Travel trends come and go, but when we polled more than a dozen leading industry professionals to ask them what travel will look like, all reports pointed to a single commonality: intention. “More than ever people want to travel with a greater sense of purpose,” says Deborah Calmeyer, CEO and founder of Africa travel specialist Roar Africa. “There’s a need to address a key deficit—and keen sense of urgency—we’re feeling right now. As travel restrictions continue to lift and summer heats up, more Americans will be looking to get out of town, with many exploring a new domestic destination as part of the growing stay cation trend. If that sounds like you, why not venture to one of the country’s best small cities? Resonance Consultancy recently ranked 100 small cities across the U.S. with populations ranging from 100,000 to 500,000. The report takes into account a variety of key factors, including things like weather, safety, sights and landmarks, parks and outdoors, airport connectivity, museums, diversity, culture, nightlife, restaurants, shopping, hashtags and much more. Here are the 10 small cities that fare the best in.
1. Savannah, Georgia
Charming Savannah ranks tops for sights and landmarks, many of which offer a fascinating peek into the past. The Southern city also hosts more than 150 festivals annually, giving visitors something to celebrate year-round.
2.Asheville, North Carolina
The Blue Ridge Mountain city of Asheville is hardly a secret by now but that doesn’t make it any less appealing. The bohemian destination is renowned for its arts, craft beer and live music so it should come as no surprise that it ranks number one for nightlife and second for shopping.
Anchorage is a small city that appeals to a variety of types and interests, including nature-lovers, art buffs and beer enthusiasts. The remote but accessible destination ranks fourth for parks and outdoors and cracks the top 10 for museums, shopping and restaurants.
4. Boulder, Colorado
Located at the foothills of Colorado’s Rocky Mountains, Boulder is a dream destination for outdoor enthusiasts as it offers more than 300 miles of hiking and biking trails in addition to the inviting Pearl Street Mall, which is home to world-class breweries, shops and mouthwatering restaurants.
5. Trenton, New Jersey
New Jersey’s state capital is as diverse as America’s small cities come and also benefits from its proximity to major cities such as Philadelphia and New York City as well as its excellent restaurant scene. Trenton ranks eighth-best in the foodie favorite category.
6. Myrtle Beach, South Carolina
A true All-American getaway, Myrtle Beach hosted 19 million
visitors via 50 direct flights from cities all across the country last year and
ranks tops in the all-important attractions subcategory thanks in part to its
more than one-mile-long Oceanfront Boardwalk and Promenade.
7. Ann Arbor, Michigan
Home to the University of Michigan, the Midwest college town of Ann Arbor is one of the smartest small cities in the country, ranking second for educational attainment by residents. While the university is a key element of Ann Arbor’s tourist draw, there’s much to do beyond campus, including scenic trails and brewery tours, among other activities.