Boston Beats Seattle, Portland in List of Best U.S. Cities

The Pacific Northwest has nothing on us.

Photo by Greg DuBois

Photo by Greg DuBois

Is there anywhere cooler than the oh-so-hip Pacific Northwest?

In short, yes. Boston is.

In Travel + Leisure‘s annual World’s Best Award list released this week, Boston was ranked the 13th best city in the United States. Lagging behind Boston on the list of 15 cities were Seattle, Washington and Portland, Oregon.

Sure, Boston doesn’t have the world’s largest independent bookstore or an alley with walls plastered in gum, but it does have a winding brick strip on the ground called the Freedom Trail, the oldest public park in the country, and a bunch of really enthusiastic sports fans.

If you need further proof: Always wanted to visit Seattle’s Pike Place Market? We have two public markets—Quincy Market and the Boston Public Market. Heard raving reviews of Portland’s Voodoo Doughnuts? Blackbird Doughnuts just won a Best of Boston award, and Union Square Donuts’ cherry hibiscus doughnut tops a Fruit Loop-flavored one any day.

At number 14, Seattle made its first appearance on the list in ten years, and Portland, bringing up the rear, made the list for the first time ever.

Many of the rest of the Travel + Leisure winners represent the south. The magazine notes that one-third of the winners are below the Mason-Dixon line, and two other winners are in Texas. Charleston, South Carolina took first place, followed by New Orleans, Louisiana and Savannah, Georgia.

Cities were ranked according to readers’ survey responses in categories like sights, landmarks, culture, food, friendliness, and shopping. Respondents could choose from ratings of excellent, above average, below average, or poor in each category, and then, the averages were calculated to determine a city’s final score. Boston’s score of 83.08 out of 100 feels pretty impressive, so 13th place is just fine with us.