Best Small Towns
If you’re ready for friendly people, less congestion, and safer areas, it might be time to seek out life in a small town. These towns epitomize small town life and all of the charm, character, and benefits.
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Select the communities below that you are interested in receiving more information.
Bluffton, SC--Once best known as the gateway to Hilton Head Island, Bluffton is now the hub of a growing region that features more than a dozen upscale gated communities. At the same time, Bluffton residents have enhanced their most beloved local traditions with the designation of Old Town Bluffton as a regional center of art, culture and fine Lowcountry cuisine. The town also has many well-preserved historical buildings and hosts popular community festivals in the spring and fall.
St. Marys, GA--St. Marys is a riverfront town on the south Georgia coast that serves as the embarkation point for visitors to the Cumberland Island National Seashore. Much of the revitalized downtown is part of the St. Marys Historic District and offers locally owned shops and restaurants in a quiet, walkable setting. Many of the surrounding private communities feature golf and boating opportunities along the region’s numerous tidal creeks and estuaries.
Cape Charles, VA--Set on the shores of the Chesapeake Bay in eastern Virginia, Cape Charles is both a relaxing vacation destination with charming accommodations and a distinctive residential community. Attractions include a public fishing pier, a central park and a town beach, while the eclectic restaurants and pubs in the downtown area host a lively nightlife. The “Our Town” arts initiative has made Cape Charles a regional cultural center at venues like the Historic Palace Theatre.
Calabash, NC--Once a small fishing village on the southeast North Carolina coast, Calabash today calls itself the “Seafood Capital of the World” due to the more than 30 local restaurants that feature “Calabash-style” fried seafood on their menus. Private communities in the region feature four-season outdoor recreations, with business and medical services in nearby Wilmington and the entertainment attractions of Myrtle Beach just a short drive south.
Beaufort, NC --Beaufort’s accolades include its designation as “America’s Favorite Town” (Travel & Leisure magazine) and “America’s Coolest Small Town” (Budget Traveler Magazine). Located on the waterfront in North Carolina’s Inner Banks coastal region, Beaufort features a walker-friendly historic downtown area with boutique shops and sidewalk cafes. Annual community celebrations include a popular music festival, a food-and-wine event and a nationally recognized fishing tournament.
Aiken, SC--One of South Carolina’s most unique small towns, Aiken features both historical roots back to the early 1800s and a flair for contemporary fun that has made it a thriving destination for visitors and new residents. Center of the region’s “horse country,” Aiken offers thoroughbred and steeplechase races, national horse shows and polo matches, as well as a bluegrass music festival in the spring and a film festival in the fall.
New Bern, NC--Founded in 1710 on a bluff above the junction of the Trent and Neuse rivers, New Bern features four districts that are listed on the National Register of Historic Places with beautiful churches and antebellum homes. Strolling through the tree-shrouded downtown area with its restaurants and art galleries is a delight in any season, while the New Bern Farmer’s Market offers local produce and seafood every Saturday.
Ocala, FL--Ocala’s location in sun-drenched north-central Florida makes it an ideal place to breed horses and this welcoming town has accordingly become a major international destination for thoroughbred lovers. The region around Ocala is home to more than 1,200 horse farms and hosts a major national horse show every year. Additional attractions include the downtown historic district and the nearby Ocala National Forest.
Viera, FL--Viera is a relatively new town, a master-planned community comprised of 70 residential neighborhoods and 5 active-adult developments. The Avenue Viera is home to more than 100 shops and restaurants, the local Brevard Zoo is a national showcase for natural animal habitats and environmental conservation, and the beautiful beaches of the Florida Atlantic coast are just minutes away.
Crossville/Cookeville, TN--Cookeville and Crossville are sister towns on the scenic Cumberland Plateau in eastern Tennessee that each boasts a distinctive revitalized downtown area. Cookeville features several museums and galleries, along with a popular performing arts center and outdoor concert pavilion. Crossville has its own historic Palace Theatre and an acclaimed community playhouse, plus more than a dozen private residential communities in the surrounding hills that are home to the region’s finest golf courses.