10 Coolest Small Towns in America

Arthur Frommer’s Budget Travel magazine recently did an article on the 10 Coolest Small Towns in America.  We love checking out small town in our travels and will definitely be keeping this list for future trips.  Only one of these towns is even remotely close to us here in Northern Virginia but we still thought it was worth sharing.

It’s a good reminder that small towns – and the folks who call them home –  have much to offer.  The Frommer criteria?  Great coffee, food with character and shop owners with purpose.

10 Coolest Small Towns in America

Cayucos, CA (population 3,000)   – half way between San Francisco and Los Angles, Cayucos is a mellow beach town with serious food and serious waves.

Lexington, VA (population 6,867) – “right out of a Norman Rockwell painting” and set between the Blue Ridge and Allegheny Mountains.  Home to Washington & Lee University and Virginia Military Institute.

Breaux Bridge, LA (population 8,200) – world’s crawfish capital, one hour southwest of Baton Rouge; “right after the hurricane (Katrina), families took in people they didn’t know from Adam and put them up.”

Tubac, AZ (1,900) – galleries are framed by mountain views in the high desert 25 miles north of the Mexican border.  There is no traffic and no traffic lights.


Wallace, ID (population 1,000) – every building, including a brothel, is on the National Register of Historic Places; 87 miles of nearby trails are great for cyclists.

Saugerties, NY (population 5,000) – 100 miles north of New York City, Saugerties claims to be the book capital of the Hudson Valley.

Mount Vernon, IA (population 4,651) – a 20-minute drive east of Cedar Rapids, Mount Vernon sponsors a sidewalk chalk festival  but the town, because of liquor license restrictions is strictly BYOB.

Jacksonville, OR (population 2,750) – just over the California border and a refuge from the tourist whirl of Napa, Jacksonville is “all about the bucolic southern Oregon life.”

Rockland, ME (population 7,680) – “Rockland is filled with folks who have seen what the world has to offer and want to be here.”

Whitefish, MT (population 7,723) – a 35 minute drive from Glacier National Park, Whitefish is “at once folksy and stylish.”

So there you have it, the 10 Coolest Small Towns in America.

We’ve been to Lexington, VA (for a great wedding) and to Rockland, ME (another great wedding).  What places on the list have you visited?  We’d love to hear from you.