Magazine article Sunset

Small Towns

Magazine article Sunset

Small Towns

Article excerpt

As frequent readers of this column know, I'm a small-town girl. I grew up in Sebastopol, California, which used to be known mainly for its apple orchards, the train that ran down Main Street, and not much in the way of nightlife.

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Thirty years have gone by since I was a child there. The orchards have been replaced by grapevines, there are many more stoplights, and the real estate is much pricier. But Sebastopol still has the small-town magic that puts a spell on me. "I wish I lived here now," I often think when I visit. I really took it for granted.

There's something about tough times that makes small towns shine bright. We long for neighbors who share their homegrown tomatoes and tools, crab feeds to raise money for the fire department, annual parades that draw a good crowd ... with the sophistication of charming bookstores, gourmet restaurants, and wireless.

As we put together this issue's cover story (page 62), our staff combed the entire West for small towns with that mix. Places you visit for a weekend and want to linger in forever. …

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