Beachside escapes, mountain mining towns and artist colonies in the desert ... the small town landscape of the American Southwest – Arizona, California, Colorado, Nevada, New Mexico, Utah and West Texas – is as diverse as the physical one.
USA TODAY set out to find the best small towns with populations under 10,000 (according to the latest census data) in the Southwest. To do so, we asked a panel of local experts to nominate their favorites, and for the past four weeks, our readers have been voting daily to choose a winner. The results are in!
The top 10 winners in the category Best Southwestern Small Town are as follows:
- Ajo, Ariz.
- Bisbee, Ariz.
- Virginia City, Nev.
- Cloudcroft, N.M.
- Madrid, N.M.
- Taos, N.M.
- Creede, Colo.
- Genoa, Nev.
- Tubac, Ariz.
- Carmel-by-the-Sea, Calif.
A panel of experts partnered with 10Best editors to picked the initial 20 nominees, and the top 10 winners were determined by popular vote. Experts Deborah Fallows (American Futures), Anna Hider (Roadtrippers) and our team of 10Best Local Experts were chosen based on their knowledge and experience of Southwestern travel.
Other nominated towns included Cambria, Calif.; Idyllwild, Calif.; Manitou Springs, Colo.; Marfa, Texas; Moab, Utah; Nevada City, Calif.; Ojai, Calif.; Ouray, Colo.; Sebastopol, Calif. and Springdale, Utah.
Congratulations to all these award-winning small towns!License the 10Best Readers' Choice Award Logo