small town

Is It Okay to Like Fake Vail?

Walking down Vail’s central pedestrian street, with its immaculately maintained, Swiss-style lodges and whimsical outdoor sculpture, I feel like I’m in a whitewashed bubble, where everything is beautiful and perfect. Flower boxes and pocket gardens overflow with brilliantly hued poppies, daisies, and geraniums. Restaurants and cafés are filled with people eating gourmet burgers, crisp, colorful salads, and handcrafted pasta beneath perfectly pleated umbrellas. The boutiques carry desirable, high-end merchandise (including a pair of adorable glass birds I’ve spied that cost $600 each one). There are never any sales. And everywhere you look, Vail Mountain rises high above, beckoning all into the depths of its wilderness.

I love it!

Except something seems amiss.

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Who Knew Augusta Offers More Than Golf?

Augusta, Georgia, may be the holy grail of golf fanatics, but for decades the rest of the city wallowed in despondency, offering little for anyone else. Until now. In what’s got to be one of the nation’s most amazing rehabilitation stories, Georgia’s Second City is opening innovative restaurants and art galleries in old brick warehouses. Its canal has been cleaned up, offering a peaceful haven for boaters. It’s shaking off the cobwebs of obscurity with vigorous life. At long last, you don’t need to be a golfer to enjoy Augusta. Here are seven exciting things to check out.

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