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Reader Nominations for Coolest Small Towns

Posted by Mayumi on Wednesday, February 04, 2009 2:49:48 PM
Buena Vista, VA is my new hometown! Whichever way you turn the great outdoors is ready to greet you! Located right off of the Blue Ridge Parkway, the Appalachian Trail and the Maury River, the views are gorgeous - particularly in the autumn. Right in town is Glen Maury Park with 600 acres of hiking, fishing, swimming, canoing, camping and golfing. Despite having only ~6,000 citizens, Buena Vista still manages to host several large festivals that celebrate it's mountain heritage: Nothin' Fancy Bluegrass Music Festival, Maury River Fiddler's Convention and Buena Vista Mountain Day. Just minutes from downtown are the Natural Bridge of Virginia (a Historic Landmark and Natural Wonder), Virginia Gold Orchard (the largest organic Asian pear farm in the country) and Theater at Lime Kiln (a unique theater built into the ruins of a lime kiln and quarry). No wonder the town of Buena Vista was named "Beautiful View"!

Posted by tetongal2 on Wednesday, February 04, 2009 11:01:10 AM
Teton Valley, Idaho

Posted by Liadan on Tuesday, February 03, 2009 9:50:17 PM
Onancock, Virginia is the coolest small town in America. I recently moved here; I could have lived anywhere in the world and I chose Onancock. It has beautiful untouched nature: Herons, deer, ducks, close to wild ponies. It has theatre, concerts, clubs. I'm originally from Los Angeles and was worried about missing good restaurants. Never fear. We have a wide assortment of excellent restaurants ranging from Steak Houses to fish restaurants, European cuisine and Irish pubs (I've been to England and Ireland, we have the best Fish and Chips anywhere). We also have fantastic art galleries. It seems everyone here is an artist, a sculptor, an author, a craftsperson. I don't know how I was allowed to move here, I'm not artistic at all. We also have great museums, such as the Ker Place, a Colonial Museum. Onancock is centrally located on the Eastern Shore of Virginia, so anyspot on the Eastern Shore is close by. We can go to Chincoteague one day and Cape Charles the next. My daughter says the mark of a great city is having public transport, an independant coffee shop and an independant book store. We have all that without sacrificing our small town uniqueness and flavor. We have great bike trails and kayaking. And this town is so friendly. I was warmly welcomed. No small town cliqueishness here. We are also dog friendly. You'll see dogs everywhere around town, and they are welcomed in most shops too. We have Yappy Hour every Second Friday where dog lovers gather with their dogs. Several of the B & Bs allow dogs too. The town is also ecologically responsible. All our lodgings are certified Virginia Green (the first in Virginia to do so). We have a Green Task Force to recycle and clean the town. We have a health food store and vegetarian food in every restaurant. Onancock has all the big city amenities, the small town charm and friendliness, and the best of raw nature. How can it get any better? tag "coolest small towns"

Posted by jamelb on Tuesday, February 03, 2009 3:57:52 PM
Hood River, OR, is always in season and offers something for everyone. Less than an hour drive from downtown Portland along the mighty Columbia River and the oldest historic scenic highway in the United States, the town of approximately 6,500 people is filled with an abundance of attractions and activities for people of all ages and interests. You name it, Hood River has it. Nestled between two snow capped mountains, the historic downtown core is filled with top-rate restaurants, art galleries, theaters, four local wineries, three micro-breweries, boutique and specialty stores, unique coffee shops, spas, lively night spots, amazing local artists, musicians, cultural events and festivals galore. In addition to the thriving downtown scene, the town now has a waterfront park, equipped with a family swimming area and beech, launch spot for windsurfers, and an outdoor theater. Hood River has long been known as the windsurfing capital of the world and ample recreational opportunities abound, including windsurfing, kite-boarding, sail-boat racing, kayaking, white water rafting, skiing and snowboarding, mountain and road biking, horseback riding, hiking endless trails, technical climbing, and golfing and fishing, to name just a few. Agriculture is very much alive and thriving in Hood River, which is recognized as the largest producer of winter pears in the United States. The region also is a large producer of apples and cherries and recognized as an award-winning wine region, offering an abundance of tasting rooms and scenic wine tours. Recognized as an American Viticulture Area, the region's unique microclimates truly create "A world of wines in 40 miles," offering over 40 vineyards and 23 grape varietals. Locally sourced Farmer's Markets and Crafts festivals are also common themes throughout the year. And if you're looking for some family fun, be sure to take the 35-mile, scenic drive through the valley's orchards, forests, and farmlands, where you can sample delicious fruits and take your favorites home, visit a winery, experience fields of fragrant lavender, meet adorable alpacas, savor delicious baked goods, and create memories by participating in family activities hosted at Hood River Valley Fruit Loop locations throughout the year. But perhaps the very best thing about Hood River is the true feeling of community felt by all who live here. In Hood River, there is truly something for everyone year-round and we graciously invite you to visit and explore. But be warned -- with its magnificent scenery, friendly community atmosphere, and amazing quality of life you may never want to leave!

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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.
 

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