Deals in America's Best Small Cities

Nov 2, 2018

As travel junkies, we love a best-of list, whether we're compiling our own or checking out another trusted source's. What we love even more? When that list happens to align with some of our sweetest deals—as Condé Nast Traveler's new Readers' Choice Awards Best Small Cities in the US does.

So consider this story a #travelinspo mash-up, where CNT Readers' Choice towns meet awesome Travelzoo deals—plus bonus intel from our staff. 

15. Santa Barbara

Called out on the list for: wineries, gardens and famous residents (hello, Jennifer Lopez and Steven Spielberg!)
To which we’d add: the Mediterranean vibe (think red-tiled roofs, arch-happy architecture and bustling sidewalk cafes) you'll get as you walk, shop and nosh your way down State Street
Plus this deal:
 

14. Newport, RI

Called out on the list for: epic coastal walks and sunset drinks amid the gorgeous vestiges of American aristocracy 
To which we’d add: discovering why this place is so lit
Plus this deal:
 

13. Palm Springs

Called out on the list for: antique shops, a mid-century design bounty and proximity to the fabled Joshua Tree National Park 
To which we’d add: the vista-blessed 2.5-mile ascent aboard what is reportedly the largest rotating tram car on earth
Plus this deal:
 

12. Napa, California

Called out on the list for: public art, Michelin-starred dining at La Toque and of course, vineyards galore
To which we’d add: the best kind of designated driver, serving up gorgeous vistas, gourmet meals and all manner of local vino 
Plus this deal: 
 

11. Portland, Maine

Called out on the list for: a back-to-its roots waterfront, a budding boutique hotel scene and food so amazing, Bon Appetit declared Portland the 2018 Restaurant City of the Year 
To which we’d add: that the city's backyard is a bay filled with nearly 140 islands—all stunning, most uninhabited and several accessible by ferry and yacht
Plus this deal:
 

10. Key West

Called out on the list for: the six-toed cats at Hemingway's old home, the snorkeling at Fort Zachary Taylor State Park—and the cheese-smothered hogfish sandwich at Hogfish Bar followed by the key lime pie at Blue Heaven
To which we’d add: the live music, frozen cocktails and infectious party atmosphere of Duval Street and Mallory Square after sunset
Plus this deal:
 

9. Greenville, SC

Called out on the list for: endless ways to induce a farm-to-table food coma—and 23 naturally endowed acres in which to walk it off, right in the middle of downtown 
To which we’d add: the visit-worthy European Market, among other surprisingly continental touches  (BMW and Michelin U.S. are headquartered here, with the local bakeries and biergartens to prove it)
 
 

8. Asheville, NC

Called out on the list for: a microbrewery scene that rivals Portland's and Denver's, the majestic Biltmore Estate and the even more majestic Blue Ridge Mountains
To which we’d add: waterfalls that have cameoed in Hunger Games and The Last of the Mohicans
Plus this deal: 
 

7. Monterey

Called out on the list for: the local aquarium that plays on the global conservation stage—and the Cannery Row F&B scene
To which we’d add: the views from Point Sur Lighthouse
Plus this deal:
 

6. Sedona

Called out on the list for: red-rock formations, pine forests and an insane night sky
To which we’d add: the hot air ballooning ops, which give you the ultimate perspective on this wide-open wilderness
Plus this deal: 
 

5. Sarasota

Called out on the list for: luxe new lodgings that are anything but generic beach resorts—and plenty to do when you venture off campus, from the Sarasota Opera to the Ringling Circus Museum
To which we’d add: the powder-soft shores of Lido Beach or Siesta Key Beach, and a kayak outing through the local mangroves
Plus this deal: 
 

4. Alexandria, Virginia

Called out on the list for: Old Town’s art galleries, preserved rowhouses and Gadsby’s Tavern, where several Founding Fathers have raised a glass
To which we’d add: the free ride ride to pretty much anything you'd want to eat, shop for or ogle on historic King Street
Plus this deal:
 

3. Savannah

Called out on the list for: the moss-draped live oaks that line the cobblestone streets where horse-drawn carriages roll past hauntingly beautiful homes (emphasis on hauntingly)
To which we’d add: the sprawling and stunning Victorian Cemetery that stars in Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil—the city's literary calling card
Plus this deal:
 

2. Santa Fe

Called out on the list for: high culture in the high desert (250+ galleries, Spanish colonial churches and Georgia O’Keeffe), along with adobe galore and Southwestern cuisine that’s anything but typical
To which we’d add: Some of the most 'grammable hikes on the planet (Tent Rocks is a must)
Plus this deal:
 

1. Charleston, South Carolina

Called out on the list for: a range of Southern eats (barbecue, seafood and Lowcountry classics), as well as stunning mansions, standout street fashion—and eight years at the top of this list!
To which we’d add: kayaking at Shem Creek, where dolphins and manatees may chaperone you while you take in views of downtown, Fort Sumter, Ravenel Bridge and a shrimping village
Plus this deal:
 

Looking for more travel inspiration? Check out our favorite deals of the week in the Top 20.

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