Hickory, Asheville Make Nat Geo’s List Of Best Small Cities

CHARLOTTE, NC — Two North Carolina cities have made National Geographic’s list of Small U.S. Cities On the Rise, joining a group of 27 other cities lauded in 10 categories of “superlatives.”

The superlatives were compiled, according to authors George Stone and Amy Alipio, using “unconventional metrics that we think lead to happiness: green spaces, galleries, coffee shops, breweries, music venues, Instagrammable moments, and more.”

The superlatives for the two Tar Heel cities deemed standouts by National Geographic Traveler might not come as big surprises. Asheville, N.C. was called “Most Artsy,” and “Sudsiest,” and Hickory, N.C. was said to be “Hipster Friendly.”

South Carolina’s biggest cities fared well in the list, as well. Charleston, S.C. was called “Most Instagramed” and “Most Artsy. Carnivores rule in Columbia and Greenville, which were both called “Meatiest.” Columbia also racked up a designation as “Best Groomed.”

Interested in seeing how other U.S. cities fared in the line up? Here is the list:


Albuquerque, New Mexico (Sudsiest) Anchorage, Alaska (Trending- Most Caffeinated) Ann Arbor, Michigan (Greenest) Annapolis, Maryland (Trending- Dog Friendly) Asheville, North Carolina (Most Artsy, Sudsiest) Baton Rouge, Louisiana (Best Groomed) Boulder, Colorado (Hipster Friendly, Musically Grooviest, Most Caffeinated, Sudsiest) Charleston, South Carolina (Most Instagrammed, Most Artsy) Columbia, South Carolina (Best Groomed, Meatiest) Greenville, South Carolina (Meatiest) Hagerstown, Maryland (Best Groomed) Healdsburg, California (Trending- Greenest) Hickory, North Carolina (Hipster Friendly) Honolulu, Hawaii (Musically Grooviest, Most Instagrammed, Most Artsy) Kansas City, Missouri (Trending- Most Artsy) Lakeland, Florida (Most Dog Friendly) Louisville, Kentucky (Trending- Meatiest) Madison, Wisconsin (Greenest) New Orleans, Louisiana (Trending- Hipster Friendly) Newport, Rhode Island (Trending- Best Groomed) Olympia, Washington (Most Caffeinated, Greenest) Omaha, Nebraska (Trending- Musically Grooviest) Pensacola, Florida (Most Dog Friendly) Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania (Trending- Sudsiest) Portland, Maine (Most Instagrammed) Rapid City, South Dakota (Trending- Most Instagrammed) Reno, Nevada (Meatiest, Most Dog Friendly) Santa Cruz, California (Musically Grooviest) Spokane, Washington (Hipster Friendly, Most Caffeinated)

WATCH: Can You Guess The Best Small Cities In America?

Photo via Pixaby

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