CHICAGO — Chicago may be the third largest city in the U.S., but it’s tops in the hearts of travelers.
This is the sixth year in a row the city has won the title, a feat no other has managed to do more than three times in the Awards’ 35-year history.
The Readers’ Choice Awards are not only the longest running in the travel industry, but also the most prestigious recognition of excellence.
“There are so many reasons why Chicago is the Best Big City in the U.S.,” said Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot. “We have world-class restaurants, top-tier hotels and meeting spaces, cultural institutions and entertainment venues that can rival the best in the world and vibrant, diverse neighborhoods that make sure there is something for every visitor.”
More than 240,000 Traveler readers voted on their favorite U.S. cities, weighing in with ratings on the following categories:
- Sights & Scenery
- Arts & Culture
- Local cuisine/culinary options
- Outdoor activities
- Hotels & resorts
Condé Nast Traveler praised Chicago as welcoming and world-class in its writeup.
“It’s no wonder Chicago is topping this list yet again. A world-class destination known for its impressive architecture, first-rate museums, brilliant chefs, and massive brewing scene; it’ll take several repeat visits to get through your list of must-dos. Most people start downtown—from the Magnificent Mile to the ritzy Gold Coast to funky Old Town—but there are 77 neighborhoods to explore, where you’ll find cutting-edge restaurants, chilled-out corner bars, and, no matter where you go, some of the most pleasant people you’ll find anywhere. “
“This recognition does not happen by accident – it is a testament to the hard-working people that make Chicago an inviting and welcoming city. Winning this award for six straight years combined with the successful summer of travel we just wrapped up make it clear that the past, present and future of tourism in Chicago is a bright one,” said Lynn Osmond, President and CEO of Choose Chicago. “I want to thank our partners in the hospitality and tourism industry for ensuring Chicago is a world-class destination and for making this award possible. I also want to thank all Chicago residents for creating such a friendly and hospitable city for tens of millions of visitors each year. Finally, I want to thank the readers of Conde Nast Traveler for choosing Chicago year after year and for recognizing all the amazing attributes of our city that are second to none.”
According to Choose Chicago, the summer of 2022 was an especially good year aided by the June launch of a new travel campaign, “When You Go You Know.”
Choose Chicago data shows total hotel room demand during June, July and August exceeded 3 million rooms, and that more than $150 million in hotel revenue was generated between April and September.
Events like the first-ever Sueños festival in May, the first US Sail Grand Prix Chicago race at Navy Pier in June, Lollapalooza and the James Beard Awards also helped to showcase the city as a dynamic destination said Choose Chicago.
Here ‘s a look at the other cities that made the list as “Best Big Cities in the U.S.”:
- 1. Chicago
- 2. Honolulu
- 3. San Diego
- 4. Nashville
- 5. New York City
- 6. Boston
- 7. San Francisco
- 8. New Orleans
- 9. Washington, D.C.
- 10. Seattle
In the video above, you can hear more about the award from Choose Chicago President and CEO Lynn Osmond’s interview with Ben Bradley and Lourdes Duarte on the WGN News at 4p.