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The 10 Best Small Towns In America

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Burnsville, Minnesota

Some people say America's "small towns" are a dead concept, that mom-and-pop stores are a thing of the past, and that quintessential neighborhood relationships aren't built for the 21st century.

Map publisher Rand McNally and USA TODAY are rebutting that notion. They partnered up to compile a list of the best small towns in America, asking people to vote on factors including friendliness, food, and beauty.

So if you're in a mood for a trip, and New York, LA, and Chicago aren't quite your style ...

#10 Tybee Island, Georgia

Population: 2,990

Closest major highway: U.S. 80

Tybee Island, located on Georgia's coast right near the South Carolina border, is known for its relaxing, laid back atmosphere, great seafood, and breathtaking views — 272 of its 499 votes were awarded in the "Most Beautiful" category. 

The island has centuries-old historical monuments, notably the Battery Garland of Fort Screven — which was used in the Seminole War (which is also known as the Florida War).

Source: Rand McNally and USA Today, 2012 Best Small Towns in America and U.S. 2010 Census



#9 Jim Thorpe, Pennsylvania

Population: 4,781

Closest major highway: Interstate 476

Just a couple hours away from New York City and Philadelphia lies Jim Thorpe, ranked number nine. A stunning 442 of its 510 votes came in the "Most Beautiful" category. Many come to take in the sights provided by Flagstaff Mountain and the Lehigh Valley, and use the beautiful setting to enjoy outdoor activities and sports.

Source: Rand McNally and USA Today, 2012 Best Small Towns in America and U.S. 2010 Census



#8 Cloudcroft, New Mexico

Population: 674

Closest major highway: U.S. 82

Aptly named, Cloudcroft sits 9,000 feet above sea level, and boasts great winter sports for visitors. It's charming, fun, and quaint. The Lodge Resort, a local treasure, offers plenty of activities, and the town even has its own Opera company. Like Jim Thorpe and Tybee Island, Cloudcroft's ranking is due to its beauty — it received 405 "Most Beautiful" votes.

Source: Rand McNally and USA Today, 2012 Best Small Towns in America and U.S. 2010 Census



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