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America’s Favorite Places: America’s Favorite Cities Overall

"There is no other city like New Orleans. So much history. A beautiful city. The people know how to make visitors feel welcomed, said one T+L survey respondent, while another described its color, incredible food, and famous festivals. This year, NOLA took the top spot for bachelor or bachelorette parties, festivals, and dining and drinking. - Getty Images
"There is no other city like New Orleans. So much history. A beautiful city. The people know how to make visitors feel welcomed, said one T+L survey respondent, while another described its color, incredible food, and famous festivals. This year, NOLA took the top spot for bachelor or bachelorette parties, festivals, and dining and drinking. Getty Images

Locals here have serious hometown pride.

"Norfolk is a great place to live and to visit," said one proud Virginian. "The climate is mild and the art and culture scene is alive with momentum!"

Locals also loved the southern city's ample water views, central location, and friendly vibe. "[It's] an amazing, historic city with [a] vibrant downtown area," another noted.

Every year in our annual America's Favorite Places survey, we ask Travel + Leisure readers to dish about their hometowns — the place they grew up or have lived in and know better than anywhere else on Earth.

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Unlike T+L's World's Best Awards, which encourages readers to weigh in on travel experiences across the globe, the America's Favorite Places survey is a way for locals to share what their hometowns do best. Readers ranked their hometowns and cities across a range of categories, from the friendliness of the locals to the quality of the pizza.

But to find out which hometown was most loved overall, we took a composite score of all the individual categories, from the top city for things to see and to do, to the one with the most exciting places to eat and drink.

And this year, the small city of Norfolk, Virginia took the No.1 spot in a number of categories. When people who live, or have lived, in Norfolk were asked about their hometown, they raved about how welcoming this port city is to tourists — and what a great place it was to grab a burger, sip a pint of craft beer, and even admire creative street art.

Related: America's Most Underrated Cities

"Norfolk continues to place a priority on public art as part of any major new development," explained one local, while more than a few pointed visitors interested in street art in the direction of the upcoming NEON District.

This year, small cities and major metropolises from every region in the country appeared on the list of America's Favorite Cities. Did your hometown make the cut?

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