There are lists everywhere.
What you should do.
What you should read.
Where you should shop.
What you should buy.
Where you shouldn't go.
Restaurants you should try.
Weird food you shouldn't try.
Things that are stranger than squid on a stick.
Best places for a do-nothing vacation (this was intriguing, since I'm not good at doing nothing)
You name it and someone has written a list.
In the most recent issue of Budget Travel magazine, there is a list of the 10 Coolest Small Towns in America. That's the kind of article that I would normally skim right through. Of all the small towns in America, and there are a LOT, the chance that I've been to one of the ten is very slim.
Imagine my surprise when I read through the list and realized that I had been to not one but TWO of the Coolest Small Towns! My coolness factor just doubled! Just now (blink and you missed it). Of course, at the time I visited, I didn't know of their coolness.
#5 Nashville, Indiana: I spent three years in Indianapolis and went to Nashville a couple of times. It's a chill little artist colony. I have a Christmas ornament (of a palm tree - not very Indiana-like) that I bought there that I put up every year.
#10 Cooke City, Montana: I spent a summer working in Yellowstone National Park, and Cooke City was just outside the park.
Maybe that's what makes a cool small town cool. You don't know it. You don't seek it out because it was featured on a list. You just find it.
What's your favorite small town?