The coolest small towns in
America? It's not anybody's
guess... but anyone's vote can count in
a Budget Travel promotion.
The annual civic beauty contest runs through 11:59 p.m. Feb. 25; it is open to municipalities that have less than 19,000 residents.
And as of Tuesday,
Carolina had two burgs in the top 15: Hillsborough
Here are the rankings so far:
1. Grand Marais.
Minn. (24.3 percent)
(21.0 percent) Chincoteague, Va.
3. Hillsborough (9.9 percent)
(7.9 percent) Washington
(7.0 percent) Allegan, Mich.
(6.4 percent) Delhi, N.Y.
(5.8 percent) Fort Myers Beach, Fla.
: (4.2 percent) Old Orchard Beach, Maine
(4.1 percent) Snohomish, Wash.
10. Berkeley Springs, W.V. (2.8 percent)
(2.6 percent) Huron,
(2.1 percent) Pismo Beach,
Butte, Colo. (0.9 percent)
(0.3 percent) Blanco,
Sorry, but the deadline has passed for nominations, and write-ins are not allowed.
This being an election, there of course seems to be skullduggery at the crossroads. Various tourism sites in northern
(northlandsnewscenter.com, boreal.org, visitcookcounty.com, etc.) are plugging Grand
Hillsborough and Washington are both lovely towns. Then again, Grand Marais -- the only other place on the list that I've visited -- is pretty cool. And when the wind tries to blow Grand Marais into
Lake Superior this time of year, it can be pretty frigid.
You can vote at this website.
To prevent robo-voting, the election is set up to allow one vote per 24 hours per IP address (this is to cut down on ballot stuffing).
You will, of course, have to wend your way down the page around ads and other things plugging Budget Travel pages and offers.
You know how elections are.
The photo at the top of this post, by Harry Lynch of
Raleigh's News & Observer, shows the Hillsborough
Riverwalk, along the in Hillsborough. Eno
The photo below, courtesy of the municipal webpage, is of city hall in
I'm not sure if the town is better known as "Gateway to Blanco, Texas West
Blanco" or "Home of the Blanco Burger."