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Article on "America's Prettiest Towns"

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I found this on a news homepage. Check out this link and hit the "slide show"

Link to MSN article on American towns

It lists and talks about America's "prettiest" towns (subjective). In a way, they probably tried to appease everybody and scatter them all over the U.S.

The ones that don't interest me:

(a) tourist towns on the California coast that you can't afford anyway (Monterey, Cambria), (b) ski resorts (Aspen), ( c ) towns which...ahem...attract people I can't relate to (Sedona, Santa Fe)

The ones that interest me:

(a) I stumbled into Burlington VT once (needed to get over to the US "side" from Montreal to make cell phone calls and go to Kinko's), beautiful, but I'm sure it's an icebox, (b) Savannah, GA...I've only heard good things, but never made it there from Atlanta

Some interesting things to note or surprises:

(a) Deadwood SD is on the list (that's Charger4U, or Chargerino's, town), (b) Lanesboro MN, which I've never heard of, and ( c ) Union WA, which I'm sure is within 100 miles of Seattle and I've never heard of either

What do you think of the list?

Others that deserve mention in your opinion?

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Aspen has it's sights, but it a bit too touristy...same problem w/ Telluride. I've been to both several times, they have their charm. I really like Silverton--much more remote and islolated, less touristy. Crested Butte is a neat ski town, very remote also.

Astoria, Oregon and Seaside, Oregon seemed pretty nice to me, the weekend I spent in the area.

I'm partial to Marathon, Florida and other Florida Keys small towns, having grown up there.

Sugarcreek, Ohio is neat, a bit kitschy w/ the faux Swiss architecture (like some place in Michigan I've been and also Vail has some of that also-- but Vail is much higher end), but it's in a beautiful part of Amish Ohio, rolling hills and wide green valleys.

I don't recall the names of the towns, but some little towns in the Lake George area north of Saratoga Springs, NY seemed to have some charm...was up there from Albany for a weekend in '01.

Edited by Cubical-aka-Moltar
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I'm partial to Marathon, Florida and other Florida Keys small towns, having grown up there.

but some little towns in the Lake George area north of Saratoga Springs, NY seemed to have some charm...

The towns strung along the Florida Keys have this really attractive laziness about them that makes them seem like one would be on intravenous demerol if they lived there.

There in nothing like the towns of upstate NY and all of New England, in general, in the fall. I just sent my cousins and some friends an e-mail with attachments of pictures of Quebec in the fall and they were stunned...in a good way.

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The towns strung along the Florida Keys have this really attractive laziness about them that makes them seem like one would be on intravenous demerol if they lived there.

lazin' away in Margaritaville, written by one the Keys most famous residents, Jimmy Buffett. It's a great place to get away from it all and enjoy the sunsets and ocean. Still have some friends from HS living down there, not much to do besides fishing and drinking.

Still, it beats the suburbs of Phoenix (Chandler, Mesa, and Gilbert all made the top 5 of Forbes most boring cities list).

I'd like to explore more of New England..other than Boston and it's burbs, Cape Cod, the islands, and a little bit in NH and Maine, I haven't seen much.

Since I generally prefer cities and suburbs, I can't really imagine living in a small town, but I do like visiting some when vacationing.

Edited by Cubical-aka-Moltar
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Savannah Georgia is really cool, and I almost moved there from Atlanta a few years ago.

Problem with Savannah is that there is only a very small middle class. Savannah is a small number of well off or fairly well off people living with a bunch of people who have no upward mobility or chance at upward mobility.

A lot of Savannah looks like Cleveland...and not in a good way. Kind of run down, kind of funky...but the parts of it that are beautiful are spectacular.

Of the places I would live if I could...Savannah is still on the list.

But I'm with Bob on this one...new York and New England. WOW...like he said, esp. in the fall. I love older homes an architecture, and this place has them in droves. Sadly, a whole lot of New England seems really hard hit by the "rust belt" and as such, don't know how easily I could make a living there.

Chris

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I plan to find out if I can make a living in New England ASAP, I think I'm meant to live there.

Might you have been thinking of Saranac Lake, or Jay, Or Keene in upstate NY, Cubitar?

In California, I enjoyed San Luis Obispo and Monterey when I was out there. I also liked all of the spots I visited in New Mexico, though I'd never want to live there.

Charlotte NC, is a fine place to be in March (especially coming from an ice-covered PA.

WV is gorgeous, if a bit desolate.

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I think I'm meant to live there.

Saranac Lake

Charlotte NC

Weird sensation...I only feel really comfortable in the upper Northeast/New England area, and I'm not from there. I really like it and the 3 to 4 weeks of color are almost worth putting up with the rest of the year. A co-worker has a sister in Saranac Lake, almost at the NY-Quebec line, and it is very peaceful and very beautiful. I have a very hard time boarding the plane in Montreal to come home when I make that trip.

I also feel really comfortable in the thickly vegetated Southeast. I still have CLT and RDU in the back of my mind, seeing how much Atlanta has grown. Don't know. I'm out here for now.

For me, the hard reality is that, while the PNW is where my parents relocated and settled in almost 20 years ago, I do like being there and thought my physical enjoyment of the area would override everything, but I don't like the vibe of the people. The West is very different from the East. Newly transplanted Easterners in the West complain about things, which is fine with me, since I complain 24/7. :wink:

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I found this on a news homepage. Check out this link and hit the "slide show"

Link to MSN article on American towns

It lists and talks about America's "prettiest" towns (subjective). In a way, they probably tried to appease everybody and scatter them all over the U.S.

The ones that don't interest me:

(a) tourist towns on the California coast that you can't afford anyway (Monterey, Cambria), (b) ski resorts (Aspen), ( c ) towns which...ahem...attract people I can't relate to (Sedona, Santa Fe)

The ones that interest me:

(a) I stumbled into Burlington VT once (needed to get over to the US "side" from Montreal to make cell phone calls and go to Kinko's), beautiful, but I'm sure it's an icebox, (b) Savannah, GA...I've only heard good things, but never made it there from Atlanta

Some interesting things to note or surprises:

(a) Deadwood SD is on the list (that's Charger4U, or Chargerino's, town), (b) Lanesboro MN, which I've never heard of, and ( c ) Union WA, which I'm sure is within 100 miles of Seattle and I've never heard of either

What do you think of the list?

Others that deserve mention in your opinion?

I LOVE Sedona and Santa Fe.........Monterey is awesome as well........and Savannah is wonderful as well.......

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I LOVE Sedona and Santa Fe.........Monterey is awesome as well........and Savannah is wonderful as well.......

I like Santa Fe, Taos and Los Alamos quite a bit also...I used to go down to Taos and Los Alamos (to visit friends from grad school) once a year or so when I lived in Colorado. Sedona, Prescott, Jerome, Payson and Sho Low are nice for small AZ towns.

Been to Monterey a couple of times...I love the drive from there up to San Francisco via Santa Cruz and Pacifica...done the drive in a Mustang convertible and a Town Car from Hertz.

So for those that live in So Cal, what would you think the prettiest town So Cal is?

Rob

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Actually if I lived in the southwest, I think I would like Sante Fe.

Plan to visit there sometime. Sounds interesting.

Chris

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Actually if I lived in the southwest, I think I would like Sante Fe.

Plan to visit there sometime. Sounds interesting.

Chris

Santa Fe is very touristy, but is surrounded by a very beautiful area.

I especially enjoyed the Jemez Mountains.

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Santa Fe is very touristy, but is surrounded by a very beautiful area.

I especially enjoyed the Jemez Mountains.

I went for a hike in Bandelier National Monument outside Los Alamos about 10 years ago...beautiful area NW of Santa Fe...

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I went for a hike in Bandelier National Monument outside Los Alamos about 10 years ago...beautiful area NW of Santa Fe...

And one huge crater!

Ever been to Ghost Ranch?

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So for those that live in So Cal, what would you think the prettiest town So Cal is?

Don't live there now, but a native of the area...I think that counts...so I'll chime in.

Most small coastal towns are nice. They are also expensive. That would mean San Clemente and San Juan Capistrano to the south and Oxnard Shores and Ventura to the north. Personally, I loved the maritime layer that shrouds these towns in a cool gray mist in the morning, that then burns off.

Slightly bigger towns would be Hermosa Beach and Manhattan Beach. They still have a sense of community. San Pedro can be hit or miss...proximity to the port and all the ocean liners coming and going would make me a pig in $h!, and there are some nice areas as you go up the hill, and some crappy areas near Gaffey that are very "ghetto." Also worth mentioning are Redondo Beach (particularly Hollwyood Riviera, nowhere near Hollywood itself), Huntington Beach and Seal Beach.

Long Beach is too big of a town, at almost 500,000 people. Venice is too bohemian. And Santa Monica just plain bothers me and is waaaay overrated. It's kind of soulless, with it's numbered grid and bland shopping areas that haven't been updated.

Inland, there are few towns of note. The whole south side of the San Fernando Valley has an "ok" individual community feel while still being counted within LA's 4 million residents. I have always liked Calabasas, Woodland Hills and Sherman Oaks. There are some interesting mountain communities perched up in the foothills of the San Gabriels and San Bernardinos, such as Montrose/Tujunga, though tough for commuting into the city's core or the West Side. In reality, they are better for Pasadena or SGV workers. Incidentally, I do not like anywhere in northeast Los Angeles metro, and think Pasadena is also overrated. It looks butt ugly when the San Gabriels are so damn parched in the summer. The only SGV community I like is San Dimas, for its hilly topography and reasonably nice residential housing stock.

Hope that helps. I know croc and tmp are also valuable resources when it comes to this topic. The O.C. might be a little too biased. :wink:

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And one huge crater!

Ever been to Ghost Ranch?

Yes...beautiful area..

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Weird synchronicity!

I just checked Facebook and my sister just returned from Ghost ranch and posted a couple of pics!

Too funny.

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Yes...beautiful area..

Hiking (by yourself) in NM? :mind-blowing: The only reason I say this is because NM was the site of the last fatal mountain lion attack on a human recorded in North America. This one dude lived in the NM mountains in a trailer and he set up his bathroom (tub/shower/shaving area) outside. One fine day, while away from his trailer in his makeshift bathroom outside, he didn't even know what hit him.

Very sad. So be careful Rob...and all you other SW aficionados.

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Hiking (by yourself) in NM? :mind-blowing: The only reason I say this is because NM was the site of the last fatal mountain lion attack on a human recorded in North America. This one dude lived in the NM mountains in a trailer and he set up his bathroom (tub/shower/shaving area) outside. One fine day, while away from his trailer in his makeshift bathroom outside, he didn't even know what hit him.

Very sad. So be careful Rob...and all you other SW aficionados.

Nah, definitely not by myself. My buddy Craig from the U. of Michigan is a research scientist at Los Alamos National Lab. I've gone hiking in NM w/ him and his family several times since '97. I'm not much of a hiker, just a casual hike along established trails. Done similar hikes in Colorado w/ my buddies there.

Rob

Edited by Cubical-aka-Moltar
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I'm kind of shocked the mentioned Guttenberg, because I was thinking that before I even got to the slideshow. It's definitely not a well known town, but it has some interesting topography. The town is long and narrow, sandwiched between high bluffs and the mile wide Mississippi, and much of the original Main Street has been preserved.

Some others I would mention:

Galena, IL (this should have been on there...one of the greatest small town downtowns in the USA)

McGregor, IA (better than Guttenburg, IMO)

Decorah, IA

Dubuque, IA

Helena, MT

Coeur d'Alene, ID

Juneau, AK

Portsmouth, NH

Augusta, ME

Edited by mustang84
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So for those that live in So Cal, what would you think the prettiest town So Cal is?

Palos Verdes (PV) peninsula, hands down. Not a town, per se, but Rancho Palos Verdes (RPV), Rolling Hills, Rolling Hills Estates, and Palos Verdes Estates (PVE) comprise the peninsula's municipalities. Redondo Beach is the beach city at the base of the peninsula/hill, and that's a great small city. Closest to PV is Riviera Village, part of Redondo and a little bit of Torrance, and this area is called the Hollywood Riviera. It has a real resort-town vibe to it, but is really laid-back as well. This whole area is hands-down the most beautiful place I have ever seen, and I can't believe it took me 5 years in SoCal to discover it.

Bob, I think Pasadena is gorgeous. With the rolling hills, the New Deal-era bridges, and the new vibrant downtown centered on Colorado (Old Route 66), Pasadena is a great place for history buffs and scenic tourists alike.

While Orange County has some beautiful coastline, I don't think any of it is better than the south bay/PV peninsula, and the people who live there are so damn plastic and superficial that while aesthically beautiful, my judgment of the area is so negatively affected by it that I don't like being there. If you like new money assholes and the golddiggers that married them, then you won't have a problem with OC, but I can't deal with that. Laguna Beach and Newport Beach are incredible to look at, but the people...argh!

Up in the Santa Monicas, Woodland Hills and Calabasas are both beautiful, but they're a trek. I just love PV because it isn't too far removed from anything, yet it's great relaxation. PV was also one of the earliest master-planned communities, and it has a lot of character unlike over-planned Irvine. Olmsted did a great job, especially with the landscape architecture.

Edited by Croc
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If you like new money assholes and the golddiggers that married them, then you won't have a problem with OC, but I can't deal with that. Laguna Beach and Newport Beach are incredible to look at, but the people...argh!

Up in the Santa Monicas, Woodland Hills and Calabasas are both beautiful, but they're a trek.

Tell us how you really feel. My parents have friends who relocated from Rancho Park (Pico/Westwood area) to South Orange a long time ago. They had one daughter. When I was last there in 2004, her mom pulled out this girl's wedding picture. The wedding dress was fairly low cut. She had these really exagerrated SPHERICAL tits. I remember her as having a runner's build. The, light bulb goes on *ah, yes, I'm in South Orange County*

Yes, agreed, love the West Valley. Compared to the beach towns, it would be more affordable, but it has a very different vibe...maybe an even more relaxed one.

Poor moltie, we're supplying him information overload.

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Galena, IL (this should have been on there...one of the greatest small town downtowns in the USA)

*nods*

Yes, indeed. Galena is gorgeous. Heck, even the drive on US Rt 20 out there is gorgeous in some areas.

I would add several small towns along Route 66....

Cort | 36swm.IL | "Mr Monte Carlo"."Mr Road Trip" | pig valve.pacemaker ...drive south, Nov 09

WRMNshowcase.legos.HO.models.MCs.RTs.CHD = http://www.chevyasylum.com/cort

"Feelings are intense" ... Depeche Mode ... 'Enjoy The Silence'

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