The Friendliest Cities In The U.S.

Nashville City Skyline
John Geim / Getty Images

When searching for places to travel to we often look for destinations that have fun attractions, great amenities, and plenty of things to do and see to keep us busy and entertained. But those aren’t the only things that will lure travelers to come to their cities. The locals also play a big part in the city’s atmosphere. 

The United States is full of amazing places with some of the friendliest people but some cities stand out from the rest! If you want to immerse yourself in the city’s culture all the while being able to mingle with friendly people check out our list of the friendliest cities in the U.S.

Jackson, Wyoming

Jackson, Wyoming boasts a modest population of just 10-thousand residents. The low population density actually gives this city a friendly small-town feel. Here neighbors know each other’s names and wave to each other as they pass by on the streets. And you can bet that their friendly manner is passed on to the tourists too. Despite the earthy tones, Jackson, Wyoming boasts a number of world-class attractions, like the National Museum of Wildlife Art and, perhaps surprisingly, a sophisticated restaurant scene. For younger tourists, Jackson also has a bustling nightlife. 

Cowboy culture is alive and well in Jackson and it’s Old West authenticity extends to shopping as it’s one of the best places to pick up an authentic cowboy outfit. The city rounds out its list of attractions by capitalizing on its natural surroundings. You can follow bike trails around Snake River or visit in the wintertime for skiing at the Snow King or Jackson Hole Mountain resorts. You also can’t leave without visiting the nearby Grand Teton National Park and Yellowstone National Park.

Asheville, North Carolina

Most tourists planning a trip to North Carolina will be directed to Raleigh or Charlotte, the state’s two biggest hubs. However, Travelers looking to get away from the hustle and bustle of metropolitan areas will delight in a small-town destination, one like Asheville, North Carolina. Like Jackson, Wyoming, Asheville combines beautiful mountain scenery and outdoorsy fun with a homey sense of the local.

Restaurants put a big emphasis on locally sourced and traditional dishes, and many will serve beer from local breweries. Sometimes described as “eclectic,” Asheville also has a vibrant arts and culture scene which is demonstrated in the lively River Arts District and complemented by festivals like the LaZoom Comedy Tour. Perhaps most importantly, the locals are friendly and welcoming, earning Asheville a reputation as one of the most friendly cities in America.

Albuquerque, New Mexico

Several places in New Mexico frequently rank amongst the friendliest cities in America, and Albuquerque is one of them. The city has excellent weather and unlike other metropolises around the nation, it’s noted for a lack of noise. Due to its excellent weather, you’ll have plenty of opportunities to enjoy outdoor sports, concerts, events, festivals and more. The city is also recognized as one of the most culturally diverse cities in the country and this can be seen through the city’s architecture, artwork, and cuisines. 

The city is renowned among visitors for its street food and is well-represented on New Mexico’s so-called Breakfast Burrito Byway. You also need to check out the city’s epic donut shop called Rebel Donut which offers an array of impressive hand-made donuts and delicious coffee. Albuquerque may be a larger city but it still has a friendly, laid back neighborhood atmosphere that will make you feel relaxed, comfortable, and happy during your stay. 

Minneapolis, Minnesota

At first glance, there may not be a lot to recommend about Minneapolis and nearby St. Paul, but further investigation will reveal a friendly, welcoming city with plenty of attractions. Minneapolis appeals to visitors by offering free admission to places like the Minneapolis Institute of Art and the Minneapolis Sculpture Garden

The city also has a renowned craft brewery scene, including the Dangerous Man Brewing Co. Perhaps the best recommendation for the Twin Cities is their locals. Minnesotans are friendly folks who know how to make people feel welcome. The cities are said to have a non-threatening atmosphere which will make you feel safe, comfortable, and welcomed during your stay. Grab a beer with some of the locals to learn about all the hottest spots in the city.

Austin, Texas

Nicknamed the “Capital of Live Music,” Austin has already earned a reputation among travelers as one of the best places in America to catch a concert or take part in a music festival. But the state capital’s charms don’t end there. With the slogan “keep Austin weird”, the city thrives on being quirky. From local shops to great dining experiences, Austin has more to offer than music. 

The city has a youthful appeal and perfectly blends Texan charm and hospitality with its modern-day culture. During your stay, pick up farm-fresh produce or handmade products at one of the city’s markets, or seek out off-the-map restaurants for an unforgettable meal. Furthermore, experiences like a Segway tour with a singing, guitar-playing guide, or bat-watching underneath the Congress Avenue Bridge all contribute to Austin’s unique character. 

New Orleans, Louisiana

Locals in New Orleans aren’t just friendly during the city’s iconic Mardi Gras celebrations, they’re friendly all year round! Although Louisiana’s capital might have a frenetic energy that overwhelms some, others love it. 

Sensory overload is one way to describe the experience of New Orleans from great food to beautiful sights, history, and vibrant visual and performing arts. Better yet, the locals are friendly and, moreover, are just as invested in making your stay a good one. In fact, some of the most hospitable people in the United States can be found in this vibrant city. But most of all, New Orleans is about enjoying life and it’s hard not to when everyone around you seems determined on doing just that.

Nashville, Tennessee

Nashville, Tennessee is easily one of America’s favorite cities thanks to its Southern hospitality and thriving music scene. Unlike in LA and New York, Nashville’s role as a recording hub for the music industry hasn’t translated into an elitist celebrity culture in the city. Instead, you’ll find Nashville characterized by live musical performances, affordable accommodations, and great dining experiences. New York is also known as America’s rudest city which is far from the atmosphere you’ll experience here in Nashville. 

The city’s downtown atmosphere is often lively with festivals, markets, and performances which only proves that the state capital is anything but boring. The same can be said of the locals with their friendly ways that make the city a place worth visiting. Fair warning, some people go intending just to visit and simply decide to never leave Music City.

Charleston, South Carolina

Although we’ve seen some cities in the South on this list already, Charleston, South Carolina, is definitely worth noting. This beautiful city really speaks to the idea of “Southern hospitality”. The South’s culture has long been characterized as easy-going, laid-back, and welcoming. This is readily apparent to visitors the moment they set foot in Charleston. 

The city blends an easy-going attitude with an air of sophistication to create an almost magical atmosphere that you don’t forget. The friendly locals love to showcase their city to people from all corners of the globe. Visitors will feel comfortable no matter what they choose to do in this city but we highly recommend checking out the Waterfront Park, the Historic Charleston City Market, and the Fort Sumter National Monument. Furthermore, Charleston has been recognized by various travel publications as the friendliest location in the U.S. as well as the most polite and hospitable city in America. 

Savannah, Georgia

Southern hospitality lands another city on the list and this time, we’re visiting Savannah, Georgia. Savannah is the oldest city in The Peach State and is full of history, wonderful architecture, and natural beauty. When visiting, you really need to slow down to take it all in. 

With plenty of tourist information available for travelers looking to explore the city, you may not need to ask for directions. That said, the talkative and friendly locals will be more than happy to point you the right way. The locals are described as fun and bubbling with Southern charm, ensuring that visitors to Savannah will feel welcome.

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