When it comes to “best-of” lists, the City of Austin is just like the most popular girl in school. She gets invited to everything. Best place to live, best in south, most generous, most creative, coolest city to live in and too many more to list … thankyouthankyouthankyou.

But this time, she didn’t get invited to the dance.

Travel + Leisure magazine recently released their list of the most attractive cities. (No, not as in “Barton Springs sure is pretty” attractive, but as in “this club is packed with fine-lookin’ people” attractive.) Austin did not make the top 15. 

Guess who did?

San Antonio snuck in at No. 15. I’m not sure that I’d describe San Antonio as a “barbecue-loving town” — at least in comparison to other Texas cities — but I’ll give props to them for earning “a perfect score for being friendly.”

But the real surprise is Houston, which was ranked No. 9. Sure, Beyonce and Patrick Swayze are from there, but Beyonce isn’t living there and Swayze, well, you won’t see him either.

Perhaps clothes do make the man (and woman): Travel + Leisure notes the city’s “penchant for fashion” and the “luxury shops” that ensure “Houstonians always look their best.” 

Or, perhaps, people just look better through a petrochemical haze. Or mosquito swarm.

What? Is Austin jealous? No. Definitely not. We didn’t want to be on your list anyway.

Making the Top 5 of the list were: No. 5 San Diego (outdoors!); No. 4 Salt Lake City (healthy living!); No. 3 Scottsdale, Ariz. (spas!), No. 2 Boulder (mountains!) and No. 1 Honolulu (beaches!). 

But Austinites should be proud of Texas overall — not one Lone Star city made Travel + Leisure’s companion list, America’s Least Attractive Cities. No. 1 on that list? Poor, Baltimore. The best the list can say about them is they love their sports teams.


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