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Reader Nominations for Coolest Small Towns

Posted by kdandria on Saturday, January 24, 2009 8:31:52 AM
Smithfield Virginia. Smithfield is a historic town where the local people are very friendly. Smithfield is known as the "Ham Capital of the World" and the local museum has the world's oldest cured ham on display. Smithfield has a unique shopping area that has antique and specialty shops. It also has a wonderful Farmer's Market and a cultural arts program that involves programs from theater presentations to an arts stroll along main street where local artist can demonstrate their talents.

Posted by hiker on Friday, January 23, 2009 1:06:20 PM
Dubois, Wyoming! A small town surrounded by Wilderness, one of the most remote locations in the lower 48 states a part of the Yellowstone eco-system. A place where there is a strong sense of community and a some of the old west ways live on. There is a vibrant and diverse population that pull together for creating a better place to call home. The surrounding include mountains, rivers, wildlife...recreation possibilities abound! Check it out.

Posted by burleybrown on Friday, January 23, 2009 10:08:16 AM
Berlin Maryland is definitely one of America's coolest small towns — there is something for everyone! Located in the heart of the mid-Atlantic coastal region, a mere 7 miles inland, time and nature have created a most perfect place to live...and a very exciting place to visit! From surfing, sunbathing and fishing at the acclaimed Assateague Island National Seashore, located on one of the few remaining natural barrier islands to canoeing the quiet, peat-blackened waters of the meandering Pocomoke River this area has much to offer any water enthusiast . Hiking, biking or driving is enjoyed along the nearby scenic, 63 mile long old Algonquin Indian "beach to bay" trail is available for the land lubbers. And, viewing the famed Chincoteague Island ponies in their natural habitat or the endless variety of wild fowl stopping to rest here along the famed Atlantic Flyway is also within an easy drive from town. Within our towns' small Main Street commercial district, along tree lined streets one may view not only lovely period historic homes but set forth on a journey of discovery to seek that special something within our myriad unique shops and to view the works of the many resident artists and craftsmen of renown within their galleries. We must mention too the multi-acre Stephen Decatur Park, that includes a large nature pond and public tennis courts! Berlin was recently honored with the State's much coveted "Arts & Entertainment District" designation. As for the "entertainment" portion of the honor — along with the usual eateries there is the fully restored, Globe Theater...serving trendy bar food along with a full menu of year round live musical performances. However, like any small town our civic pride forces focus towards our annual Chamber of Commerce sponsored festivals including the Spring Jazz and Blues Fest, the well loved Fall Fiddler's Convention and caroling during our month-long Victorian Christmas celebration. Our Town museum — the Calvin B. Taylor House also sponsors a series of popular summertime Concerts on the Lawn. To enjoy a picture view of our very real, small town flavor, rent the now 10-year-old Paramount movie — Runaway Bride starring Julia Roberts and Richard Gere — where you experience see Berlin Maryland up close! You will see that we're a very cool, small town and certainly are one of the best places to live or visit. Come join us anytime!

Posted by baysidepartners on Thursday, January 22, 2009 8:22:13 PM
How cool are we? The Chesapeake Bay is our front yard—we get to watch the sun rise over the Bay from our seven-block boardwalk, marvel at the diving ducks in the winter, watch the watermen set their crab traps, and rejoice when the ospreys return on St. Patrick's Day. North Beach, Maryland, a community of 1,800 combines small town living with big city amenities. We are just 25 miles from Annapolis, 32 miles from Washington DC, and an hour from Baltimore. We have one of the few public beaches on the Bay, attracting over 31,000 visitors in 2008, a record number. We're a walking town with friendly, smiling people. Our boardwalk is lined with benches, each with a special plaque, and many honor victims of the 9/11 bombing of the Pentagon. On Friday nights from May through October, the town's residents get to shop at our very special Farmer's Market. Our young local farmers usually sell out within the first hour, so get here early for the opening bell at 6:00 p.m. Harris Orchard, Maryland State Fair winners in the apple, peach and pear categories are regulars. But this is not some ho-hum farmers' market. JR the waterman, who has been the subject of a Maryland Public TV special, brings live crabs, oysters and seasonal fish. Barbie the Bread Lady always has the longest line because of her delicious, crusty artisan breads. On Friday market nights, classic car owners from all over Maryland, Virginia and DC line up for blocks along the boardwalk as the sun goes down for our cruise-ins, basking in the rosy glow over the Bay. We also have free entertainment most Friday evenings at the Boardwalk Pavilion, ranging from acoustic and retro to bluegrass, alternative rock, teen-age rappers, DJs and karaoke. The upscale Bay Wine & Spirits also hosts wine-tastings every Friday night as well! Our biggest event of the year is Bayfest in August, which draws more than 20,000 people over two days for live bands, crafts, vendors, and a crab feast. Bring your own chair or blanket for our monthly Movies on the Beach, shown on our 40-foot big screen with sand between your toes and the soft waves lapping at the shore. We feature free outdoor concerts, and for Halloween, an annual Haunted Boardwalk featuring pirates of the Chesapeake and lots of thrills and chills for kids and their families. Every Christmas, we have a holiday parade with Santa & Mrs. Claus. Each New Year's Day, we host a Polar Bear Swim, where hundreds of people strip down to their Speedos and jump into the icy waters of the Chesapeake Bay. Thousands more show up to watch. For a tour of the area, simply park in one of our free lots and hop on the Beach Trolley. Round trip is such a deal - only a quarter each way from North Beach to Deale or North Beach to Chesapeake Beach and back. You can also learn about the wild history of the town and Uncle Billy's Pier at the Bayside History Museum, open Sundays from 1:00pm-4:00pm. The Chesapeake Beach Railway Museum also has models and photos of the area's heyday when cruise ships from Baltimore and trains from DC brought visitors in to play in the bay - and gamble. Also within walking distance of the beach is a collection of trendy art galleries, shops and eateries. Seascapes and Coffee, Tea & Whimsey (that's their friendly pooch!) feature upscale furnishings and accessories to deck out your beach house in style. The Arts @ 7th Gallery features original works by many local artists and painters. Across the street, Nice N'Fleazy Antiques, with an Elvis bust in the window, draws you in to see what other treasures could be inside. Two beautiful marina-resorts that have become wedding havens are within a mile in each direction. The Herrington on the Bay Eco-Lifestyle Resort in Rose Haven has won numerous awards for being the most environmentally sensitive marina in the United States. http://www.heringtononthebay.com And the historic Rod N'Reel Restaurant and Marina offer charter fishing. For a relaxing massage, try the Chesapeake Beach Resort & Spa. http://www.chesapeakebeachresortspa.com MapQuest/Google Map coordinates: 5th and Bay Avenue, North Beach, MD 20714. t through the incubator. In Huntingdon, old-fashioned community spirit joins with progressive purpose. On Friday nights at the local community center, elementary kids are lacing up their roller skates for a evening spin around the wooden floors. Just up the street is another community center of sorts supported by the Huntingdon Health and Wellness Association, a group composed of local practitioners of alternative wellness models who are dedicated to educating the public on the principals of yoga, massage therapy, aromatherapy, reflexology and many other methods. Hardly a new town, Huntingdon was founded in 1796 and has been "discovered" time and again by visitors who seek out our town to enjoy its unique view of central Pennsylvania

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