Walter Mencken 11 a.m., May 24
San Diego ranks #2: the beautiful people
Travel + Leisure survey says San Diegans are beautiful
San Diego is beautiful.
At least, that's what Travel + Leisure's annual America's Favorite Cities survey says.
Based on readers' ratings of 35 metropolitan areas considering variables such as people-watching, walkability, and music scene, San Diego ranked in at number 2 for best-looking people in the U.S., after first place Miami and before third ranking San Juan, Puerto Rico (unincorporated territories were taken into account).
Here's what Travel + Leisure contributor Katrina Brown Hunt had to say about the top ten cities for attractive inhabitants in the U.S.:
Number 1: Miami Did they do something new with their hair? These party-loving Floridians have reclaimed the top slot this year, which they haven't held since 2009. They also ranked in the top 10 for their fashion sense and fit physiques. See for yourself over drinks at one of the city's highly rated cocktail lounges. The only downer: Miamians also ranked as being pretty aloof.
Number 2: San Diego It's hard to argue with a beauty regimen of fresh air and miles of beaches for staying in shape. This SoCal city has consistently ranked as the first runner-up for good looks in T+L's survey, even if readers tend not to be so impressed with the locals' conversational skills. San Diegans do, however, score well for being tech-savvy.
Number 3: San Juan, Puerto Rico Last year's winner slipped a few spots this year, but the island city is still a magnetic place for mingling with a good-looking crowd: it also ranks in the top three for its happy hour and singles scene. Readers downgraded the Puerto Rican city for its sense of style, but they were suckers for the fabulous local accent.
Number 4: Charleston Proof that voters are a little fickle: this South Carolina city was No. 1 for attractive locals in 2010, but fell to No. 7 last year. While readers still find the locals to be charming—and think that the city makes a great romantic getaway—they were easily distracted by all the good shopping, ranking the city in the top five when it comes to antiques, design stores, and indie boutiques.
Number 5: Los Angeles It's easy to make jokes about some locals having "work" done. But whatever the reason, Angelenos have ranked in the top five for looks in the last three out of four years, and they won the silver medal this year for their fashion-forward style. They're also trying that catch-more-flies-with-honey strategy: their niceness factor went up by three positions since last year.
Number 6: Nashville A cowboy hat sets off the face nicely, doesn't it? Music City jumped up seven places in the attractiveness category since last year, even if it lost its grip on the top spot in the survey for music. If you want an alternative to the honky-tonks, look for any crowd wearing SEC team shirts: Nashville ranked No. 3 for its sports bars.
Number 7: Austin Folks in the Texas capital seem to be simultaneously quirky, smart, and buff: the only personal quality that voters were less-than-smitten with was perhaps residents' tendency toward hipster fashion. Look for them hanging out by the No. 2--ranked food trucks or dining on gourmet burgers.
Number 8: Savannah If these Georgians ever said anything unattractive or rude, voters might not even notice, so blinded were they by the top-ranked local drawl. Voters were also charmed by these southerners' willingness to indulge themselves: the handsome city ranked No. 3 for its happy hour, and No. 1 for ice cream parlors.
Number 9: Honolulu Despite the fashion gambles of occasional floral shirts and muumuus, the Hawaiians are regulars in the attractive top 10 for their compelling mix of diversity, fitness, and a mellow attitude. It can only help that the Hawaiian city won the top spot in the survey's weather category.
Number 10: Minneapolis/St. Paul After a two-year absence, the Twin Cities have returned to the top 10, perhaps because locals nicely walk the line between nerdy and outdoorsy: they won the survey for smarts, and the cities ranked No. 1 for their parks. Readers were also impressed by the Minnesotans' refined tastes in beverages, so to mingle, head to the local micropubs and coffeehouses.