Lists are lists. They don’t mean much, but we all love to look at them. So today we look at Arthur Frommer’s Budget Travel magazine’s list of the country’s 10 coolest small towns. These were chosen by the 100,000 people who voted at budgettravel.com. The magazine was looking for places with more art than country cooking and where you can get a good cup of coffee. (Our sense is that you can get good coffee anywhere in Yonder and that it’s easier to find an artist in a small town than good cooking, but this isn’t our list.)
And the winner is: Owego, New York. No, not Oswego. And the rest of the top ten includes: Rockland, Maine; Grinnell, Iowa (photo above); Vevay, Indiana; Huntingdon, Pennsylvania; Onancock, Virginia; Jim Thorpe, Pennsylvania; Mineral Point, Wisconsis; Silverton, Oregon; and Port Royal, South Carolina. Everybody has something to be proud of on this list. Grinnell boasts a dozen buildings designed by world class architects. Vevay, Indiana, has become an artists’ outpost. Onancock (founded by Capt. John Smith) claims to have been a cool small town for over 400 years.
We have been to only one of these towns: Port Royal, South Carolina. A few months ago, we wandered over there to take in the town’s soft shell crab festival. Beach music and fried crabs. Not to be beat.