It's been at least a week since our fair state made it on any Most Livable, Charming, Fittest or Drunkest list. So thank heavens for the folks at ForbesTraveler, the "luxury travel authority from inspiration to reservation." Its latest ingenious and largely predictable compilation of "America's Prettiest Towns" does not snub our picturesque state.
Well, not much.
The list of postcard-perfect towns, assembled by a well-heeled traveler with the unlikely name of Rob Baedeker, contains many of the usual suspects: Sedona, Arizona; Santa Fe, New Mexico; Burlington, Vermont ("iconic white steeples"); Savannah, Georgia ("dripping with Spanish moss"); Monterey, California (Steinbeck, of course, and that "world-class aquarium.") Plus a few surprises, like Guttenberg, Iowa (a "laidback slice of Americana") and Deadwood, South Dakota (huh?).
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And Colorado's contribution. It's... uh... Aspen. Land of overpriced purses, real-estate offices heaped over the bones of silver miners, Little Nell.
True, if you want a postcard view of the state, you could do worse than the Maroon Bells. But the selection seems a bit knee-jerk. If you want a resort setting that combines insane property values with a purty downtown, there's Telluride. A bit more rustic, with more innate character (albeit less luxe), there's Steamboat and Crested Butte. And who says "pretty" means pre-fab resort town, anyway? If you want a laidback slice of Americana, dripping with cobblestones or cottonwoods, what's wrong with Trinidad, Salida, Buena Vista, Ouray, Cortez, Durango or Glenwood Springs?
I could go on. But to those media moguls who take note of our flyover state, we are Aspen and Balloon Boy. And an occasional Ramsey update. And pot.
Thanks for noticing, Forbes Traveler!