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17 Of The Coolest Towns In America

The "coolness" of a town varies by opinion, but for us, these American small and mid-size cities have a lot going for them. Whether they boast historic downtowns, innovative local economies, stunning natural landscapes or awesome cultural diversity, these places feature some of the coolest residents in some of the best areas of the country.

  • Silver City, New Mexico

    Silver City, New Mexico

    If you like trendy cities, look no further than Silver City. In its post-mining era, the town has become a hub of artists, writers, musicians and students at Western New Mexico State University. It's also near the Gila Wilderness, a beautiful and expansive nature reserve.

  • Chattanooga, Tennessee

    Chattanooga, Tennessee

    A truly beautiful city, Chattanooga sits along the winding Tennessee River amid the stunning cliffs of the Cumberland Plateau. It's near the Appalachian Trail, which boasts some of the best climbing and whitewater rafting available. It's also a great place to live economically speaking: Both home costs and property taxes are considerably low, while major companies like Volkswagen and Amazon are still opening offices there. It's a gem of the South.

  • Athens, Ohio

    Athens, Ohio

    Home to Ohio University, Athens is much more than just a college town. Located in the Allegheny foothills, the town is celebrated for its vibrant music scene and huge street festivals. Its annual Halloween festival draws tens of thousands of people each year.

  • Mount Desert Island, Maine

    Mount Desert Island, Maine

    The residents of Mount Desert Island are the type of free spirits that you associate with the great state of Maine. There are restaurants, rock climbing locations and lots of boating. The city hosts Bar Harbor and Acadia National Park, too. Areas like Gorham Mountain, Thunderhole, Shore and Sand Beach and the Precipice Trail are all reasons MDI is an amazing place to call home.

  • Lawrence, Kansas

    Lawrence, Kansas

    Lawrence is the best of the Midwest, forgoing the trends and ever-changing scenes of the coasts and putting an emphasis on pleasant living. With a famous music scene, great education opportunities, and amazing local businesses, Lawrence proves that Kansas is definitely not a boring state.

  • Marfa, Texas

    Marfa, Texas

    This small southwest Texas town is close to Big Bend National Park and is also home to the Marfa lights, a supposedly paranormal phenomenon that some claim as evidence of UFOs. Even more impressive is the town's minimalist art scene, with its architecture and modern art installments drawing tourists from all over the country.

  • Freeport, New York

    Freeport, New York

    Located on Long Island, Freeport's growing population consists of young families and Manhattanites who seek to escape the noise and pollution. It's home to the Nautical Mile, which is a strip of famous seafood restaurants, and is also on the coast of the Atlantic Ocean, which offers some scenic views for residents.

  • Missoula, Montana

    Missoula, Montana

    In true Montana fashion, Missoula has great access to wondrous wildlife, being located within an hour of seven national wilderness areas and many other national forests. With lots of art galleries and bike and coffee shops making up its picturesque downtown scene, Missoula is a treasure for Montana residents.

  • Sun Valley, Idaho

    Sun Valley, Idaho

    Sun Valley pretty much has it all: outdoor views and adventure, classy arts and culture opportunities and an overwhelming number of restaurants and bars to grab a drink and a bite.

  • North Charleston, South Carolina

    North Charleston, South Carolina

    North Charleston has seen a boom in new, young residents, perhaps due to companies like Boeing and Google locating here. It's a hub of activity, with awesome dive bars and trendy restaurants setting up shop left and right.

  • Laguna Beach, California

    Laguna Beach, California

    For a hip, bohemian lifestyle, you can't go astray with the coastline of Laguna Beach. It started as an artist colony in the 1920s and is still one of the most popular cities in southern California. Boasting stunning views and fun festivals, Laguna Beach is a great SoCal destination.

  • Frisco, Colorado

    Frisco, Colorado

    Welcome to Frisco, where you can go skiing, sailing and mountain biking all in one day! Copper Mountain is five minutes from Frisco, while Breckenridge is a mere ten. The city has amazing weather and a very welcoming main street area that's perfect for visitors and residents alike.

  • Asheville, North Carolina

    Asheville, North Carolina

    Sitting against the Appalachian highland terrain, Asheville boasts an unparalleled location along with a perfectly mixed and engaging local community. It's welcoming and family-friendly culture makes the town great for people from all walks of life, and the town has undergone a notable economic transformation in recent decades. All in all, it's one of the more under-appreciated towns in the nation.

  • Oneonta, New York

    Oneonta, New York

    It houses Hartwick College and SUNY Oneonta, but don't restrict Oneonta to the "college town" label. With notable progress in environmental and economic sustainability (in addition to the amazing location in the Catskill mountains), Oneonta might just be the one for you.

  • Mercer, Wisconsin

    Mercer, Wisconsin

    With beautiful forest trails and an endless supply of mom-and-pop shops, you'll feel like you're in a storybook town when you visit Mercer. It was the location of retreating Chicago mobsters like Frank Capone (Al's brother) and John Dillinger in the 1920s, but there's nothing but pleasantness to find in Mercer today.

  • Port Angeles, Washington

    Port Angeles, Washington

    A stone's throw from Seattle, Port Angeles is located on the beautiful Olympic Peninsula. With beautiful scenery and fresh food around every corner, Port Angeles is a thriving town. It also boasts some of the most diverse wilderness species in all of America.

  • Fennville, Michigan

    Fennville, Michigan

    If you want a cozy, small-town feel with some beautiful vineyards and access to beaches on Lake Michigan, Fennville is the spot for you. It's home to everyone from traditional families, migrant workers and independent artists seeking solitude for inspiration. It's also an under-utilized vacation spot for the Great Lake State.

Next Page: 13 Midwestern Towns That Are Hidden Gems For Your Summer Vacation

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