What are the 29 top small cities in the US? The votes have been cast! National Geographic magazine and Resonance Consultancy have created a “small-cities index” based on data from such sources as Yelp and Instagram.

Cities were scored in the following categories:

  • Artsiest (art galleries, art schools, and art supply shops)
  • Best groomed (barber shops, cosmetic dentists, hair removal services, and hair salons)
  • Greenest (public parks)
  • Grooviest (instrument stores. live music, and music venues)
  • Meatiest (steakhouses, delis, and butcher shops)
  • Most hipster-friendly (coffee shops, record stores, tattoo parlors, and vintage stores)
  • Most Instagrammed (hashtagged)
  • Most caffeinated (various coffee shops)
  • Most dog-friendly (dog-friendly restaurants, pet groomers, pet-sitters, and pet shops)
  • Sudsiest (various breweries)

NG also reported “trending” cities that did not make the cut this year but could slot in next year. The cities on the list were not ranked in relation to each other. We have, however, noted which specific categories each city won.

Here then, are the official 29 coolest small cities to visit in the US this year:

Albuquerque, New Mexico

Straddling the Rio Grande, Albuquerque’s praised for its craft beer and sunny weather. If you visit in October, see the Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta.

Anchorage, Alaska
Most caffeinated

In Alaska’s largest cruise-ship port and city, there are reportedly almost half a dozen coffee shops for every 10,000 locals.

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