Miami is smokin’ hot
Photo: Jeff Riedel
Everyone knows Miami is smokin’ hot. This tropical hotspot has ranked No. 1 for attractive locals for the past three years (but gets burned at 29th place for intelligence).
updated 11/1/2009 1:15:24 AM ET 2009-11-01T05:15:24

Interesting facts: The ideal man is six feet tall, with legs the same length as his upper body. And “super-beautiful” women have waists a third smaller than their hips. That’s according to researchers at the University of Gdansk in Poland, who clearly believe that beauty is not in the eye of the beholder, but in the numbers.

So where do perfectly proportioned gender specimens congregate? If the mating dances of Brangelina, Ashton and Demi, and thousands of nameless, faceless, gorgeous men and women have taught us anything, it’s this: beautiful people attract beautiful people. It’s no secret they flock together, move in the same fabulous circles, frequent the same hot spots — and even live in the same cities.

The survey of American attractiveness was part of Travel + Leisure’s annual America’s Favorite Cities Survey, where we asked our users to rank 30 U.S. cities in more than 50 categories, from dining to shopping and nightlife.

So what did our users tell us? That gorgeous throngs do not gravitate to the country’s financial or political power centers, or regions — Northeast, Midwest, Northwest, the Heartland — where harsh winters are the norm. In fact, they are content to live out their lives in more temperate climates, which are, let’s admit it, better for the skin and more conducive to working out.

Ohio Cleveland University Circle Parade audience
Jeff Greenberg  /  Alamy
Cleveland didn’t exactly rock ‘n roll, coming in at No. 28 on the list. However, it managed to elbow its way into a No. 4 position in the hotly contested farmers’ markets category (thanks to the century-old West Side Market, a must-see destination) and into the top 10 for great neighborhood joints. Not bad for a first year in AFC.

Yes, the No. 1 city for attractive people is ... (drum roll) ... Miami. In fact, the Floridian city has become very comfortable wearing this crown — it’s the third year in a row Miami has topped the category. It makes sense: the sceney Florida capital of cool is teeming with buff, beachgoing bombshells who preen on South Beach’s promenade, in the Design District, and beyond.

You’ll find them just about everywhere, it seems, from corner bodegas to cocktail lounges. If that weren’t enough, there’s even a VIP concierge service exclusively for the beautiful people of the oh-so-fair city. Unfortunately, attractiveness and intelligence do not go hand in hand; Miami ranked 29th out of 30 cities in the smarts department.

Sunny, genetically blessed San Diego is second on the list, but there’s a scuff on its pretty veneer. The city gets low marks for high culture, so it’s not a place for lofty-minded pursuits such as theatergoing, museums, or classical music. And Charleston, which ranks third, may be known for its southern belles, but it’s also tops for B&Bs and antiquing. But Vegas it’s not; the South Carolina charmer comes in at  No. 28 for wild weekends.

Those three cities were the winners, but what everyone wants to know is ... who were the losers? Sure, New Yorkers may be stylish, but how attractive are they, really? What about the starlets of Los Angeles? Or the hipsters of Austin?

Read on to see all 30 cities in order. The list may surprise you.

Copyright © 2012 American Express Publishing Corporation

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