The Coolest Small Towns in America

In Budget Travel's fifth-annual celebration of hometown escapes across the USA, we're spotlighting 10 places that somehow pack in more personality than cities triple their size. How? It all comes down to the people.

Kennett Square, Pennsylvania pop. 5,273
Where everyone roots for the home team

At just about 8 a.m. each day, Kennett Square Mayor Matt Fetick heads to Sinclair's Sunrise Café & Tea Room for a plate of eggs scrambled with ham, asparagus, and Asiago cheese (127 E. State St., sunrisecafe-tearoom.com, scramblers from $7). In this prototypical American town 38 miles west of Philadelphia, tradition is taken seriously. In Burton's Barber Shop, family-owned since 1892, Phillies memorabilia shares space with mementos from the Blue Demons, the Kennett High team (105 W. State St., 610/444-9964). Down the block, the quirky Mushroom Cap is a gift shop devoted solely to the town's main agricultural export (114 W. State St., themushroomcap.com). "This place is about heritage," says owner Kathi Lafferty, 59. She was raised in Kennett and met her husband here in the first grade; their mothers graduated from Kennett High together. "Almost all of us stick around," she explains. "And those who don't stay eventually find their way back." One who did is Aimee Olexy, 43, who left a successful restaurant in Philly to start one on State Street. These days, people wait a year for reservations to her eight-course tasting menu at Talula's Table (102 W. State St., talulastable.com, $126 per person). But insiders know Olexy pays equal attention to her takeout dishes (tomato and mozzarella salad, $8)—just one more reason for residents, and travelers, to settle down and make themselves comfortable, right here at home.

HOMETOWN PRIDE


COOLEST SMALL TOWNS 2011
Think your town is cool, or remember a town from your travels that qualifies? Click on the link below to nominate a town.
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Note:This story was accurate when it was published. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.
 

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