Abilene Makes Best Small Town List

Abilene is being recognized as one of the best historic small towns in the country.

According to a release from the Editors of the USA TODAY 10Best Readers’ Choice contest, Abilene is a winner in the 2022 Best Historic Small Town category.

“Since this nomination was carefully made by an expert panel, and the public voted for this honor, you have earned some serious bragging rights!” the Editors said.

According to the Abilene Convention and Visitors Bureau, this is the fourth year in a row that Abilene finished in the top ten. While Abilene maintained the top spot throughout the voting period, the community slipped to number two in the final days when rankings were hidden.

“While we hoped to bring home the gold, coming in second in a nationwide contest is quite impressive,” said Julie Roller Weeks, Abilene Convention and Visitors Bureau director. “This award speaks to Abilene’s reputation as a great place to visit and celebrates the community’s efforts to preserve and promote its history.”

The top 10 winners in the 2022 Best Historic Small Town Contest include:

  1. Wickford, RI
  2. Abilene, KS
  3. San Elizario, TX
  4. De Smet, SD
  5. Gettysburg, PA
  6. Taos, NM
  7. Natchitoches, LA
  8. Berkeley Springs, WV
  9. Natchez, MS

Abilene ranked No. 4 in 2021, No. 2 in 2020 and No. 8 in the 2019 contest. The community was also the only Kansas finalist in the 2022 contest.

This announcement adds to the list of good things happening in Abilene.

In May, Abilene received a $22,000 Attraction Development Grant to construct the World’s Largest Belt Buckle. Its Visitors Guide received a Communicator Awards Award of Distinction, and Travel + Leisure named Abilene one of the Best Small Towns for a Summer Vacation.

Recently, TravelAwaits readers selected Abilene as the Best U.S. Small Town to Visit in the Best of Travel awards for the second year in a row. Abilene also took home top place in the Friendliest Small Town in the U.S. contest.

“These awards are not luck; this isn’t our first rodeo. We know how to rally support for our community,” Roller Weeks said. “I am so proud of the good things happening in Abilene and appreciate voters recognizing these efforts.”