Having made the mistake of mentioning on a forum that “on my list of top 20 U.S. cities, L.A. wouldn’t even be on it”, I’m now being called to task to produce such a list. So be it. Note that this is all done in the context of tourism. For example, since I have family in LA that would be good reason why I would want to go there, but such considerations would be irrelevant to a random tourist.

If I had to order this list tomorrow, I’m sure the ordering would be different. Also, I’m stretching the concept of “city” a lot here to mean more like “region a tourist might visit”. To increase the degree of difficulty, I’ve tried to capture a wide range of places.

  1. Chicago, IL
  2. Sedonda, AZ
  3. Las Vegas, NV
  4. Washington, DC
  5. Vail, CO (summer only)
  6. Memphis, TN
  7. Flagstaff, AZ (or, rather, the Grand Canyon)
  8. New York, NY
  9. Cedar City, UT (or, rather, Zion and Bryce Canyon National Parks)
  10. New Orleans, LA
  11. Portland, OR
  12. Seattle, WA
  13. Bozeman, MT (and nearby Yellowstone National Park)
  14. Farmington, NM (or, rather, Mesa Verde and Chaco Canyon)
  15. San Fransisco, CA
  16. Kihei, HI (Maui)
  17. Boston, MA
  18. Captiva, FL
  19. Taos, NM
  20. San Diego, CA