CNN named its top 10 list of America’s Best Towns to Visit in 2024, and two New England locations made the cut.

Providence, Rhode Island, landed the No. 2 spot, which is nice, but let's talk about Portland, Maine, scoring No. 4 on the list. (Sorry, Rhode Island fans.)

It's probably a thrill for Portland to be "nominated," but it's got enough awesomeness that it could definitely have taken the top spot.

CNN said that when coming up with the list, it looked for smaller cities that aren't on everyone's travel lists, so not places like New York City or San Francisco. World Population Review says that Portland has nearly 70,000 people living there, which fits right in line with CNN's qualifying range of 50,000 to 225,000 residents.

Granted, it does seem like Portland, Bar Harbor, and Kennebunkport are the popular answers when "top" or "best" lists feature Maine, so it would have been a bigger surprise to see a different city/town revealed from CNN.

That said, Portland greatly represents what the city and state have to offer, so it's not a negative either.

CNN gave top marks to Portland's next-level food scene, coastal setting, and outdoor access, which helped it earn its spot at fourth place.

Portland crushes it when it comes to its food. Redbook and Capture the Atlas are just two publications that shout out the foodie city as the best of the best, and the numerous types of restaurants and meal options make for endless delicious possibilities.

You want fine dining? Check. You want a classic diner? Check. Seafood? Check. I could keep going...

And there have recently been two James Beard Award winners from the area to add to the accolades, which CNN certainly noticed when picking Portland.

Portland has multiple museums, beautiful hotels, numerous shops for buying stuff, walkability, breweries, rich history, and access to the water. Oh, and the view is incredible, too.

CNN says that "strolling the bustling center [of Portland] offers a window onto centuries of maritime history and a Victorian-era rebirth."

There really is so much that Portland has to offer and can boast about, that it's great to see even a place like CNN giving it a shout-out as a must-visit for 2024.

Ready for a visit? Or is there another place in Maine you think should have made the list, too? Let us know!

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Gallery Credit: Chris Sedenka

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Here's a list of 20 prominent Greater Portland, Maine restaurants that have been featured on national television shows. This is a great representation of the region's incredible food scene.

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