Travel + Leisure Names America’s Favorite Towns

As you watch the sun dip below 14,000-foot peaks from Allred’s restaurant, toast your craft beers to a vacation well spent in Telluride, CO, a historic ski town hip enough to host film and bluegrass festivals.Telluride, rated No. 7, is just one of the small towns with outsize personalities that proved irresistible to the T+L community.

For our first America’s Favorite Towns survey, we asked our fans and followers to nominate their favorites on social media with the hashtag #TLTowns—and then to vote for the 744 towns in 55 categories, including farmers’ markets, museums, adventure travel, and family-friendly hotels.To determine the overall popularity results, we calculated each town’s average score.

The results reveal that T+L readers have a soft spot for small towns in the Rockies, with the No. 1 title going to Aspen, CO, which scored highly for its attractive locals, beer scene, and Victorian-era Main Street.What most winning towns have in common is a history dating back at least a century. Charlottesville, VA, for instance, still bears the imprint of Thomas Jefferson, who masterminded Monticello and the University of Virginia and also appreciated fine wine. The area makes a scenic wine-country getaway, with the Blue Ridge Mountains for a backdrop.

NUMBER 16: BARDSTOWN, KY

With its 1892 courthouse and revitalized Main Street, downtown Bardstown makes a picturesque setting for 30 annual festivals, most famously September’s tribute to Kentucky bourbon. Family-run distilleries welcome visitors year round, and restaurants like Circa find creative ways to work bourbon into the menu. T+L readers also appreciated this small town for its No. 9–rated historical sites, among them, My Old Kentucky Home State Park (a tribute to composer Stephen Foster) and the Civil War Museum.”


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