America's coolest small towns, 2013
(Photo: Courtesy Smallbones/Wikimedia Commons)
This year’s winner in voting for America’s coolest small town has a population of 9,369 and a history of 257 years.
After 96,605 votes and 2,415 comments in support of 924 towns, the list of contenders was trimmed to 15. Among those finalists, Lititz, Penn., was the undisputed winner for 2013, unlike last year, when two other towns tied for No. 1.
What makes a coolest small town? The town must have a population under 10,000. It also needs that indescribable something: independent shops, a sense of energy, an epic backyard, culture, delicious coffee. In other words, cool doesn't necessarily mean quaint: We wanted towns with an edge and a heart.
Read on for more on Lititz and nine other nominees.
Winner: Lititz, Penn.
(Photo: Amy Spangler)
Founded in 1756 as a Moravian community, Lititz takes its 250-year history seriously even as it embraces its vibrant present. This Lancaster County town's Lititz Springs Park has been a center of town life since the 18th century, when it was the site of public concerts, and houses a welcome center in a replica of a 19th-century Reading & Columbia Railroad depot.
The Lititz Historical Foundation offers costumed guided tours and a museum that includes Native American artifacts, a replica of a Moravian home, and a heritage garden. But, of course, the past is only the beginning in Lititz, where visitors can quaff handcrafted ales at the Appalachian Brewing Company of Lititz, savor homemade ice cream at Greco's, or shop for furniture made by noted Lancaster County craftsmen.
Bay St. Louis, Miss.