Are We There Yet? – Rudest Cities

Where does your city fall in terms of rudeness?

Jennifer Coxby Jennifer Cox

Every morning I start my day with a cup of strong coffee and opening a slew of tabs on my computer, including Travel + Leisure. If I'm not reading their print magazine (always posied on my end table) I'm perusing their website – they have great, entertaining, informative articles that always get my travel bug juices flowing.

One of my favourite recent features was a piece called "America's Rudest Cities." While it would have been interesting to know which destinations the staff of T+L would have chosen (given their long resumes of travelling), this list was compiled by readers who were partaking in the magazine's yearly America's Favorite Cities survey, where they were also voting on things like who has the best pizza as well as the most reliable wireless service.

So, are you wondering where major cities placed in terms of overall rudeness? Well, it should come as no surprise that the Big Apple's residents were the big winners here… apparently tourists aren't akin to the "rush" of New York City. This supported T+L's overall idea that the bigger the city, the bigger the attitude (and the smaller or more quaint the town, the friendly its inhabitants, as demonstrated by places like New Orleans, Savannah, and Charleston, who were voted the top three friendliest cities in the same poll). The number two and number three spots went to Miami and Washington, D.C., respectively. Los Angeles came in fourth (although LA was the three-time champ on the list in years past) while the top 5 rudest cities were rounded out with Boston coming in fifth place.

I've been to NYC a number of times, and while the people are a tad, er, abrupt, I think most people going to visit this busy city understand that that's how it is going in, so the rudeness should really come as no surprise. If you were expecting something else of this crazy metropolis, you're foolish. I was surprised that Miami and DC ranked so high – I lived in South Florida for more than a decade and always enjoyed afternoons walking along Ocean Drive, and the few times I made it the capital city of Washington I had a fantastic time seeing the sights and interacting with the people (who seemed perfectly polite… but perhaps were tourists like myself). Having checked out LA it comes as no surprise that this city is always at the top of the rudest list, but Boston, which I've been to once, exuded charm and friendliness.

Maybe the old adage of "do unto others" is true – I'm kind to those around me in foreign cities and so I get it in return. Perhaps the people who took this T+L survey were Debbie Downers. Just sayin…

Check out more about this article here.

Bon Voyage,


Jenn Cox is a Montreal-based freelance journalist. Visit her website or email her at