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Looking for Great Places You’ve (Maybe) Never Heard Of

2/22/2012 10:41:13 AM

Tags: great places, small towns, Heidi Hunt

fvWe’re looking for a few great places.

Know of a great place to live, work or visit? Here’s your opportunity to contribute to our process as we develop our "2012 Great Places You’ve (Maybe) Never Heard Of," to be published in our October/November issue of MOTHER EARTH NEWS. Here are links to our past installments and, as you can see, the great places mentioned are a mix of big, medium and pretty darned small towns. Some are better known, and some are quite tucked-away.

6 Great Places You’ve (Maybe) Never Heard Of, 2011 Edition 

11 Great Places You’ve (Maybe) Never Heard Of, 2009 Edition 

9 Great Places You’ve Never Heard Of, 2008 Edition 

8 Great Places You've Never Heard Of, 2007 Edition 

12 Great Places You've Never Heard Of, 2006 Edition 

We’re looking for sustainable communities that are impressively fun and livable, and offer a high quality of life at an affordable cost. We’re aware of high-profile great places like Ashville, N.C.; Madison, Wis.; or Eugene, Ore., but we want to hear about some of the lesser-known jewels in our nation.

Our goal isn’t to convince all of our readers to quit their jobs and move to the Next Great Place, but to provide examples of how communities throughout the country are getting things right on multiple levels. Though some of these great places might have a strong reputation in their regions, they might not be appreciated as widely or as thoroughly as they deserve.

A great place can be defined in many ways, and we don’t expect perfection from any one place. We do believe many towns and cities stand out for their great qualities, such as a commitment to culture, sustainability and community, and we’d like to know about them. You have your own set of standards; some of ours include high-quality local food sources, and the policies and practices that support them; long-term stewardship of the economy and the ecology; a can-do, all-for-one/one-for-all spirit that creates strong social ties; and green spaces and recreation opportunities that are available to all members of the community.

The past several years have brought challenges to every corner of the country, yet in good times or in bad, strong communities like these thrive on values that come without a price tag: civic pride, a strong sense of place, and hope for the future. Use the comments function below for your suggestions, or send us an email to Letters@MotherEarthNews.com.


K.C. Compton is senior editor at MOTHER EARTH NEWS, and formerly was Editor in Chief of our sister publications, The Herb Companion and GRIT. A huge fan of the food chain, from molecules to meals on the table, K.C. is passionate about the idea that most of what we need to be healthy can be found in the garden. Find her on .

Photo: AP 



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Post a comment below.

 

Rob Lucey
3/1/2012 2:11:38 PM
Oriental is known as the Sailing Capital of North Carolina. That's mainly because few people other than sailors find this little village. Sailors discover it because it is a popular stop for cruisers along the Intracoastal Waterway. Others don't because it is a blip on state highway system. The main road runs into a ferry a few miles outside of town. The populace is largely comprised of those cruisers who are passing through on their boats and become enamored with the friendly, small-town, low-cost lifestyle. Regattas are a regular feature. The annual New Years running of the Oriental dragon is a social highlight. A small playhouse, art galleries, farmer's market, grocery store, a shrimping fleet, local newspapers, yacht clubs, and several restaurants all contribute to the very liveable environment, despite a tiny population and 40-mile drive to the nearest small-sized city. Great climate along the banks of the Neuse River.

OFELIA CUENCA
2/29/2012 11:46:22 PM
Cherokee County, SC, is less than an hour from Charlotte, NC (if you're interested). This is a great place for the homesteader: very affordable land (many owner financed), the most cooperative and "easy-to- deal-with" building dept., ridiculously low property taxes (8 acres, no house: $7.32/year, 7 acres,stream and small house $97.40/yr), beautiful, mild, four season climate with long growing season, great people and neighbors. We have a good farmer's market for selling excess produce (or buying), every store you can think of for supplies and materials, abundant wildlife(there are four wild turkeys feeding outside my door as I am writing this), yet I am less than 5 minutes from the Interstate. Simply stated, a little piece of heaven for the homesteader. For more info, call Allan 864-480-8280

Jacqueline Fahey
2/29/2012 7:45:39 PM
Sackville, NB, home of the best Farmer's Market and Community Garden ever, Culture Capital of Canada, host of SappyFest Music Festival, Mount Allison University, many studios and artists, Waterfowl Park and Veteran's Civic Center. Best of all, we are still an affordable place to live!

BRUCE MCELMURRAY
2/29/2012 5:21:15 PM
I would like to nominate Alamosa, CO, which is located in the south central portion of S. Colorado on the Alamosa River. It is a clean city, and small and friendly. There are loads of fun and interesting activities in and near Alamosa. In 2009, the population was 8,756 but it is steadily increasing. There are excellent hospital and medical/dental facilities, Adams State College, Trinidad Jr. College, all the business' you would expect in a larger city, plus down home friendliness. The median age is 27.7 years old, median income $27,873, and median house value is $137,845. It is an ideal climate and has about any amenity you could ask for. It is the gateway city to the Great Sand Dunes National Park, is surrounded with agriculture, and will accommodate any interest you may have. Great city parks, antique auto show once a year, plus a quaint and clean down town area. I would like to nominate Alamosa for one of the few known but ideal places to live in the USA.

Elisha Dew
2/27/2012 10:16:54 PM
Morgantown, West Virginia, is located an hour south of Pittsburg and about 4 hours west of Baltimore and Washington, D.C.. We're got loads of outdoor activities, from the Rail Trail system to hiking in national parks and forest to an arboretum, and even white water rafting just a short drive away. There's a thriving local economy, a good job markets, and affordable housing. The best part is our local farms and the availability of local, organic meats and produce and our community's dedication to sustainability.

Lynn VanCox
2/27/2012 5:54:08 PM
Ithaca NY! Awesome little town focused on being green and growing our community!

DAWN LUMAYE
2/23/2012 11:18:55 PM
Forestville Wisconsin is a lovely small community located between Green Bay & Sturgeon Bay Wisconsin! It is a short commute to either area where there are tons of eco-friendly activities, places to shop & connect with like minded people! Forestville has a population of approx. 300 people & everyone is a friendly neighbor! Forestville has very affordable housing & the property taxes are 1/3 of what they are in Sturgeon Bay. I love my little community where "everyone knows your name!" Check out our little village for a great place to be!

Kathleen Reifsnyder
2/23/2012 11:07:48 PM
Come to Fairport, New York!!! It's an awesome Village on the Erie Canal!!!!










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