Miami residents are most attractive in U.S.: poll

NEW YORK Thu Sep 11, 2008 3:44pm EDT

Beachgoers enjoy Miami's South Beach April 13, 2008. REUTERS/Miguel A. Baez

Beachgoers enjoy Miami's South Beach April 13, 2008.

Credit: Reuters/Miguel A. Baez

NEW YORK (Reuters Life!) - If you live in Miami, consider yourself among the most attractive people in the United States.

The Sunshine State's metropolis has the most beautiful people, according to an online survey of "America's Favorite Cities" by Travel + Leisure magazine, while Philadelphia came in last at No. 25.

"I'm not surprised at all, but I'm not in that group" joked Bill Talbert, president of the Greater Miami Convention and Visitors Bureau, about the city's attractive people rating.

"When you're here, you kind of take it for granted. Then you travel, and when you come back you say, 'Oh my, look what we have here,'" he added.

Although Philadelphia placed last for the second consecutive year, a tourism official said the city was happy to be in the top 25.

The online survey of 125,000 people ranked 25 U.S. cities in 45 categories ranging from most affordable to friendliest people.

Las Vegas and New Orleans took the top spots as best city for a wild weekend, and Washington, D.C., was voted tops for historical sites/monuments. But Los Angeles residents may have a problem with being ranked last in the friendliest people and most intelligent people categories.

If you want friendly, you can't do any better than Charleston, South Carolina, and if you're looking for the smartest locals, head to Seattle, Washington, according to the survey.

New York received the most No.1 ratings, getting top marks for shopping, arts, diverse residents and skyline. But the Big Apple limped in last for peace and quiet and affordability.

The poll showed San Antonio, Texas, takes the smallest bite out of your budget and is the most affordable city, while peace and quiet is easiest found in Santa Fe, New Mexico, which also came in last in all nightlife categories.

Portland, Oregon, Minneapolis/St. Paul and Austin, Texas, took the gold, silver and bronze in the cleanest city competition, while New Orleans had the most work to do in keeping things tidy.

"We were really excited to see how some of the smaller cities took center stage," said Travel + Leisure editor Stirling Kelso.

"Portland again did very well, ranking high in environmental awareness, outdoor life and public transportation."

Kelso said the accessibility of a city, largely through its good public transportation services, will often result in higher survey rankings.

"New York and Washington are very accessible and did well. We were surprised with Los Angeles' low rankings, but perhaps that's because it's not a really accessible city," she added.

Honolulu topped the field in best for a romantic escape and best weather. Theme-park rich Orlando in Florida was voted best for a family vacation while Las Vegas came in last in the category..