By Bobby Tanzilo Senior Editor/Writer Published Oct 03, 2023 at 4:15 PM

Conde Nast Travel released the results of its 36th Readers’ Choice Awards and Milwaukee finished third in the Best Big Cities category, behind top-ranked Chicago and No. 2 San Diego.

Rounding out the top 10 on the list, as selected by 526,518 readers of the travel mag and website, were New Orleans, San Francisco, Boston, New York, Nashville, D.C. and Miami.

After spelling the name of our fair city incorrectly, for which we can forgive them (it ain't easy, really), CN Traveler wrote:

“So much more than just a day trip from Chicago, Milwaukee has many (if not all) of the same qualities that make other cities on this list buzz – and then some. Located on the shores of Lake Michigan, the city’s surprisingly eco-diverse location makes it a hotbed of locavore cuisine. A spate of award-winning restaurants have helped Milwaukee shed its beer-and-cheer reputation, though you can still get your fill of both between fine dinners. The dedicated revitalization of neighborhoods such as the historic Third Ward and Lincoln Village has also kept visitors busy with specialty shops, galleries, and more creative businesses.”

You can see the complete list here. It will appear in the November print version of the magazine.



Last year, National Geographic called Cream City one of the 25 best places to travel in 2023 and The New York Times picked it as one of “52 places for a changed world.”

“Milwaukee is a major player in tourism and consistently draws major events to our community – and as the Condé Nast Traveler Awards show, more and more people across the country and around the world are taking note,” said Peggy Williams-Smith, president & CEO of VISIT Milwaukee.

“Our convention center expansion is coming closer to completion every day, and the enhanced Baird Center will significantly increase our capacity to host even more major conventions. We just hosted a presidential primary debate, 'Top Chef' is filming episodes in town, the Brewers are in the playoffs and the Bucks just added even more star power.”

According to VISIT Milwaukee, the four-county metro area set an all-time tourism record with a $6.018 billion economic impact in 2022, based on data from the Wisconsin Department of Tourism. That beat the 2019 record of $5.93 billion.

Bobby Tanzilo Senior Editor/Writer

Born in Brooklyn, N.Y., where he lived until he was 17, Bobby received his BA-Mass Communications from UWM in 1989 and has lived in Walker's Point, Bay View, Enderis Park, South Milwaukee and on the East Side.

He has published three non-fiction books in Italy – including one about an event in Milwaukee history, which was published in the U.S. in autumn 2010. Four more books, all about Milwaukee, have been published by The History Press.

With his most recent band, The Yell Leaders, Bobby released four LPs and had a songs featured in episodes of TV's "Party of Five" and "Dawson's Creek," and films in Japan, South America and the U.S. The Yell Leaders were named the best unsigned band in their region by VH-1 as part of its Rock Across America 1998 Tour. Most recently, the band contributed tracks to a UK vinyl/CD tribute to the Redskins and collaborated on a track with Italian novelist Enrico Remmert.

He's produced three installments of the "OMCD" series of local music compilations for and in 2007 produced a CD of Italian music and poetry.

In 2005, he was awarded the City of Asti's (Italy) Journalism Prize for his work focusing on that area. He has also won awards from the Milwaukee Press Club.

He can be heard weekly on 88Nine Radio Milwaukee talking about his "Urban Spelunking" series of stories.