Travel

America's Most Cultured Cities, According to Travel + Leisure

Published On 05/13/2015 Published On 05/13/2015

As much as foreigners love America, some are convinced the entire culture's based around what you can buy in the $5 bin at Wal-Mart. And maybe they're right. But when it comes to museums, music venues, and other attractions, the US gives the rest of the world a run for its cultural currency.

So which US city’s the most cultured? According to a Travel + Leisure survey -- and to no one’s surprise -- it’s New York City! From street poets and subway performers, to hip music venues like the Bowery Ballroom and art meccas like the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the city’s teeming with culture. T+L readers also gave the cultural epicenter a mention for its book options, with literary haunts such as the New York Public Library and Strand Books.

Providence, RI, claims second place, home to the Rhode Island School of Design, the famed Providence Athenaeum, and some of the country’s best coffee joints. And surprisingly Houston, TX, took third place, thanks to its thriving Museum District and Theater District, proving that Houston, in fact, has more to offer than freeways and oil money.

The remainder of the list consists of obvious picks like Washington, DC (aka the museum capital) and European-style Boston, while underrated cultural centers like Kansas City, MO, and Minneapolis/St. Paul, MN, get deserved recognition for their emerging culture scenes and free activities.

If you’re concerned that a trip to NYC is way too de rigeur, check out the rest of the top 10 below.

10. Chicago, IL
9. Atlanta, GA
8. Minneapolis/St. Paul, MN
7. Boston, MA
6. Washington, DC
5. Los Angeles, CA
4. Kansas City, MO
3. Houston, TX
2. Providence, RI
1. New York City, NY

Peruse the full results right here.

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