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Reader Nominations for Coolest Small Towns

Posted by cookie429 on Tuesday, January 06, 2009 5:14:30 PM
Why is Caldwell, KS called the "Border Queen?" Back in the 1800s, this vibrant cowtown was the first stop north of Indian Territory where a cowboy could get a cold drink and a hot woman. Today, residents celebrate Caldwell's colorful history of gundowns on Main Street, Chisholm Trail riding, and the Cherokee Strip land rush. Caldwellites have festivals, museums, reenactments, a restored Opera House, and town markers that bring the town's rich history to life, and they love to share their history with visitors. Don't let Caldwell's small population fool you — this town of around 1,000 people has a business district that rivals towns many times its size. You can see for yourself at www.caldwellkansas.com. For visitors, we recommend staying at Elsie Mae's Bed and Breakfast http://www.kateandannies.com/ or just asking the locals for a recommendation. (Tell the townspeople that you are a visitor, and someone might even invite you to bunk up for free.) Make sure to stop in at Bella's Boutique for upscale jewelry, clothes, and home furnishings at affordable prices—items you won't find anywhere else. Then walk across the street to find attractive floral designs, gifts, and souvenirs at Flowers Plus. If you get hungry, you can eat a chicken-fried steak or a good ol' cowboy hamburger at the Hitchin' Post, or perhaps dine at Steve's Pizza or the Red Barn. Before you tuck yourself in at night, make sure to glance to the heavens — you'll see starts that will rock your world. Not a season goes by in Caldwell without a celebration. In the summer, see 4H-ers and FFA-ers (not familiar...? Google 'em!) boast their prize-winning pigs, cattle, cakes, photos, rockets, and more in the Sumner County Fair. A few months later, go to Octoberfest for local shopping (http://www.caldwellkansas.com/business.php), a Chili cookoff, and a community-wide garage sale. See sparkling floats at night on Main Street at the Lighted Christmas Parade or witness live reenactments of Bible stories around town through the biannual Luminaries. In the spring, take your children to find dozens of free goodies at KanOkla's Easter Egg Hunt. Then on Labor Day, see classic beauties at the Border Queen Cruisers Car Show. And don't forget, of course, the historical celebration tributes. Ask a local about the Talking Tombstones, the Opry House, or the Chisholm Trail Days. If you are you a hunter wanting to bag a deer, a"greenie" looking for a place to farm organic goods, or perhaps a seasoned businessperson ready to retire in a quaint locale.. Caldwell can't be missed. This small town offers something for everybody. With a rich story, a strong community, and a down-home atmosphere, you are sure to be missing a real treat if you miss out on Caldwell.

Posted by SwitzCntyTourism on Tuesday, January 06, 2009 4:10:10 PM
Located along the Ohio River Scenic Byway and within an hour of Cincinnati, OH and Louisville, KY, Vevay, (locals pronounce it Vee-vee) IN is American's Coolest Small Town! The "Birthplace of the First Successful Commercial Winery in America" the town was settled by Swiss immigrants and is now called home by nearly 1900 residents. Rolling hills, scenic vistas and delightful distractions await. Be a romantic outing, boating, fishing or golfing, outdoor activities along the Ohio River are a favorite pastime. For artists and crafts people, immeasurable talent spans the town. "First Friday" events sponsored by Vevay Main Street attract patrons from the tri-state for gallery openings, arts and crafts demonstrations, free carriage rides and late night shopping and dining. Catch a presentation at the Historic Hoosier Theater in downtown during The "Shows of Second Saturday". From a comedy acts to talent shows or a tri-state musical group, there's entertainment abound for whatever strikes your fancy. When hunger strikes, visit Vevay's most popular restaurants including Roxanno's for their Friday afternoon pizza buffet and area-famous bread sticks. Don't forget desserts or sweet potato fries from G.G's Grill. To mingle first-hand with the locals, AJs Diner is THE place for not only for breakfast and lunch, but to hear the latest town "lies" and gossip. Vevay is all about wine so don't miss the Ridge Winery Tasting Room just mere minutes from downtown. Stop in and sample a free daily tasting of local wines and a magnificent view from the riverside deck. Not only has the town recently celebrated its second century of winemaking in the county, it pays homage to its roots every August during its Swiss Wine Festival. One of "Indiana's Top 10 Festivals", thousands attend the annual event. Now in its 38th year, the event will take place in 2009 on Aug. 27-30. The celebration includes an abundance of activities along with the "Wine Tent", showcasing more than 100 varieties of Indiana wine. Whatever your pleasure, you'll find it in America's Coolest Town--Vevay, IN!

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