Condé Nast Ranks Best Cities in America

Carmel-by-the-Sea, California has been named one of the best small cities in America by Condé Nast, coming in at No. 6 out of 10.

Imagine the craggy northern California coastline, and the first image that comes to mind may be the arched Bixby Creek Bridge, which connects Carmel-by-the-Sea and Big Sur to the south. A drive along scenic Highway 1 is a must-do when visiting the area, as is putting your feet in the soft white sand of Carmel Beach. The area’s vibrant wine scene means there’s no shortage of tasting rooms in town, along with top-notch cuisine. Take a break from the coast with a day trip to nearby Carmel Valley to visit the local wineries and bistros. Golfers will want to take note of Carmel Valley Ranch, but the resort’s fragrant lavender fields—and accompanying summer Lavender Harvest Festival—are just another reason for everyone to put Carmel on their list.

Carmel was the only California city to make the small cities list. The full rankings were as follows:

  1. Aspen, Colorado
  2. Charleston, South Carolina
  3. Alexandria, Virginia
  4. Santa Fe, New Mexico
  5. Greenville, South Carolina
  6. Carmel-by-the-Sea, California
  7. Key West, Florida
  8. Savannah, Georgia
  9. Jackson Hole, Wyoming
  10. Newport, Rhode Island

San Francisco and San Diego made Condé Nast’s list of the best large cities at No. 5 and No. 7. The rankings are based on over 800,000 reader surveys.

Read more about the best cities and see the full rankings here.

Lists were compiled by Condé Nast.