For Condé Nast Traveler, by CNT Editors.
Over the last four years, we’ve asked our readers to rate a city’s “friendliness” in the Readers’ Choice Awards survey, especially with respect to where you felt welcome. Did an outgoing local show you the way? Was the city easy to navigate? Some 128,000 people took the survey in 2015—see what you had to say about the U.S. cities that gave guests a cold shoulder. Counting down...
Baltimore is still “up against monumental odds,” said one reader. “The once-showplace Inner Harbor shopping area is in desperate need of a renewal” and the area outside downtown felt “unsafe,” while “the public transportation was unreliable.” Perhaps “it’s a city you need to know well in order to enjoy it,” said one reader optimistically. “Go with someone who has been or really do your research.” “Federal Hill [Cross Street] Market and [Nick’s] Oyster Bar!” suggested a reader. “Baltimore is a city for oyster lovers! Fells Point is a walk back in time.”
Related: See the Friendliest Cities in the U.S.
9. Los Angeles, California
L.A. was hit hard by readers for being “plastic, dirty, and crowded,” with “awful roads,” “aggressive drivers,” “too much celebrity stuff,” “snobbish and pricey restaurants,” and “gasping smog.” “Bit of a let down considering the hype!” Though maybe it just requires a bit of patience: “Who knew L.A. had a subway?” said a reader. “It’s slow, but not a bad way to get around, especially to/from airport if you have some time to kill.” And we can’t say enough good things about Downtown L.A. right now.
“If I did not have family there, I wouldn’t have a reason to go there,” said one reader. Ouch. “Was really just passing through” said...more than a few. Another found the people “rude”—”not a place I would want to visit again”—and a difficult place to get to off the highway. But wait, there’s hope! Seek out the Wilmington Opera, the Delaware Symphony, and Hotel du Pont for a more memorable stay.
Poor Delaware. Can’t catch a break. “A nice quiet town” starts one reader, “almost nondescript, though. There are some cute areas—[but] it is not truly memorable.” One reader wasn’t all that interested in the city’s hot spots—its military base and casino—but “Dover is a great town but when you are going with a purpose,” like Firefly Music Festival and the Sunday brunch at McGlynns.
6. New Haven, Connecticut
The city of New Haven, beyond the ivy-covered walls, seemed “tired and spiritless,” said one reader, calling Yale within “a little oasis.” It’s a refrain we hear often: that there isn’t much to see in New Haven beyond the university, and “the contrast between the academic wealth and local poverty is poignant.” But this year, we were happy to hear our readers trumpet the great restaurants in the city, particularly on Wooster Street, home to some of the best pizza in the U.S. “Frank Pepe’s Pizza for life!”