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The ‘coolest’ corner of Pennsylvania; ‘The ideal Florida town’

The ‘coolest’ corner of Pennsylvania“I wish I could gift wrap the town of Lititz and give it to you for Christmas,” said Diane W. Stoneback in the Allentown, Pa., Morning Call. The Lancaster County town of 9,400 residents won Budget Travel’s award for “America’s Coolest Small Town,” and no wonder. A local wolf sanctuary, the Wilbur Chocolate Candy Americana Museum, and the eclectic shops on East Main and Broad streets all make Lititz “a Wonderful Life kind of place.” Right now is a great time to enjoy its charms. When Santa and Mrs. Claus visit Lititz, they arrive by horse-drawn carriage and settle in: “Children can talk with Santa for as long as they want.” The local Moravian church hosts several candlelit vigils, and costumed guides offer tours of the historic Johannes Mueller House. Fine lunch options abound, and the shopping is even better. “Does it sound as if I love Lititz? If I didn’t already have a hometown, it would be my choice.”

‘The ideal Florida town’I’ve discovered a town on Florida’s Gulf Coast that’s “so eerily perfect it almost feels photoshopped,” said Tom Austin in Travel + Leisure. Driving into Apalachicola, the streets unfurl like “one big charm bracelet of antiques stores and quaint B&Bs.” But this once busy 19th-century port isn’t just a tourist net. Fishing boats still putter along the river that joins the Gulf here, and “Apalachicola oysters are still harvested by hand with wooden tongs and shucked at processing operations along the waterfront.” When I tired of my private veranda at the Water Street Hotel & Marina, it was only a few steps to the Up the Creek Raw Bar, where I could mingle with the crowd slurping raw oysters on another deck overlooking the river. Don’t think the locals don’t know they’ve found heaven. In one shop, I mentioned that I was from Miami and won instant sympathy. “Oh,” said the clerk, “I’m so sorry for you.”

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