Best Towns

Camden, Maine

DON'T BOTHER LOOKING FOR A PRETTIER TOWN; none exists. Schooners bob on Camden's glistening harbor, guarded by a tiny island with its very own lighthouse. Mapled lanes meander among rows of...

Northampton, Massachusetts

"IN MANY WAYS," SAYS BILL STAPLETON, president of Northampton Cooperative Bank, "this is a microcosm of a large and fairly sophisticated city." For instance? Consider the subcultures plunked...

Santa Barbara, California

THE SUN IS ANGLING TOWARD THE FOOTHILLS upcoast from East Beach. A cooling breeze riffles the bougainvilleas. As dusk begins to glow, most volleyballers have abandoned their nets to the sand,...

Duluth, Minnesota

"ONE OF THE FIRST THINGS I DID WHEN I moved to Duluth was get rid of my car," says Dan Proctor, a bearded 49-year-old with graying pigtails who works at the Positively Third Street organic...

Missoula, Montana

IF MISSOULA WERE A WOMAN, she might show up for a first date in a battered pickup, grease on her overalls and fly rod in hand. She would look ravishing. And if you didn't fall for her, it wouldn...

Blacksburg, Virginia

"TODAY IS WEIRD," REPORTS BOB SUMMERS, whose office overlooks an emerald landscape of hardwoods and rolling hills veiled in Blue Ridge mist. "I'm wearing shoes. But only because it's raining."...

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