Natchez comes in 5th in USA Today’s Top 10 best historic small town contest

Published 4:26 pm Friday, November 5, 2021

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NATCHEZ — Natchez came in fifth in the USA Today 10 Best Readers’ Choice 2021 contest.

The results were announced Friday. USA Today readers selected winners. Each city in the competition had populations fewer than 25,000 people.

Devin Heath, executive director of Visit Natchez, said exposure like that in the USA Today contest is very valuable to Natchez.

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“To beat out places like Mackinac Island, St. Augustine and Berkley Spring is amazing,” he said. “We all know what an incredible place Natchez is. We live and eat and breathe Natchez. But being in this contest and others like it gets the world to realize how wonderful we are.”

Hearing or reading about a destination causes people to begin to investigate it, Heath said.

“The more they hear about a place, the more they investigate. We may not have been on a person’s radar at all, but the more they hear about us, the more curious they become and the more they investigate us as a potential destination,” he said.

First place went to Grandbury, Texas, which USA Today editors said has a central square lined by historic landmarks, excellent shopping and plenty of mom and pop restaurants to choose from. The beach at Lake Grandbury offers “a way to cool off on those hot Texas afternoons, and there’s even a family-friendly boardwalk,” editors wrote.

Other cities selected include:

2. De Smet, South Dakota.

3. Taos, New Mexico.

4. Abilene, Kansas.

5. Natchez.

6. Mineral Point, Wisconsin.

7. St. Augustine, Florida.

8. Mackinac Island, Michigan.

9. Natchitoches, Louisiana.

10. Berkley Springs, West Virginia.