Conde Nast Traveler Magazine, noted for its reader’s survey of hotels and travel locations, put Sacramento as 10th on a list of the country’s unfriendliest cities. The dubious distinction surprised many residents.
“I was floored,” said Elizabeth Leonard, who was enjoying a downtown farmer’s market set up on Capitol Mall.
She said she’d been to many unfriendly cities, but Sacramento is not one of them.
The survey’s criteria is a bit murky. It wasn’t clear if travelers met unfriendly people or if the city environment wasn’t welcoming. Some survey comments weren’t complimentary.
“A bit dingy for being the Capitol of such a beautiful state … not very impressive or class or interesting,” said the description accompanying the rating. Topping the list was Newark, New Jersey.
Sacramento resident Shaleasima Cummings was also enjoying the farmer’s market.
“I’m surprised … there’s a lot going on. I mean, it’s pretty friendly now,” said Cummings.
Ben Cuevo and his wife and two kids were bicycling down the mall.
“Obviously we’re raising our family here and I think Sacramento is a great place to do that,” said Cuevo.
In Old Sacramento, a popular tourist destination, Tommy Thompson was visiting with his wife and three kids.
“The atmosphere is friendly and the atmosphere is for families,” said Thompson.
His wife Summer agreed. She said time and place play into first impressions.
“If we were downtown and there were more of a business atmosphere it might be different. It depends on where you are,” said Summer Thompson.
Conde Nast Traveller boasts a circulation of 800,000, but one media analysis says it’s readers are mostly high-end travelers who prefer five-star hotels, traveling abroad and going to beach side communities.
Surveys are often subjective. Just ahead of Sacramento on the list are Los Angeles and Anaheim, two cities that have no shortage of tourists.