New England has the best historic small town in America, according to readers of USA Today


You will find it in Rhode Island.

A kayaker with the Kayak Center in Wickford, Rhode Island. Rachel McCarty

A Rhode Island destination full of 18th-century buildings is America’s most historic small town, according to readers of USA Today.

  • New England has the best historic small town in America, according to readers of USA Today

    This campsite in Mass. is among the best in New England, according to The Dyrt

The publication on Friday unveiled the best small towns for 2022, as part of its Top 10 Readers’ Choice Awards 2022, and named Wickford, Rhode Island the best historic small town in the United States. It was the only New England entry on the list.

“The 10 Best Small Historic Towns have small populations (less than 25,000 people) with big stories, making them fun and affordable ways to delve into our country’s past,” USA Today wrote.

Here is what USA Today wrote about Wickford, a village in North Kingstown:

Europeans first settled in this Rhode Island community around 1637, and today it features one of the largest collections of 18th-century dwellings in the northeastern United States, most of which rest on their original foundations. Old Narragansett Church was established in downtown Wickford in 1707 and is today the oldest Episcopal church in the Northeastern United States. One of the most visited historic sites in the area is Smith’s Castle, built in 1678 by the son of one of Wickford’s first European settlers.

America’s Top 10 Today

Other small New England towns in Maine, Vermont and New Hampshire were also recognized.

Bar Harbor in Maine made the best small coastal town list, ranking #9. The best small coastal town is Ocean Springs, Mississippi.

New England was well represented in the Best Small Towns for Adventure category: North Conway, New Hampshire, ranked #4; Stowe, Vermont, ranked No. 6; and Gorham, New Hampshire, ranked #10. The #1 city for adventure is Savanna, Illinois.

And finally, shoppers, take note: Montpelier, Vermont, ranked #3 and Camden, Maine, ranked #10 for best small town for shopping. Frenchtown, New Jersey, was the nation’s first trading town.

For the 10 Best Readers’ Choice Awards lists, USA Today’s travel experts select 20 nominees in areas ranging from food to accommodations, destinations to things to do. Then the publication asks readers to vote to determine the top 10.

See the full list of the best historic small towns in the United States


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