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Reader Nominations for Coolest Small Towns

Posted by jpalma on Thursday, January 15, 2009 12:10:49 PM
Carolina Beach, North Carolina definitely gets my vote. There are so many cool things about this small town. You can find reasonably-priced accommodations and affordable things to do with the kids. The beach is beautiful and it is a place where you can kick back and escape your worries...at least temporarily. There are a couple of shops worth noting. Britts Donuts has been there for seventy years and was recently recognized by MSN City Guide as selling the second best donuts in the nation. Carolina Beach is also home to an establishment called the Fudgeboat. Its steps away from the ocean and serves up some of the best fudge you will find anywhere. And, the fudge is actually served across the deck of a restored 38-foot-long wooden boat. Another cool thing is their unique taxi service. It is an electric "Green Cab." Apparently the first licensed golf cart cab service in North Carolina. For the outdoorsy types, Carolina Beach has three parks. One, of them, Carolina Beach Lake Park, is actually in the Guinness Book of World Records as the largest freshwater lake near saltwater. And, the Carolina Beach State Park is home to the rare Venus flytrap. All year-long they play host to a variety of events, but one in particular is especially unique. During the summer, they have a Film & Fireworks Series. Families can enjoy family-friendly, first-run movies which are shown on a huge screen under the stars at Carolina Beach Lake Park. There are also free outdoor concerts and fabulous fireworks displays on the beach. Last but not least, here is a bit of trivia. Carolina Beach is home of the legendary Chicken Hicks who is credited with the development and popularization of the Shag dance.

Posted by lawinski on Thursday, January 15, 2009 8:55:02 AM
BARNEGAT LIGHT, New Jersey 1. Is there a restaurant that's so amazing it could survive in New York? Kubel's 2. Where do locals shop for unique clothing, furniture, art, or gifts? Viking Village 3. Is there a local mascot? 4. What's the weirdest piece of local folklore? Maritime ghosts on 12th street, oceanside 5. Anything else that qualifies as "cool" (i.e. organic coffee shops, wine bars, a hotel in a renovated barn or warehouse)? At Viking Village-you can buy the freshest seafood and witness the scallop boats bringing in their catch. You can also see how they distribute their loads to local restaurants-they even have mini-tours for kids that guide them through all of the processes. Step a few feet across the crushed oystershell graveled road and you will find a coffee shop that brews a great blueberry cup of java...a few steps to the right and there are a scattering of antique shops. Two years ago, the Barnegat Light Historical Society hosted a historical house tour, which was incredible! When i was 5, I could see the Barnegat Light Light House by standing on my bed, looking out my window. When I was a teen, I served local fisherman breakfast at 10 am when they were, "ending teir day" at a local tavern. Now, I am married with kids and still bring everyone back to the place where my best childhood memories thrived.

Posted by oregonkat on Thursday, January 15, 2009 1:08:53 AM
Charleston, Oregon! While yes it is quaint, it also has fabulous restaurants and small town charm. With a working dock, amazing hiking, biking and kayaking trails, there's no better small town. Oyster Cove restaurant has been visited by the likes of Racheal Ray and they have a homemade recipe called Oysters Charleston that is a creamy creole based bit of heaven. At Davey's Locker, fisherman stop for supplies and the most outstanding meatloaf sandwich you'll ever find. Right next store is a little tiny hut where local pottery folks take turns displaying their hand made crafts. the weirdest piece of folk lore is how seven devils road got its name. Different stories about about there being seven hairpin turns on the road and you'd meet your maker, or how Jedediah Smith when he first traveled it proclaimed that it felt like Seven Devils were chasing them the whole way. The town mascot is Charlie the Tuna. Charlie made national news last year when his 7ft statue was kidnapped from Charleston. Missing posters went all over town and newspaper headlines everywhere proclaimed Sorry, Charlie. Alas, Charlie was discovered by the Sheriff's Dept as 2 youth were hacking him up with a chainsaw after they were scared of being caught from all the publicity. the next day newspaper's across the country read: Charlie gets filleted! Other cool attractions are camping in Yurts at Sunset Bay State Park, kayaking over to the now closed Lighthouse. the bridge is out and kayaking is the only way to get there. the High Tide Cafe has the fish and chips you'll ever eat!

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