3 Unexpected Places That Are Cooler Than You Think
I inadvertently became a nomad on September 7th, 2020 and since then have stayed in over 50 Airbnbs across the US.
There are little pockets of coolness in unexpected places. I deem a neighborhood or town “cool” if it has things I value: Public or street art, a walkable commercial area where I can at a minimum get coffee, a unique gift for a friend, and a vegan snack. There are people walking their dogs, and some sort of green space or landscaping.
Here are 3 of the places I’ve stayed that most surprised me:
Buckhannon, West Virginia
Vegan tacos and a vegan brownie were the last things I expected to find in the quaint downtown of this small college town.
Stone Tower Brews was a delight and featured local artists’ work, too. Across the street was a mercantile with local products, and around the corner a quirky statue, and a few murals. Nearby, a park with a trail along the river and a doggie play area was where I took my daily walks.
Fort Worth, Texas
For a place known as Cowtown, I saw way more brightly colored and thought provoking murals than I did cows.
I did see a horse in a front yard, though. While hunting for street art we found several walkable neighborhoods with shops, restaurants, and a cool vibe. Magnolia is my favorite, and not just because of the all-vegan Spiral Diner.
El Paso, Texas
Standing on a cliff overlooking Mexico at sunset was the moment that changed this border town from a waypoint to a cool destination in my mind.
The vegan tacos at One Grub, street art, vintage trolly, soccer team, and general feeling of great-things-yet-to-come made the city seem undiscovered. The proximity to fun day or weekend trips are a huge bonus. But the sunshine and incredible views are unbeatable.
Staying in places that aren’t known for being cool is an affordable way to find hidden gems in the most unlikely of places. Don’t tell the Californians.
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