Home to some and a world-class destination to others, the Windy City has been voted the best city in the U.S.
An annual comprehensive survey carried out by award-winning magazine Condé Nast Travel has deemed Chicago the top city in the United States once again. The annual Readers’ Choice Awards has been running for more than three decades and this year saw over 700,000 people participate. So many readers weighed in, in fact, that the list had to be split into two categories: big cities with populations of over 250,000 and small cities with populations of under 250,000. While Charleston, the so-called ‘Holy City’ in South Carolina took first prize in the small city survey for its “history, culture, food, charm, and annual circuit of nationally recognized food and culture festivals” it was Chicago that took first place in the larger category defending its title as the best big city in the United States.
It’s the fourth year running that Chicago has taken the top spot and this year Condé Nast Travel praised the Windy City for its “impressive architecture, first-rate museums, brilliant chefs, and massive brewing scene.” The Magnificent Mile, Gold Coast, Old Town, and business-oriented Loop are a few areas that received a special mention but it’s no specific zone of Chicago that defines this wonderful city. There is no doubt that the 77 diverse and distinct neighborhoods offer an unparalleled array of refreshing restaurants and bustling bars but it’s “some of the most pleasant people you’ll find anywhere” that truly earned Chicago that gold medal.
Condé Nast Travel has been in print since 1987, in the 33rd year of the Readers’ Choice Awards, it’s perhaps the most poignant survey to date given the vicissitudes of 2020 and this year’s limitations to travel. Voters’ thoughts didn’t go to the most recent holiday lingering in the mind but instead to the places they find themselves connected to long after they’ve been. This year, then, is a more special honor than any that has come before.
Take pride Chicagoans, in knowing that you live in a city beyond compare.