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These are the best small towns in the country

10Best logo 10Best 5/20/2019 10Best Editors, Special to USA TODAY 10Best

a woman holding a sign: You can find it all in Highlands © iStock / huePhotography You can find it all in Highlands Some of our nation's most underrated travel destinations are its small towns, places with fewer than 30,000 people where life moves a little bit slower, people tend to be friendlier and mom-and-pop establishments help keep things local.

We set out to find the best small towns in the United States – the best coastal and historic small towns, and the best small towns for eating, shopping, culture or outdoor adventure. To do so, we asked our readers to vote for their favorites and the results were in.

Click on each category below to see the full list of winners:

Best Coastal Small Town: Sandusky, Ohio

a group of people in a garden: Sandusky has a bit of everything, from wine country to roller coasters © iStock / JodiJacobson Sandusky has a bit of everything, from wine country to roller coasters

Located midway between Cleveland and Toledo, Sandusky is one of Ohio’s best lakeside escapes. Visitors will find a revitalized downtown district with plenty of shopping and dining options, recreation on Lake Erie, wine tasting and some of the world’s best roller coasters at Cedar Point.

Full list of winners: Best Coastal Small Town »

Best Historic Small Town: Granbury, Texas

a large clock tower in front of a building: Granbury is a favorite historic Texas escape © iStock / Skyhobo Granbury is a favorite historic Texas escape

The charming town of Granbury makes frequent appearances on "best small town" lists, and it’s easy to see why. The town’s historic square, lined by historic landmarks, makes for excellent shopping, and there are plenty of mom n’ pop restaurants to choose from when it comes time to refuel. The beach at Lake Granbury offers a way to cool off on those hot Texas afternoons, and there’s even a family-friendly boardwalk.

Full list of winners: Best Historic Small Town »

Best Small Town Cultural Scene: Doylestown, Pennsylvania

a stone church with a clock tower in front of a brick building: The Doylestown Cultural District is home to two excellent museums and an art deco theater © iStock / aimintang The Doylestown Cultural District is home to two excellent museums and an art deco theater

This Pennsylvania town is home to the Doylestown Cultural District, where visitors will find both the Mercer Museum and James A. Michener Art Museum – home to a collection of Pennsylvania impressionist works – within steps of Main Street. The art deco County Theater, built in the 1930s, still screens movies.

Full list of winners: Best Small Town Cultural Scene »

Best Small Town Food Scene: Abingdon, Virginia

a view of a road: Treat your taste buds to a trip to Abingdon © Jason Barnette / Abingdon Convention & Visitors Bureau Treat your taste buds to a trip to Abingdon

While Abingdon is perhaps best known for its performing and visual arts, its culinary scene is equally creative. Local chefs draw inspiration from the area’s farming heritage as they craft an eclectic mix of cuisines. Satisfy a sweet tooth at 149 Sweets, sample some smokey barbecue at Bone Fire Smokehouse, enjoy afternoon tea at Camella’s or dine on raw plant-based dishes at Chef Jennifer’s Raw Life Giving Cuisine.

Full list of winners: Best Small Town Food Scene »

Best Small Town for Adventure: Lake Geneva, Wisconsin

a large body of water: Winning small town offers four seasons of recreational opportunities © iStock / csfotoimages Winning small town offers four seasons of recreational opportunities

As Lake Geneva became a popular resort destination in the nineteenth century, it earned the nickname 'Newport of the West.' Extravagant summer mansions line its shores, while visitors enjoy four seasons of recreation both on and off the water.

Full list of winners: Best Small Town for Adventure »

Best Small Town for Shopping: Highlands, North Carolina

a woman holding a sign: You can find it all in Highlands © iStock / huePhotography You can find it all in Highlands

The picturesque Main Street in the small North Carolina town of Highlands is a shopper’s paradise stocking a little bit of everything – sportswear, gift items, European and American antiques, home decor and accessories, fine art and kitchen gear.

Full list of winners: Best Small Town for Shopping »

Congratulations to all of our small town winners. Remember to visit 10Best.com daily to vote in other Readers' Choice categories.

10Best is a part of the USA TODAY Network, providing an authentically local point of view on destinations around the world, in addition to travel and lifestyle advice.

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