World’s Top Cities and Best U.S. Islands: Did Your Fave Place Make the List?

October 6, 2020 Admin

We’re not travelling much, especially here in Canada. But it’s nice to see the folks at Conde Nast Traveler are still putting out their yearly “Best in Travel” Readers’ Choice awards.

It’s also nice to see a little Canadian content, and to see some of Canadians’ fave places get highly ranked.

Conde Nast readers evaluated top resorts and hotels, but most are outside the average person’s price range. So I’ll focus instead on small and big cities and on U.S. islands that were singled out.


Smaller cities seem a little less threatening to some folks right now given COVID-19. These aren’t exactly small, but you might feel more comfortable than in the major metropolises of the world. Here’s the CNT top ten for small cities of the world.

10. Edinburgh (truly spectacular)

9. Florence (wonderful, but, in most years, best to go in the off-season)

8. Victoria, B.C. (well-deserved, for sure)

7. Siena, Italy (see Florence comments)

6. Salzburg (kitschy at times, but remarkably beautiful)

5. Valletta, Malta

4. Monte Carlo (Pretty, but I wouldn’t mark it this high)

3. Merida, Mexico

2. Chiang Mai, Thailand (wonderful markets and great, inexpensive food)

1. San Miguel de Allende, Mexico


Sydney, Australia.

10. Lisbon (a personal fave; love the hills and just exploring)

9. Copenhagen

8. Helsinki

7. Porto (a big city? I wouldn’t have thought so)

6. Tokyo (for sure)

5. Vienna (perhaps the most beautiful city on the planet)

4. Sydney (Okay, maybe a tie with Vienna)

3. Singapore (fantastic street food)

2. Lyon, France (apparently great food but I’ve never been)

1. Kyoto (well-deserved)


The architectural boat tours on the Chicago River are not to be missed. JIM BYERS PHOTO

10. St. Petersburg, Florida (a personal fave, with great beaches and tons of culture)

9. Tucson (another great choice)

8. Nashville (never been)

7. San Diego (great weather and beaches, but also wonderful craft beer)

6. New York City (can’t go wrong with the Big Apple)

5. San Antonio (way more to this city than the Alamo and the Riverwalk)

4. New Orleans (food, music, food, music, food, music….)

3. Boston (a wonderful walking city)

2. Washington D.C. (definitely underrated)

1. Chicago (a personal fave for food, architecture, culture + more)


The beach in Carmel-by-the-Sea, California.

10. Key West (so much fun)

9. Jackson Hole, Wyoming

8. Savannah (usually ranked higher)

7. Aspen (a perennial entry on these lists)

6. Greenville, South Carolina

5. Alexandria, Virginia

4. Laguna Beach, California (gorgeous)

3. Carmel-by-the-Sea, California (ditto, plus the prettiest white sand on the west coast)

2. Santa Fe, New Mexico (great art and history, not to mention green chile cheeseburgers)

1. Charleston


The Travaasa Hana Maui Hotel.

10. Lanai, Hawai’i (Tiny Lana’i City is as cute as a button)

9. Amelia Island, Florida (love the laid-back feel)

8. Longboat Key, Florida (great beach)

7. Isle of Palms, South Carolina (hadn’t heard of it until today)

6. Oahu, Hawai’I (amazing diversity)

5. Kiawah, South Carolina

4. St. Simon’s Island and Little St. Simon’s Island, Georgia

3. Marco Island, Florida (I like it but prefer Amelia)

2. Maui, Hawai’I (always in the top two or three)

1. Hilton Head, South Carolina (looks great but somehow never been)

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