Which is worse when you’re traveling: the local driver who blithely cuts you off in traffic or the surly cabbie who gives you attitude right to your face?? Such skirmishes no doubt fueled this year’s America’s Rudest Cities contest, voted on by Travel + Leisure readers.
Check who made the cut…
No. 10 Orlando, FL
Apparently, being family-friendly is different from being just friendly. One wonders, though, if it’s locals who are snapping at visitors, or if it’s just other tourists, who are cranky after waiting in theme-park lines. Perhaps because of that, voters really loved one thing about being in Orlando: getting back to their hotels.
No. 9 Baltimore
This Maryland city excels in classical music and history, but voters seemed to detect crabbiness alongside those famous crab cakes, and didn’t even feel terribly safe. Maybe it’s just a different sense of humor—the city also ranked in the top 20 for being offbeat.
No. 8 Phoenix/Scottsdale
Feeling some heat? Phoenix/Scottsdale moved into the top 10 this year after placing at No. 12 last year. Perhaps the locals get fatigued by the snowbirds that fly in as soon as the local weather turns pleasant: the area ranked as the third-best winter destination.
No. 7 Atlanta
Voters weren’t feeling the love here, in more ways than one. The city scored near the bottom for romantic escapes, and the locals ranked as some of the least attractive. But at least the rudeness is of a fairly mellow variety: Atlanta placed in the bottom 10 for wild weekends.
No. 6 Dallas/Fort Worth
Locals in this sprawling city have probably tired of tourists’ old jokes about oil wells and cattle ranches—and may be venting with the kind of brusqueness associated with big metropolitan areas. At least voters did love the local barbecue joints, where it’s actually not rude to lick your fingers.
No. 5 Boston
Are they just a bunch of smart mouths? Folks in Beantown ranked near the top for intelligence, but that didn’t endear them to visitors. Bostonians might also be guilty of gloating about their championship sports teams. But visitors still love the city as a cultural getaway, and ranked it highly for its festive 4th of July.
No. 4 Los Angeles
The City of Angels is polishing its halo a bit this year, having moved from last year’s No. 1 position. While the locals still have some work to do on the charm front, voters gave them props for being attractive and stylish. If someone hurts your feelings here, try retail therapy: the city ranked third for both luxury and design stores.
No. 3 Washington, D.C.
Politics is ugly, and perhaps getting uglier. Even though our nation’s capital still counts as a great family getaway, it got two spots ruder since last year. For less attitude, voters preferred to hang out with any locals cast in bronze or granite: the city ranked first and second for its museums and historical monuments.
No. 2 Miami
They’re gorgeous, a little wild, and terrible drivers, according to voters. While bad weather may explain crabbiness in some cities, Miami can’t use that excuse. Voters are willing to shrug it off, though, as long as they are whooping it up in one of the city’s many loud settings, such as its bar scene or its raucous New Year’s Eve.
No. 1 New York City
The Big Apple reclaims its heavyweight title in hostility, a dubious honor it last held in 2009—and a reputation it has had for much longer (“You talkin’ to me?”). Besides its fast pace, New York City is also No. 1 for diversity. As a result, you might encounter unfamiliar mannerisms that aren’t meant to be mean but come across that way. Deep down, voters probably love New York for its flamboyant, bird-flipping spirit. After all, it’s also the No. 1 city for great theater.