Baltimore Tops the List of America’s ‘Least Attractive Cities’

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It's not the view that earned the recognition for bad looks.
It’s not the view that earned Baltimore recognition for its bad looks.

For Election Day, here’s a story about another sort of election: Baltimore has made it to the top of a list that no city wants to be on.

“America’s Least Attractive Cities” is an annual list compiled by the editors of Travel + Leisure magazine, based on a survey of its readers. The results, based on more than 50,000 votes from readers asked to rank cities in various categories, are posted on its website.

Last year Baltimore was ranked number four. This year, it moved to number one.

As writer Peter Schlesinger notes in an article online, the list is not a survey of the physical attributes of America’s cities, but rather of the people who live there. Schlesinger concedes in his writeup that “readers love Baltimore for its revitalized inner harbor and its beautiful historic sites – such as the Beaux Arts Pennsylvania Station.”

What put it on the list, he said, are its residents.

“While the city itself is photogenic to the core, Americans think its citizens are less so,” he writes. “Baltimore has slipped down the list from its No. 4 spot and now has the sad honor of being America’s least attractive city in this year’s survey.”

Other cities that made the 2016 list are:  Memphis, Tenn., no. 9; Atlanta, Ga., 8; Tampa, Fla., 7; Cleveland, Ohio, 6; Milwaukee, Wisc. 5; Charlotte, N. C., 4; Spokane, Wash. 3; and Sacramento, Calif., 2.

Baltimore residents “shouldn’t take the news badly,” Schlesinger writes. “They’re passionate enough about their sports teams to minimize any hurt feelings.”

Ed Gunts

Ed Gunts

Ed Gunts is a local freelance writer and the former architecture critic for The Baltimore Sun.
Ed Gunts


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