Austin is known for its welcoming attitude, happening social scene and the occasional “Howdy!” exchanged on the hike-and-bike trail. Even Austin Police Chief Art Acevedo makes a point for officers to lend a helping hand, encouraging them to change a flat tire when a driver’s in need.
It’s this Southern hospitality found throughout the city that has garnered acclaim from Condé Nast Traveler’s annual Readers’ Choice Awards, placing Austin at No. 5 among the friendliest cities in the nation.
It seems climate plays a major role in how friendly a city is, with most of the friendliest cities housed in the South, while the top 10 least-friendly cities were mostly found on the East Coast. The warmer the climate, the friendlier the residents.
In the 2015 Friendliest and Unfriendliest Cities in the U.S. survey, readers were asked to rate a city’s friendliness with respect to where they felt most welcome, or not. Austin made the list due to its “vibrant, youthful,” “quirky and fun” nature. Readers noted the bat tours, farmers markets, “small, off-the-radar shops and restaurants” and festivals, but most of all, the city’s weirdness, as key elements to Austin’s affability.
Park City, Utah nabbed the No. 1 spot for friendliest city, with Savannah, Georgia and Charleston, South Carolina coming in at Nos. 2 and 3.
Newark, New Jersey; Oakland, California; and Atlantic City, New Jersey were named the most-unfriendly cities. In other words, avoid Jersey at all costs — you’ll be treated better here at home.