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Reader Nominations for Coolest Small Towns

Posted by Seagal on Saturday, February 07, 2009 6:02:17 PM
Seaside, Oregon is hands down the coolest city! We have a unique natural setting, mild ocean climate, year-round events. The beach is wide, sandy available for all kinds of cool activities, from low rider beach bikes, volleyball, sand castle building, kite flying, hot dog roasts. It is clean, rarely crowed and open to everyone. We have a Promenade built in 1920 that parallels the ocean. It is great for enjoying the incredible views of the Pacific Ocean while getting your daily exercise. The historic Automobile turnaround in the center of Seaside's famous Promenade is where a sculpture of the end of the Lewis and Clark Trail stands. We have dozens of specialty shops and what's really cool is there is no sales tax! Seaside has a plethora of culinary delights satisfying even the most discriminating taste buds. We have been a family destination for over 150 years. Those young at heart will enjoy; the carousel, miniature golf, tilt-a-twirl, paddle boats, surreys, scooters, bumper cars and boats. For the adventure seeker/out-door lover you can crab, clam, fish; hike, bike, bird watch, surf. With all of that said who could disagree that Seaside, Oregon is the coolest small city ever!

Posted by dyslexikchikin on Friday, February 06, 2009 4:35:42 PM
I would like to submit Annapolis, Maryland. There has been recent construction to make this town have more of an upscale look and feel to it. There are unique shops downtown that can be found nowhere else, such as Potato Valley Cafe - a place fit for New York City with gourmet stuffed baked potatoes that are to die for! Also, there are local art exhibits and many bars which host open mic nights for local musicians. The city dock area allows for boats to come in through the Chesapeake Bay, dock, and explore our shops. I'm not sure if we have a local mascot, but the Naval Academy is located adjacent to the downtown area, and their mascot is a Ram. One neat thing that happened was during the aftermath of Hurricane Isabel. Our downtown area is underneath the sea level and water from the dock area flooded the streets. Residents took out their kayaks to navigate the city. we have delicious seafood, with the Maryland crab cake (made with MD blue crab meat) being a local specialty. There's lots of rich history here as well.

Posted by Joe Lee on Friday, February 06, 2009 8:57:44 AM
Port Royal SC in the Low Country of SC--the first settlement in the new world--1562. Home to more than 15 eating places each with a different flavor from fine dining--big city style, to sandwiches. Home to two festivals--one celebrating our local soft shell crabs in April the other a fall Oktoberfest. An all weather 10,000 square foot skateboard park for our young adults, a boardwalk and beach area for all our citizens, home to two military installations--we produce 20,000 new men and women Marines at Parris Island Marine Recruit Depot, and medically serve our area via our Naval Hospital. Our average height above seal level is 15', we are located on the intercoastal waterway and have a port with the deepest water on the East Coast. We are home to both performing artists as well as a variety of working artists including painters, writers and craftspersons. Our citizens and visitors fine the walking community, the laid back atmosphere and the eclectic mix of people a unique offering for a village that is between Charleston SC and Savannah GA. In our village area you are never more than three blocks from tidal water and the views and marsh that cause poems to be writtten and songs to be sung. What really makes Port Royal the coolest small town in America is that our neighbors have come from all over America, bringing with them the skills and sense from their homeplaces and all of these people have become important threads in the fabric of our town. This melding makes a "place" much better that it could ever be on its own and will take it to many many centuries to come.

Posted by sdwarner on Thursday, February 05, 2009 5:50:15 PM
Huntingdon Pennsylvania is a small town, with major institutions like Juniata College, which has an Art Museum housed in a Carnegie Library there, inside are gorgeous stained glass windows with a wonderful dome, theater life there would be the Clifton 5 Cinemas on Washington Street, with a coffee shop also on Washington St, Caffeine Cafe, as options for dining incluse Hoss Sea and Steak House on US 22, Boxer's on Penn Street near 4th Street, a Chinese restaurant is open at the shopping center anchored by a Peebles and there are others. Miller's Diner is a few miles east of town on US 22, while on 22 there is a Swigart Car Museum, home of Herbie the Love Bug, a great place to take the family. Raystown Lake is a very popular destination for fishing, camping, hiking and is a few minutes from Huntingdon, and is close to nature, in a valley. Huntingdon is expanding, especially among the retirement community, with the Westminster Woods development, and their opportunities for cultural life including Concerts, Art Exhibits, Lectures, movies at Juniata College, with the Winter Lecture Series at the Exhibit Gallery at the Huntingdon County Historical Society, which also houses a very interesting exhibit on the JC Blair Co, producing writing tablets, which is now Mead in nearby Alexandria Pa as the Huntingdon plant is now housing for Senior Citizens. In the Summer a Concert series is held at 5th and Penn Streets in Downtown Huntingdon, and in nearby Portstown Park is an arts festival in early June, as the community comes alive with Mayfest at the end of april or early May as warmer temperatures and summer is near, which concludes with Hartslog Day in October, in nearby Alexandria Pennsylvania, which celebrates the harvest in a historic setting, alao a great outing for the family. With this short narrative of Huntingdon, I think Huntingdon Pa is pretty cool in a small town setting, with community services for Senior Citizens and Persons with Disabilities, students of Juniata College, residents and visitors alike, who will find comfortable rooms at the Comfort Inn, which has an indoor pool.

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