2 local towns among best U.S. small towns to visit

The Capitol building of Colonial Williamsburg. (Colonial Williamsburg\'s Facebook)

Omama Altaleb and Jamie Slater, special to wtop.com

WASHINGTON — Williamsburg, Va., and Havre de Grace, Md., made the list of Smithsonian magazine’s top 20 best small towns to visit in 2014.

Williamsburg is third, falling just behind Chautauqua, N.Y., and Healdsburg, Calif., while Havre de Grace ranks 12th.

The third annual list features towns known for their history, music, food, learning and entertainment.

Colonial Williamsburg, a former capital of Virginia and the oldest capital of the New World, is simulated to mimic the colonial lifestyle of the 18th century with re-enactors performing tasks like shoemaking, weaving and blacksmithing.

Smithsonian recommends visiting:

  • Bassett Hall, the Rockefellers’ 1930s farmhouse
  • Abby Aldrich Rockefeller Folk Art and DeWitt Wallace Decorative Arts museums
  • The old campus of the College of William & Mary
  • Saturday farmers market in Merchants Square

If you have been to Williamsburg before, there are new attractions to visit:

  • R. Charlton’s Coffeehouse
  • The restored Peyton Randolph House

Click here for more information on the various things to do in the third best U.S. small town.

Havre de Grace, at the head of the Chesapeake Bay and incorporated in 1785, gets its name from comparisons Revolutionary War General Marquis de Lafayette made between the seaport a French town with a similar name. In addition to its maritime history and scenic location, the town boasts great local shopping.

Smithsonian recommends visiting:

  • The Concord Point Lighthouse, the oldest in Maryland
  • The Maritime Museum, with permanent exhibits of precolonial American life, and the Decoy Museum
  • Java by the Bay for locally blended coffee
  • The North Park trail along the Susquehanna River
  • The Susquehanna Lockhouse Museum, for an annual War of 1812 reenactment

Click here for more information on Havre de Grace.

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