PHOTOS: America's Coolest Small Towns 2014

Fiddlers in Berlin, MarylandBerlin, Maryland offers horse and carriage ridesAn aerial view of Berlin, Maryland during Octoberfest
The Atlantic Hotel at Christmas timePonies running through nearby watersKayaking on beautiful Cazenovia Lake
Concert Movie Night at Lorenzo State ParkLakeland park fountain and stage overlooking Cazenvoia LakeVeterans Day Ceremony in Lakeland Park
Summer Concert Movie Night at Lorenzo State ParkThe Downtown Historic District in BuckhannonThe Buckhannon River West Virginia
Jawbone Park for Festival Fridays. The Blast from the Past Car ShowBuckhannon Chamber & Visitor Center
Biking along Swamp Rabbit TrailCafe at Williams HardwareSunrift Adventures in Travelers Rest, SC
Biking in Gateway ParkMain Street in the snowZimmerman Boatyard marina
Visitors to MathewsMathews kayak groupThis historic Sibley’s General Store
New Point Comfort lighthouseDowntown Nevada City is one of California’s best areas to view autumn foliage. Farmers Market Saturday mornings in downtown Nevada City from mid-June to mid-November.
The Nevada City Classic takes place every year on Father’s Day.Nevada City is one of the most interesting Gold Rush towns in California.Each year Nevada City's picturesque downtown transforms into a genuine Christmas card come to life for Victorian Christmas.
RV parks, fishing cottages, rental homes, Bed and Breakfasts and over 1500 hotel rooms.At the Entrance leading to our Beach is a gigantic Blue CrabRockport Beach
Fulton Mansion and Education CenterBirding in Rockport-Fulton is phenomenalRocky Mountain National Park
Autumn in Estes Park is known for elk sightingsThe Stanley Hotel in Estes ParkDowntown Estes Park at dusk
Guests riding the path along Lake EstesTrolleys at the depot waiting for customers for a tour of historic Galena, Illinois.You can rent bikes at Fever River Outfitters to enjoy Galena and the countryside
Galena, Illinois during a busy summer dayHistoric Railroad Depot in Galena IllinoisView of historical Galena, Illinois from across the Galena River
The Yadkin RiverElkin was the Cruise In capital of the east coast for yearsElkin Creek Vineyards
On the wall of Elkin Antiques and Collectibles MallCircle of Friends yarn shop
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Fiddlers at one of the many lively festivals in Berlin, MD.

Courtesy Worcester County Tourism

Berlin, MD, offers charming horse and carriage rides.

Courtesy Worcester County Tourism

An aerial view of Berlin, MD, during Octoberfest.

Mark Huey

The Atlantic Hotel in Berlin, MD, at Christmas time.

Courtesy Worcester County Tourism

Wild ponies running in the ocean near Berlin, MD.

Courtesy Worcester County Tourism

Kayaking on beautiful Cazenovia Lake.

Courtesy Greater Cazenovia Area Chamber of Commerce

Concert Movie Night at Lorenzo State Park in Cazenovia, NY.

Courtesy Greater Cazenovia Area Chamber of Commerce

Lakeland park fountain and stage overlooking Cazenvoia Lake.

Courtesy Greater Cazenovia Area Chamber of Commerce

Veterans Day Ceremony in Lakeland Park in Cazenovia, NY.

Courtesy Greater Cazenovia Area Chamber of Commerce

Summer Concert Movie Night at Lorenzo State Park in Cazenovia, NY.

Courtesy Greater Cazenovia Area Chamber of Commerce

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

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

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

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

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

Biking along Swamp Rabbit Trail in Travelers Rest, SC.

Courtesy Travelers Rest Tribune

Cafe at Williams Hardware in Travelers Rest, SC.

Courtesy Travelers Rest Tribune

Sunrift Adventures in Travelers Rest, SC.

Courtesy Travelers Rest Tribune

Biking in Gateway Park in Travelers Rest, SC.

Courtesy Travelers Rest Tribune

Travelers Rest's Main Street in the snow.

Courtesy Travelers Rest Tribune

Zimmerman Boatyard marina in Mathews, VA, is known as a world-class yard specializing in wooden boat building and repair.

Boo Schwartz

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

Ann Miller

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

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

Boo Schwartz

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

Downtown Nevada City is one of California’s best areas to view autumn foliage.

Courtesy Nevada City Chamber

Farmers Market Saturday mornings in downtown Nevada City stretch from mid-June to mid-November.

Courtesy Nevada City Chamber

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

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

Courtesy Nevada City Chamber

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

Courtesy Nevada City Chamber

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

At the entrance to Rockport's beach is the gigantic Blue Crab.

Diane Loyd

Rockport Beach, a hidden gem on the Texas coast, is a spectacular mile-long beach.

Courtesy Rockport-Fulton Chamber of Commerce

Fulton Mansion and Education Center in Rockport, TX.

Courtesy Rockport-Fulton Chamber of Commerce

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

Estes Park, CO, is the gateway to Rocky Mountain National Park.

Courtesy Visit Estes Park

Autumn in Estes Park, CO, is known for elk sightings.

Courtesy Visit Estes Park

The Stanley Hotel in Estes Park, CO.

Courtesy Visit Estes Park

Downtown Estes Park at dusk.

Courtesy Visit Estes Park

Guests riding the path along Lake Estes in Estes Park, CO.

Courtesy Visit Estes Park

Trolleys at the depot waiting for customers for a tour of historic Galena, IL.

Gerald Marella/Dreamstime

You can rent bikes at Fever River Outfitters to enjoy Galena and the countryside.

Courtesy VisitGalena

Galena, IL, during a busy summer day.

Dustin88/Dreamstime

Historic Railroad Depot in Galena IL.

Gerald Marella/Dreamstime

View of historical Galena, IL, from across the Galena River.

Dustin88/Dreamstime

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

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

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

Courtesy Town of Elkin

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

Circle of Friends yarn shop in Elkin, NC.

Courtesy Town of Elkin

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.

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