The Experts' Picks for Prettiest Towns in America

Travel writers, photographers, and an urban designer selected by Forbes have named the 20 prettiest towns in America; their varied definitions of "prettiness" are reflected in their choices.

"Identifying America's prettiest towns is by definition a subjective undertaking-prettiness, to adapt an old saying, is in the eye of the beholder. So when we asked five experts for their lists of the country's prettiest towns, we left the definition of 'pretty' up to the judges themselves."

"Danno Glanz, an urban designer with the Berkeley, Calif.-based urban design, community planning and architecture firm Calthorpe Associates, says he gravitates toward 'places that have an exceptional, unique urban form.' Glanz says that in lieu of a traditionally pretty town like Carmel, Calif., 'which has a lot of flower boxes on windows,' he'd opt instead to visit someplace like the southern Arizona enclave of Bisbee, whose cottages and bungalows form 'eclectic hillside residential neighborhoods that terrace down the hillside in an organic way.'"

"While the 20 towns here comprise a diverse array of locations, sizes and architectural styles, our expert's selections lean heavily toward the East, and New England picks figure prominently in their selections. Three of our five panelists chose New Hampshire towns (Portsmouth and Hanover) as among the nation's prettiest, and destinations in Maine, Vermont and Rhode Island are also sprinkled among the experts' choices."

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