The votes are in for T+L readers’ best-loved small towns, from Vermont to Utah.
No. 4 Beaufort, NC
America's Favorite Towns 2013
No. 4 Beaufort, NC
Southern charm reigns in this coastal Inner Banks town. Its antebellum architecture and a pirate past helped earn it the survey’s No. 3 spot for historical sites. Beyond Blackbeard landmarks, Beaufort also draws raves for local flavors: visitors can shop for just-picked pears, farm-fresh cheeses, and handmade crafts under majestic oak trees at highly rated farmers’ markets. Given its research centers for Duke University and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, it’s no surprise Beaufort also ranked No. 8 for intelligent people.
As you watch the sun dip below 14,000-foot peaks from Allred’s restaurant, toast your craft beers to a vacation well spent in Telluride, CO, a historic ski town hip enough to host film and bluegrass festivals.
Related: America’s Best Little Beach Towns
Telluride, rated No. 7, is just one of the small towns with outsize personalities that proved irresistible to the T+L community. For our first America’s Favorite Towns survey, we asked our fans and followers to nominate their favorites on social media with the hashtag #TLTowns—and then to vote for the 744 towns in 55 categories, including farmers’ markets, museums, adventure travel, and family-friendly hotels.
To determine the overall popularity results, we calculated each town’s average score. The results reveal that T+L readers have a soft spot for small towns in the Rockies, with the No. 1 title going to Aspen, CO, which scored highly for its attractive locals, beer scene, and Victorian-era Main Street.
Related: America's Best Mountain Resorts
What most winning towns have in common is a history dating back at least a century. Charlottesville, VA, for instance, still bears the imprint of Thomas Jefferson, who masterminded Monticello and the University of Virginia and also appreciated fine wine. The area makes a scenic wine-country getaway, with the Blue Ridge Mountains for a backdrop.
Read on for more of T+L’s favorite towns—and share your picks in the comments below.