North & Central America

100-Proof Americana

AMERICA PICKED UP AND MOVED to the big city generations ago, and we've been second-guessing ourselves ever since. For every stifled small-town kid champing at the bit to split, there are a...

Etna, California

THIS TIME-WARP RANCH TOWN in the Scott River watershed is one of the last untrammeled outposts of wild California—a well-situated launching point for backcountry rambles on foot or on...

Cashiers, North Carolina

COMBINE THE DRASTIC granite dropoffs of the Blue Ridge escarpment with more than 80 inches of rain a year and something dramatic is bound to happen. Around the town of Cashiers (pronounced CASH...

Hood River, Oregon

LEST THERE BE ANY UNCERTAINTY about what put this Columbia River Gorge town on the map, consider a few local businesses: Big Winds, Windance, Realwind, Windwing, and Second Wind. Or the fabled...

Haines, Alaska

MANY A TRAVELER washing ashore in Haines can't resist mentioning the TV show Northern Exposure. Original, no; understandable, of course. Nestled on a peninsula between soaring 7,000...

Lander, Wyoming

IT'S PUZZLING WHY even more climbers don't end up in Lander, where the high desert meets the Rockies and calm, sunny days are the norm. Everything from abundant bouldering routes to sandstone...

Sandpoint, Idaho

IT'S EASY TO GET SEDUCED by Sandpoint: You cross the two-mile bridge over Lake Pend Oreille (pronounced Pon-der-AY) and drink in the spectacular Selkirks mountainscape looming over...

Mountain View, Arkansas

"WHEN YOU FIRST PULL into town," says a woman who moved to Mountain View 20 years ago, "you just feel like you came back home." Might be the human-scale topography of north-central Arkansas...

Silver City, New Mexico

THERE ARE PLENTY OF 19th-century ghost towns in the untamed mountains and canyons of southwestern New Mexico, but Silver City isn't one of them. It's still thriving. Billy the Kid launched his...

Cedar Key, Florida

"AN IDEAL PLACE," a visitor noted nearly 40 years ago, to "live in shorts, go to seed, and rock away warm afternoons on shadowy porches." Little has changed since then, or since Cedar Key's...

Lincolnville, Maine

WITH ITS ALLURING CONTRAST of mountains giving way to Penobscot Bay, on Maine's jagged central coast, Lincolnville attracts people who could live anywhere: artists, writers, boatbuilders, and...

Salida, Colorado

"NOW THIS," BRAG THE SIGNS on highways "is Colorado." Refugees from Front Range cities like Denver and Boulder are drawn to this oasis at 7,038 feet in the Upper Arkansas Valley, near the center...

Georgetown, South Carolina

IT'S A TOSS UP trying to decide which is more astonishingly preserved: the downtown of South Carolina's third-oldest municipality, bordered by the Sampit River, shaded by live oaks, and riddled...

Brattleboro, Vermont

A FAIR NUMBER OF PLACES are described as "a college town without a college," but Brattleboro, in southeastern Vermont, fits the bill better than most. There's the requisite 19th-century backdrop...

Room to Om

Rafting British Columbia Spend seven days rafting British Columbia's Class IV Chilko, Chilcotin, and Fraser rivers, and stretch those aching arms with a twice-daily riverside yoga class and...

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