2021’s Most Glamorous Cities in the U.S.

three women shopping at luxury store, holding bags of merchandise and wearing face masks.

Just about every major U.S. city boasts fashion and luxury shopping at its own version of Rodeo Drive and Bryant Park, but only a handful of cities can be crowned the “Glamour Capitals of America.”

So which cities are the ritziest, glitziest, and trendiest of them all?

LawnStarter combed through the data so you can start planning your next 5-star domestic getaway.

We compared the 50 biggest U.S. cities across 20 key “glam” factors — from the number of Michelin-starred restaurants and country clubs to Fashion Week events to household wealth.

Scroll down to see our full ranking of the most (and least) exclusive U.S. cities along with some highlights and lowlights.

Table of Contents

  1. City Rankings
  2. Highlights and Lowlights
  3. Methodology

City Rankings

See how your city and others fared in our ranking:

OVERALL RANKCityOverall ScoreDining and Drinking RankArts & Entertainment, Recreation, and Accomodation RankBeauty, Fashion, and Shopping RankWealth and Success Rank
1Miami, FL57.5812119
2New York, NY50.7661171
3San Francisco, CA43.012847
4Las Vegas, NV40.9975315
5Atlanta, GA40.5833518
6Los Angeles, CA37.8242692
7Honolulu, HI37.76916213
8Tampa, FL35.5644829
9Washington, DC35.01810710
10Boston, MA32.15169109
11Seattle, WA30.971317133
12Minneapolis, MN28.841271220
13Chicago, IL27.652318166
14Portland, OR27.1211191911
15Denver, CO26.5514111130
16Cleveland, OH25.4210131528
17San Diego, CA25.033421184
18New Orleans, LA24.295142242
19Dallas, TX23.4233251414
20Baltimore, MD22.942630639
21Austin, TX21.852724268
22Houston, TX21.1449282112
23Philadelphia, PA20.1845122021
24Phoenix, AZ19.9143202517
25Detroit, MI19.7517152925
26Nashville, TN19.2821222422
27Kansas City, MO19.1118232334
28San Jose, CA19.113833345
29Sacramento, CA17.4919263232
30Raleigh, NC16.7415273527
31Milwaukee, WI15.524312833
32Virginia Beach, VA15.3620363616
33Omaha, NE13.8222373044
34Indianapolis, IN13.7944342731
35Columbus, OH13.3740323326
36Tulsa, OK12.2725423141
37Charlotte, NC12.1532294024
38Louisville, KY9.0629354638
39Tucson, AZ8.8336383740
40Oklahoma City, OK8.6331413935
41Albuquerque, NM7.0137453847
42Memphis, TN6.9235404836
43Jacksonville, FL6.6146394737
44San Antonio, TX6.5650434523
45Colorado Springs, CO6.3139444146
46Fresno, CA5.9130474243
47Wichita, KS4.7248464349
48Bakersfield, CA4.5828495045
49El Paso, TX4.4541484448
50Corpus Christi, TX2.8847504950
Infographic showing most glamorous cities based on number of country clubs, high-end jewelry stores, high-end cosmetics stores, 5-star hotels and more.

Highlights and Lowlights

South Florida Bling

Sunny Miami dominates our ranking of the Most Glamorous Cities with more cocktail bars, lounges, and nightclubs per 100,000 residents than anywhere else in the U.S. But it’s in the beauty, fashion, and shopping category that Miami really shines. Miami took the top spot in a whopping four shopping-related metrics: luxury fashion, jewelry, watch, and perfume shops. There’s no better place in American to party hard and spend on bling than The Magic City.

Texas Plains

Texas cities have a lot going for them, but the Rhinestone Cowboy is more a myth. Houston has swanky River Oaks and Dallas has the tony Park Cities, but both cities rank mid-range on our list, far lower than similarly sized cities like Chicago or San Francisco. All that old oil and new tech money may be going for expensive cars instead of swanky jewelry and fancy duds. 

Just Peachy

Atlanta is a surprise glamour destination — unless you’re a fan of Real Housewives. It’s easy to see why it ranks No. 5 on our list of the glitziest, trendiest U.S. cities. While failing to snag the top spot in any single category, Hotlanta performed very well across all metrics, coming in second in the number of cocktail bars, lounges, music venues, and luxury perfume shops. 

Ask The Experts

The pandemic has changed the way we dress and limited where we go and what we do, begging some important questions. Do people care about living glamorously during the pandemic? What “pandemic” status symbols are en vogue? Our panel of glamour industry experts gives the lowdown on these and other issues du jour. See what they had to say below.

  • Global sales of luxury goods in 2020 declined to 2014 levels. What does this say about consumers’ attitudes toward glamour during the pandemic?
  • How has the pandemic reshaped fashion, especially now that more people are working from home? What are the three most surprising trends that have emerged?
  • What new status symbols of glamour and wealth have you noticed during the pandemic?
  • What are your top three tips for living a glamorous lifestyle on a budget?
  • What post-pandemic changes can we expect from the glamour industry (arts, beauty, fashion, fine dining, luxury goods and services)?
Asli D. A. Tasci
Associate Professor
Jagdish Sheth
Charles H. Kellstadt Professor of Marketing
Mike Morgan
Professor of Practice, Department of Finance, Real Estate and Business Law, College of Business & Economic Development
Megan McCoy, Ph.D., LMFT, CFT
Professor of Practice in Personal Financial Planning, Director of Personal Financial Planning Masters Program
Linda Fisher
Professor of Law
Asli D. A. Tasci
Associate Professor
UCF Rosen College of Hospitality Management

Global sales of luxury goods in 2020 declined to 2014 levels. What does this say about consumers’ attitudes toward glamour during the pandemic?

As in any case of a global-level negative event such as a disaster, social unrest, or terrorism, a pandemic causes consumer uncertainty. Thus, people focus on the basic needs rather than wants and retreat to saving mode.

It is not a surprise that glamour is not the priority of the majority right now. Consumers are uncertain about what lies ahead, unsure about their financial or physical well-being. Even if they are physically well, their psychology is not at equilibrium.

The lack of socialization has a huge impact on their psychological well-being as well as their buying behavior. People affect one another about what they buy and consume, and glamour is included; the reduced art of socialization means a reduced rate of social influence, despite the increased level of social media influence nowadays.

How has the pandemic reshaped fashion, especially now that more people are working from home? What are the three most surprising trends that have emerged?

1. The growth of social media. We all are subject to social media information, whether we like it or not, believe it or not, seek it or not, we get bits and pieces of information from some social platforms.

2. The focus on home improvement. More time at home redirected some attention to unfinished projects, renovations, or maintenance at home.

3. Focus on sustainable practices. The pandemic was a wake-up for humanity to reevaluate our actions and priorities.

What new status symbols of glamour and wealth have you noticed during the pandemic?

Well-maintained homes and gardens, online consumption, focus on health and social media activities are some of the new symbols of glamour.

What are your top three tips for living a glamorous lifestyle on a budget?

1. Do your research for price comparisons; take advantage of consumer platforms for suggestions and feedback on deals and coupons.

2. Don’t lose sight of what matters the most; don’t lose your focus on health; any luxury spending for health is justified.

3. Award yourself for an achievement by going a little over that benchmark once a month, especially for health (e.g., spa, massage).

What post-pandemic changes can we expect from the glamour industry (arts, beauty, fashion, fine dining, luxury goods, and services)?

They will be serving diverse market segments, a little different from their current consumers. Once people are confident about the future, there will be a buyer boom. With the relief of surviving a pandemic, consumers will go beyond their normal limits and enter new territories.

This is where the preparation of the glamour industry will make a difference. Will they have the marketing intelligence to convince consumers why their products are worth the time, money, and effort of a pandemic veteran? They should be preparing for the changing consumer needs and wants now.

Jagdish Sheth
Charles H. Kellstadt Professor of Marketing
Emory University Goizueta Business School

Global sales of luxury goods in 2020 declined to 2014 levels. What does this say about consumers’ attitudes toward glamour during the pandemic?

The main reason for the decline is lack of opportunity to wear glamorous clothing and accessories due to the COVID lockdown. A second reason is a prolonged uncertainty about how long the pandemic will last. I think there is no change in attitude about glamour.

How has the pandemic reshaped fashion, especially now that more people are working from home? What are the three most surprising trends that have emerged?

The most likely consequence of a prolonged pandemic and working from home will be to make causal clothes glamorous. Fashion will extend to pajamas and home decor as well as masks and virtual backgrounds. Home offices will become more glamorous and a conversation piece.

What new status symbols of glamour and wealth have you noticed during the pandemic?

Masks, home offices, (home decor, bookshelves, flowers, plants, and virtual backgrounds.

What are your top three tips for living a glamorous lifestyle on a budget?

Go digital. Make artificial real. Splurge in affordable luxuries such as designer wines, gourmet treats, and baked cookies.

What post-pandemic changes can we expect from the glamour industry (arts, beauty, fashion, fine dining, luxury goods and services)?

The post-pandemic will blend glamour and fashion with convenience. People are now enjoying online shopping, home deliveries, and no-hassle in buying daily necessities such as paper towels, toothpaste, and personal care products.

Just as Uber made ride-sharing so convenient, it will also be necessary to make shopping more accessible and personalized. We will use our smartphones to try fashion online and get a virtual experience. Both brick and mortar, as well as virtual experiences, will rise to a new level of customer experience with smart mirrors, artificial intelligence, and virtual reality.

Mike Morgan
Professor of Practice, Department of Finance, Real Estate and Business Law, College of Business & Economic Development
The University of Southern Mississippi

Global sales of luxury goods in 2020 declined to 2014 levels. What does this say about consumers’ attitudes toward glamour during the pandemic? 

Sales of luxury goods have declined for several reasons during the pandemic.  Some people can no longer afford them. Others don’t want to flaunt their affluence during the pandemic because that’s just not cool.  And another group sees no reason to spend on luxury when we are locked up at home and there is nobody to show off to. Seems like a waste of money. 

How has the pandemic reshaped fashion, especially now that more people are working from home? What are the three most surprising trends that have emerged?   

During the first month of the pandemic, it was common for people to log into video meetings in their pajamas and have their cat in their lap.  When it lingered into months (and now almost a year), people missed the routine of getting ready to make a good impression at work. 

People dress for work now, even if they are working from home using a tiny camera.  And people are thinking about the background.  Instead of hiding the background, people take a little pride in it now.  Who has the best “real” background on a Zoom meeting?   I like to take calls by the fire pit that I built (during the pandemic).  

What are your top three tips for living a glamorous lifestyle on a budget?   

Live below your means and hope people think you make less than you actually do.  If you want to live the lifestyle of somebody making $300k, go out and make $600k.  Don’t do the opposite, because people will just assume you are a fake.   

What post-pandemic changes can we expect from the glamour industry (arts, beauty, fashion, fine dining, luxury goods, and services)? 

“This time it’s different” never holds true.  These things go in cycles.  Luxury will be out of vogue until people all start saying luxury is out of vogue.  That will mark an upturn.  Buy low, sell high. 

Megan McCoy, Ph.D., LMFT, CFT
Professor of Practice in Personal Financial Planning, Director of Personal Financial Planning Masters Program
Kansas State University

Global sales of luxury goods in 2020 declined to 2014 levels. What does this say about consumers’ attitudes toward glamour during the pandemic?

I think this points to two separate catalysts. First, this could be a reflection of the K-shaped recovery that is occurring. Although many individuals are doing fine (e.g., white-collar workers), many other Americans are experiencing high rates of financial stress and unemployment. The decline in sales may be reflecting that segment of the population’s financial hardship.

The second reason is that I believe many luxury goods are purchased not for utility but rather for others’ to see that you can afford the luxury goods. What use is a fabulous bag if you have nowhere to show it off?

What new status symbols of glamour and wealth have you noticed during the pandemic?

There was an interesting trend on Twitter for a while, where zoom backdrops were being scrutinized. Any celebrities or experts that went on air with zoom could be analyzed for what was in their background. I think home decor and improvement has been a focus on many of our minds as we are stuck at home and could be a revitalized focus.

What are your top three tips for living a glamorous lifestyle on a budget?

My biggest tip for anyone and everyone is to track your spending. I don’t mind what anyone spends money on, I think that is a personal preference. But I hate it when people don’t know what they are spending money on. Intentionality will breed happiness because you will know you are actually buying things that make you feel glamorous rather than wasting money because you aren’t thinking about how it impacts cash flow.

Focus on what really gives you pleasure. You don’t have to be glamorous in every aspect. Maybe you love fashion. Then don’t waste your money on a fancy car. Maybe you love a beautiful car, then don’t waste your money on fashion.

Third, focus on what you think makes you glamorous rather than worrying about what others think of you. Some people call it “keeping up with the Joneses.” Others refer to it as relative deprivation. Whatever you call it…if you worry too much about what other people have, you will never be satisfied.

What post-pandemic changes can we expect from the glamour industry (arts, beauty, fashion, fine dining, luxury goods, and services)?

It will be interesting to see what emerges post-COVID. Many companies are being forced out of business so I worry about monopolies developing, but as I said earlier, the K-shaped economic recovery means there is a group of individuals doing better than ever. I think when COVID is over there will be massive opportunities in all areas of art, beauty, and glamour.

Linda Fisher
Professor of Law
Seton Hall University

Global sales of luxury goods in 2020 declined to 2014 levels. What does this say about consumers’ attitudes toward glamour during the pandemic?

People have more important things to worry about and nobody to show off to, except maybe their dog, spouse or roommate!!

How has the pandemic reshaped fashion, especially now that more people are working from home? What are the three most surprising trends that have emerged?

In light of the pandemic, these things aren’t that surprising, but they include:  the “dressed from the waist up, athleisure from the waist down” trend, which I find works great for professional Zoom calls!   Another is using higher quality or luxury fabrics for leisure wear, like cashmere sweatshirts, for instance.  People want to feel cozy.  The third is wearing statement necklaces and earrings, which are noticeable on virtual calls, unlike more modest jewelry.  I’ve bought a few.

What new status symbols of glamour and wealth have you noticed during the pandemic?

I’m personally not interested in conspicuous consumption and don’t look for it, but glamour is often fun!  It’s a good antidote to the sameness of stay-at-home days.  I’ve noticed more middle-aged people coloring their hair purple, blue and pink, among other colors, sometimes coloring the back or underneath layers so they’re not visible on professional calls.

What are your top three tips for living a glamorous lifestyle on a budget?

I’ve spent most of my life trying to be fashionable on a budget, and it’s easier than ever now.  I love The Real Real and am buying most of my clothes from that site.  I’ve never minded buying good quality used clothing and The Real Real is sustainable, offers a wide variety of styles and is affordable.  What could be better?  I’ve also bought on ThredUp from the designer section and Poshmark.

What post-pandemic changes can we expect from the glamour industry (arts, beauty, fashion, fine dining, luxury goods and services)?

Hard to say exactly, but expect even more online offerings.  There probably will be more market segmentation than ever, since income inequality keeps increasing, unfortunately.

Methodology

We ranked the 50 biggest U.S. cities in descending order — from most to least glamorous — based on their individual score totals in the metrics list below. The city that scored the highest ranked No. 1, or “most glamorous.”

MetricWeightingMin. ValueMax. Value
Number of Michelin-Starred Restaurants2065
Number of Gourmet Specialty Food Stores per 100,000 Residents12.8568.77
Lounges per 100,000 Residents12.7650.85
Number of Cocktail Bars per 100,000 Residents12.8552.83
Dining and Drinking Category Total5
Number of Dance Clubs per 100,000 Residents11.2924.43
Number of Music Venues per 100,000 Residents11.5319.85
Number of Art Galleries10109
Number of Performing-Arts Theaters per 100,000 Residents12.8561.87
Number of Country Clubs1592
Number of Golf Courses17100
Number of Marinas13371
Number of 5-Star Hotels1142
Arts & Entertainment, Recreation, and Accommodation8
Number of Luxury Cosmetics & Beauty Supply Shops per 100,000 Residents10.002.68
Spas & Wellness Centers per 100,000 Residents11.0454.16
Presence of Fashion Week Events101
Number of Luxury Fashion Stores per 100,000 Residents10.2623.11
Number of Luxury Jewelry Shops per 100,000 Residents108.59
Luxury Watch Shops per 100,000 Residents104.84
Number of Luxury Perfume Shops per 100,000 Residents10.6119.15
Number of Bespoke Clothing Shops per 100,000 Residents102.17
Beauty, Fashion, and Shopping Category Total8
Median Household Income Above U.S. Median (Yes=1; No=0)101
Annual GDP2229735321065148506
Arts, Entertainment, Recreation, Accommodation, and Food Services Annual GDP2110065555708272
Wealth and Success Category Total5
Total26

Sources: Booking.com, Fashionista, GolfLink, MICHELIN Guide, TripAdvisor, U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis, U.S. Census Bureau, and Yelp

Main Photo Credit: Shutterstock

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