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Santa Fe ranks 5th snobbiest, according to magazine

SANTA FE, N.M. — But city is also named the 5th best to visit in U.S./Canada

SANTA FE – Santa Fe is the fifth best city in the U.S. and Canada to visit – and also the fifth snobbiest, according to rankings created through surveys of Travel + Leisure’s readers.

“I was really surprised by that,” Steve Lewis, who handles public relations for the Santa Fe Visitors and Convention Bureau, said Tuesday of the “snobby” label. “I’ve been working with the (travel) press for over 20 years, and almost unanimously they say, ‘Gee, what a friendly town this is.’

“I’ve never had anybody tell me ‘what a snobby city’ this is.”

Among the 35 tourist cities included in the magazine’s survey, a result last year showed Santa Fe as the 12th friendliest city.

But Santa Fe County Commissioner Miguel Chavez, while noting that sometimes surveys are constructed to get the answers their sponsors want, acknowledged of Santa Fe, “Yes, it can be kind of elitist and kind of snobbish.”

And while saying he disagrees with the elitist image, Mayor David Coss wasn’t surprised by it.

“I’ve been dealing with that all my life,” he said. “There’s a perception out there … if you enjoy the arts, there’s a certain amount of anti-intellectualism out there that says that’s snobbish.”

And, indeed, one of the things that consistently puts Santa Fe near the top of lists of places to visit – its wide array of cultural activities – appears to be among the items that earned cities a snob ranking.

On its website, Travel + Leisure wrote of the ranking, “we factored in some traditional staples of snobbery: a reputation for aloof and smarty-pants residents, along with high-end shopping and highbrow cultural offerings like classical music and theater.”

According to Travel+Leisure, the top 10 snobby cities ranking is: 1. San Francisco; 2. New York City; 3. Boston; 4. Minneapolis/St. Paul; 5. Santa Fe and Seattle (tie); 7. Chicago; 8 Providence, R.I.; 9. Washington, D.C.; and 10. Charleston, S.C.

The top 10 U.S. and Canadian cities to visit in the magazine’s 2013 World’s Best Awards are: 1. Charleston; 2. San Francisco; 3. New York; 4. Chicago; 5. Santa Fe; 6. New Orleans; 7. Savannah; 8. Quebec City; 9. Vancouver; and 10. Washington D.C.

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