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The 20 Friendliest Cities in America

The good old USA frequently ranks among the world's friendliest countries, but residents of the most affable American cities go above and beyond mere courtesy by offering a genuine smile, salutation, or helping hand. Whether you're a tourist, a recent transplant, or a native, the goodwill you'll witness in these stateside locales may rub off on you.

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Buffalo, New York

It may be cold, but the “City of Good Neighbors” is said to be full of warm-hearted residents ready to help wayward travelers find their destination. It’s no wonder Travel + Leisure readers crowned Buffalo the friendliest city in the nation in 2017.

Related: These 30 Places Have the Worst Weather in America

Sammamish, Washington

Wet and chilly as winters may be in this Pacific Northwest town, you’re unlikely to get the cold shoulder from locals. Community spirit abounds at the weekly farmer’s markets and concerts in the parks in this suburb east of Seattle, voted as the friendliest small metro area by Forbes readers in 2017.

Related: 10 Things to Buy if You’re Always Cold

Wailea, Hawaii

Mesmerizing blue waters and towering palm trees make this paradisaical city a treasure to behold. Be that as it may, Expedia readers were impressed by the inner beauty of locals, voting Wailea the friendliest stateside city in 2015.

Related: Island Living: 20 Tropical B&Bs That Are Only an Airplane Away

Charleston, South Carolina

The colorful Georgian houses that constitute Rainbow Row certainly look cheerful, but so are the Charleston residents themselves. Condé Nast Traveler readers voted it as the friendliest city in 2017, citing the willingness of residents to converse with each another as one of Charleston’s best features.

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Orinda, California

Flickr via Keith Cuddeback

If you lament the lack of interaction you have with your fellow residents, you could consider a move to Orinda, rated the second friendliest town in the country by Forbes readers in 2017. Here, neighbors rub elbows at public events like pancake breakfasts and wine tasting parties. A population of 17,932 means you can enjoy small town life yet still preserve your privacy.

Related: 11 Reasons to Get to Know Your Neighbors

Norfolk, Virginia

Located just south of the Mason-Dixon line, Norfolk is admired well beyond its borders for its abundance of historical attractions and southern hospitality. In 2017, Travel + Leisure readers rated it as the second-most friendly city, outranked only by Buffalo.

Related: The Best Tiny Towns in Every State

Rancho Mirage, California

Rancho Mirage has earned a reputation for providing a welcome atmosphere for tourists. Whether the positivity of residents can be attributed to their regular diet of sunshine is anyone’s guess, but the result is a community that Expedia readers rated as the second friendliest in the country in 2015.

Related: Winter Retreats of Presidents Past and Present

Fishers, Indiana

Flickr via Jim Grey

Thanks to its low crime rate, Fishers rarely makes the national news, and yet, its community spirit is considered headline-worthy by Forbes readers who voted it the third friendliest town in 2017, in part due to the frequent invitations that locals receive to casual neighborhood gatherings.

Related: 20 Places with (Almost) Zero Crime

Greenville, South Carolina

While smiling and waving at strangers may arouse confusion in some corners of the country, it’s not a strange sight along Greenville’s tree-lined, retiree-friendly friendly downtown. It’s that willingness to connect and engage that put the southern city among the top three friendliest in the country with Travel + Leisure readers in 2017.

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Telluride, Colorado

Remote though Telluride may be, situated in a canyon bounded by cliffs, its active residents are certainly sociable. According to Condé Nast Traveler readers in 2017, the helpfulness of residents in the famed ski town makes it one of the friendliest stateside towns, second only to Charleston.

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Seal Beach, California

Low crime, a highly walkable Main Street, and the annual Seal Beach Christmas Lighting ceremony, make this California city among the most desirable seaside locales. Perhaps the relaxed atmosphere is what makes the people of Seal Beach some of the friendliest in the nation, according to Forbes readers.

Related: 10 Cheap Ways to Bring the Beach to the Backyard

New Orleans, Louisiana

If you come to this colorful city for the tantalizing food, live music, and Cajun culture, you might decide to stay for the people. New Orleanians have cultivated a reputation for their open hospitality, a trait that earned them recognition on Travel + Leisure’s list of friendliest American cities in 2017.

Related: 15 Places Every American Should Visit at Least Once

Coronado, California

High-flyers the likes of Oprah Winfrey descend on Coronado for its warm climate and impressive accommodations. However, it’s the down-to-earth residents of the California city that earned it the title of the third friendliest locale in the U.S. with Expedia readers in 2015.

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Key West, Florida

From Ernest Hemingway to Tennessee Williams, artists and visionaries have long sought an escape from the ordinary in offbeat Key West. It’s the tolerance and acceptance of diverse people and ideas that contributed to the community’s ranking as one of the friendliest in America by Condé Nast Traveler readers in 2017.

Related: 10 U.S. Towns That Are Older Than America

Westerville, Ohio

Wikimedia Commons via Turover at English Wikipedia

From participating in neighborhood block watches to launching a local food collection service for people in need, the residents of Westerville have made a habit of looking out for one another. Forbes readers took note of Westerville’s spirit of giving, voting the 36,665-person town among the top five friendliest in the country in 2017.

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San Antonio, Texas

The hospitality is almost as big as the restaurant portions in San Antonio. The city’s big-heartedness has not gone unnoticed by Travel + Leisure readers, who, in 2017, voted it the fifth most friendly stateside city.

Related: 18 American Towns Every Old-House Lover Needs to See

Nashville, Tennessee

Budding crooners and country megastars flock to—and are embraced by—Music City, the fourth friendliest city in the country according to Condé Nast Traveler readers in 2017. While the concert halls and stages of Nashville feel larger than life, the city retains a small-town feel thanks to the local restaurants and bed-and-breakfasts that serve up a helping of southern hospitality with their down-home cuisine.

Related: The Best Small-Town Inns in All 50 States

Springdale, Utah

Flikr via Ken Lund

The brisk mountain air isn’t the only reason to visit Springdale. Expedia readers regarded the tiny town as one of the friendliest in the nation in 2015, in part due to its welcoming small-town traditions like enjoying a slice of pie at Bumbleberry Inn.

Related: 20 Must-Visit Mountain Towns Across America

Ashland, Oregon

Wikimedia Commons via Demi~commonswiki

Residents of this remote, 21,000-person town in Rogue Valley are never starved for company. In fact, community spirit runs so deep in Ashland that Condé Nast Traveler readers ranked it among the top five friendliest cities in America in 2017.

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Sanibel, Florida

Chalk it up to the majestic seaside landscape, the bohemian beach lifestyle, or the lack of stop lights, but Expedia readers claim that life in Sanibel has contributed to the residents being some of the friendliest in the nation.

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