Pensacola named one of 20 best small cities by National Geographic Traveler

National Geographic Traveler has named Pensacola as one of the 20 best small cities in America, and one of just three cities the magazine cited as most dog-friendly.

The list also includes Albuquerque, N.M.; Ann Arbor, Mich.; Asheville, N.C.; Baton Rouge, La.; Boulder, Colo.; Charleston, S.C.; Charlottesville, Va.; Columbia, S.C.; Greenville, S.C.; Hagerstown, Md.; Hickory, N.C.; Honolulu, Hawaii; Lakeland, Fla.; Madison, Wisc.; Olympia, Wash.; Portland, Maine; Reno, Nev.; Santa Cruz, Calif.; and Spokane, Wash.

To identify these rising small cities, Traveler worked with global destination branding advisors Resonance Consultancy to develop a Small Cities Index, a survey that drew from statistics and social media mentions to determine which cities rank highest in a variety of distinctive, fun categories including green spaces, coffee shops, live music and even “Instagrammable moments.”

Traveler noted Pensacola as one of the three most dog-friendly cities on the list.

“Paw prints show up on greater Pensacola’s ethereal white-sand beaches thanks to two dedicated dog parks on the Gulf of Mexico,” the magazine wrote. “Pooches are also welcome on the redbrick sidewalks of Palafox Street/Place in the historic downtown, where 18th- to early 20th-century buildings embellished with ironwork balconies house galleries, shops, and restaurants, some with dog-friendly outdoor cafés. Restaurants that allow pups, as well as a large number of pet shops and grooming spots, helped the city top this list.”

The results are featured in the February/March 2018 issue of Traveler magazine, available now on newsstands and online at

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