Reader Nominations for Coolest Small Towns Budget Travel Monday, Feb 9, 2009, 2:24 PM Budget Travel LLC, 2016


Reader Nominations for Coolest Small Towns

Posted by charlottenicolosi on Sunday, January 18, 2009 2:51:43 PM
PORT ROYAL, SOUTH CAROLINA is the perfect example of a small, sleepy southern town with a lot of history and character. It was the deepest port on the east coast until it was closed to facilitate selling the property for commercial development. We have historic houses, a funky beach on the Beaufort River (the Intracoastal waterway), one of the state's best elementary schools, a very varied and interesting cross section of residents and some singular small businesses. It is quiet, relatively crime-free, home to hundreds of retirees from all over the country, and some true characters who've lived here all their lives. It is a unique and very appealing place to visit and the walking is great.

Posted by mattledoux on Friday, January 16, 2009 2:45:35 PM
Charleston, Oregon- By far the coolest small town. It has recreational activities unsurpassed by none. There is hiking, biking, surfing, people watching, kite flying, fishing, scuba diving, 4x4ing and that's just a scratch on the surface. Charleston is a place that has to be seen to believe. It's friendly, it's busy, it's fun! Charleston is a seafood lovers dream. Charleston exports most of the worlds Dungeness crab and also exports fantastic fish like ling cod, snapper, halibut and albacore tuna. This is the first stop seafood being shipped out all of the country. It's the minature bay area of the pacific northwest even priding themselves with there own Fishermen's Wharf that provides off the boat seafood. Great restaurants like the High Tide Cafe that cook that same off the boat fresh seafood flourish in this area. Charleston, Oregon has my vote!

Posted by saloisio on Friday, January 16, 2009 10:37:09 AM
Highwood IL (pop 4143). Twenty-eight miles north of Chicago, spunky Highwood is more a small self-sustaining community where everything one would need is nice walk away than a suburb. Highwood has always been, and continues to be a city of immigrants, with major waves coming from Sweden, Germany, Italy, Russia, Mexico, and Central America; roughly in that order chronologically. Come to Highwood hungry and you will leave satisfied. Most of the restaurants are locally owned, and some have been in business for generations. A nice smattering of sidewalk cafes have opened along Waukegan and Green Bay Rds, and all can sell you an espresso that you will not forget. Las Tres Hermanas is a family run restaurant that has been serving authentic Mexican dishes for over 30 years. Have a double-decker pizza, an Italian beef sandwich, or a nice cold micro-brew or import beer at Buffo's. If you want to dress up and open your wallet up a bit, explore one of the several upscale restaurants for a night out. Join a public tournament at the Highwood Bocce Club. It is the Augusta of bocce, having hosted the World Cup Championship of Bocce, as well as the National Championship as recently as 2008. It is rumored that the late tenor Luciano Pavarotti, a bocce fan, played a private match here while visiting for a performance in Chicago. Visitors can catch a play at the Attic Playhouse. Walk the historic grounds of Fort Sheridan, where George S. Patton was first assigned in 1909 after graduating from West Point before chasing Pancho Villa and channeling Hannibal. With a long history of generous liquor licensing, Highwood was once a Guinness Book record holder for its high density of drinking establishments. Rough-rider Teddy Roosevelt called it the "toughest town in America", but in this century, an always family friendly Highwood remains a fun place to go out for a nightcap.

Posted by Rebecca Lisher on Friday, January 16, 2009 9:55:23 AM
Beaufort South Carolina

Posted by Mot on Thursday, January 15, 2009 7:34:30 PM
Pinehurst, NC, Carolina Hotel for genuine southern hospitality and 2 world class restraunts. The village itself has high end art gallerys, boutiques and hotels, plus being the golf capital of the U.S.. Tom Myris

Get Inspired with more from

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.

Budget Travel Real Deals

See more deals »


Our newsletter delivers vacation inspiration straight to your inbox.

Check Prices