Budget Travel magazine celebrates unique, small towns each year in it’s annual list of “10 Coolest Small Towns in America.” This year, Sonoma was listed in the No. 2 spot as a “wine lover’s paradise.” Curated by Budget Travel’s team of U.S. travel experts, the final list includes towns with a population of less than 20,000 that offer travelers an unparalleled mix of culture, community spirit, natural beauty and great food. Here’s a look at the towns that made the list for 2018:
1. Beacon, N.Y.
A haven for artists, artisans, chefs and environmentalists
2. Sonoma, Calif.
A wine lover’s paradise
3. Gatlinburg, Tenn.
Gateway to Great Smoky Mountains National Park
4. Durango, Colo.
For southwest adventures
5. Ephraim, Wis.
The classic American lakeshore adventure
6. Jackson Hole, Wyoming
Outdoorsy fun in the Grand Tetons
7. Eureka Springs, Ark.
A rich history and soothing natural beauty
8. Sedona, Ariz.
For travelers seeking relaxation and enlightenment
9. Ocean Springs, Miss.
The Gulf Coast’s food magnet
10. Point Pleasant Beach, N.J.
Awesome beach and boardwalk with a family-friendly vibe
Sonoma County: Life Opens Up—is the new brand platform recently launched by Sonoma County Tourism. The organization conducted research among more than 1,000 consumers through its branding agency, MMGY Global. Their research efforts resulted in an understanding that Sonoma County is perceived to offer a different brand of luxury to both potential visitors and residents—one that is intimate, organic and engaging.
“To succeed, we need to connect with our customers on an emotional level and create a compelling set of reasons to visit Sonoma County,” said Claudia Vecchio, president and chief executive officer of Sonoma County Tourism, in a prepared statement. “Our new brand helps us to evolve from simply talking about the destination’s assets to showing how those assets provide transformational experiences.”
The foundation of Sonoma County Tourism’s new campaign is built around the brand promise of connecting people to unpretentious, down-to-earth experiences. The brand’s message will reflect the destination—casual, confident, approachable, passionate and grateful. “We are eager to show how ‘Life Opens Up’ in Sonoma County,” Vecchio added. “We are excited to help the world understand that Sonoma County is a place made for and by people who go their own way. We are a place of growers, creators and artisans, whose open-mindedness, inclusiveness and hospitable nature is matched only by the people who come here.”
Who visits Napa Valley? Research surveys for the 2016 Napa Valley Visitor Profile shows that:
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