Wealth Planning

Living Large: The Ultimate Guide to the US's Most Luxurious Cities in 2024

By
Dominion
Updated:
April 21, 2024
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8 min read
Contents

If you’re all about indulging in the finer things in life, from swanky accommodations to gourmet dining and everything in between, you've certainly come to the right place. Let us guide you through the most luxurious experiences that the United States has to offer, where opulence is the name of the game.

Since you’ve found your way here, it’s safe to assume that you’re probably no stranger to the world of refinement and sophistication, where every experience is elevated to brave new heights of indulgence.

We understand that luxury is all about living life to the fullest, whether it’s a day of pampering at a lavish spa, immersing yourself in the vibrant nightlife or simply having a place to kick back and relax amongst other high rankers.

You know better than anyone that time is money, so let’s get right into it!

Key Findings

  • In New York City, luxury reigns supreme in every corner, trumping most categories and making it the ultimate playground for high rollers.
  • To find a bed worthy of royalty, you can count on Miami and Vegas’s array of impressive accommodations to deliver.
  • New York City and Jersey City steal the spotlight with their mouthwatering selection of Michelin-starred restaurants and hidden culinary gems.
  • From private jets to chauffeur-driven limos, Los Angeles takes the crown when it comes to getting around in style, making every commute feel like a VIP experience.
  • Las Vegas might be the king of entertainment, but don't sleep on New York City and Chicago for a nightlife scene that never quits.
  • Whether splurging in Vegas or strolling through SoHo, the shopping scenes in Vegas and NYC are any fashionista's dream.
  • New York City boasts a myriad of luxe spas and fitness centers, making it the perfect city for pampering yourself like royalty.
  • For those looking to rub elbows with the elite at the hottest clubs in town, the legendary spots and vibrant scenes of NYC, Chicago and New Orleans absolutely take the cake.

Best Cities by Luxury Category

Whether you’re interested in experiencing a romantic escape in style, a weekend of pampering or a high-octane adventure, the many alluring cities of the US have got you covered. It’s for this very reason that we’ve made our own definitive list of America’s top luxury destinations, complete with rankings, category highlights and all the juicy, exclusive details that you’ll need to plan the next extravagant getaway of your dreams.

So, let us guide you through the crème de la crème of luxury destinations across the United States.

CityRankHotelsFoodTravel OptionsRecreationShoppingClubsBeauty + Wellbeing
New York City15171311
Las Vegas22123021598
Los Angeles36414764
San Francisco4195125245
Chicago5136273923
Miami611181019518
San Diego7316148151626
Honolulu81427351244714
Jersey City9822154817512
Boston10171958135366
Washington11107112313357
Seattle12152524614721
Atlanta132814421581311
Dallas141818253461112
Houston151215181121829
Denver162617719122916
New Orleans172123521916338
Scottsdale18834267604923
Philadelphia192920473111925
Long Beach2022211918321432
Phoenix217472016895966
Glendale22678362475934
Tampa2324263729271228
Newark24563994595131
Portland2536376544102719
Charlotte2623335614442351
Anaheim273129257485947
Irvine28903244167599
Orlando299134530834127
Raleigh3043516517222635
Nashville3111244950183333
Richmond325194127562980
Baltimore3333443620552544
St. Petersburg3438413333361652
Austin3516228336244710
Santa Ana369130556375913
Fort Worth3759531625393846
San Antonio3825285639234368
Columbus3964434035532130
Henderson404733098985945
Indianapolis4139385422573290
San Jose4246361049505920
Riverside439490681881675
St. Louis4427317142252779
Cleveland4541554738681595
Oakland4680106460314917
Tulsa4752595426424652
Louisville4840397121715936
Albuquerque4949606128295976
Minneapolis5034468624625671
Sacramento5169353763205624
Reno5271717932265943
Tucson5330666237455940
Detroit5447497145662490
Virginia Beach5545616840355952
Arlington5662822374653415
Pittsburgh5737408752303849
Kansas City5855505359752261
Chula Vista5985451364825955
Boise6048798043415971
Norfolk6174768089521087
Jacksonville6250586954732964
Milwaukee6344567179721958
Mesa6454993447945957
Frisco6588892971345969
Cincinnati6642527168285164
Chandler6758875058545922
Greensboro6860708753385180
Stockton6993941791335971
Memphis7032488451974395
Colorado Springs7135637155635980
Buffalo7281656766463863
Irving7320973977845985
Omaha7477628746695983
Winston-Salem7579785969435939
Toledo7695839490792067
Plano7778672786775937
Gilbert7868925061745958
Oklahoma City7966546982515671
Lexington8073649473495976
Bakersfield8187864396405956
Aurora8289427170855983
Madison8392579487644141
Anchorage8461744688865160
Corpus Christi8565958783783786
San Bernardino8699852195965987
North Las Vegas8763983092875990
St. Paul8884846078815941
Port St. Lucie897510044721005997
Garland9097802299955962
Durham9157688467935993
Fresno9286726393615950
Spokane9370819475705976
Fort Wayne949875100657659100
Lubbock9576888785585987
El Paso9653698780805998
Lincoln9772919476905993
Chesapeake9896938097914348
Wichita9983778784925970
Laredo1001009694100995998

Top Accommodations

When it comes to the all-important category of accommodations, The Magic City of Miami sits at the very top of our list, offering a range of lavish resorts and boutique hotels that will cater to your every whim. From the iconic Fontainebleau with its legendary pool parties to the art deco charm of The Betsy Hotel, there's no shortage of options.

Close contenders are Las Vegas, San Diego and Henderson. Owing to the fact that Sin City is home to the Bellagio, the Wynn, the Cosmopolitan and the world’s most impressive collection of flashy casinos, its high placement shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone. Just a stone’s throw from the glittering lights of Las Vegas, Henderson offers a tranquil oasis of luxury in the very heart of the Mojave Desert. In a similar spirit, San Diego offers both a beautiful coast and a bustling nightlife to its tourists.

Last but certainly not least, we have the concrete jungle where dreams are made. NYC boasts various iconic landmarks including The Plaza Hotel and The Peninsula, where history and modern luxury meet right in the heart of Manhattan.

Ever wondered what it feels like to wake up to views of Central Park, or the twinkling lights of Times Square? Just be sure to channel your inner Carrie Bradshaw as you strut down Fifth Avenue in search of the perfect pair of Manolos!

If you’re looking for world-class amenities and picturesque views, you can definitely skip out on Laredo, San Bernardino, Fort Wayne, Garland and Chesapeake.

Rank 5 Best Cities Rank 5 Worst Cities
1 ✅ Miami 1 ⛔ Laredo
2 ✅ Las Vegas 2 ⛔ San Bernardino
3 ✅ San Diego 3 ⛔ Fort Wayne
4 ✅ Henderson 4 ⛔ Garland
5 ✅ New York City 5 ⛔ Chesapeake

Culinary Delights

While our list highlights the cities with the most Michelin-starred restaurants and fine dining options, there's still much more to discover off the beaten track.

In San Francisco, you can indulge in fresh seafood at Fisherman's Wharf or savor authentic dim sum in Chinatown. An honorable mention should go to the city's famous sourdough bread — because carbs don't count while you're on vacation, right?

Chicago's vibrant food scene offers everything from their famous deep-dish pizza, to their array of immersive fine dining experiences. Alternatively, Los Angeles boasts a melting pot of flavors, from farm-to-table fare to international cuisine served with a side of Hollywood glamor.

If you're feeling adventurous, why not try some of NYC's famous food trucks? Because nothing says “luxury” like eating tacos on the sidewalk at 2 a.m.!

On the other side of the coin, foodies might not have the best time at Port St. Lucie, Mesa, North Las Vegas, Irving and Laredo.

Rank 5 Best Cities Rank 5 Worst Cities
1 ✅ New York City 1 ⛔ Port St. Lucie
2 ✅ Jersey City 2 ⛔ Mesa
3 ✅ Newarko 3 ⛔ North Las Vegas
4 ✅ Los Angeles 4 ⛔ Irving
5 ✅ San Francisco 5 ⛔ Laredo

Getting Around in Style - Luxury Transportation

Getting from point A to point B should always be a memorable experience in and of itself. The cities that grace the top of this category both understand and execute this very well.

It’s no surprise that Los Angeles, the land of celebrities and fast cars, is leading the pack. Here, cruising down Sunset Boulevard in a convertible or arriving at the Hollywood sign in a chauffeur-driven limousine is just another day in the life of a movie star… and it can be just another day in the life of a lover of luxury such as yourself!

In Anaheim and Glendale, you can enjoy the ride with stretch limos and sleek black sedans or even elevate your vacation with private jet charters and helicopter tours. Meanwhile, if you choose to pay a visit to one of America's wealthiest cities, Irvine, you’ll have the opportunity to explore Orange County’s stunning coastlines which gleam with luxury yachts and sunset sails.

If the mere thought of a yellow cab terrifies you, you’ll probably be better off avoiding Fort Wayne, Spokane, Laredo, Toledo and Madison.

Rank 5 Best Cities Rank 5 Worst Cities
1 ✅ Los Angeles 1 ⛔ Fort Wayne
2 ✅ Anaheim 2 ⛔ Spokane
3 ✅ Glendale 3 ⛔ Laredo
4 ✅ Irvine 4 ⛔ Toledo
5 ✅ Santa Ana 5 ⛔ Madison

Fun & Recreational Escapes

For all of the luxury aficionados reading this, it’s best to ditch those tired tourist traps and, instead, uncover the gems that make our top-ranked cities the ultimate playgrounds for those lucky enough to live the high life.

New York City’s countless rooftop bars and hidden speakeasies guarantee that there’s always a party waiting to happen. What’s more, if you happen to be an art buff NYC has got you covered with more galleries than you can shake a paintbrush at, and theaters galore means that you’ll never run out of shows to catch.

Vegas isn't just about flashy lights and slot machines either. If the idea of hitting the slots isn’t all that enticing to you, Vegas is also home to many internationally renowned car shows that'll have you drooling over all of the latest rides.

Golfers can tee off against the stunning backdrop of Chicago’s skyline, while theater buffs can head downtown to catch everything from Broadway hits to offbeat indie productions in the city’s celebrated theater district.

There's no shortage of entertainment options to explore, so lace up your fanciest shoes and discover the secret sides of these cities.

Cities you can skip for this? Laredo, Garland, Henderson, Chesapeake and Bakersfield.

Rank 5 Best Cities Rank 5 Worst Cities
1 ✅ New York City 1 ⛔ Laredo
2 ✅ Las Vegas 2 ⛔ Garland
3 ✅ Chicago 3 ⛔ Henderson
4 ✅ Los Angeles 4 ⛔ Chesapeake
5 ✅ San Francisco 5 ⛔ Bakersfield

Retail Paradises

Did someone say retail therapy, but make it luxurious? As always, we’ve got you covered.

While everyone knows about New York City's Fifth Avenue and San Francisco’s Union Square for their fancy shopping vibes, a whole world of chic is just waiting to be explored in a couple of other lesser-known spots.

Las Vegas takes shopping to a whole new level with its over-the-top malls and designer outlets, which somehow strike the perfect balance between extravagance and opulence. You can spend all day (and night) splurging on everything from couture fashion to high-end accessories.

Although it’s not quite as well-known as some of the others on our list, Honolulu’s Kalakaua Avenue is definitely right up there in terms of quality. This bustling street offers every shopper a treasure trove of delights, from high-end designer boutiques to local Hawaiian artisans. Complete with the summery backdrop of palm trees swaying in the tropical breeze and the sparkling waters of Waikiki Beach just steps away, even a leisurely stroll down this vibrant avenue feels like a dreamy escape… talk about shopping heaven!

Just make sure that you bring an extra suitcase, because what happens in Vegas might stay in Vegas, but those shopping bags are definitely coming home with you.

You won’t, however, find your typical posh stores in Port St. Lucie, Laredo, Henderson, Memphis or San Bernardino.

Rank 5 Best Cities Rank 5 Worst Cities
1 ✅ Las Vegas 1 ⛔ Port St. Lucie
2 ✅ San Francisco 2 ⛔ Laredo
3 ✅ New York City 3 ⛔ Henderson
4 ✅ Honolulu 4 ⛔ Memphis
5 ✅ Boston 5 ⛔ San Bernardino

Luxury Clubs

What’s better than rooftop bars with killer views, hidden speakeasies behind secret doors, and dance floors that never seem to close down? Knowing where to actually find them, of course!

First up, we've got New York City — the city that never sleeps, and for good reason too! You'll find more platinum country clubs here than hot dog stands in Central Park. If sailing's more your speed, the yacht clubs along the Hudson will make you feel like you're a character in "The Wolf of Wall Street."

Now, let's talk about Chicago — this city knows how to party. Whether you're sipping martinis in River North or checking out the ritzy yacht clubs, there's something for everybody to love here. Just be prepared to dodge the seagulls – they've developed a taste for caviar.

And let's not forget about New Orleans, where the party never stops and the drinks flow like water all night long. From country clubs as lush as the bayous to its lively and highly acclaimed jazz scene, this city is alive with music, cocktails and good vibes.

Next up, we've got San Francisco — here, the nightlife scene is as diverse as the city itself.

If you’re itching for a round of golf San Francisco’s got you covered with an array of posh country clubs, and if you’re interested in exploring the Bay their equally impressive yacht clubs will guarantee that you’re cruising in style. If you’d prefer to sit back and relax indoors, San Francisco’s platinum city clubs and athletic clubs will treat you to the full VIP experience with some serious pampering.

And last but certainly not least, we've got Miami — the ultimate party paradise. From exclusive country clubs in Coral Gables to yacht clubs along Biscayne Bay, this city knows how to turn up the heat. But, if you're not the biggest beach lover in the world, there are plenty of platinum city clubs and athletic clubs to keep you in shape between daiquiris.

A word of warning to all of the party people out there — you can skip out on San Bernardino, Frisco, Spokane, Garland and Boise.

Rank 5 Best Cities Rank 5 Worst Cities
1 ✅ New York City 1 ⛔ San Bernardino
2 ✅ Chicago 2 ⛔ Frisco
3 ✅ New Orleans 3 ⛔ Spokane
4 ✅ San Francisco 4 ⛔ Garland
5 ✅ Miami 5 ⛔ Boise

Beauty and Wellbeing

Finally, after all that fun, it's time to treat yourself to a little TLC at the luxurious spas and wellness retreats scattered throughout our top-ranked cities.

In New York City, where the streets never sleep, you'll find some spots of tranquility tucked away amidst the chaos. Nothing beats escaping the hustle and bustle of the Big Apple for a day of pampering and relaxation.

Now, let's talk about Los Angeles — this city takes self-care to a whole new level. With holistic healing practices and cutting-edge treatments abound, you'll leave feeling like a brand-new person entirely. But make sure to book your massage well in advance because, let's face it, nobody wants to hear "sorry, we're fully booked" when they're in dire need of some quality relaxation.

And as for Jersey City, Chicago and San Francisco, they've got their fair share of spa sanctuaries, too. You can unwind with a hot stone massage or indulge in a rejuvenating facial, because these cities know how to help you truly recharge.

But you know who doesn’t? Fort Wayne, Laredo, El Paso, Port St. Lucie and Cleveland.

Rank 5 Best Cities Rank 5 Worst Cities
1 ✅ New York City 1 ⛔ Fort Wayne
2 ✅ Jersey City 2 ⛔ Laredo
3 ✅ Chicago 3 ⛔ El Paso
4 ✅ Los Angeles 4 ⛔ Port St. Lucie
5 ✅ San Francisco 5 ⛔ Cleveland

Our Verdict

There's no shortage of opulence for those with a taste for the finer things in life. From the bustling streets of New York City where even the pigeons seem to strut with a touch of class, to the dazzling lights of Las Vegas where the only thing brighter than the neon signs are the smiles of jackpot winners, each city on our list offers its own unique charm to those lucky enough to visit.

But, as we bid adieu to this journey through luxury, let's remember the lessons that we've learned along the way… like how to spot a Michelin-starred restaurant from a mile away or the importance of packing an extra suitcase for all of those future impulse buys at designer boutiques. And who could forget the golden rule of spa days? Always book your massage early, unless you enjoy waiting in line behind a group of overly relaxed socialites!

On the flip side, the chances of finding a luxury experience in Laredo or Fort Wayne are relatively low. Unfortunately, they’ve made the top of our lists of the worst cities to have a luxury experience in as a result. You could, however, pass through one of them to have a quick getaway in some fancy resort in Mexico.

Methodology & Sources

We collected comprehensive data on various luxury factors, including parameters such as the count of 5-star apartments, exclusive 5-star resorts, 5-star hotels, Michelin-starred restaurants, availability of fine dining, private jet services and more.

To ensure fair and accurate comparisons across all factors, we normalized the data for each parameter on a scale ranging from 0 to 1. This process enabled us to standardize the data and eliminate any biases that could potentially skew the results.

Categorization

The factors were categorized into five primary categories, each assigned specific points reflecting their importance in determining the overall luxury experience.

Luxury accommodations (15 weight points): number of 5-star apartments (4.5 weight points); number of exclusive 5-star resorts (4.5 weight points); number of 5-star hotels (4.5 weight points); number of highly-rated properties (1.5 weight points)

Luxury food (10 weight points): number of Michelin-starred restaurants (5 weight points); fine dining availability (5 weight points)

Transportation (10 weight points): availability of private jet services (2.5 weight points); availability of chauffeur-driven limousine services (2.5 weight points); availability of yacht charter services (2.5 weight points); private luxury car services (2.5 weight points)

Fun & recreation (30 weight points): nightlife options (4.5 weight points); number of highly-rated art galleries (4.5 weight points); number of highly-rated theaters (4.5 weight points); number of operas (4.5 weight points); number of boat shows (2.5 weight points); number of car shows (2.5 weight points); number of casinos (2.5 weight points); golf availability (4.5 weight points)

Luxury shopping (15 weight points): number of luxury fashion stores (4.5 weight points); number of luxury jewelry shops (4.5 weight points); number of luxury watch shops (4.5 weight points); hosts fashion week events (1.5 weight points)

Beauty and well-being (10 weight points): number of luxury beauty & spas (5 weight points); number of luxury gyms (5 weight points)

Luxury clubs (10 weight points): number of platinum country clubs (2 weight points); number of yacht clubs (2 weight points); number of platinum yacht clubs (2 weight points); number of platinum city clubs (2 weight points); number of platinum athletic clubs (2 weight points)

Scores were calculated for each city across all factors and combined to determine the overall scores and rankings.

Sources

  • Booking.com
  • TripAdvisor
  • OperaBase
  • Yelp
  • FashionUnited
  • Platinum Clubs of America
  • Guide Michelin
  • CarShowz.com
  • DiscoverBoating.com
  • Sea Hunt Boats
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