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Travelers' favorite city? Us, of course

Posted by Paul Makishima, Globe Assistant Sunday Editor  October 16, 2008 07:03 AM

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We schooled 'em big time. Beantown came out on top in a Travel + Leisure competition, pitting 25 major US cities -- including big hitters like New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Seattle, and Dallas -- in an East vs. West competition with 45 categories, from people to food to culture to night life. We whupped San Francisco in the finals. More than 125,000 travelers cast their votes in the contest.
So how did we do? We cleaned up in the culture category, particularly in classical music and historical sites and monuments, placing No. 2 of 25 in both. We did OK in shopping, with antique stores (No. 5), art galleries (No. 7), and luxury boutiques (No. 8) leading the way.
We didn't fare so well in terms of night life, making it only to No. 16 in clubs and No. 12 for the lounge scene.
We didn't embarrass ourselves in live music and bands (No. 11), and visitors like our noteworthy neighborhoods (No. 4) and public transportation (No. 5).
And it's no shock that in affordability (No. 20), traffic (No. 20), and weather (No. 22)...well, let's face we hate all of that too.
There were, however, some surprises.
In the people category, we weren't bad in terms of intelligence (No. 6). I don't feel too bad about being beaten by Seattle (No. 1) or maybe even Minneapolis (No. 2), but Austin (No. 3)?
And then there's friendliness (No. 20), but, hey, who cares what they think?
In attractiveness, we were No. 17. The top two were Miami and San Diego. I get that. Same with L.A. (No. 7) and even Denver (No. 10). But Phoenix (No. 11)? Please.
As a spring break destination, we're at No. 21. Come on. We have tons of students of every opposite sex here. And bars. And beaches. Wet t-shirts can be a little dicey in March, however.
Looking over our whole profile, we don't look much like cheerleader material but we'd be a shoo-in for class president. No matter. I hear nerd is the new black.

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  • Anne Fitzgerald, Globe Travel Editor
  • Paul Makishima, Globe Assistant Sunday Editor
  • Eric Wilbur, Boston.com staff
  • Kari Bodnarchuk writes about outdoor adventures, offbeat places, and New England.
  • Patricia Borns, a frequent contributor to Globe Travel, writes and photographs travel, maritime, and historical narratives as well as blogs and books.
  • Patricia Harris, a regular contributor to Globe Travel, is author or co-author of more than 20 books on travel, food, and popular culture.
  • Paul E. Kandarian, a frequent contributor to Globe Travel, writes and photographs New England and Caribbean stories.
  • Chris Klein is a regular contributor to Globe Travel. His latest book is "The Die-Hard Sports Fan's Guide to Boston."
  • David Lyon, a regular contributor to Globe Travel, is author or co-author of more than 20 books on travel, food, and popular culture.
  • Hilary Nangle, author of Moon Maine, Moon Coastal Maine, and Moon Acadia National Park, writes about soft adventure, skiing, cultural travel, and food.
  • Joe Ray, a frequent contributor to Globe Travel, writes and photographs food and travel stories from Europe.
  • Necee Regis is a regular contributor to Globe Travel.
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