This Washington city was ranked one of America’s top 10 small towns

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(File photo/Port Townsend)

With their quaint downtowns, undeniably charming shops and distinct personalities, small towns have long held a special place in the American heart.

That homey feel can also appeal to city travelers longing for a slice of small town Americana.

The best of the best are included in Fodor’s Travel second-annual list of “America’s Best Small Towns,” released Thursday. From a funky arts town in Oregon to a popular South Carolina throwback to a Washington town in our own backyard, there is nothing small about the affordable attractions these cities offer.

  1. Ashland, Oregon
  2. Bardstown, Kentucky
  3. Beaufort, South Carolina
  4. Calistoga, California
  5. Cooperstown, New York
  6. Marfa, Texas
  7. Paia, Hawaii
  8. Port Townsend, Washington
  9. Stockbridge, Massachusetts
  10. Telluride, Colorado

“There has been a big uprise in traveling to smaller towns that have some quirky and regional appeal,” said Arabella Bowen, executive editorial director of Fodor’s Travel. “There is a want for a local, authentic, mom-and-pop experience.”

To qualify for the Fodor’s list, these small towns must have fewer than 30,000 residents, although the majority have under 10,000 residents. The cities also must be able to accommodate short, weekend stays.

“There is a lot of surprising delight in these places,” Bowen said.

So whether it’s a wedding anniversary or a family vacation on a budget, wave goodbye to big city blues and hello to tiny town delight. Click on our gallery to see Fodor’s top 10 choices.

CNN contributed to this report

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1 Comment

  • Angel

    The article doesn’t mention that Port Townsend’s motto is: ‘come on vacation, leave on probation’, we have the most arbitrary officers I’ve ever encountered and they hand out traffic tickets and DUIs as if they were candy. If you do visit, don’t drive at all, and don’t drink any alcohol. Just one or two beers without a motor vehicle and a wrong look at a law enforcer could land you in jail for at least one night after knocking off your teeth.