Sometimes the biggest things can happen in the smallest of towns.
Small towns are so significantly opposite to major cities; such locales are replete with crowded populations, technology-driven markets, and perhaps lacking a sense of individualism that comes with historic, bustling individualistic livelihoods so frequently associated with small towns.
It was not easy to compile a list highlighting 10 of the best communities in the country. We factored in arts & culture, economy, health care, safety, amenities, and its connection to nature/wildlife trademark to many great small towns in America.
Some of the towns on the list are home to historic music festivals; other towns on the list are home to historic museums, and one on the list is home to a major sports hall-of-fame.
Without further ado, here are the top 10 small towns in America.
10. Harrison, AR
Hidden amongst the Ozark Mountains of north central Arkansas, Harrison is the heart of Southern hospitality with a distinct blend of modern and traditional Ozark heritage. The small town feel in Harrison is only solidified by the almost whimsical roster of quaint traditional American pastimes that occupy the local calendar there.
For example, annual Arkansas Hot Air Balloon races each September or the Harvest Homecoming festival each October are some of the most favorite activities among the locals. The city is also famous for the “Blue Ribbon” smallmouth bass in Crooked Creek.
To help preserve the history of this sweet grand-pappy of a town is the Harrison Courthouse Square Historic District. Completely preserved and still in working condition, the square contains many of the city’s original commercial and governmental structures, the courthouse being its centerpiece.
Also in the square is the recently refurbished Lyric Theater as well as the enchanting 1929 Hotel Seville, which underwent full restoration in 2008. The Lyric Theatre is now under the management of the Ozark Arts Council.
Although the Lyric Theater once operated as a movie theater in 1929, the town now uses it for plays, community events, old movies and other gatherings.
9. Bayfield, WI
Small towns don’t get much smaller than Bayfield, whose population was 530 at the 2010 census. This spot at the northernmost point of Wisconsin on Lake Superior has become a local getaway secret that Wisconsin wishes it could keep to itself.
The small town was built on the lumber and fishing trades, but is now a popular tourist destination for those who prefer to drift on a sailboat or kayak through the lake.
For day adventures, Bayfield happens to be the gateway for the Apostle Islands National Lakeshore and majestic ice caves, beautiful landscapes rarely matched by the scenery of any other small town.
Adding to the small town charm are the annual Apple Fest that takes place over the first weekend of October, as well as the summer Race Week regatta on the 4th of July weekend.