Keep smiling, Twin Cities. It hasn’t gone unnoticed.
A national magazine has glossily validated our Minnesota Niceness, naming Minneapolis-St. Paul the third friendliest city in the nation. As part of its sweeping “America’s Favorite Cities” survey, Travel & Leisure asked readers to rate how welcome certain cities made visitors feel.
Categories in the broader poll weren’t all niceness indicators, ranging from best music scene to best antique shopping. Apparently we have more than friendliness going for us, as our “well-ranked craft brews” were good for third place in the beer category. T&L suggests getting to know a local over a pint at Dangerous Man. Fortunately, all those luscious chocolate milk stouts haven’t turned our brains and bodies to mush.
“If [they] weren’t so darn nice, you might have to loathe these Minnesotans, who also ranked at the top of the survey for being smart and super-fit,” the mag reports.
On the friendly tip, readers apparently aren’t too worried about getting yelled at or mugged by Minnesota strangers, as they said our land of tons o’ lakes feels safe and non-threatening. Winning second-place for best freebie attractions, such as the Walker Sculpture Garden and Minneapolis Institute of Art, further aided our welcoming vibes by “enticing visitors.” While it was a dual-city award, sadly St. Paul received no specific shout outs.
Little big towns dominated the top 10, led by Nashville with its combo of good tunes, “jovial” beards and “cheery” food trucks. “Kid friendly” Salt Lake City, which evidently has the third best Christmas lights in the U.S., took No. 2. Barbecue killin’ Kansas City and anti-snobby Oklahoma City followed the Twin Cities atop the friendly heap.
On the spit-in-your-coffee end of the spectrum, New York City was dubbed the least friendly of the 38 cities vetted. Other East Coast towns Boston, Philadelphia and Washington D.C. settled into the bottom five, along with Detroit (but they have their own problems).
Perhaps it’s a life of hotdish, church-lady bake sales and pontoon cruises that shapes our amiable native disposition. Regardless, we’re fit enough, we’re smart enough and doggone it people like us!