National Geographic Rates Charleston the #11 Best Small City to Live in the United States

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National Geographic just released their Top 30 small cities in the United States to Live.? Coming in at #3 was Greenville, South Carolina and at #11, our very own Charleston, South Carolina.

Here is how they compiled their data and came up with the final list:

They partnered with Resonance Consultancy, a global destination branding advisor, to identify the top U.S. small cities based on unconventional metrics that they think lead to happiness: green spaces, galleries, coffee shops, breweries, music venues, Instagrammable moments, and more.

Next they sorted U.S. cities into three groups based on their population: 40K-100K, 100K-200K, and 200K-600K.

Resonance combined core statistics with social media data (from Yelp, Instagram, and other sources) on nightlife, culture, restaurants, and the like to determine the city leaders for each population group in categories from meatiest (lots of steakhouses and delis) to greenest (most parkland), based on per capita results.

Finally, Traveler editors added in trending cities—towns that didn’t make Resonance’s final cut this year but look as if they could in 2019.

Here are your top 25 United States Cities to Live In:

  1. Pittsburgh, Pennslyvania
  2. Boulder, Colorado
  3. Greenville, South Carolina
  4. Anchorage, Alaska
  5. Annapolis, Maryland
  6. New Orleans, Louisiana
  7. Madison, Wisconsin
  8. Reno, Nevada
  9. Healdsburg, California
  10. Santa Cruz, California
  11. Charleston, South Carolina
  12. Olympia, Washington
  13. Charlottesville, Virginia
  14. Spokane, Washington
  15. Albuquerque, New Mexico
  16. Rapid City, South Dakota
  17. Ann Arbor, Michigan
  18. Asheville, North Carolina
  19. Baton Rouge, Louisiana
  20. Honolulu, Hawaii
  21. Kansas City, Missouri
  22. Lakeland, Florida
  23. Newport, Rhode Island
  24. Portland, Maine
  25. Louisville, Kentucky

Analysis Summary of Charleston:

Instagrammers love Charleston’s abundance of art. Works by local artists will fill the rooms and public spaces of the new Hotel Bennett, opening this summer on a chunk of prime real estate overlooking Marion Square. It’s a great crash pad for checking out Charleston’s booming arts scene, which ranks high in our survey because of a large number of schools and galleries, like the Art Institute of Charleston and Helena Fox Fine Art. The latter specializes in works by southern artists such as West Fraser, known for his muted paintings of nearby Low Country. Performing arts shine at the grand, three-year-old Gaillard Center, which hosts concerts and dance shows and serves as one of the venues for the city’s celebrated Spoleto Festival, taking place May 25 to June 10 in 2018.”

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