The Smithsonian has released its 2014 list of the 20 Best Small Towns to Visit. On their third annual search, they’ve singled out communities for particular strengths in history, music, visual arts, learning, food, theater, and science. And 6 of our port cities have made the list!
Here is a highlight of those 6 cities our cruises are delighted to stop at! For the complete list of all 20 cities, you can click here!
#3. Williamsburg, Virginia: “Williamsburg woke up to become an American shrine, of course. As the capital of the oldest, biggest, wealthiest English colony in the New World, it helped forge the idea of an independent America. And it’s about as real as such a place can be, meticulously restored or rebuilt thanks to William A. R. Goodwin, Bruton church rector from 1926 to 1938, who had the vision, and John D. Rockefeller Jr., who brought money and commitment to one of the most comprehensive historic preservations in the world.”
#5. Woods Hole, Massachusetts: “Not long after Spencer Fullerton Baird, first director of the U.S. Fish Commission, established a research station in the village, in 1875, the Woods Hole Science Aquarium opened its doors—the nation’s first such marine animal showcase… Science, in a word, is what sets Woods Hole apart from other salty Cape Cod towns, and the good news is you can get pretty close to the action. The Marine Biological Laboratory dropped anchor in 1888; today it boasts a year-round staff of about 300 and summer programs that swell its ranks to 2,000, including a fair share of Nobel laureates. Visitors take behind-the-scenes tours and attend Falmouth Forum lectures.”
#6. Marietta, Ohio: “Barges still carry coal on the wide Ohio River, and the Muskingum is a National Navigation Historic District by virtue of its working 19th-century dams and locks, opening and closing for pleasure cruises on the Valley Gem, Marietta’s old-time sternwheeler. During the Ohio River Sternwheel Festival in September dozens of paddle-wheelers tie up at Marietta while bands play, fireworks pop and fans await the pageant’s Queen Genevieve. The Sweet Corn Festival, in July, features roasted ears and feed corn bag-tossing tournaments.”
#7. Beaufort, South Carolina: “‘To describe…the low country of South Carolina, I would have to take you to the marsh on a spring day, flush the great blue heron from its silent occupation, scatter marsh hens as we sink our knees in mud, open you an oyster with a pocketknife and feed it to you from the shell.’ Or you could visit Beaufort, home to the fellow who wrote those lines, Pat Conroy, author of The Prince of Tides. Between Savannah and Charleston, Beaufort is not quite on terra firma, secreted as it is along one of the ocean channels that form the Sea Islands, among them Fripp, Hunting, Parris and Port Royal, where Beaufort was founded in 1711.”
#12. Havre de Grace, Maryland: “Located at the head of the Chesapeake Bay, between Wilmington and Baltimore, is Havre de Grace, a world that predates the Revolutionary War. When General Marquis de Lafayette visited the seaport several times in the 1700s, he remarked at how the town reminded him of the French town Le Havre; in 1785, inspired by these comments, the town was incorporated as Havre de Grace.”
#20. The Dalles, Oregon: “Portland, Oregon may get all the attention with its bustling food scene and often mocked residents, but just 80 miles east, perched on the Columbia River Gorge, sits The Dalles, a vibrant community well worth exploring. One of the most appealing features of The Dalles is the astounding natural beauty that surrounds it: from orchards to forests to high deserts, The Dalles offers a taste of all of Oregon’s natural beauty. Less than an hour by car from The Dalles is Multnomah Falls, the tallest waterfall in Oregon. Or, explore over 271 acres of the Columbia River Gorge at the Tom McCall Preserve at Rowena, situated on a plateau overlooking the Columbia River.”
Let’s get you to these cities in 2014! Call (800)578-1479, and Imagine the Journey!!