Small Town Charm vs. Big City Luxury

I’m not sure when my small-town love began. It may be from those Christian romantic novels I used to read where the bad guy always seem to be from a big city. Perhaps it was all those Hallmark movies on rainy Saturdays I watched—the ones where the heroine moves to a small town and ends up falling in love with a farmer. Or maybe I just want to be friends with the quirky characters of Stars Hollow.

Whatever the reason, I love small towns. Life goes a little slower, the people are a little nicer, coke floats taste a little sweeter, and it always makes me nostalgic. Nostalgic for what I’m not sure, but the simple ways of small towns make me miss growing up.

A few weeks ago I drove through Mt. Airy, the small town for which the Andy Griffith Show was based upon. It was Sunday, on our way home from our girl’s weekend in the mountains, and I begged my carpooling buddies Lucy and Becca that we stop to have lunch. Here are a few photos from Mayberry:

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Isn’t it such a quaint little town? :)

However, there is a slight chance that I may romanticize small towns a bit. If you look carefully, you may notice that most of the restaurants were closed since it was a Sunday.* As much as I love small towns, they do not offer all the luxuries that cities provide. Like Target, which I dearly missed the four years I lived in Boone, NC.

Perhaps I need to marry the two–move to a big city with a small town feel. Any suggestions on what cities meet that criteria? (Maybe Asheville? Gosh I love that city.)

What about you? Do you prefer big cities or small towns? What is your favorite small town you have ever been to?

*We did end up finding a place to eat. The Blue Bird Diner was the only restaurant open on Main Street on Sundays.

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  • Oh man, I’m with you. I much prefer the small towns, but I really REALLY like having big city amenities. I grew up in small towns all my life, so moving to the city was quite an adjustment for me. Honestly, I think the best compromise would be to find a bedroom community (smaller town close to a big city) with that small town feel.

    As for my favourite? It’s getting a little overrun and quickly turning into a resort town/bedroom community for Vancouver (Canada, not Washington), but my favourite is still Squamish. It’s half way between Vancouver (big city) and Whistler (ski resort town).

  • I grew up in a small town and after moving across the country to Vancouver CA, find myself almost physically yearning to go back. Everything about a small town feels more right for me – its more human sized, strangers are still familiar and it feels so much more like home for me. I often feel so anonymous in the city – like I could disapear and no one would notice. But sadly, there’s so little work that right now its not a feasible option.

  • I definitely romanticise small towns. But I’m not under the impression that I’m a small town kinda girl. I like my ethnic restaurants and groceries, the libraries, and just all the amenities of city life.

  • This is lovely because I have always wanted to live in a small town but a co-worker who lived in a small town told me she hated it. I think being young in a small town may be annoying because everyone knows your business…but perhaps being an adult would be different…I like the fact that everyone knows everyone and take care or each other..big city doesn’t always happen:-(

  • I grew up in Versailles, KY. It’s small (it’s where the most horse acreage in KY is), but 15 minutes from Lexington. There is only one high school for the entire county (Woodford). I actually thought it was awful growing up (we had to drive to Lexington to go to the mall, and apparently 15 minutes is FOREVER when you’re a teenager), but now I’d LOVE to raise my children there! (I live in Fayetteville, NC, now.)

  • I grew up in a small town in Kansas that is almost identical to your pictures of Mt. Airy. It will always feel like home, but now living in a big city, I don’t think I could every go back! Maybe one day, when I’m ready to kick back and take it easy.