Small towns are the perfect place to travel when you're looking to avoid crowds. Whether you're interested in history, culture, outdoor adventure, shopping, great food, or soaking in the sun and listening to the waves crash, there’s a small town for you.
We wanted to find the best small towns across the country so we invited our readers to vote for their favorites and the results are in.
Click on each category below to see the full winners list:
Best Coastal Small Town: Bucksport, Maine
There's so much to do in the Best Coastal Small Town — Photo courtesy of Florania Medeiros // Getty Images
Located by the Penobscot River, Bucksport’s downtown waterfront area draws visitors to enjoy its recreation and other amenities. 10Best contributor Deborah Fallows suggests that you “stop for a craft beer (made by real friars) at the Friar’s Brewhouse, visit the history museum or try a glass of wine at Verona Wine and Design.”
Local bodies of water such as Silver Lake and Jacob Buck Pond offer opportunities for fishing (including a winter fishing derby), kayaking and canoeing. Recreational boaters seeking saltwater activities can utilize a public dock located directly off Main Street.
Best Historic Small Town: Granbury, Texas
This is Granbury's third year ranking number one — Photo courtesy of iStock / Skyhobo
The charming town of Granbury makes frequent appearances on “best small town” lists, and it’s easy to see why. The town’s central square, lined by historic landmarks, makes for excellent shopping, and there are plenty of mom n’ pop restaurants to choose from when it comes time to refuel.
The beach at Lake Granbury offers a way to cool off on those hot Texas afternoons, and there’s even a family-friendly boardwalk.
Best Small Town Cultural Scene: El Dorado, Arkansas
El Dorado is rich in both Southern charm and cultural appeal — Photo courtesy of iStock / dlewis33
This small town in South Arkansas is rich in both Southern charm and cultural appeal. El Dorado hosts a full calendar of cultural festivals each year, including the Southern Food & Wine Festival, MusicFest and the Mayhaw Festival. The town is also home to the South Arkansas Symphony, one of the first orchestras established in the state. Visit Oil Heritage Park to learn more about the city’s boom town history.
Best Small Town Food Scene: Abingdon, Virginia
This is Abingdon's third year ranking number one — Photo courtesy of Abingdon Convention & Visitors Bureau / Jason Barnett
This walkable town in the Virginia Highlands has always had a lively food scene, and it just keeps getting better! Classics like The Tavern, 128 Pecan, Rain and Bone Fire Smokehouse, and new offerings from The Girl & The Raven, Papa Tom's, and Puerto Nuevo, offer great variety and top quality. Don't miss Anthony's Desserts or Mamma Mia's, either!
Best Small Town for Adventure: Savanna, Illinois
Savanna is the starting point of the Great River Bike Trail — Photo courtesy of AP Photo/The Telegraph Herald, Eric Hogstrom
“Savanna, hugging the Mighty Mississippi and along the Bluffs of the Driftless area in Northwest Illinois, is the starting point for 60 miles of bike trails – the Great River Bike Trail – but it is also a favorite stop for motorcyclists,” says 10Best Local Expert Jacky Runice.
Best Small Town for Shopping: Montpelier, Vermont
Shop 'till you drop in Montpelier — Photo courtesy of Montpelier Alive
Just steps from the Vermont State House lies the pedestrian-friendly Montpelier downtown shopping district – a neighborhood packed with shops, antique stores and restaurants. Find one-of-a-kind pieces from Vermont artists at the Artisans Hand Craft Gallery or pick up a new cooking gadget at Capital Kitchen.
Congratulations to all our winners! Remember to visit 10Best.com daily to vote in the Readers' Choice contests.