National Geographic Traveler has named Kansas City as one of “The Best Small Cities in the U.S.”
It partnered with Resonance Consultancy, a global destination branding adviser, to select the top 30 “cities on the rise” based on what it describes as unconventional metrics.
It looked at the number of galleries and art supply stores, how dog friendly the cities were (based on pet sitting services, pet stores and dog friendly restaurants), the number of green spaces, breweries, music venues, the number of bookstores and college degrees for the most literate, Instagrammable moments, the most hipster friendly based on number of coffee shops, tattoo parlors, record shops and vintage stores.
It also looked at social media mentions on culture, nightlife and restaurants.
It said this about Kansas City: “Depression-era painter Thomas Hart Benton called this midsize Missouri city home, perhaps igniting the town’s artistic fervor. Visit his home/studio (note the coffee cans full of paintbrushes) or view his romanticized images of local people and landscapes at the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art.“
The top 30 small cities also include Pittsburgh; Portland, Maine; and Santa Cruz, Calif.
Some of the cities — including Boulder, Colo., and Honolulu — also made National Geographic’s list of the happiest cities in America. But not Kansas City.
Still, the new list may soothe some of those hurt feelings over Fodor’s new list that put Missouri as one of the top 10 places in the world for travelers to avoid.