Chicago Ranks Second in Condé Nast Traveler List of Best Cities

"Despite its 'Second City' nickname, Chicago is no stranger to the best," Condé Nast Traveler editors said

Condé Nast Traveler's readers have a soft spot for Chicago.

The Windy City ranked second in the travel guide's annual Readers’ Choice Award Poll, up from third last year, for the best big cities to visit in the United States.

"Despite its 'Second City' nickname, Chicago is no stranger to the best," Condé Nast Traveler editors said, pointing to the city hosting North America's biggest architecture biennial and several of its chefs earning James Beard awards.

"When in doubt, take a boat tour of the city and float beneath some of the country’s tallest buildings; catch stand-up at, well, the Second City; or see if you can actually get a reservation at Alinea, a leader in molecular gastronomy."

More than 100,000 votes were cast by Condé Nast Traveler readers for their favorite U.S. cities, and the publication said it received so much feedback that the info was broken into two lists.

New York topped the list, followed by Chicago, San Francisco and Honolulu.

“Chicago is breaking tourism records and creating thousands of jobs that reach every corner of the city,” Mayor Rahm Emanuel said in a statement. “This recognition shows that our efforts to bring even more visitors to the city are working and driving economic opportunities in Chicago's neighborhoods.”

Emanuel pointed out 20 Chicago hotels were listed among Condé Nast Traveler's ranking of nation’s best hotels. The Virgin Hotel Chicago and Thompson Chicago were the first two.

“As we continue to build awareness about Chicago and all the reasons that make it one of the greatest global cities, it is an honor to be given the distinction of being one of the best by Condé Nast’s Readers’ Choice Awards,” Desiree Rogers, board chair of Choose Chicago, said.

A full list of the publication's rankings was published on its website.

1. New York, New York
2. Chicago
3. San Francisco
4. Honolulu, Hawaii
5. New Orleans, Louisiana
6. Boston, Massachusetts
7. Portland, Oregon
8. Naples, Florida
9. Seattle, Washington
10. San Diego, California
11.Washington, D.C.
12. San Antonio, Texas
13. Nashville, Tennessee
14. Minneapolis, Minnesota
15. Austin, Texas

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