Country is as country does.
There is no concrete definition of what’s country and what’s not. The term is constantly changing, so choosing the cities that are most like a country song is a relatively tough task.
Luckily, Estately objectively ranked 50 cities in the United States across 10 different metrics, including country music, hunting, fishing, barbecue and pickup trucks. What follows are the cities that most embody the country music themes that musicians often pen songs about.
10. Colorado Springs, Colorado
Colorado Springs ranks first on for firearm ownership, which informs its number three rank for hunting, and hunting is country. Don’t believe it? Take that up with Brad Paisley, Josh Turner and Hank Williams Jr., who have all mentioned an affinity for hunting in their songs.
9. Amarillo, Texas
Jason Aldean’s “Amarillo Sky” describes country life in Amarillo. “He gets up before the dawn; packs a lunch an’ a thermos full of coffee. It’s another day in the dusty haze; Those burnin’ rays are wearin’ down his body.” Essentially, Aldean says Amarillo is defined by farming, hard work, and long days under the scorching Texas sun.
8. Kansas City, MO
Barbecue is the semi-official cuisine of country, and one of the best barbecue hubs is Kansas City. Oklahoma Joe’s, Fiorella’s Jack Stack and Arthur Bryant’s are just a few of the nationally acclaimed foodie destinations for BBQ lovers. If you haven’t visited, you should know that “I make better barbecue than you” is one of the most scathing insults you can dish out in Kansas City, so pepper it into your disagreements sparingly.
7. Charlotte, North Carolina
Charlotte has the distinction of being the number one spot for NASCAR fans, most of whom congregate at the Charlotte Motor Speedway whenever those extremely fast cars come to drive ovals there. Being that Charlotte was also ranked number two in the sweet tea category, we can only assume that Charlotte NASCAR fans have some mean recipes for sweet tea cocktails.
6. Houston, Texas
The Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo brings some of country’s biggest stars to the city every year for a three-week throw down that draws in diehard cowboys, casual country fans and everybody in between. The festival single-handedly accounts for Houston’s number two ranking in the rodeo category on Estately. Ask any cowboy, cowgirl or cow you can find around those parts, and chances are they have gotten rowdy at the Houston rodeo.
5. Memphis, Tennessee
While Memphis does not rank at the top of any category on Estately’s list, what it does have is a long list of country musicians who have sprinkled their love for the city in their music. Trisha Yearwood talks about her Memphis memories in the song “Nothin’ Bout Memphis.” Pam Tillis claims, “maybe it was Memphis” that caused her to fall in love in her song of the same name. The city is obviously fit for falling in love.
4. Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
As the Capitol of the state voted the most like a country song in America, it makes sense that Oklahoma City is the most country capitol of them all. The city tops the rankings for cowboy boots, most likely because no other type of shoe protects your ankles as well during a dust storm (aka Oklahoma’s chief export).
3. Tulsa, Oklahoma
Tulsa is the birthplace of Garth Brooks, which instantly made it one of the most country cities in existence back in 1962 when Garth entered the world. The city ranks highly in country music, cowboy boots, barbecue, fishing, and hunting, so there is no such thing as being bored in Tulsa if you have any country running through your veins.
2. Nashville, Tennesse
The Home of Country Music. Nashville was also ranked Estately’s number two city in the country for NASCAR and number three in the fishing category. Not sure what your drink of choice is, but music, fishing and NASCAR makes for a rather strong country cocktail.
1. Fort Worth, Texas
The Fort Worth Stockyards is one of the most country-themed places in the US. There is a daily cattle drive at 11:30 am and 4 pm, cowboys and cowgirls galore and several honky-tonks, including Billy Bob’s Texas. Fort Worth is also home of the Texas Motor Speedway.