You don’t often hear people bragging about coming in second. The Atlanta Falcons didn’t have shirts made celebrating giving up the lead in the last Super Bowl. Despite a moment when it seemed otherwise, the producers of La La Land didn’t likely have a wild celebration Oscar night. Who was behind Usain Bolt in the Olympics? Who remembers? (Sorry, Justin Gatlin.)

In this case, however, at Visit Tucson, we were happy to see our name in the second spot. Where? Why? Good questions.

Resonance, a think-tank/consultancy firm, puts together a report of America’s best cities each year, taking into account a wide variety of factors of what makes somewhere a great place to live and visit. This year, in the category of “small” cities (population under a million), Tucson came in second, behind Honolulu (which is a pretty great place, honestly).

We’re happy to be number two, ahead of a list of great cities around our size, because Resonance’s survey recognized a lot of what we love about our city.

They praised Tucson for what there is to do here: "The desert city boasts University of Arizona museums (including a biosphere), planetariums and casinos, in addition to only-out-here attractions like caving adventures and Old West tours." 

Resonance noted our dedication to bicycling: "Tucson wasn’t satisfied with its 700 miles of bike lanes. The result? Even more incentives to cycle, facilitated by new mixed-use bike boulevards along less popular driving roads—more than 150 miles worth."

And, of course, they talked about our food: "And you read that right: Tucson is a booming foodie Mecca, the oldest continually farmed city in North America (extending back more than 4,000 years) and the first recipient of UNESCO’s Creative Cities Network designation for gastronomy, designed to prioritize food as part of cultural heritage worth protecting. And devouring."

Want to see the entire list? Watch the video shown at the unveiling of the report: