Gildshire can’t get enough of small towns or the people who live there. While “salt of the earth” is a term seemingly reserved for folks in the midwest, we find them in small towns from coast to coast. Maybe it isn’t the geography that makes the salt. Perhaps it is the opportunity to live in a small town! There, we’ve cracked the code! Today, Gildshire takes a third bite of the small town apple, bringing you more great places to stop in for an hour, a day, a weekend, or the rest of your life. Call them Mayberry if you like. Gildshire calls them small towns that will welcome you home: part three.
Blowing Rock, North Carolina: Population 1307.
While much of North Carolina is hot and humid during the summer months, the very name of this town suggests cool breezes, perhaps from the ocean. While there is no ocean nearby, cool breezes do come off the twin peaks of Sugar Mountain and Beech Mountain, both visible from downtown. Coincidentally, it is downtown that draws us to Blowing Rock. More than 100 small, mostly Mom and Pop, shops and restaurants to suit almost any palate that walks through the door. Gildshire likes Foggy Rock Eatery and Pub, with an after-dinner stop at Kilwin’s for ice cream. Need to work off dinner? Blowing Rock (pictured above) is home to rocks to climb and fish that will jump to the fly you learned to tie. Families should plan on visiting Tweetsie Railroad Amusement Park, for a ride on a train, and kid-friendly amusement park activities.
Cape May, New Jersey: Population 3,448.
You’ll come to Cape May to enjoy the beaches, but you will linger for its quaint downtown shops and Victorian architecture. While downtown, you will want to have lunch or dinner at The Mad Batter. Eat hearty, me lads and lassies for an adventure is about to begin. You’re going on a whale watching adventure cruise. The captain will cruise into both Delaware Bay and the Atlantic Ocean for a whale and dolphin watching experience. Along the way, your accommodating captain will narrate the sights you will see, and some history of the area. How many small towns include a trip to the sea in the itinerary? Only one that we know about. Cape May, New Jersey.
Hanover, New Hampshire: Population 11,260.
Gildshire (and small towns that will welcome you home: part three)loves college towns, but how many institutions of higher education call small towns home? The Ivy League’s Dartmouth College is in Hanover and is a place to see and visit. But, there are so many other things to do and see in Hanover! You have heard of the famous Appalachian Trail, but you did not know that it runs straight through Hanover. Artists, foodies, and craftspeople alike congregate downtown for art shows, exhibits, and the kinds of Farmer’s Market that will make you want to hug the nearest farmer. Don’t leave town without visiting the Hood Museum of Art. Its collection is excellent, and the labeling on the pieces make them accessible to all who walk through the doors. Are you hungry yet, because Murphy’s on the Green is our choice for dinner, and Morano Gelato is our choice for dessert?
Provincetown, Massachusetts: Population 2,642.
Isn’t it always how it goes? One place gets the publicity, but another is where the truth resides. Case in point, Provincetown is where the Mayflower landed in 1620. Apparently, there wasn’t a handy rock that the Pilgrims could grab on the way to shore. That’s okay, Provincetown has done just fine for itself. The seaside town is a lively home to artists and is known for its LGBTQ-friendly environment. Downtown, Commercial Street (pictured below) is where you’ll find the action in this town. Between residents and tourists to this part of Cape Cod, Provincetown can seem quite a bit larger than its population number will attest. Nightclubs and cabarets send music and joy into the streets, beckoning you to come in and have a seat. Gildshire will have a seat at Lobster Pot because this is New England and…lobster!
Haleiwa, Hawaii: Population 3970.
How many small towns are the “anything” capital of the world. Halawei holds the honor of being the surfing capital of the world. Its towering waves reach 40+ feet high before crashing to the sandy beach. Professional (and brave amateur) surfers flock to this small town for a shot at “the big one.” Do you prefer tamer pursuits? (Us too). Halawei has plenty to offer that doesn’t include the possibility of falling on your head. Restaurants, art galleries, and cool shops abound on the town’s Main Street. We like Haleiwa Beach House for dinner and the view over the mighty ocean. Though we don’t need any waves to complete our day, the restless Pacific will surely offer some anyway.
We think that three parts are just about right for our small towns’ series, but do accept our apology if we missed your favorite. Watch for us to come visit, because Gildshire’s heart is in the heart of the small towns this country has to offer. Until then, enjoy small towns that will welcome you home: part three.