I've traveled quite extensively and loved San Diego. You should also check out Portland and SLC.
But I love Charlotte more than those three
If you are looking for cool places with nice people.
The nicest people I've ever met were in Africa.
South Africa, Mozambique, Tanzania, Rwanda, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Malawi, Botswana, Namibia.....all of it made me realize what actually being friendly and generous and hospitable means. People with next to nothing will absolutely insist that they provide you with a meal or place to stay because you are a guest and they just want to learn about where you are from. The poor will give you their last bit of food and the rich will give you their vacation houses to use. It's unreal.
After being in all those place I find that people are more alike than different once you get past a few cultural things on the surface. So when I look at another region I try not to stereotype and just enjoy what it is about the area that is unique.