find shade under live oak trees drooping with Spanish moss. Book well in advance for your pick of luxury at The Gastonian, an upscale historic bed and breakfast just two blocks from 30-acre Forsyth Park. And for a fantastic dining experience, go to The Grey, a former Greyhound Bus depot elegantly reborn...as a James Beard best new restaurant nominee.

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4. Aspen, CO

Overall Rating: 83.069

Though most people consider Aspen a winter hamlet for downhill skiers, the town is one for all seasons. Hike the Hunter Creek Trail, check out the leading Aspen Art Museum, and pick up anything from artisanal cheese to locally raised elk at the Aspen Saturday Market (mid-June to mid-October). Come evening, relax with a hand-crafted cocktail at Justice Snow's, a saloon located in the historic Wheeler Opera House.

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3. Park City, UT

Overall Rating: 84.866

The Sundance Film Festival isn't the only reason to visit Park City: Here, you can try some of the country's best biking, skiing, hiking, and water sports, or simply take in breathtaking alpine scenery as you stroll its frontier-town Main Street. Fuel up on small plates and craft cocktails at Handle, or make your own salsa at El Chubasco, a Mexican favorite.

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Alamy

2. Santa Fe, NM

Overall Rating: 85.861

A former Spanish colony nestled in the Sangre de Cristo foothills, Santa Fe serves as both New Mexico's political and creative capital. Wander its wide streets flanked by adobe houses, and you'll begin to see why artists like Georgia O'Keeffe were so inspired by this eclectic and historic town. Check out the country's oldest church, San Miguel Mission, and dig into African comfort fare at Jambo Café or green enchiladas at The Shed.

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1. Charleston, SC

Overall Rating: 88.130

With its beautiful gardens, vibrantly painted Georgian houses along Rainbow Row, and carriages clacking across cobblestone streets, Charleston remains one of the country's most picturesque cities. Underneath its sleepy charm, the city is known for its dynamic food scene--where destination dining reflects its English, French, and West African roots--along with a thriving theater scene, bustling King Street, and historic City Market. Come evening, stroll along The Battery and take it all in.

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