Travel+Leisure: Norfolk, Va., tops the list of America’s Favorite Cities

Norfolk leapt from the No. 4 city in 2016 to America's favorite place this year, earning top marks for things to see overall, the cleanliness of the city, and for the people, who readers described as smart, friendly, and welcoming to visitors. Sounds like a good reason to visit Norfolk.

"Norfolk continues to place a priority on public art as part of any major new development," explained one local, while more than a few pointed visitors interested in street art in the direction of the upcoming NEON District.

This year, small cities and major metropolises from every region in the country appeared on the list of America's Favorite Cities. Did your hometown make the cut?

By Melanie Lieberman

"Norfolk is a great place to live and to visit," said one proud Virginian. "The climate is mild and the art and culture scene is alive with momentum!"

Locals also loved the southern city's ample water views, central location, and friendly vibe. "[It's] an amazing, historic city with [a] vibrant downtown area," another noted.

Every year in our annual America's Favorite Places survey, we ask Travel + Leisure readers to dish about their hometowns — the place they grew up or have lived in and know better than anywhere else on Earth.

Unlike T+L's World's Best Awards, which encourages readers to weigh in on travel experiences across the globe, the America's Favorite Places survey is a way for locals to share what their hometowns do best. Readers ranked their hometowns and cities across a range of categories, from the friendliness of the locals to the quality of the pizza.

But to find out which hometown was most loved overall, we took a composite score of all the individual categories, from the top city for things to see and to do, to the one with the most exciting places to eat and drink.

And this year, the small city of Norfolk, Virginia took the No.1 spot in a number of categories. When people who live, or have lived, in Norfolk were asked about their hometown, they raved about how welcoming this port city is to tourists — and what a great place it was to grab a burger, sip a pint of craft beer, and even admire creative street art.