Savvy travelers have confirmed what we already knew to be true: Texas is home to some of America's favorite cities.
Travel + Leisure's readers have named San Antonio, Fort Worth, and Houston three of their favorite towns in the nation. The magazine's annual survey, which ran for six months, asked readers to rate cities with a population of over 100,000 on features such as affordability, dining destinations, shopping options, and cultural attractions. T+L points out that readers favored cities "that have put their local stamp on such crowd-pleasers as craft beers, burger joints, and indie bookstores" — and these Texas towns can check "yes" to all three.
San Antonio leads the pack with an esteemed place at No. 2. "History, friendly locals, and an all-you-can-eat attitude made readers love this Texas city for more than just the Alamo," says the magazine. The burgeoning Pearl district was highlighted for its wide range of stores and restaurants, with Hotel Emma named as the place to stay and The Granary 'Cue and Brew as the place to hit up for meat-centric fare.
A combination of family-friendly charm and understated beauty puts Fort Worth at No. 10. The Modern, Kimbell, and Amon Carter museums were obvious favorites among those surveyed, but T+L also suggests the twice-daily cattle drives that take place down the Stockyards' Exchange Avenue as a free and fun outing.
Houston comes in at the No. 25 spot. Its vibrant dining scene contributed greatly to the ranking — burgers from Lankford Grocery and barbecue from Goode Co. are both mentioned — but H-town received the most love for its growing selection of nightlife options like the Nightingale Room, a classy new cocktail destination downtown.
Buffalo, New York, at No. 1, leads the list of America's favorite cities. Providence, Rhode Island; Norfolk, Virginia; and Nashville, Tennessee slide in behind San Antonio to round out the top five. Austin, however, is nowhere to be seen.