National Geographic has released its list of the 29 best small cities in the US— and it’s giving us some serious travel inspiration.
The travel magazine worked with branding advisers at Resonance Consultancy to produce a “small-cities index” that drew from statistics and mentions on Instagram and Yelp to determine which cities rank highest across 10 categories:
- Most hipster-friendly (coffee shops, tattoo parlors, record shops, vintage stores)
- Grooviest (music venues, live music, instrument stores)
- Most Instagrammed (hashtags)
- Artsiest (art galleries, art supply stores, art schools)
- Best groomed (barber shops, hair salons, hair removal services, cosmetic dentists)
- Meatiest (butchers, delis, steakhouses)
- Most dog-friendly (pet-sitting, pet stores, pet groomers, dog-friendly restaurants)
- Sudsiest (breweries)
- Most caffeinated (coffee shops)
- Greenest (parks)
The results in each area were then sorted into three categories based on population sizes: 40,000 to 100,000, 100,000 to 200,000, and 200,000 to 600,000. An algorithm then determined which cities ranked highest per capita.
The National Geographic editors also included “trending” cities that didn’t make the cut on the list this year but appear to be on the rise.
The 29 cities on the list weren’t ranked relative to one another, but Business Insider has noted which categories each won.
From favorites like Charleston, South Carolina, to the beach town of Pensacola, Florida, here are the 29 coolest small cities to visit in the US in 2018.