Industry NewsNational Geographic Traveler Names U.S. Cities 'On the Rise'

National Geographic Traveler Names U.S. Cities ‘On the Rise’

WASHINGTON—National Geographic Traveler this week unveiled its 29 “Cities on the Rise” based on a unique set of metrics and expert picks from its editors. To identify these rising small cities, Traveler worked with global destination branding advisors Resonance Consultancy in developing a Small Cities Index, a survey that drew from statistics and social media mentions to determine which cities rank highest in a variety of categories including green spaces, coffee shops, live music, and even Instagrammable moments.

The 10 categories and related features the index factored in include: “hipster friendly” indicators (tattoo parlors, record shops, vintage stores); music, including venues, live music, and instrument stores; most Instagrammed based on hashtags; the arts scene, including galleries, art supply stores, and art schools; “best groomed” based on the number of barber shops, hair salons, hair removal services, and cosmetic dentists; “meatiest” based on the number of butchers, delis, and steakhouses; most dog-friendly; breweries; coffee shops; and parks.

The results in each of these areas were then broken down by population sizes: 40,000 to 100,000; 100,000 to 200,000, and 200,000 to 600,000. Through Resonance Consultancy’s algorithm, Traveler surfaced the cities that ranked the highest for each population size and identified “trending” cities that didn’t top the list this year, but look to be climbing their way up.

“Every city is unique,” says Resonance Consultancy President Chris Fair. “Our approach to analyzing millions of consumer-generated ratings and reviews to create indexes such as these is an innovative new approach to revealing the characteristics that differentiate one place from another.”

29 U.S. Cities ‘On the Rise’

Albuquerque, New Mexico (breweries)
Anchorage, Alaska (trending for most cafes)
Ann Arbor, Michigan (greenest)
Annapolis, Maryland (trending for dog-friendly)
Asheville, North Carolina (arts scene and breweries)
Baton Rouge, Louisiana (“best groomed”)
Boulder, Colorado (“hipster-friendly” with music, cafes, and breweries)
Charleston, South Carolina (Instagrammable with an arts scene)
Columbia, South Carolina (“best groomed” and “meatiest”)
Greenville, South Carolina (“meatiest”)
Hagerstown, Maryland (“best groomed”)
Healdsburg, California (trending for greenest)
Hickory, North Carolina (“hipster-friendly”)
Honolulu, Hawaii (Instagrammable with a music and arts scene)
Kansas City, Missouri (trending arts scene)
Lakeland, Florida (dog friendly)
Louisville, Kentucky (trending for “meatiest”)
Madison, Wisconsin (greenery)
New Orleans, Louisiana (“hipster-friendly”)
Newport, Rhode Island (trending for “best groomed”)
Olympia, Washington (cafes and greenery)
Omaha, Nebraska (trending music scene)
Pensacola, Florida (dog-friendly)
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania (trending for breweries)
Portland, Maine (Instagrammable)
Rapid City, South Dakota (trending for Instagrammable)
Reno, Nevada (“meatiest” and dog-f Friendly)
Santa Cruz, California (music scene)
Spokane, Washington (“hispter-friendly” with cafes)


Photo: Asheville, N.C.