USA Today recently named “The five best small towns in America: 2012” based on these categories: best for food, most patriotic, friendliest, most beautiful and most fun. While, unfortunately, Louisville did not win a title, two towns in Kentucky did. Both Murray and Bardstown were named some of the best small towns and, being good neighbors, we have to say we are happy for them. Besides, Louisville isn’t a small town, so we don’t have any hard feelings. You can check out all of the winners here.
Murray, the home of Murray State University, took the title of the friendliest small town in America. Jennifer Jordon and Robert Schatz, members of the USA Today team, were the people who actually traveled to the town and decided on the winner. The two noted that the town was very welcoming and "had a way of bringing you in.” They also state that Murray “is the only town where we went into people's homes." Southern hospitality is sweet, isn’t it?
Bardstown, which is only about 35 minutes south of Louisville, took the title of the most beautiful small town, which we believe is well deserved (of course any town so close to Louisville is beautiful.) Nikki and Dusty Green, the travelers who chose this category’s winner, visited Bardstown with no previous knowledge of the town. The Greens are quoted saying "We'd never heard of it and honestly didn't expect to find much there." They were pleasantly surprised. The two list the distilleries and My Old Kentucky Home State Park, two major attractions in the small town, as must-sees.
Though the countryside is breathtaking, the Greens admit they actually got very few scenic shots in the town. Though Bardstown is visually beautiful, that beauty wasn’t enough to receive this title. Instead, it was the beauty that lies within the heart of the town: its residents. The Greens stated, “We realized maybe we're not just here to see mountains and rivers, maybe there's something else. Our hearts are still in this place." What can we say? Us Kentuckians have that Kentucky charm.
Way to make Kentucky proud Murray and Bardstown!
Photo: courtesy of USA Today