Why Locals Love These ‘Coolest’ Small Cities

We wanted to hear why locals think their small cities, rated ‘coolest’ by travelers, are the best places to live, work and play. Ellensburg, Washington, and Bentonville, Arkansas, won.


Travelers said these ten cities were tops in a list of the 30 ‘coolest’ small cities in the United States, but we wanted to hear from locals. We asked them all why they think their cities are the best places to live, work and play, and then vote for their favorite entry.

  1. Aspen, Colorado
  2. Bentonville, Arkansas
  3. Greenville, South Carolina
  4. Ellensburg, Washington
  5. Santa Fe, New Mexico
  6. Spring Hill, Tennessee
  7. Telluride, Colorado
  8. St. George, Utah
  9. Carmel-by-the-Sea, California
  10. Dubuque, Iowa

From the Top 10 Coolest Small Cities, the city garnering the most love from locals is Ellensburg:

“Ellensburg is proud to have received the Silver Level award as a National Bike-Friendly Community. Ellensburg, WA has proven their commitment to bicycling through bike promotion, education, infrastructural adaptations and pro-bicycling policies.”


Our runner-up that locals love is Bentonville:

“Art and nature combine on the Compton Gardens and Crystal Bridges trail just minutes from the town square.”



Andrea Fox is Editor of Gov1.com and Senior Editor at Lexipol. She is based in Massachusetts.

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