Whether you’re interested in history, culture, outdoor adventure, retail therapy, food or a lazy day on the water, there’s a small town for you.
We asked our network of contributors to nominate their favorites across six categories, and then 10Best readers voted for their favorites. Here are the winners.
Best Coastal Small Town: Chincoteague, Virginia
Photo by Chincoteague Chamber of Commerce
The resort island of Chincoteague maintains a sense of delightful seclusion while still offering an array of shops, restaurants, and waterside bars, all within a walkable and affordable package.
Best Historic Small Town: Granbury, Texas
Granbury’s charming central square, lined by historic landmarks, makes for excellent shopping, and there are plenty of mom and pop restaurants to choose from when it comes time to refuel.
Best Small Town Cultural Scene: Chautauqua, New York
Chautauqua is a double threat – stunning scenery and a thriving cultural scene, thanks in large part to the celebrated Chautauqua Institution, a summer center for the arts, spiritual growth and recreation.
Photo by Chautauqua Institution
Best Small Town Food Scene: Abingdon, Virginia
Photo by Abingdon Convention & Visitors Bureau / Jason Barnett
While Abingdon is perhaps best known for its performing and visual arts, its culinary scene is equally creative. Local chefs draw inspiration from the area’s farming heritage as they craft an eclectic mix of cuisines.
Best Small Town for Adventure: Beaufort, North Carolina
Beaufort's Boathouse Marina offers easy access to the Intracoastal Waterway and Atlantic Ocean. And the Rachel Carson Reserve sets the scene for wildlife watching.
Photo by Carteret County Tourism Development Authority
Best Small Town for Shopping: Berlin, Maryland
Situated a stone's throw from Ocean City, Berlin’s Main Street is packed with retail shops that run the gamut from antiques and art galleries to jewelry stores and clothing boutiques.
Read more and see the full lists of winners at USA TODAY 10Best.