America’s Coolest Small Towns 2012

Weaverville CA

Readers nominated a record 647 towns this year – and now we’ve narrowed that list down to just 10 standout communities across the country. Read all about them, and then vote for your favorite! You can vote once daily, so be sure to get all your votes in before the contest closes on January 31st.

Weaverville, CA

(Population: 3,807)

Coursing rivers, craggy mountains, vibrant wilderness—Weaverville’s setting on the outskirts of California’s Shasta-Trinity National Forest sells itself. It owns a nice slice of history, too: Unlike many gold-rush towns, Chinese laborers in Weaverville in the mid-1800s were able to cultivate a strong and supportive local community here. The result is a town that, even today, comfortably spans cultures. There are strains of Victorian America in antique residences such as the 1865 five-room Whitmore Inn while the spirit of the frontier flavors the menu of the Old West–styled La Grange Café. For a touch of California bohemia, try the fair-trade coffee and organic tea served at Mamma Llama Eatery. Anchoring it all is a strong history of Taoist tradition exemplified by the Joss House—the state’s oldest continuously used Chinese temple, where the faithful have worshipped since 1874. Religious and cultural tolerance combined with 2 million acres of wild country? Sounds like heaven on earth—a description that wouldn’t be out of place in the works of the writer James Hilton, who compared Weaverville to a mythical paradise of his own creation: a little place called Shangri-La.

View 10 America’s Coolest Small Towns 2012.
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