This City Was Just Named No. 1 in the U.S. to Live, Work, and Visit

The same city has topped the list since its inaugural edition nine years ago.

<p>Alexander Spatari/Getty Images</p>

Alexander Spatari/Getty Images

What is the best city in America? It’s not an easy question to answer, but each year, Resonance, a global consulting company, releases one of the most respected and comprehensive lists of the most desirable urban areas to live, work, and visit based on a methodology that includes a large variety of crucial statistics on livability, desirability, and prosperity. Rankings are based on cities with over half a million residents.

And New York City takes the top spot for the ninth consecutive year. The Big Apple ranked first in the shopping, landmarks, and sights categories.

“In 2024, it is U.S. urban recovery writ large, with a dizzying roster of new shows, hotels, and parks — and record real estate prices. But the Big Apple is always worth the price of admission, especially in these glory days,” the report states, adding that estimates show that the city would recover 97 percent of its pre-pandemic visitation levels by the end of this year.

And while tourism is booming, it is not all good news for New York City. The report also notes that office occupancy is at 50 percent from pre-pandemic levels, and subway ridership is down as well.

Second on Resonance’s list of the best cities in America is Chicago, with the company highlighting its “infrastructure and affordability that eludes many other iconic global cities.” Chicago was second in the nightlife subcategory and first in the convention center subcategory, which measures the size of the largest convention center in the city. Chicago is also home to the second-most Fortune 500 headquarters in the country, behind New York, and ranks in the top five in several prosperity categories like job postings and professional services.

Los Angeles takes the bronze. According to the report, the City of Angels has some of the best restaurants in the country and ranks second for museums. The report also highlights the city’s LAX investment project, the largest in the city’s history, which is now in its final phase, and America’s first high-speed, all-electric rail, which, by 2028, will connect Los Angeles with Las Vegas and significantly boost tourism, create jobs, and reduce the city’s carbon footprint.

Miami and Las Vegas round out the top five best cities in America, with Sin City also ranking first in the attractions subcategory and Miami in the foreign-born residents' subcategory. San Francisco, Boston, and Washington, D.C., are sixth, seventh, and eighth, respectively. The last two spots are for Seattle (ninth) and Houston (10th).

The only American cities to make the top 10 of the best world cities in 2024 are New York City and San Francisco.

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