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Condé Nast Traveler Names Chicago Best Big City (Again)

Historic achievement making Condé Nast Traveler's list is a testament to Chicago’s enduring allure as a destination and host city

By Todd R. Berger

10.4.23 Condé Nast Traveler Names Chicago Best Big City
Fog settled over downtown Chicago | Photo by Aerial_Views, Courtesy of Adobe Stock

Chicago has once again been named the Best Big City in the U.S. by Condé Nast Traveler readers. The historic recognition marks the seventh consecutive year that readers have recognized Chicago with this prestigious honor through the magazine’s Readers’ Choice Awards. This accomplishment speaks to Chicago’s enduring allure to all types of travelers from around the world and follows a record-breaking summer of travel that saw all-time highs for hotel revenue.

“Today’s recognition of our great city as the Condé Nast Traveler’s Best Big City in the U.S., for the seventh year in a row, is proof that Chicago continues to be a force as a destination for visitors from all over the globe,” says Mayor Brandon Johnson. “We have something for everyone—77 amazing [neighborhoods]; beautiful parks and lakefront, world-class arts, culture, and food; and much more. This is a distinction to be proud of, and we will continue to welcome travelers from all over the world to experience all our city has to offer and the soul of Chicago.”

“For the seventh year running, I couldn’t be prouder that Chicago has been named the No. 1 big city in the nation,” says Gov. JB Pritzker of Illinois. “From our unmatched infrastructure and picturesque lakefronts to our diverse food scene, world-class museums, and, of course, the kindest people you’ll ever meet, Chicago has it all—and the world is taking notice. Whether you’re looking to take a family trip or to relocate your small business, Chicago has something for everyone, and we cannot wait to welcome you home.”

For 36 years, Condé Nast Traveler has captured input from readers to determine the winners of its Readers’ Choice Awards, the longest-running and most prestigious recognition of excellence in the travel industry. And every year since 2017, Chicago has led the pack as the Best Big City in the U.S. This year’s awards were based on the input of more than 520,000 readers.

“I am so proud to share that Chicago is once again the city of champions,” says Lynn Osmond, president and CEO of Choose Chicago. “For seven straight years, through the challenges of the pandemic and beyond, travelers have recognized the truth about Chicago—ours is a vibrant, hospitable city brimming with attractions and amenities for all types of visitors. I want to thank all Chicagoans for making our city so welcoming to visitors from around the world. I especially want to thank the Choose Chicago staff. This award validates all our hard work selling and promoting this city we love.”

Adds Glenn Eden, chair of the Choose Chicago board of directors, “More than half a million people cast votes for this year’s Reader’s Choice Awards. Clearly, those who come here are having uniquely memorable experiences that stick with them—the kind of experiences that will make them return to Chicago and recommend our city as a vacation destination to their friends and families. Winning this award seven straight years is a recognition of the resilience of Chicago’s tourism and hospitality sector and the unwavering affinity that travelers have for our city. It gives me confidence that we are going to see continued growth in our local visitor economy for years to come.”

The 2023 Readers’ Choice Awards are published on the Condé Nast Traveler website and celebrated in the November issue.