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The U.S. Cities That Make the Best (and Worst) First Impression

Condé Nast Traveler Logo By David Jefferys of Condé Nast Traveler | Slide 1 of 18: <p><strong>Return-Visit Ranking:</strong> 58th percentile </p><p><strong>Population:</strong> Just under 4,000 </p><p><strong>Love at first sight:</strong> It's hard not to fall head-over-heels for the quaint charms of this Northern Californian beach town, just south of Monterey. Romantics in particular were drawn to the intimate inns and B&Bs, breakfast cafes, shops and galleries, nearby vineyards, and beachside walks. If it all sounds a bit too twee, consider a visit to the <a href="http://www.carmelmission.org">Carmel Mission</a> —the second to be founded in California in 1771—and a wonderful example of Spanish Colonial architecture and history. </p>

BEST: 9. Carmel-by-the-Sea, CA

Return-Visit Ranking: 58th percentile

Population: Just under 4,000

Love at first sight: It's hard not to fall head-over-heels for the quaint charms of this Northern Californian beach town, just south of Monterey. Romantics in particular were drawn to the intimate inns and B&Bs, breakfast cafes, shops and galleries, nearby vineyards, and beachside walks. If it all sounds a bit too twee, consider a visit to the Carmel Mission—the second to be founded in California in 1771—and a wonderful example of Spanish Colonial architecture and history.

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