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The 20 Best Small Towns in America of 2012

From the Berkshires to the Cascades, we’ve crunched the numbers and pulled a list some of the most interesting spots around the country

The narrow-gauge Durango & Silverton train steams through history above the Animas River. (Photo by Scott DW Smith.)
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13. Brunswick, ME

Brunswick, ME
(Aurora Photos / Alamy)
Home to tiny Bowdoin College, Brunswick is more than just a small fishing town some 25 miles north of Portland. The Maine seacoast has attracted and inspired artists for hundreds of years, and they’ve left their mark. Bowdoin College’s museum features an extensive collection of paintings and sketches by artist Winslow Homer, whose most famous seascapes were painted just a few miles away. Harriet Beecher Stowe penned Uncle Tom’s Cabin in a house now owned by the college. The town’s artistic sensibility isn’t just historical; it’s revived every year with the Brunswick Outdoor Arts Festival, which awards prizes to the best local artists and craftspeople, and with ongoing performances at the well-regarded theaters Maine State Music Theatre and the community-based nonprofit Theater Project. Plus, there’s always activity at Frontier, a renovated mill space downtown that dishes up locally grown organic food with a side of cinema, live music, theater and local art. -- AS

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