When it comes to town nicknames, mottos, and slogans our national creativity shines. We love tagging our towns with titles, both real and invented. There are towns that proudly proclaim themselves as the capitals of various root vegetables, freshwater fish, and even livestock poo. Towns hang their hats on history, location, and holidays. Yahoo Travel went in search of the best in each state. We looked for sayings that make you want to know more about a place, make you want to jump in the car and check it out, or at least make you smile. Here are our top 50.
Birmingham has long been called the “Salty Ham.” It isn’t used as a tourism marketing slogan, but in today’s food culture, maybe it should be.
Anchorage is officially known as the “City of Lights and Flowers,” but it also claims to be the “Hanging Basket Capital of the World.” With more than 100,000 hanging gardens, we think it deserves both titles.
The town of Show Low got its name following a poker game between rival ranchers attempting to decide which one would keep the land and start the town (with the lowest card drawn winning). History named the town and it still uses that fact in its marketing today, proclaiming it was, “Named by the turn of a card.”
Dumas takes it’s motto, “Home of the Ding Dong Daddy,” from a 1920’s song with the lyrics: “I’m a Ding Dong Daddy from Dumas.” Dumas, Texas also claims it was the inspiration for the song, however. We’ll let them fight it out.
Willow Creek is the “Bigfoot Capital of the World.” Though there aren’t any solid, stats, it’s definitely the place to learn everything you always wanted to know about the legendary beast.
The Denver suburb of Morrison is sandwiched between parks, along the eastern slope of the Rocky Mountains, making its slogan, “The Nearest Faraway Place,” quite appropriate.
Agriculture and horticulture combine to make the charming town of Cheshire the “Bedding Plant Capital of Connecticut.” Their slogan certainly paints a colorful image. Do you suppose they sell plants to Anchorage for their hanging baskets?
Seaford was formerly the “Nylon Capital of the World” based on the fact that it was the site of DuPont’s first nylon manufacturing plant. Just this year, the town changed its official motto to “The perfect place to start” to reflect the changing economics of the city. DuPont started there and that worked out, right?
Before asphalt, tracks built in the hard-packed sands near Ormond Beach earned it the title of the “Birthplace of Speed” early in the history of motorized vehicles. Racers of anything with an engine flocked to the area hoping to make a mark. Today you can celebrate the speedy history of the area during festivals, parades, and car shows held throughout the year.
Abbeville is the “Wild Hog Capital of Georgia.” And it has a festival to prove it.
For more than 60 years, Honolulu had bragging rights to a giant pineapple-shaped water tower, proclaimed as the largest pineapple in the world. The water tower is gone but not forgotten. People still refer to the city as “The Big Pineapple.”
Ashton is the undisputed “Seed Potato Capital of the World.” We actually like its tourism marketing slogan better: “Adventure Starts Here.” It’s Idaho, so both slogans fit the bill.
Collinsville is the “Horseradish Capital of the World.” It also has a giant ketchup bottle water tower. We think that should also make it the “Cocktail Sauce Capital of the World.”
Elkhart is a great example of a town that capitalizes on its industry. It toots its own horn as the “Band Instrument Capital of the World.”
Hardy Midwesterners love to brag about their cold tolerance. Those who live in the city of Washta are no exception. It claims to be the “Coldest Spot in Iowa.”
Not only does Gas have a big red water tower that resembles a gas can, it has America’s funniest town slogan: “Don’t pass Gas; stop and enjoy it.”
Pikevlle is home to one of the Western Hemisphere’s largest engineering projects, known as the Pikeville Cut-Through. The project moved 18 million cubic yards of rock and re-routed a river. Thus making Pikeville “The city that moves mountains.”
Church Point claims to be “Buggy Capital, U.S.A.” — celebrating the horse-drawn buggy and not a need for insect repellant. But it’s Louisiana, so go prepared for both.
Some town slogans derive from the origins of the actual town name, as is the case of Madawaska, which means “Land of the Porcupine.”
Tiny town pride is amazing — great things take place in our smallest towns. Delmar wants you to know it with its slogan: “The little town too big for one state.”
Westborough was incorporated in 1717 as the 100th town in the state, thus giving it a timeless and intriguing motto: “The Hundredth Town.”
Berrien Springs is the “Christmas Pickle Capital of the World.” In case you are wondering, a Christmas pickle is not a pickle at all; it’s a pickle-shaped glass ornament to be hung last on the tree.
Anoka is the “Halloween Capital of the World.” We call that a brilliant stroke of marketing genius, but it was actually a move by city leaders in 1920 to give pranksters something better to do on Halloween than soap windows and tip over outhouses. They created what has become a multi-day festival every year. It’s also a registered trademark, made official by congressional proclamation.
Pontotoc is another example of a city using the original meaning of its unusual name as an attractive slogan. Who wouldn’t want to visit the “Land of Hanging Grapes?”
The motto in Peculiar is “Where the odds are with you.” Let it sink in for a minute.
Glendive’s current motto is “Big Sky Badlands.” We prefer the one it previously used: “Good people surrounded by Badlands.”
What city doesn’t wish it had a beloved American product to use for marketing purposes? Hastings is the “Birthplace of Kool-Aid.” Too much sugar? The current marketing campaign is “Life Wide Open.”
Virginia City has an interesting slogan: “History for the taking.” Once one of the richest towns in the country, miners flocked to mountains seemingly made of gold and silver. There are no precious metals left for the taking, but you can take a train ride, a mine tour, or a stagecoach ride. If that isn’t enough, it hosts the International Camel and Ostrich Races in September, followed by the World Championship Outhouse races in October.
29. New Hampshire
If the sweet fragrance of lilacs comes to mind when you think of Rochester, you are not alone. It has long been known as “Lilac City.” The Annual Lilac Festival, including a brewfest, takes place in May.
30. New Jersey
There is nobody standing in line to dispute Franklin’s claim to be the “Fluorescent Mineral Capital of the World.” It’s a glowing recommendation.
31. New Mexico
Sometimes a town has no reason at all to choose a claim to fame. Anthony, which is actually in both Texas and New Mexico, simply decided in 1988 to become the “Leap Year Capital of the World.” The 100th Congress made it official by proclamation. It’s a pretty big deal every four years.
32. New York
Granville is the undisputed “Colored Slate Capital of the World.” The fascinating names of the colors quarried here include: New York Unfading Red, Sea Green, Varigated Purple, and Unfading Purple.
33. North Carolina
Thomasville is called “Chair Town” in honor of the furniture manufactured here. We adore its tourism slogan of “From where we sit… you can see it all!”
34. North Dakota
There are multiple catfish titles among southern cities, but only Drayton claims to be the “Catfish Capital of the North.” The north-flowing Red River produces 30-pound giants that would make any southerner jealous.
The smart folks in Conneaut call it “Ohio’s Sharpest Corner.” The Board of Tourism calls it “A Treasure on the Lake Erie Shore.” Both slogans seem to fit quite nicely.
We promised livestock poo, so here it is: Beaver considers itself the “Cow Chip Capital of the World.” No one is arguing.
Brookings sometimes uses the slogan “Where flowers meet the sea.” Besides being one of the most visual slogans we found anywhere, it appropriately describes the area, where azaleas have grown since before the time of Lewis and Clark.
Sometimes a town’s history is less than perfect, but in Knox Borough, they are not ashamed to celebrate being the “Horsethief Capital of the World.” You don’t want to miss the action at Horsethief Days in August.
39. Rhode Island
Newport has long been called, “America’s First Resort,” due in part to the “Summer Whitehouses” of past presidents who have vacationed in the historically upper-class enclave. Today’s tourism base however, represents a much broader cross section of the country, making it one of the first seaside resorts travelers consider in New England.
40. South Carolina
We have catfish capitals and then we have Elgin, “Home of the Catfish Stomp.” Don’t worry. No one actually stomps on fish; they just throw them in the stew.
41. South Dakota
Redfield is the “Pheasant Capital of the World.” You have to be a hunter to appreciate this one.
Shhh! Oak Ridge is “America’s Secret City.” Its history of secret scientific research is no longer a secret, but the legacy certainly is worth using as a marketing tool.
So what’s a tiny town got to do in order to compete with big cities for a share of the tourism pie? In Hutto they installed concrete hippos and called the place the “Hippo Capital of Texas.” Got you attention, didn’t it?
Cedar City is home to festivals featuring music, film, theater, livestock, children’s literature, and classic cars. “Festival City, U.S.A.” seems like a nickname they can live up to.
We love the name Winooski. The fact that it’s also called “Onion City” is a bonus. (The name comes from the Onion River, now named the Winooski River.)
Richmond has always been known as the “River City” for the James River that passes through it. But we like Radford, which is know as the “New River City,” not as a dig at Richmond, but because of its access to the New River.
Sumner calls itself the “Rhubarb Pie Capital.” We aren’t sure if that’s a state, national, or global designation, but it sounds tart and tasty.
48. West Virginia
Bluefield has the ingenious slogan of “Nature’s Air-Conditioned City.” (Average high temperatures in the summer barely top 80 degrees.) Put your feet up and say “Aaah.”
Bloomer claims double billing as the “Rope Jump Capital of the World” and “America’s Swingingest Town.” The annual rope jumping competition is held in January.
Rock Springs is the “Home of 56 nationalities.” (Let’s hope a 57th doesn’t move in and throw the whole thing off.) It’s also the place where “Butch” Cassidy worked as a butcher, earning his historical tough-guy name, proving that nicknames and labels can outlive the real thing. A movie titled Robert Leroy Parker and Sundance just doesn’t have the same ring.