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Again, 'best city in the world' lies down under



Published: Sat, January 1, 2005 @ 12:00 a.m.



Sydney, Australia, again tops many of the annual travel bests lists.

Sydney, Sydney, Sydney. Yawn, yawn, yawn.

Come on! Anybody have any creativity out there? OK, the Australian metropolis is drop-dead gorgeous and a great place to visit. The people are friendly, the prices are reasonable and the beaches are among the best in the world.

But this "best city in the world" title year after year after year in the major travel magazines is getting beyond monotonous. It's irritating. It's sending hordes of tourists down under in search of some kind of urban Shangri-La. And, OK, it is, but that's beside the point.

Let's rally 'round Rome. Paris. San Francisco. Shanghai. Anywhere but Sydney.

I'm officially starting a 2005 "Anyplace but Sydney" campaign. To get started, I'm putting the down under down at the bottom of this list.

Yes, we salute the choice of Sydney as city of the year. But we'll put that listing at the bottom of our annual roundup of "best of lists in 2004 from major and minor publications."

The roundup

UBest island: Bali (Travel & amp; Leisure)

UBest European island: Mykonos and the Cyclades, Greece (Conde Nast Traveler)

UBest destination: Norway's fjords (National Geographic Traveler)

UBest national park: Yosemiteand Yellowstone (Zagat Survey)

UBest beach: Hanauma Bay, Oahu, Hawaii (Dr. Beach)

UBest beach in Bahamas: Pink Sand Beach, Harbour Island (Islands)

UBest place with beaches: San Diego (Men's Journal)

UBest sightseeing: Washington, D.C. (AOL)

UBest British golf course: Muirfield (Golf World)

UMost popular family attraction: Walt Disney World (Zagat Survey)

UDream sporting event to see: Super Bowl, Jacksonville, Fla. (Men's Journal)

UBest amusement park: Cedar Point, Ohio (Zagat Survey)

UBest aquarium: Monterey Aquarium (Zagat Survey)

UBest baseball parks: SBC, San Francisco, and Safeco Field, Seattle (Zagat Survey)

UBest underwater adventures in Mexico: Cozumel (Islands)

UBest malls: Newport on the Levee, Cincinnati, and Toys "R" Us, New York (Zagat Survey)

UBest zoo: St. Louis Zoo (Zagat Survey)

UBest water park: Discovery Cove, Orlando (Zagat Survey)

UBest steakhouse in Las Vegas: Prime (Zagat Survey)

UBest hotel: Singita Private Game Reserve, South Africa (Travel & amp; Leisure)

UBest hotel in Europe: Four Seasons Milan, Italy (Conde Naste Traveler)

UBest U.S. hotel: Peninsula Hotel, Beverly Hills (Travel & amp; Leisure, Harper's Hideaway Report)

UBest international hotel: Four Seasons George V, Paris (Harper's Hideaway Report)

UBest-kept-secret hotel: The Goring, London (Esquire)

UBest U.S. "hideaway": Blackberry Farm, Tennessee (Harper's Hideaway Report)

UHottest hotel in Arizona: James Hotel, Scottsdale (Business Traveler Magazine)

UBest intimate hotel: Hotel Bel-Air, Los Angeles (Harper's Hideaway Report)

UBest Hawaiian hotel: Four Seasons Hualalai, Big Island (Travel & amp; Leisure)

UBest "rising star" hotel in Europe: Hotel de Russie, Rome (Harper's Hideaway Report)

UBest Latin American resort: One & amp;Only Palmilla, San Jose del Cabo, Mexico (Conde Nast Traveler)

UBest U.S. hotel with a view: The Big EZ Lodge, Montana (Harper's Hideaway Report)

UBest entertainer in Las Vegas: Wayne Newton (Nevada Magazine)

UBest dining city: New Orleans (Travel & amp; Leisure)

UBest Mexican restaurant in Los Angeles: Tlapazola Grill (Zagat Survey)

UBest brasserie in Paris: Cafe Runtz (Zagat Survey)

UBest comedy club in New York: Comedy Cellar (Zagat Survey)

UBest seafood in Boston: Cafe 23 & amp; Bar (Zagat Survey)

UBest domestic airline: Midwest Airlines (Travel & amp; Leisure)

UBest international airline: Singapore Airlines (Travel & amp; Leisure)

UBest value for money cruise line: Carnival (Porthole Magazine)

UBest large ship cruise line: Crystal Cruises (Travel & amp; Leisure)

UBest megaship: Queen Mary 2 (Porthole Magazine)

UBest small-ship cruise line: Silversea Cruises (Conde Nast Traveler)

UBest Western ski resort: Vail, Colo. (Ski)

UBest ski town: Jackson Hole, Wyo. (Skiing)

UBest Western apres-ski nightlife: Aspen, Colo. (Ski)

UBest California ski town: Truckee (Skiing)

UBest Western groomed slopes: Deer Valley, Utah (Ski)

UBest lawn: Waterfront Park, Louisville, Ky. (toptenlawns .com)

UBest-looking citizenry: San Diego (Travel & amp; Leisure)

UBest town for getting around: Portland, Ore. (AOL)

UBest city: New York (Times of London)

UBest city for peace and quiet: Santa Fe (Travel & amp; Leisure)

UBest party city: Las Vegas (Men's Journal)

UBest U.S. city: New York (Travel & amp; Leisure)

UBest North American city: Vancouver, B.C. (Conde Nast Traveler)

UFriendliest city: Honolulu (AOL), Nashville, Tenn. (Travel & amp; Leisure)

OK, done. Now, tah-dah, the big news:

UBest city in the world: Sydney (Conde Nast Traveler, Travel & amp; Leisure)

We're so sick of the place, we'll be back there as soon as we can. Sometimes the voters are right, if a bit redundant.




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