Main Streets Make for the Best Small Towns in America

Posted on: August 3rd, 2012 by Sarah Heffern 1 Comment

Bardstown, Kentucky -- the newly crowned most beautiful small town in America.

Those of us who are fans of historic preservation know that one of the things that make small towns great are the Main Streets that provide a vibrant -- and often historic -- backdrop for all manner of community activities.

This summer, participants in the Best of the Road contest learned that firsthand as they crisscrossed the United States visiting small towns to determine which were the best-of-the-best in five categories: friendliest, most patriotic, best for food, most beautiful, and most fun.

Coming as no surprise to us, three towns with active Main Street programs -- Murray, Kentucky (friendliest); Gainesville, Texas (most patriotic); and Bardstown, Kentucky (most beautiful) -- took away top honors.

If you're wondering just what it takes to be the friendliest small town in America, well ... let the citizens of Murray show you:

More videos of the winning communities can be found on the Best of the Road website.

Main Street communities also figured heavily among the finalists, including:


  • San Luis Obispo, California

Most Patriotic:

  •  Deland, Florida

Best for Food:

  • Bloomington, Indiana
  • Walla Walla, Washington

Most Beautiful:

  • Baker City, Oregon
  • Danville, Kentucky
  • Sedona, Arizona
  • Tybee Island, Georgia

Most Fun:

  • Denton, Texas

Congratulations to the winners and the finalists in our Main Street family! (By the way -- you can read more about these great communities on our Main Street website.)

The National Trust for Historic Preservation works to save America's historic places. Join us today to help protect the places that matter to you.

Sarah Heffern

Sarah Heffern

Sarah Heffern is the National Trust's social media strategist. While she embraces all things online and pixel-centric, she’s also a hard-core building hugger, having fallen for preservation in a fifth grade “Built Environment” class. Follow her on Twitter at @smheffern.

Revitalization, Trust News

One Response

  1. Brian

    August 4, 2012

    Bardstown is a great choice beautiful downtown and historic site of My Old Kentucky Home