Miami gets New York as America’s rudest city

Where do the rudest people in America live? Travel + Leisure took a survey to find out.


Fair or not, the locals in Miami are known for being a bit aloof.

“They are multi-lingual, beautiful and rich,” said the Florida-based travel blogger Christine Austin. “For ordinary people, visiting here can feel like stumbling in a nightclub full of supermodels like you’re wearing yoga pants.”

But she insists that it is not merely vanity that makes the residents so brusque: “It is warm here, all the time,” she said. “The kind of heat that makes you want to just blame someone.”

Or is it the heat or the velvet rope, Miami made its debut as the No. 1 rudest city, according to Travel + Leisure readers.

In the latest America’s Favorite Places survey, voters ranked major cities with a population more than 100,000) for this cosmopolitan features as their world-class museums, chef-driven restaurants and cocktail lounges.

But the survey also scored a number of quality-of-life features, such as how walkable a city is, how safe it feels, and how sympathetic (or not) the locals seem to be.

This year’s list of America’s 15 Toughest Cities contains a number of recurring winners or losers, depending on your privilege and some shakeups. New York City, for example, shed his title as the rudest in the country, and only three of the top 15 are located in the stereotypical surly north-East. Nine of the rebellious cities also scored high for passionate sports enthusiasts, so maybe that’s the in-your-face enthusiasm is rubbing out-of-towners the wrong way.

To be honest, rudeness in the cities on the list may be in the eye of the beholder. Manila-based travel blogger Marlon Uy Cana, says that he has experienced a number of classic New York City attitude, he has just as many friendly people — when he makes a little effort.

“Most New Yorkers were polite, and I talked with them on the subway,” he said. “But as a tourist, I say ‘Hello’ first, and a big smile goes a long way. You get back what you give.”

From the west coast to the icy east coast, these are the years of the roughest cities. (To check those who are under the impression travelers with their friendliness and good vibes, check out our list of America’s Friendliest Cities.)

The nitty-gritty: Travel + Leisure’s America’s Favorite Places survey opened on 10/8/2015 and closed on 04/15/2016. It was open to everyone, and walked next to a lottery. The open-response survey respondents were asked for their favorite place and rate in more than 65 categories, including affordability, remarkable restaurants, and public parks. Cities are defined as subject bodies with a population of more than 100,000.

  • 1.

    Miami, Florida


    Last year’s runner-up is now the dog when it comes to our readers’ impressions of rudeness.

    It is hard to imagine how someone can be in a bad mood here, what with the city’s permanent tropical weather and pristine beach of real estate. After all, it’s ranked as one of the best cities in the country for a Beach Holiday.

    But maybe it’s a Miami view of luxury, of shiny new apartments to couture boutiques, that disabled travelers. In addition to rudeness, the city had a pretty high snob score.

  • 2.

    Phoenix, Arizona


    The capital city of the Grand Canyon State keeps creeping up the list, moving from Number 12 in 2014 to with No. 8 in 2015, and now Number 2. Phoenix seems not to be more welcoming in the direction of the visitors (last year, we suspect they were just tired of all the people who winter in their place of residence), but they should not be surprised by the influx. Phoenix received high scores for many “quality of life” factors, such as the good drivers (No. 1) and the affordability (No. 2).

  • 3.

    New York City, New York


    Despite the fact that one of the top three of the rudest cities in America, the Big Apple is an improvement of the reputation of this year, dropping the Number 1 position.

    Maybe it was the mild winter that kept the local population chipper, or the fact that tourists expect a certain attitude as part of their authentic New York City experience.

    But if you want to avoid dirty looks and scathing retorts, there is one thing you can do to improve your experience with the locals, and that is to walk like a New Yorker.

  • 4.

    Los Angeles, California


    Despite the sunny skies and the palm tree-lined boulevards, Los Angeles still has a reputation for being a little bit unkind.

    To mingle with affable Angelenos, avoid excessive Hollywood glitz and go in search of world-class museums (such as the beautiful new Wide) and the vibrant art and culinary communities.

    It is hard to be rude to everyone while enjoying a bowl of banchan in Koreatown.

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  • 5.

    Philadelphia, Pennsylvania


    It is known as the City of Brotherly Love, but it is not all hugs and tenderness in Philadelphia.

    Head to one of the numerous historic locations (for that Philly Number 2), where you’ll surely strike up a conversation with the American history buffs on the Liberty Bell, Independence Hall, or the revamped Benjamin Franklin Museum.

  • 6.

    Salt Lake City (Utah, Usa)


    What is not to like about a metropolis of almost entirely surrounded by ski resorts?

    Maybe all that cold air leaves the local population in the Number 1 city for ski trips feeling cold. Salt Lake City has impressed travelers with the overall cleaning and the attractive residents.

    Get to know them through an après-ski drink in the particularly mild Solitude Mountain Resort’s Library Bar. Slopeside cafes and lounges are one of the only places you will find Salt Lake-style nightlife.

  • 7.

    Boston, Massachusetts


    If you want to make a good impression on Bostonians — some of the most passionate sports fans in the country — leave your Yankees cap, and a Golden State Warriors jersey at home.

    You won’t have any trouble striking a conversation with brainy the local population, or to the kind help of a BID Ambassador.

    You can find them in orange shirts, watering plants, picking up trash, and helping the visitors are all in Beantown.

    Is your hometown one of the roughest cities in the US? See the full list at Travel + Leisure.

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