Charleston is the friendliest city in America

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New York, NY (September 10, 2008) – Travel + Leisure and Headline News today announce the results of the 2008 America’s Favorite Cities survey revealing travelers’ opinions of 25 cities across the country. More than 125,000 people rated American cities in 45 different categories, covering everything from the attractiveness of the people to the quality of the food and dining.

The results, shared on Headline News’ Morning Express with Robin Meade this morning, are now accessible on www.travelandleisure.com/afc and will be featured in Travel + Leisure magazine’s October issue on newsstands September 23. Top ranking city results will also appear on www.cnn.com/robin.

2008 AMERICA’S FAVORITE CITIES SURVEY — CITY HIGHLIGHTS

Austin got high marks for people: its residents came in second place for friendliness and athleticism, and third for intelligence and attractiveness. The city also has great bands and live music (No. 2) and a buzzing singles/bar scene (No. 4).

Charleston residents are America’s friendliest people. The city earned second-place rankings for its noteworthy neighborhoods, vintage stores, flea markets and peace and quiet. Many travelers found the club scene (No. 24) disappointing.

Honolulu was voted the No. 1 spot for a romantic escape, a relaxing retreat and an active/adventure vacation. The city’s weather also scored first place.
New York received the most No. 1 ratings this year, getting top marks for its shopping, classical music and theater, stylish and diverse residents, people watching and skylines and views. The city ranked last for peace and quiet and affordability.

Portland, Oregon ranked No. 1 for public transportation and pedestrian friendliness, safety, cleanliness, public parks and environmental awareness. Its only score in the bottom five was for luxury boutiques (No. 24).
San Francisco’s high marks were for its notable neighborhoods (No. 1), local boutiques (No. 2), specialty stores and farmer’s markets (No. 3), cafés and coffee shops (No. 3) and destination restaurants (No. 3). Affordability (No. 23) was its lowest ranking.

Santa Fe is the top finisher for peace and quiet and has great art gallery shopping (No. 2) and local boutiques (No. 4). The southwestern city finished last, however, in all nightlife categories.

2008 AMERICA’S FAVORITE CITIES SURVEY – CATEGORY RANKING HIGHLIGHTS

FRIENDLIEST PEOPLE
1. Charleston
2. Austin
3. Minneapolis/St. Paul

25. Los Angeles

MOST ATTRACTIVE PEOPLE
1. Miami
2. San Diego
3. Austin

25. Philadelphia

MOST INTELLIGENT PEOPLE
1. Seattle
2. Minneapolis/St. Paul
3. Austin

25. Los Angeles

CLEANEST CITY
1. Portland, Oregon
2. Minneapolis/St. Paul
3. Austin

25. New Orleans

BEST FOR A ROMANTIC ESCAPE
1. Honolulu
2. Charleston
3. San Francisco

25. Washington, D.C.

BEST HOLIDAY/WINTER TRAVEL
1. Honolulu
2. New York
3. Phoenix/Scottsdale

25. Atlanta

MOST AFFORDABLE
1. San Antonio
2. Nashville
3. Minneapolis/St. Paul

25. New York

BEST FOR A WILD WEEKEND
1. Las Vegas
2. New Orleans
3. Miami

25. Santa Fe

BEST HISTORICAL SITES/MONUMENTS
1. Washington, DC
2. Boston
3. Philadelphia

25. Orlando

BEST WEATHER
1. Honolulu
2. San Diego
3. Miami

25. Chicago

BEST FOR A FAMILY VACATION
1. Orlando
2. San Diego
3. Washington, DC

25. Las Vegas

BEST FOR AN ACTIVE/ADVENTURE VACATION
1. Honolulu
2. Denver
3. Portland, Oregon

25. Philadelphia

The 25 cities included in the survey are: Atlanta; Austin; Boston; Charleston; Chicago; Dallas/Fort Worth; Denver; Honolulu; Las Vegas; Los Angeles; Miami; Minneapolis/St. Paul; Nashville; New Orleans; New York; Orlando; Philadelphia; Phoenix/Scottsdale; Portland, Oregon; San Antonio; San Diego; San Francisco; Santa Fe; Seattle; and Washington, D.C. To see how each city ranked in every category and how cities compare to one another, visit www.travelandleisure.com/afc.

2008 AFC Survey Methodology:
An online survey appeared on travelandleisure.com and was accessible via cnn.com from March 7, 2008 to June 15, 2008. Respondents were asked to rate their choice of one or more cities (among 25 previously selected cities) in 45 different subject categories. Respondents were asked to identify whether or not they were residents of each city they rated. Responses were collected and tabulated by www.travelandleisure.com.

One More Opportunity to Vote!
Beginning today, there is one final category to vote on: America’s Favorite City overall. www.travelandleisure.com/afc is hosting a four-week tournament-style competition pitting the 25 cities head-to-head against one another. Each week, cities will be eliminated, and a new round of voting will begin, culminating in the naming of America’s Favorite City 2008.