Curtis celebrates the small town main streets that have a unique and vibrant character, exemplified through interesting architecture and local flavor, in contrast to America's "commercial thicket of the same old fast-food outlets and big-box stores."
Travel + Leisure based their findings on the places celebrated by the National Trust for Historic Preservation's Great American Main Streets Awards and by the American Planning Association's Great Places in America: Streets.
According to Curtis, "You'll find these great Main Streets across the U.S., from mining towns like Silver City, NM, to stately, red-brick Staunton, VA. Yet our list does skew east of the Mississippi, favoring towns that were established before the age of the automobile-and so display the DNA of a pedestrian and bike-friendly environment."
Recognized towns also include: Galena, IL, renowned for its "medley of brick storefronts and bayfront windows, many in an Italianate style" and Wallace, ID, which is "home to fewer than 1,000 residents, but has a tidy, enchanting downtown flanked by steep pine-studded mountains."