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Rural / small town Best small towns?

Rygor

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#21
I definitely agree with Saugatuck, MI. I've been there a few times. A couple when I was a young lad and went to extended family beach house near there and again for my honeymoon back in 2003. Love it each time I visited. It's like a town where time stood still sometime in the 1950's, but with an artsy vibe. Tons of galleries, antique stores, good restaurants, and a great Lake Michigan beach nearby. There are great sand dunes where you can go dune buggying right up the road, too. Wineries abound in the nearby countryside, and there are lots of bed & breakfasts (Susan B. Anthony stayed at the one we stayed in). Great place.
 
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#23
This thread made me ponder, while I've never been there, this town has peaked my interest while researching a paper on sustainable growth and the effects of sprawl.

http://www.prairiecrossing.com/

I guess my definition of a perfect small town would fit here. Clear long term vision for sustainable growth from the beginning.
 
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#24
I've always loved the small coastal Maine town, especially those north of Portland. Sure, they can get full of tourists at the summer peak, but I've visited even in off-seasons and felt the charm is truly year-round. Camden and Rockport are just two of the more well-known towns. Successful downtowns, seaside views, art festivals, farmers markets, an abundance of green in the summer and red, orange and yellow in the fall, and a short drive to Acadia National Park.
 

Rygor

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#25
Another one I thought of:

If ever on I-72 between Decatur and Champaign, check out Monticello, IL. It's a beautiful, quaint town with lots of big old, preserved homes, a nice downtown with courthouse square, nice restaurants and antique stores, and a nearby former estate that's open to the public called Robert Allerton Park with a big mansion with reflecting pond, english gardens, sculptures, and walking trails through the woods.
 

Linda_D

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#26
I've always loved the small coastal Maine town, especially those north of Portland. Sure, they can get full of tourists at the summer peak, but I've visited even in off-seasons and felt the charm is truly year-round. Camden and Rockport are just two of the more well-known towns. Successful downtowns, seaside views, art festivals, farmers markets, an abundance of green in the summer and red, orange and yellow in the fall, and a short drive to Acadia National Park.
The coastal towns from Cape Ann in MA and northward are just some of the most picturesque villages there are, even in the tourist season. They're even better just after Labor Day when the crowds vanish and you have them all to yourself. Vintage New England.

Another wonderful NE town, though not quite so small, is Bennington, VT. Absolutely gorgeous. It has a well known arts/crafts festival at Hildene (the former home of Robert Todd Lincoln) in the summer. I believe there's an important art museum there as well.
 
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#27
I definitely agree with Saugatuck, MI. I've been there a few times. A couple when I was a young lad and went to extended family beach house near there and again for my honeymoon back in 2003. Love it each time I visited. It's like a town where time stood still sometime in the 1950's, but with an artsy vibe. Tons of galleries, antique stores, good restaurants, and a great Lake Michigan beach nearby. There are great sand dunes where you can go dune buggying right up the road, too. Wineries abound in the nearby countryside, and there are lots of bed & breakfasts (Susan B. Anthony stayed at the one we stayed in). Great place.
I'm from a town about 40 miles southeast of Saugatuck (I don't live there anymore). I haven't spent a lot of time in Saugatuck itself, but I'm very familiar with South Haven, which is right next door. That whole strip along Lake Michigan from the Indiana border to Grand Haven is one of the nicest places in the country. The sand dunes are amazing.
 
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#28
Another wonderful NE town, though not quite so small, is Bennington, VT. Absolutely gorgeous. It has a well known arts/crafts festival at Hildene (the former home of Robert Todd Lincoln) in the summer. I believe there's an important art museum there as well.
Bennington is pretty cute. I don't know about an art museum, but they have a neat looking monument to commemorate the Battle of Bennington, a day I happily get paid to take off :)
 

Linda_D

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#29
Bennington is pretty cute. I don't know about an art museum, but they have a neat looking monument to commemorate the Battle of Bennington, a day I happily get paid to take off :)
The Battle of Bennington was part of the larger Battle of Saratoga in the American Revolution. The Saratoga National Historic Battlefield is just over the border from Bennington in the Schuylerville area.

Because we colonials kicked Brit butt and captured "Gentleman Johnny" Burgoyne and his army by the end of the Saratoga campaign, the French not only recogized Les Etats Unix as an independent country, they sent military aid -- and the rest, as "they" say, is history. ;)
 
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#30
Check out Rindge, New Hampshire. It is a great place to enjoy nature and meet real people. It is along Route 119 and Route 202. Very Close to Mount Monadnock.
 

csld09

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#31
I've always loved the small coastal Maine town, especially those north of Portland. Sure, they can get full of tourists at the summer peak, but I've visited even in off-seasons and felt the charm is truly year-round. Camden and Rockport are just two of the more well-known towns. Successful downtowns, seaside views, art festivals, farmers markets, an abundance of green in the summer and red, orange and yellow in the fall, and a short drive to Acadia National Park.
Belfast, ME is a great example.


I don't think there's anyplace in the world like Montague, MA. Everything you could think of is somewhere in Montague.
Could Montpelier, VT fit on this list? Not really a town, but it's pretty small.
I haven't been to Weston, MO in more than five years, but I really liked that little town. (Probably about 2,000 people when I was there.)
 
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#32
An exquisite small Wisconsin town

There isn't a finer small town in North America than Bayfield, Wisconsin. It sits near the tip of the Bayfield Peninsula, jutting into Lake Superior. Home to the Apostle Islands National Lakeshore, it has an unequaled view of both sunrises and sunsets. The town has blocked development of retail and fast food chains, electing instead to provide for the robust tourist trade by way of locally owned businesses. It is also home to the Lake Superior Big Top Chautauqua, a summer venue for musical and theatrical performances, especially a series of musical plays that deal with north Wisconsin history. One is called Keeper of the Lights, which is about the days when lighthouses played a huge part in Great Lakes shipping. By the way, I have no connection to the town's promotion efforts. I'm just a retired local journalist who knows and is proud of a good little town in my neighborhood.
 
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