Meet the Coolest Small Town in America 2017

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The Asbury Park Boardwalk

Asbury Park, New Jersey, exemplifies the cultural and ethnic diversity, creative energy, and unparalleled natural beauty that have defined America for more than two centuries.

Budget Travel’s mission is to inspire and inform you to see more for less. For avid travelers, that means road trips, national and state parks, great beaches, great cuisine that won’t break the bank, and lodgings for under $200/night. It means discovering lesser-known destinations that are just waiting around the next turn in the road. And it means being open to the cultural and ethnic diversity, the creative energy, and unparalleled natural beauty that have defined America for more than two centuries.

Our Coolest Small Towns in America program is an editor-curated celebration - inspired by thousands of reader suggestions and photos shared across platforms over the past few weeks - of the communities across the U.S. that we feel best exhibit the qualities we prize. From the Jersey Shore’s “coolest comeback” to an arts colony near the Mexican border to a California gem in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada, every one of the Coolest Small Towns in America 2017 is a one-of-a-kind vacation waiting to happen. If you’re among the 80 percent of Americans who plan to take a road trip this summer, add some of these towns to your must-see list.

Leading the pack is the Coolest Small Town in America 2017, Asbury Park, New Jersey, an easy road trip from New York or Philadelphia. The coolest comeback in America may be right here in Asbury Park - the revitalized Boardwalk offers great shopping, dining, and views of one of the East Coast’s most beautiful beaches. This beach town that helped launch Bruce Springsteen is, not surprisingly, a music mecca - check out shows at the legendary Stone Pony, the Paramount Theater and Convention Hall, and other venues. We love Asbury Park’s cultural diversity, welcoming vibe, and year-round calendar of events: Fourth of July fireworks, Oysterfest, Zombie Walk, and so much more.

Here’s the complete list of our 10 Coolest Small Towns in America 2017. We’ll be celebrating each town in depth in an upcoming story that takes a close look at the people and places that make each one of these communities so special:

1. Asbury Park, New Jersey

2. Bisbee, Arizona

3. Nevada City, California

4. Chatham, Massachusetts

5. Mountain View, Arkansas

6. Cannon Beach, Oregon

7. Philipsburg, Montana

8. Milford, Pennsylvania

9. Glens Falls, New York

10. Indianola, Mississippi

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