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Reader Nominations for Coolest Small Towns

Posted by mtuomala on Thursday, January 08, 2009 4:00:16 PM
I nominate Carrboro, North Carolina. Even though it's small, you might be surprised to learn that Carrboro is North Carolina's most densely populated town. Bordered by the University town of Chapel Hill, it has absorbed the rich culture of the area and condensed it down to a rich and funky brew that's quite intoxicating. Downtown Carrboro has great nightlife, you can catch concerts at a number of small bars and venues, as well as at the Cat's Cradle, which attracts regional and national touring acts. Food is good, and reasonably priced, and most restaurants are very local-conscious, supporting area farmers and serving fresh, seasonal ingredients. The Carrboro Farmer's Market is perhaps the town's most famous attraction, it's open year round Saturday mornings, and Wednesday afternoons in the Spring and Summer months. Here you can sample locally produced cheeses, buy a bouquet of the most gorgeous wildflowers you've ever seen, and ask the farmer for a recipe on how to prepare that yummy produce you just bought from him. Carrboro is also home to several art galleries, including Wootini, housed in historic Carr Mill Mall, a historic mill turned indoor shopping mall. Every 2nd Friday of the month is the Art Walk, where galleries open up for receptions showcasing new art. Shopping is great too, don't miss Nested! And the best part, you can walk every where, or if you prefer Chapel Hill-Carrboro public transit is free!

Posted by debnik1426 on Thursday, January 08, 2009 2:16:26 PM
I would nominate Saugatuck, Michigan. It is situated on Lake Michigan only about 3 hours at most from any place in lower Michigan and just a hop-skip-and jump from Illinois (Chicago) Indiana and many other destinations. The town is a unique artisan community that has a great marina to access the town by water. It has great motels--sometimes a bit pricy but well worth it--camping and beautiful old as well as new bed and breakfasts. The town is definately non discriminatory. It is nothing to see gays walking hand in hand on the streets searching the shops for unique values as well as streight couples and families enjoying this wonderful little paradise that is hidden among the bigger places along Lake Michigan's shoreline. debnik1426

Posted by spenser33 on Thursday, January 08, 2009 12:43:04 PM
Ocean Springs , Mississippi has a wonderful ambience,old growth live oak trees, hills,a view of the beautiful Mississippi Sound ,view of the barrier islands,quaint bayous,wonderful facilities ,and several of the largest art festivals in the country . It is a city that embraces life

Posted by klc203 on Wednesday, January 07, 2009 11:02:23 AM
Dubois, Wyoming is America's Coolest Small Town! Nestled against the badlands in the shadow of Ramshorn Peak, they call this area the Valley of the Warm Winds! Dubois is 55 miles from Yellowstone National Park in the northwest corner of Wyoming. Whether you're after an authentic western experience, want the best of dining, dream of world class fishing, wildlife viewing, or exciting snowmobiling, or seek unique shopping and chats with friendly locals, Dubois has it all. Visit Spin A Yarn where Wyoming sheep become wearable art, stop next door at Silver Sage Gallery for museum quality art, or do your shopping at The Water Wheel or Two Ocean Books for genuine western gifts with a flair. Eat gourmet fare along the Wind River at Sundance Cafe, pick up a picnic lunch at Paya to take out to the big horn sheep viewing station, grab a bite at the Cowboy Caf? or venture into the historic Rustic Pine Tavern or the Whiskey Creek Saloon for a taste of the west as it once was. Downtown Dubois looks just like it might have in the late 1800s when the town was founded! When you are tired you can take your pick of motels at the half the price of what you'd find in neighboring Jackson, choosing a cabin, a lodge on the Historic Register, motels complete with all the amenities, or a dude ranch! Show up the last two weeks in July and you can attend the 60th annual Wind River Valley National Art Show. Visit the world class western art collection at the Headwaters Arts & Conference Center or stop at the National Big Horn Sheep Interpretive Center and the Dubois Museum for a bit of local lure. Ask the locals for directions to the Petroglyphs, or to their favorite fishing hole, hiking destination, or wildlife viewing spot. Visit Dubois the second weekend in August and you can attend the Never Sweat Needler's Quilt Show as well as the Firemen's Buffalo Barbeque, complete with all the fixings! Any Friday night during the summer you can experience a genuine rodeo at the local arena. Dubois is worth a stop on your journey, but talk to the locals and you'll find that you could easily spend a week there and enjoy the Yellowstone Ecosystem without the crowds of the Park. Warning — it's addictive - you might end up wanting to live in this town of just over one thousand people!

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