The Boston Marathon, Red Sox parades, and locals in search of chow or shopping hit the byways of Back Bay. Surrounding blocks house Beantown originals such as cozy, decades-old Trident Booksellers and Café.

Back Bay, Boston, Massachusetts

The Boston Marathon, Red Sox parades, and locals in search of chow or shopping hit the byways of Back Bay. Surrounding blocks house Beantown originals such as cozy, decades-old Trident Booksellers and Café.
Photograph by Jorge Salcedo, Alamy Stock Photo

The 28 friendliest neighborhoods in U.S. cities

Where are the most welcoming urban enclaves? Read on.

Travel is rooted in hospitality—in a welcoming gesture, a friendly smile, an accommodating spirit.

In search of these qualities, we’ve developed—with the help of our data-crunching partners at Resonance Consultancy—this unique index of the 28 friendliest city neighborhoods in the United States. Whether embracing its immigrant roots (San Jose’s Japantown) or celebrating inclusion (Manhattan’s Hell’s Kitchen), an open-minded, open-hearted neighborhood can make travelers feel at home. This ultimate list offers starting points to explore American cities: enclaves full of places to delve into, people to meet, and enough bonhomie to make you want to return again and again. (See our list of best smaller U.S. cities.)

Our methodology

In a survey created just for Traveler, Vancouver-based Resonance Consultancy combined its proprietary Best Cities analytics from more than 200 cities with statistics and user-generated data such as walkability, home affordability, public spaces, and the prevalence of third spaces (restaurants, breweries, cafés, and more). Resonance also considered social media and perception data from TripAdvisor and Yelp to generate a list of welcoming zip codes that the editors then correlated with existing neighborhoods to produce this list.

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City reporting by Jennifer Barger. This story was published in the June/July 2019 issue of National Geographic Traveler magazine.

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