Last week, Lonely Planet’s Budget Travel released its 14th annual list of the best small cities in the United States. It uncovered a few authentic gems inside the method – each low-priced, overlooked vacation spot and acquainted destinations that draw a crowd. The selections for 2019 run the gamut, from a rejuvenated former shipbuilding community in Maine to a Texas city built around a woodland of pine trees. But this year’s top spot is known LGBTQ+ mecca Provincetown, Massachusetts (populace 3000).
It’s a rainbow-waving haven with endless queer-owned B&Bs, restaurants, and other businesses,” writes Kelsy Chauvin, “home to year-round fairs welcoming homosexual, lesbian, and transgender visitors.” Because it’s affectionately recognized, P-Town also has records dating back to the 1600s and a modern ethos reflecting its artistic and historical past and the standard attracts of a New England beach town, like incredible seafood, whale-looking, and outdoor activities galore.
The relaxation of the list exemplifies comparable middle values. Also referred to as Butterfly Town USA, Pacific Grove, California, was selected for its stunning environs: the top beachfront real estate, the curving coastal exercise path, and the monarch butterfly sanctuary stimulated the city’s nickname.
Utah’s Park City may be high-quality, recognized for its buzzy, iciness film festival and world-elegance ski lodges. However, it has plenty to offer year-spherical, from hiking and mountain biking to buying and gallery-hopping. Saranac Lake, in New York’s Adirondacks, earns the nod for sustainable tourism practices that shield the region’s pristine natural assets, even as the previous Georgia capital of Milledgeville is the epitome of Southern appeal – and domestic to the state’s handiest precise public liberal arts university.
Just 30 miles outdoors from Austin is the film-set-ready Bastrop, Texas, with 131 buildings and websites on the National Register of Historic Places and a pine forest in the middle of town. (The Texas Chainsaw Massacre was shot there, and celebrities like Angelina Jolie and Julia Roberts have made appearances.) Lanesboro, Minnesota, is a former milling network with a rails-to-trails motorcycle route and a waterway that winds via a metropolis, and Seward, Alaska, is the gateway to Kenai Fjords National Park and a vacation spot in its own proper, specifically for the hiking, fishing, and marine cruises of a wide variety.
With Winston Churchill and Mikhail Gorbachev, former presidents and high ministers have stopped in Fulton, Missouri, to present history-making speeches, and the downtown district boasts well-preserved homes as far as the attention can see. Finally, over in Bath, Maine, a hip, artsy crowd of chefs, makers, and creatives earn the area recognition as “little Portland” – sure, that’s Maine, no longer Oregon.
But what makes a small city cool? Budget Travel’s editor-in-chief is satisfied with your request. “We agree with that it’s cool to reflect the ideals upon which the USA changed into founded, along with cultural and ethnic diversity, the unfastened trade of innovative thoughts, and an entrepreneurial spirit that lifts all citizens in a community,” he writes. These towns do all of that, he adds, “combining cultural range, modern-day cuisine, natural splendor, and vibrant community spirit [to] provide site visitors a surely authentic small-town enjoy.”