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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