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Utah Travel Headlines

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Springdale, Park City List With America's Prettiest Towns

Forbes Traveler magazine has released a list of America's 20 prettiest towns, as selected by travel writers and affiliated professionals. You can see the full story here. Below are excerpts.

Springdale was a sleepy Mormon farm town until 1909, when President Taft designated the area Mukuntuweap National Monument (later changed to Zion National Park) and tourists started flocking to its brilliant sandstone canyons. Fifty years later, Springdale incorporated as a municipality, but its pioneer roots are still evident. "'Gateway' towns adjoining national parks can often be eyesores," says Rough Guide USA author Ward, "but Springdale is a true delight, arrayed along the Virgin River beneath the full splendor of Zion Canyon's red rocks."

Situated in the center of Utah's Wasatch Mountains, Park City's peaks keep their snowcaps long into the warm months. Dunn remembers that while on her first trip here during a March ski trip, "the whole town looked like a candy village, thanks to all the Victorian buildings. It seemed like it was on some crazy high from the sun, the snow and the altitude."

Flagstaff, AZ and Bodie CA are also on the list, which mostly includes picturesque old New England communities.

The Desert News has this story on the selections. Here are excerpts.

Springdale town manager Rick Wixom was "tickled and very pleased" to learn of his town's placement on the list of delightful locales.

"It was a total shock to us. We're pretty excited, though. It's nice to be recognized," Wixom said. "We have a lot of very concerned citizens who care how the town looks and feels."

Park City Mayor Dana Williams said the town's "prettiness" has more to do with what it hasn't built than what it has.

Dozens of brightly colored residences in "Old Town" are restored historic homes, he said.

"While (the town) has morphed over time, there has been a very strong preservation mentality," he said. "We're not doing it to be like Disneyland."

The "drop-dead gorgeous" town has also benefited from protecting 7,000 acres of open space and keeping development at the base of snow-capped peaks, Williams said.

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