Are San Diegans Too Modest?


The results for America’s Favorite Cities survey are in!  If you recall, I encouraged my readers back in March to make San Diego #1 on the Travel & Leisure magazine survey. I’m not sure what to think after reviewing the results.

San Diego failed to receive any top rankings out of 45 categories.  We were only competing against 25 other cities. However, we did finish #2 for Ideal Weather, Attractive People, and Perfect Place for a Family Vacation.  My more compelling concern is that it was the scores given by San Diegans that contributed to our poor rankings.

To be fair, San Diegans did score our city better than non-San Diegans…barely.  Out of 45 survey questions, we gave ourselves a cumulative 2 extra points.  (Each question had the potential for 5 points.) Unfortunately, other cities thought much more highly of themselves, helping to propel their cities to higher rankings.

If you were to compare the city rankings based only on what residents gave to their own city, San Diego gave up a whopping 15 cumulative spots in the rankings in comparison to what outsiders thought about San Diego.

That begs the question, ‘Is this a good thing because San Diegans are too modest to gloat about ‘America’s Finest City’ or is it a bad thing because we lack self-esteem about our own city?’.

Here are the categories where we gave up the most in rankings – Public Parks and Outdoor Access, Classical Music, Farmers’ Markets, Stylish People, Public Transportation and Pedestrian Friendliness, and Christmas Destination.   (Hmmm … Stylish People … maybe we are so caught up in trying to keep up with the Jones’s that we don’t take the time to appreciate what we do have.  Maybe this is indicative of us losing sight on what a great place we live in and it takes outsiders to point it out to us.)

Here are the categories where we flat-out scored ourselves worse than outsiders – Historical Sites and Monuments, Late Night / Club Scene, Traffic, and Affordability, not to mention some crossover categories from the previous section, including once again Stylish People, Classical Music, and Public Transportation.

I’m hoping we are a bit too modest but part of me thinks we are so caught up in ‘keeping up with others’ that we forget to appreciate what we do have.  Hopefully, I can help improve our perception of San Diego with this blog.  I’m also working on a special project that I will introduce in the coming weeks to improve our city’s image.

I’d be curious in hearing your thoughts on why we may have scored ourselves so low in comparison to how other cities thought about themselves.

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