|by Sean O'Neill||Landmarks and Monuments||15|
For the eighth year, the National Trust for Historic Preservation has put together a list of 12 distinctive communities, each one rich with character, a sense of place...and historical preservation activists.
Here's the full list:
Charlottesville, Va.-- This college town is near Jefferson's Monticello, Monroe's Ash Lawn-Highland and Madison's Montpelier.
Chatham, Mass. -- Here's a coastal community with an architecturally rich downtown.
Chestertown, Md. -- Lined with 18th and 19th century houses, this town--about 90 minutes from Washington, D.C.--holds annual festivals, including a "cute dog" parade.
Durango, Colo. -- Nestled between red sandstone bluffs, this town has well preserved Puebloan ruins.
Ellensburg, Wash. -- A Victorian town that's home to Central Washington University and offers great fly fishing.
Hillsborough, N.C. -- Holds some fantastic summer festivals and boasts an original, rare NASCAR speedway.
Little Rock, Ark. -- With a presidential library, a WWII-era submarine, and the world's longest pedestrian bridge, this is the little town that could.
Mineral Point, Wis. --Cornish rock houses, Craftsman bungalows, and simple log cabins can be found in this gem hidden in rolling hills.
Morgantown, W. Va. --This university town has a Riverfront park with an amphitheater and miles of paved trails.
Providence, R.I. --On summer weekend nights, this college town holds a festival with music and small bonfires along a central canal.
West Hollywood, Calif. --This predominantly gay neighborhood offers great opportunities to spot celebrities at trend-setting places, such as the ice cream shop Pinkberry.
Woodstock, Ill. -- This Victorian village town has a nationally renowned Mozart festival and a Victorian Christmas every year.
Related: Budget Travel's list of coolest small towns.