Architectural Digest recently released its list of what it terms the Most Beautiful Small Towns in America. The magazine defines “small towns” as one with a population of 10,000 people or less.
These towns represent magnificent micro-cultures that have historical and/or design districts, access to nature and interesting topography.
Enjoy Architectural Digest’s Top Ten of its Top Fifty Most Beautiful Small Towns in America.\
- Stockbridge, MA – This town may look familiar to you as the town took center stage in many paintings done by Norman Rockwell. Apropos, the Norman Rockwell Museum is in Stockbridge along with having all three of AD’s three indicators, architecture, nature and culture. The Housatonic River (actually the size of a canal) runs through the town. Stockbridge has year-round cultural events including America’s longest running international dance festival, Jacob’s Pillow, from mid June through late August. It also hosts the Stockbridge Main Street at Christmas festival featuring vintage cars and house tours.
- Sedona, AZ – Bell Rock and Cathedral Rock are just two of the stunning red rock formations that surround Sedona. Some believe the town’s natural vortexes have healing powers. Sedona is filled with shopping and hiking trails galore.
- Alys Beach, FL – This design-centric, New Urbanism village sits along the Gulf of Mexico coast and Florida’s Panhandle. Hopefully, the town’s whitewashed buildings and Bermuda-style architecture is hurricane-safe and sound.
- Jackson, WY – Jackson is one half hour south of the Grand Teton National Needless to say, the mountains, wildlife and outdoor activities are spectacular. Jackson has also become a cultural mecca for innovative arts.
- Hanalei, HW – Hanalei is on the North Shore of the island of Kauai. Among the island’s treasures is Hanalei’s coast, also called Hawaii’s Grand Canyon with its steep and rocky climbs. The 1956 film “South Pacific” at Hanalei’s “little green church.”
- Grand Marais, MN – This tiny harbor town is the gateway to Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness that sits along the deepest Great Lake, Lake Superior. Grand Marais spans Minnesota’s Superior National Forest and Quetico Provencial Park in Ontario, Canada.
- Mendocino, CA – Perched above the Pacific Ocean, Mendocino the town is adjacent to the Mendocino Headlands State Park. The Victorian homes and independent bookstores are added attractions to this mining town with a rich history. Mendocino is on the National Register of Historic Places.
- Springdale, UT – Springdale is the gateway to the stunning sandstone cliffs and hiking trails of Zion National Park. The town’s emerging restaurant scene does wonders Zion’s for happy, hungry hikers and cyclists.
- Incline Village, CA – Built in 1878 and named for incline loggers, Incline Village sits along the north shore of North America’s largest alpine lake, Lake Tahoe.
- Manzanita, OR – Manzanita sits along the Pacific Ocean shoreline in the Pacific Northwest. Mountains and sand dunes surround the town and off in the distance is the magnificent Neahkahnie Mountain.