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Chicago voted Best Big City for 7th year in a row

The Willis Tower (formerly Sears Tower) rises above the city's skyline on Nov. 8, 2013 in Chicago. Readers of Conde Nast magazine recently selected Chicago as the Best Big City in the U.S. for the seventh year in a row. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)

CHICAGO (WISH) — Readers of Condé Nast Traveler have selected Chicago as the “Best Big City in the U.S.” for the seventh year in a row.

Voters in the annual Readers Choice Awards chose Chicago for its glitz, glamour, and small-town kindness. The Windy City has a sprawling downtown skyline that encompasses world-class restaurants and hotels, architecture, and history, and a ‘summer in the city’ that can’t be beaten with access to Lake Michigan and the city’s many green spaces.

There are 77 neighborhoods to explore in Chicago, including Wicker Park, The Gold Coast, Bucktown, and Wrigleyville. There’s the Magnificent Mile, lined with restaurants to make a foodie swoon; for those who prefer shopping, the “Mag Mile” offers both luxury and affordability with stores including Nordstrom, Nike, and Levi’s.

As Condé Nast contributor and Chicago native Helen Rosner wrote last year explaining the city’s magic, “It is the intersection of the endlessly horizontal prairie and the infinitely upward-reaching skyline. There is no city like this city, no place else so alive, even in darkness—nowhere else so extravagantly both tender and rough.”

As far as small cities go, readers of Condé Nast chose Charleston, South Carolina, as the ‘Best Small City in the U.S.’

Voters noted Charleston’s history, culture, food, and charm, and it’s a city that has repeatedly topped the list at Condé Nast. It has charming restaurants that take visitors through a culinary experience, it’s rich in history and has colorful landscaping and flower beds that pepper storefronts and front yards. The publication also emphasizes Charleston’s “stately homes, cobblestone streets, and waterfront views.” The fresh seafood is certainly a perk for oyster lovers as well.

Just this week, WalletHub named Carmel, Indiana the best small city in America based on a number of factors including economy, safety, and education. WalletHub researchers compared more than 1,300 U.S. cities with a population between 25,000 and 100,000, with a variety of factors taken into account.