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PHOTOS: America's Coolest Small Towns 2014

Who wouldn’t want to live in the Coolest Small Town in America? Budget Travel's 9th annual contest saw some of the liveliest competition ever, with some of the nicest folks you'll ever meet creating videos, songs, and mobilizing their fans all in the name of getting their town to the top. Here, the results.

  1. Fiddlers at one of the lively festivals in Berlin, MD.

    (Courtesy Worcester County Tourism)
  2. Berlin, MD, offers charming horse and carriage rides.

    (Courtesy Worcester County Tourism)
  3. An aerial view of Berlin, MD, during Octoberfest.

    (Mark Huey)
  4. The Atlantic Hotel in Berlin, MD, at Christmas time.

    (Courtesy Worcester County Tourism)
  5. Wild ponies running in the ocean near Berlin, MD.

    (Courtesy Worcester County Tourism)
  6. Kayaking on beautiful Cazenovia Lake.

    (Courtesy Greater Cazenovia Area Chamber of Commerce)
  7. Concert Movie Night at Lorenzo State Park in Cazenovia, NY.

    (Courtesy Greater Cazenovia Area Chamber of Commerce)
  8. Lakeland park fountain and stage overlooking Cazenvoia Lake.

    (Courtesy Greater Cazenovia Area Chamber of Commerce)
  9. Veterans Day Ceremony in Lakeland Park in Cazenovia, NY.

    (Courtesy Greater Cazenovia Area Chamber of Commerce)
  10. Summer Concert Movie Night at Lorenzo State Park in Cazenovia, NY.

    (Courtesy Greater Cazenovia Area Chamber of Commerce)
  11. The Downtown Historic District in Buckhannon, WV, features specialty shops and boutiques, fresh food served up at local restaurants and a classic small-town atmosphere.

    (Robbie Skinner)
  12. The Buckhannon River offers a peaceful escape. A stretch of the Buckhannon River boasts some of the largest muskies in the nation, and trout streams can be found in the surrounding hills.

    (Al Tucker)
  13. Crowds gather every Friday from June to September at Buckhannon's Jawbone Park for Festival Fridays. Each Friday features live music, fresh produce, local artists selling their work and games for the kids.

    (Robbie Skinner)
  14. The Blast from the Past Car Show & Block Party brings people to downtown Buckhannon the last weekend of July each year.

    (Courtesy Upshur County Convention & Visitors Bureau)
  15. Stop by Buckhannon's Chamber & Visitor Center as you come into town, where the staff will tell you the best places to eat and what to do during your visit.

    (Al Tucker)
  16. Biking along Swamp Rabbit Trail in Travelers Rest, SC.

    (Courtesy Travelers Rest Tribune)
  17. Cafe at Williams Hardware in Travelers Rest, SC.

    (Courtesy Travelers Rest Tribune)
  18. Sunrift Adventures in Travelers Rest, SC.

    (Courtesy Travelers Rest Tribune)
  19. Biking in Gateway Park in Travelers Rest, SC.

    (Courtesy Travelers Rest Tribune)
  20. Travelers Rest's Main Street in the snow.

    (Courtesy Travelers Rest Tribune)
  21. Zimmerman Boatyard marina in Mathews, VA, is known as a world-class yard specializing in wooden boat building and repair.

    (Boo Schwartz )
  22. Visitors to Mathews, VA, can take eye-popping pictures thanks to Art Miller, a local artist, who designed this vintage photo frame.

    (Ann Miller )
  23. For over two decades, this kayak group has planned a paddle every Friday on one of the two Mathews rivers, exploring creeks and marshes along the way.

    (Courtesy Mathews, VA)
  24. The historic Sibley’s General Store, built in 1898, now houses the Mathews County Visitor and Information Center.

    (Boo Schwartz)
  25. Precious to Mathews, New Point Comfort lighthouse is the third oldest lighthouse on the Chesapeake Bay and is located at the mouth of Mobjack Bay.

    (Boo Schwartz)
  26. Downtown Nevada City is one of California’s best areas to view autumn foliage.

    (Courtesy Nevada City Chamber )
  27. Farmers Market Saturday mornings in downtown Nevada City stretch from mid-June to mid-November.

    (Courtesy Nevada City Chamber)
  28. The Nevada City Classic, one of the premier sporting events in the Sierra foothills, takes place every year on Father’s Day.

    (Courtesy Nevada City Classic)
  29. Nevada City is one of California's classic Gold Rush towns, with beautifully preserved Victorian-era homes throughout the downtown.

    (Courtesy Nevada City Chamber)
  30. Each year, Nevada City's picturesque downtown transforms into a genuine Christmas card come to life for Victorian Christmas.

    (Courtesy Nevada City Chamber )
  31. The Rockport, TX, area has accommodations to meet any need and budget: RV parks, fishing cottages, rental homes, bed and breakfasts and over 1,500 hotel rooms.

    (Courtesy Rockport-Fulton Chamber of Commerce)
  32. At the entrance to Rockport's beach is the gigantic Blue Crab.

    (Diane Loyd)
  33. Rockport Beach, a hidden gem on the Texas coast, is a spectacular mile-long beach.

    (Courtesy Rockport-Fulton Chamber of Commerce)
  34. Fulton Mansion and Education Center in Rockport, TX.

    (Courtesy Rockport-Fulton Chamber of Commerce)
  35. Birding in the Rockport area is phenomenal. With over 400 bird species and counting, it is one of the nations premier birding spots.

    (Diane Loyd)
  36. Estes Park, CO, is the gateway to Rocky Mountain National Park.

    (Courtesy Visit Estes Park)
  37. Autumn in Estes Park, CO, is known for elk sightings.

    (Courtesy Visit Estes Park)
  38. The Stanley Hotel in Estes Park, CO.

    (Courtesy Visit Estes Park)
  39. Downtown Estes Park at dusk.

    (Courtesy Visit Estes Park)
  40. Guests riding the path along Lake Estes in Estes Park, CO.

    (Courtesy Visit Estes Park)
  41. Trolleys at the depot waiting for customers for a tour of historic Galena, IL.

    (Gerald Marella/Dreamstime)
  42. You can rent bikes at Fever River Outfitters to enjoy Galena and the countryside.

    (Courtesy VisitGalena)
  43. Galena, IL, during a busy summer day.

    (Dustin88/Dreamstime)
  44. Historic Railroad Depot in Galena IL.

    (Gerald Marella/Dreamstime)
  45. View of historical Galena, IL, from across the Galena River.

    (Dustin88/Dreamstime)
  46. The Yadkin Riverkeeper hosts this annual event each June, where paddlers journey down the Yadkin River and stop for three days in Elkin, NC.

    (Courtesy Town of Elkin)
  47. Elkin, NC, was the Cruise In capital of the east coast for years, and has revived this popular event, which brings all ages to historical downtown Main Street.

    (Courtesy Town of Elkin)
  48. Elkin, NC, is surrounded by dozens of vineyards and showcases some of the tastiest tasting rooms in the Yadkin Valley.

    (Courtesy Town of Elkin)
  49. A mural on the wall of Elkin Antiques and Collectibles Mall, depicting the Elkin Depot and the Hugh Chatham Memorial Bridge.

    (Courtesy Town of Elkin)
  50. Circle of Friends yarn shop in Elkin, NC.

    (Courtesy Town of Elkin)

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