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The 20 Best Small Towns to Visit in 2014

From country music to herbal cocktails to horseshoe crabs to Rodin, our third annual list takes you to cultural gems worth mining

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11. Spring Green, WI

(Frank Lloyd Wright's Taliesin; Courtesy of Taliesin Preservation.)

If you've heard of Spring Green, Wisconsin, it might be because of the American Players Theater, a classical theater just outside of the town that attracts over 100,000 patrons each year. But there's more to the tiny town (population 1,622) than Shakespeare and Molière.

Architectural enthusiasts will want to stop by Taliesin, Frank Lloyd Wright’s estate, a 600-acre property that originally belonged to Wright's maternal family. Wright built his first house on Taliesin for his lover Mamah Borthwick in 1911 (she and six others were murdered on the property three years later). Due to the grisly murders and various fires, Taliesin has seen three separate Wright homes.

"Taliesin plays a significant role in attracting visitors to the area – it is a community within a community!" says Becky Rex, special event and media coordinator for the estate. "Upwards of 25,000 national and international visitors travel here each year to experience the place that has been coined Wright's 'autobiography in wood and stone', and his laboratory (where he fleshed out drawings for masterworks such as Fallingwater and the Guggenheim Museum)."

Spring Green boasts a second architectural wonder: The House on the Rock, a home built in the 1960s by architect Alex Jordan.  Over the years, the house has expanded to house multiple fanciful rooms (like the Infinity Room, which juts out 200-feet over the forest below) and bizarre collections.

For food, try Freddy Valentine's Public House, built inside of the renovated State Bank of Spring Green, which has stood for 90 years.

- Natasha Geiling


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