New Bedford, Mass. once one of the world's largest whaling ports, is rich in maritime history, scenic beaches, architectural and historical jewels, and a burgeoning arts community, was named to the 2011 List of America's Dozen Distinctive Destinations © 2011 Karen Rubin/news-photos-features.com
The National Trust for Historic Preservation announced its 2011 list of America's Dozen Distinctive Destinations. For 12 years the National Trust has annually selected communities across America that offer cultural and recreational experiences different from the typical vacation destination. From dynamic downtowns and stunning architecture to cultural diversity and lively entertainment, the selected destinations boast a richness of character and exude an authentic sense of place.
The public is invited to vote online, through March 15, to help determine which of the 12 destinations will be the 2011 Fan Favorite. The winner will be announced on March 16. Voters will automatically be entered to win a complimentary two night stay at any Historic Hotel of America. (Visit www.PreservationNation.org/ddd)
This year's destinations range from a waterfront city that George Washington called home and an Old West town that was once the unofficial capital of Indian Territory to a laid-back wine country destination and a charming seaport town with a rich seafaring tradition.
"This year's Dozen Distinctive Destinations include some of America's best places to visit," said Stephanie Meeks, president of the National Trust for Historic Preservation. "They combine historic appeal and modern culture in a way that keeps visitors coming back."
The 2011 list of America's Dozen Distinctive Destinations includes:
Alexandria, Va. - Located across the Potomac River from Washington, D.C., Alexandria is one of the most culturally rich destinations in the country - and not just because it was home to the nation's founding father, George Washington. An extraordinary blend of early America and modern chic, the city offers an eclectic mix of neighborhoods, historic sites, dining and shopping.
Chapel Hill, N.C. - From its well-preserved historic districts to its quiet winding streets and its bustling downtown area, Chapel Hill certainly lives up to its nickname as the 'Southern Part of Heaven.'
Colorado Springs, Colo. - Nestled at the base of the Rocky Mountains, visitors to Colorado Springs can enjoy commanding views of Pikes Peak from just about any part of this vibrant, historic town.
Dandridge, Tenn. -With its idyllic natural setting in the foothills of the Great Smoky Mountains, a welcoming small town spirit and a charming historic downtown, Dandridge epitomizes the quintessential Southern Appalachian town.
Eureka, Calif. - Located on the Northern California coast, Eureka is a beautifully preserved Victorian seaport that features a lively Old Town, the Carson Mansion - one of the most photographed homes in America - and nearby forests of majestic old growth redwoods.
Muskogee, Okla. - Once the unofficial capital of Indian Territory, Muskogee's storied past and Native American, African American and Euro American influences are well-preserved and the vibrant town has many unique festivals, museums, restaurants and more.
New Bedford, Mass. - Once one of the world's largest whaling ports, New Bedford is awash in maritime history, as well as scenic beaches, abundant architectural and historical riches, diverse neighborhoods and a burgeoning arts community. (see: The City That Lit the World)
Paducah, Ky. - The heart of Kentucky's Four Rivers region, visitors to Paducah will find thriving historic districts filled with turn of the century architecture and one-of-a-kind shops and eateries as well as a community that creatively celebrates its cultural and artistic heritage.
San Angelo, Texas - A frontier city with a rich past, San Angelo offers visitors an authentic Old West experience, a bustling downtown historic district and vibrant cultural offerings.
Saint Paul, Minn. - Known for some of Minnesota's most famous historic buildings--including the Cass Gilbert-designed State Capitol and the home of F. Scott Fitzgerald--visitors to St. Paul can browse the quaint shops of Grand Avenue, dine in the strikingly restored warehouse district, or be awed by the stately mansions along Summit Avenue.
Sheridan, Wyo. - Set in "the shadow of the Big Horns," Sheridan offers a vibrant Main Street commercial district, abundant recreational opportunities, and an authentic Western experience.
Sonoma, Calif. - Dating back to the early 19th and set amidst winding country roads and family-owned vineyards, Sonoma offers all the perks of being in the heart of wine country, with the added benefit of a laid back vibe that complements the award-winning wine and food.
Vote for 2011 Fan Favorite
The public is invited to vote online to help determine which of the 12 destinations will be the 2011 Fan Favorite. From February 15 to March 15, any legal resident of the U.S., 18 years of age or older, can vote once per day for his or her favorite city or town on this year's list. The winner of the popular vote will be announced on March 16, 2011. Voters are automatically entered to win a complimentary two night stay at any Historic Hotel of America. No purchase necessary. Offer void where prohibited. Visit www.PreservationNation.org/ddd for official rules, information about Historic Hotels of America, to learn more about this year's destinations, and to vote.
2011 marks the twelfth announcement of the National Trust for Historic Preservation's Dozen Distinctive Destinations annual list. To date, there are 144 Distinctive Destinations located in 46 states throughout the country. To see a complete list and to vote for the 2011 Fan Favorite Destination, visit www.PreservationNation.org/ddd. The title of Distinctive Destination is presented to cities and towns that offer an authentic visitor experience by combining dynamic downtowns, cultural diversity, attractive architecture, cultural landscapes and a strong commitment to historic preservation, sustainability and revitalization. In each community, residents have taken forceful action to protect their town's character and sense of place.
The National Trust established an online community, Gozaic.com, for travelers interested in heritage destinations, sites and events that define the nation's past and enrich Americans' lives. Easy to use and filled with information, Gozaic provides visitors with a powerful travel planning resource and an online community for finding and sharing travel experiences.
The National Trust for Historic Preservation (www.PreservationNation.org) is a non-profit membership organization bringing people together to protect, enhance and enjoy the places that matter to them. By saving the places where great moments from history - and the important moments of everyday life - took place, the National Trust for Historic Preservation helps revitalize neighborhoods and communities, spark economic development and promote environmental sustainability. With headquarters in Washington, DC, eight regional and field offices, 29 historic sites, and partner organizations in 50 states, territories, and the District of Columbia, the National Trust for Historic Preservation provides leadership, education, advocacy and resources to a national network of people, organizations and local communities committed to saving places, connecting us to our history and collectively shaping the future of America's stories.
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