Great American Road Trip Day 5 – Kansas City

Ribs at Joe's in Kansas City
Ribs at Joe’s in Kansas City

After a good night’s sleep, we hit the road early for the long haul to Kansas City.  We got some lunch fixings in Hays, Kansas and drove hard and fast to KC, hitting town about about 7 pm.  We wanted to have some genuine Kansas City barbecue, and we got a tip that we had to have the ‘cue at Joe’s Barbecue.  Joe’s has several locations, and we chose their original spot which was in a gas station.

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2012 Manliest Cities

Time flies!  It’s time again for one of our most popular studies, our fourth annual list of America’s Manliest Cities.

It elicits a chuckle from some folks – but not only is Manliness important, it turns out it’s also quite quantifiable.

We look at things like number of major-league sports teams, nearby NASCAR events, steakhouses and BBQ joints. Prevalence of activities like woodworking, fishing, bowling, and home improvement also translated into higher rankings. On the flip side, “unmanly” things like minivans, sushi restaurants and home decor stores hurt cities’ “Manly” score.

Once again the South and the Midwest dominated the top spots. Here’s the full list, along with how each city changed its ranking from last year:

1. Oklahoma City, OK (▲ 2 spots) 26. Salt Lake City, UT (▼ 7 spots)
2. Columbia, SC (▲3 spots) 27. Columbus, OH (▼9 spots)
3. Memphis, TN (▲ 1 spot) 28. Orlando, FL (▲ 2 spots)
4. Nashville, TN (▼ 3 spots) 29. Philadelphia, PA (▼ 9 spots)
5. Birmingham, AL (▲ 2 spots) 30. Grand Rapids, MI (▼ 1 spot)
6. Houston, TX (▲ 3 spots) 31. Detroit, MI (▼ 6 spots)
7. St. Louis, MO (▲ 3 spots) 32. Portland, OR (▲ 5 spots)
8. Toledo, OH (▲ 4 spots) 33. Buffalo, NY (▲ 1 spot)
9. Cleveland, OH (▼ 3 spots) 34. Denver, CO (▼ 3 spots)
10. Charlotte, NC (▼ 8 spots) 35. Baltimore, MD (▼ 7 spots)
11. Louisville, KY (▲ 2 spots) 36. Miami, FL (▲ 8 spots)
12. Cincinnati, OH (▲ 2 spots) 37. Chicago, IL (▼ 13 spots)
13. Indianapolis, IN (▼ 2 spots) 38. Las Vegas, NV (No change)
14. New Orleans, LA (▲ 3 spots) 39. New York, NY (▼ 4 spots)
15. Dallas, TX (▲ 6 spots) 40. Minneapolis, MN (▼ 4 spots)
16. Pittsburgh, PA (No change) 41. Seattle, WA (No change)
17. Atlanta, GA (▲ 6 spots) 42. Harrisburg, PA (▼ 2 spots)
18. Dayton, OH (▲ 8 spots) 43. Washington, DC (▼ 1 spot)
19. Milwaukee, WI (▼ 11 spots) 44. Sacramento, CA (▼ 1 spot)
20. Kansas City, MO (▼ 5 spots) 45. Rochester, NY (▲ 1 spot)
21. Jacksonville, FL (▲ 12 spots) 46. Los Angeles, CA (▲ 4 spots)
22. Richmond, VA (No change) 47. Boston, MA (▼ 2 spots)
23. Tampa, FL (▲ 16 spots) 48. Oakland, CA  (▼ 1 spot)
24. Providence, RI (▲ 3 spots) 49. San Francisco, CA (▼ 1 spot)
25. Phoenix, AZ (▲ 7 spots) 50. San Diego, CA (▼ 1 spot)

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Manliest Cities

Where do America’s REAL men live?  “America’s Manliest Cities” is one of most entertaining studies I do, and it always seems to get a big reaction across the nation.  I’m not surprised – having one’s manhood appraised is definitely bound to start some spirited discussion!

This is the third year we’ve done the study, partnering with the good folks at Combos, the “official cheese-filled snack of NASCAR.”  (I’m not kidding.)

This year good ole’ Nashville, TN grabbed the top spot, and Charlotte, NC was runner-up.  In fact, all of the top 10 Manliest Cities were in the South or Midwest.  Must be all that macho stuff like country music, huntin’, and grillin’.

Actually, we did consider things like number of BBQ restaurants, as well as rodeos, sports events, and manly occupations.  Of course, this is just the tip of the iceberg… there’s a lot more to the study.

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