Nevada City may be ‘Coolest Small Town’ |

Nevada City may be ‘Coolest Small Town’

Christopher Rosacker
Staff Writer

Nevada City has made it onto another national destination list, this time as one of the top 10 of "America's Coolest Small Towns 2014," according to Budget Travel magazine.

"We could not promote our town as much without this kind of publicity," said Cathy Whittlesey, executive director of the Nevada City Chamber of Commerce. "We don't have the budget to solicit the advertising as much as other big cities do."

The magazine's website lists 15 towns to choose from when voting, though it is unclear how Nevada City made it as a finalist on that list. The Union was unable to reach Budget Travel representatives Monday.

Of the votes cast as of press time Monday, Nevada City garnered 1.4 percent of the votes, narrowly falling behind Rockport, Texas, and its 1.7 percent of the votes. However, Nevada City did beat Kelleys Island, Ohio, which had 0.6 percent of the votes. Berlin, Md., has garnered the most support on with 27 percent of the voters attesting that it is the coolest small town in the United States.

But Nevada City's standing is not cemented on's rankings. The website encourages people to vote often and up to once a day until the contest closes Feb. 25.

It is not uncommon for Nevada City to make it onto various travel lists. In September 2012, the historic Sierra Nevada foothills mining town made it onto Outside Magazine's list of 10 cities nominated for "Best River Town" in America, part of the publication's 35th anniversary edition. Richmond, Va., eventually claimed the top prize, but Nevada City gave that much bigger town a run for its money. An aggressive local campaign pushed visitors and residents to vote, giving the town a high per capita vote ratio.

Recommended Stories For You

"That was a big deal," Whittlesey said.

In April 2013, the San Francisco Chronicle deemed Nevada City "worth the drive" up from the Bay Area, according to a photographic slideshow at the newspapers website,

But Whittlesey said the biggest draw for the town was the 2006 Hallmark Channel made-for-TV movie "The Christmas Card," which plays every holiday season and continues to draw tourists to the town.

"You wouldn't believe, but people still come here year-round because of that movie," Whittlesey said. "We've been in National Geographic, The New York Times and home and garden magazines, but that (Hallmark feature) has been the biggest thing."

To contact Staff Writer Christopher Rosacker, email or call 530-477-4236.

Go back to article