On June 7th, Smithsonian Magazine published “The 15 Best Small Towns to Visit in 2021“, a guide & appreciation post for several of the cutest, must-visit small towns throughout the states. Guess who made the cut? Muscle Shoals, Alabama. Keep reading for all the details.
Muscle Shoals among The 15 Best Small Towns to Visit in 2021
“Small towns of America: we’ve missed exploring your streets, perusing your shops and discovering your history. Thanks for sticking with us. We’re ready to return the favor.”Laura Kiniry, Smithsonian Magazine
Written by Laura Kiniry for Smithsonian Magazine, “The 15 Best Small Towns to Visit in 2021” is a love letter to some of America’s most beloved small towns. To those familiar with the area, it should come as no surprise that Muscle Shoals made the list.
Also included on “The 15 Best Small Towns to Visit in 2021” are:
- Council Grove, Kansas (pop. 2,182)
- Fayetteville, West Virginia (pop. 2,806)
- Muscle Shoals, Alabama (pop. 13,146)
- Manitou Springs, Colorado (pop. 5,283)
- Hatch, New Mexico (pop. 1,955)
- Goshen, New York (pop. 5,344)
- Nevada City, California (pop. 3,144)
- Bath, Maine (pop. 8,319)
- Brevard, North Carolina (pop. 7,609)
- Dyersville, Iowa (pop. 4,130)
- Ely, Minnesota (pop. 3,390)
- Wallace, Idaho (pop. 946)
- Charlevoix, Michigan (pop. 2,338)
- Natchez, Mississippi (pop. 14,981)
- Litchfield, Connecticut (pop. 8,094)
Here’s What Smithsonian Magazine Has to Say
The article in Smithsonian Magazine made sure to include several areas in The Shoals—Tuscumbia, Florence, Sheffield and (of course) Muscle Shoals. The article hits on The Shoals’ significance in the way of music history—spotlighting FAME Studios, Muscle Shoals Sound Studio, the Alabama Music Hall of Fame and the upcoming Aretha Franklin biopic, Respect.
No article about The Shoals would be complete without featuring the unique local restaurants! Smithsonian Magazine picked out several, including:
- Champy’s World Famous Fried Chicken (Muscle Shoals)
- Odette (Florence)
- Rattlesnake Saloon (Tuscumbia)
Finally, the article made sure to include several of the notable historic homes in The Shoals:
- The Rosenbaum House (Florence) — the only Frank Lloyd Wright-designed building in Alabama.
- The W.C. Handy Birthplace, Museum & Library (Florence) — the childhood cabin of W.C. Handy, “The Father of the Blues”.
- Ivy Green (Tuscumbia) — the birthplace of Helen Keller.
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