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Houston dubbed one of America's dirtiest cities: National mag urges visitors to stay inside on trips here

Houston dubbed one of America's dirtiest cities: National mag urges visitors to stay inside on trips here

Houston, skyline, downtown, dirty
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Bad news, guys. We're basically living in a dump. 

Houston ranks 10th on Travel + Leisure's list of America's Dirtiest Cities, part of the magazine's annual America's Favorite Cities survey in which readers were asked to rank metropolitan areas on features like dining, culture, shopping and tidiness. 

Travel + Leisure notes that Houston also falls among the cities with the worst ozone ratings, so it's generally best for visitors to stay inside and visit "the highly ranked burger joints and antique shops." Definitely don't venture one of our many city parks, especially not Discovery Green (which was counted among Travel + Leisure's Coolest City Parks just last April). 

The 2012 "dirtiest" rankings put New York (where detritus crowds the sidewalks on trash day) at No. 1 and New Orleans (where rats and roaches are as commonplace as the drunks on Bourbon Street) at No. 2, followed by Baltimore, Los Angeles, Atlanta and Philadelphia. 

Despite a better ozone rating than the Bayou City, Dallas/Fort Worth ranks No. 7 on the list. Analysts speculate that the lack of public parks affected that standing. San Antonio ranked No. 16 on the list, because the festive flea markets, the famous barbecue joints and some "legendary old fort" are not "known for being pristine."