America’s Coolest Small Towns 2013

Each year, Budget Travel sponsors a competition to identify America’s “Coolest Small Town.”  It’s a fun contest and it can generate lots of tourism and even relocation interest for the winning towns.  This year’s list is out and you have an opportunity to vote on the winner.  Voting ends on February 15th.  So, if you have a strong favorite, vote early and vote often.  The list is available here.

Fifteen towns made the list of the 2013 Coolest Small Town Finalists.   All of them are quite small, the finalists range from tiny Put-In-Bay OH (Population 138) to the major “metropolis” of Lititz, PA (Population 9,369).  Other finalists are: Bay St. Louis (MS), Camden (ME), Elkhart Lake (WI), Flagler Beach (FL), Glenwood Springs (CO), Greenville (KY), Gulf Shores (AL), Le Claire (IA), Mount Carroll (IL), Quincy (CA), Shepherdstown (WV), Travelers Rest (SC), and Watkins Glen (NY).

I’ve had the pleasure of visiting most (but not all) of these towns and it’s hard to pin down any single across the board theme that unites these towns.  Some are tourist centers; some have strong retail bases; and some are surrounded by scenic beauty.   If there’s one common denominator, all of the finalists seem to have a strong and distinctive sense of place along with a committed set of community boosters.   All of them are worth a visit and maybe even your vote, too!!

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