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Reader Nominations for Coolest Small Towns

Posted by pmcrjc on Thursday, January 22, 2009 9:56:18 AM
I would like to nominate Smithfield Virginia as the coolest small town. It is a small town near the major metropolitin area of Hampton Roads. It is a rural and friendly town with a very charming Main Street. It is a town encouraging of cultural arts with a very welcoming atmosphere. It is located on the Pagen River with picturesque views in all directions. Come see us.

Posted by bartnrod on Wednesday, January 21, 2009 4:19:02 PM
We have to nominate Silver City, New Mexico. The population is just right on the 10,000 mark which makes it a little easier to do some shopping. It's greatest attraction to us is it's southerly location in the state which eliminates bitter winter weather and yet is it 6,000 ft. high which tempers the southwestern summer season... It sits nearly astride the continental divide and has deserts to the south and mountains to the east and north which provides for endless opportunities for hiking and photography. It is home to the Gila National Forest and the first wilderness ever created in the country. The artists have found the town and it is literally crawling with galleries of every kind. Some nationally recognized architecture exists there since there was $$$$ by the boatload when the town was a young booming silver mining center and many easterners built victorian style businesses and homes. It also has a smaller university which provides the arts as well as the athletics to round off a fun life-style. There are several authentic Mexican restaurants and if you want a great steak and a bit of history, try the Buckhorn Saloon and Opera House in nearby Pinos Altos. Several avante-garde coffee houses and natural food outlets lend themselves well to a changing community. I'll include one recent area photo.

Posted by cafe on Wednesday, January 21, 2009 2:58:24 PM
Little Switzerland received it's name because of it's everpresent killer views and cool temps. At 3400 elevation, it began as a summer colony around the turn of the 20th century, when the Blue Ridge Mountains were just being opened up by rail and road. There are about 300 homes here, mostly seasonal. We're located right on the Blue Ridge Parkway and not far from the Appalachian Trail. Small? Yes, we're small. The town motto is "still no cell phone signal". And we like it that way. Lots of folk arts here, since Penland School for Arts is in our County seat and many studios dot the hillsides here. The Switzerland General Store serves as the towns gossip center. You can get your ten penny nails here while choosing a good wine to go with your Brie. The Restaurants here are quite good and many visitors are surprised to find treats like house smoked native rainbow trout, or shrimp and grits on the menus at the Switzerland Cafe, a small "downtown" bistro, or at the upscale Chalet restaurant located "uptown". Hiking trails, waterfalls, summer square dances and live Jazz are just some of the things there are to do here. There's also gem mining in an historic mine or learning about beehives and the migrating monarch butterflies at an historic apple orchard. Storytelling hayrides, tubing a river ..there's plenty to do here but it's all pretty out of the ordinary. No water slides or rubber tomowhawks here. This is the kind of place that young ctified yuppies choose to move to when they drop out of the rat race. The kind of a place where you might dream of owning about 5 acres of pasture land and make money raising say, Emus. The kind of place where, after about six months of cleaning up after Emus and not making a dime, you try and sell them at the Asheville Farmer's market or in the local paper. The kind of place where no local in their right mind would really buy an Emu. The kind of place where young newly resettled citified yuppies might become frustrated and then simply open the barn door in the middle of the night and hope they have no more Emus to feed in the morning. Yes, it's the kind of place that has alot of wild Emu sightings. Maybe you can experience that the next time you come for a visit. But don't expect to call your friends back home on your cell and describe the experience.

Posted by leah on Tuesday, January 20, 2009 2:13:00 PM
The scenery in Dubois is a full 360 degree experience. The pristine waters - actually a headwaters to the Missouri river and everything in between all serve to have a positive impact on our community and the attitudes of the local residents. If we don't have a shop specializing in a desired item odds are someone in the community can make you something equal or better to what you were looking for. The same goes for a dining experience. If some restaurant doesn't have the menu item desired our local caterers can create just about any taste treat desired. From the cyber cafe' -- to the world - Dubois residents reach out to share or connect with anyone or any subject they desire. The best part is they do it with a smile and a helpful, sharing hand. Life in the Upper Wind River country, as Dubois is often referred to, is as modern as anyone could want - but remains a premium small town experience to be enjoyed by both residents and visitors alike. Also known as Never Sweat, Dubois enjoys premium weather ! A man (or woman) can work here all day and never break a sweat - or so the story goes...

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