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Mount Vernon One of 10 Coolest Small Towns in America

Mount Vernon is ONE Cool Town!

Mount Vernon was recently selected by Budget Travel Magazine as one of the 10 coolest small towns in the country!


The magazine based its decisions on the good coffee, great food, and creative art in Mount Vernon.

"In Mount Vernon, about a 20-minute drive east of Cedar Rapids, art isn't confined to gallery walls. As you're driving in on Highway 30, a local artist's rendition of Grant Wood's American Gothic, splashed on the side of a barn, immediately sets the town's tone. And at an annual sidewalk-chalk festival, which takes place in May, hundreds of people put their stamp on more than 4,000 square feet of the main drag.

 

'There's a certain amount of culture here that's not as unapproachable as in a larger city,' says Matt Steigerwald, a chef from North Carolina who runs Lincoln Cafe, where dishes like the Carolina pork BBQ sandwich draw diners from all over the state. The unofficial clubhouse for Mount Vernon's creative types is Fuel, a 4-year-old coffee shop that doubles as an antiques store. Some of the shop's sofas, tables, and lamps are for sale, along with everything from ceramic tiles to handmade greeting cards."

In addition to two distinct barn murals by local artist Mark Benesh, many local businesses--including galleries, restaurants, cafes, and doctors offices--feature local artists' work on their walls. Mount Vernon's Liberty Iron Works is home of the iron workings of Dale Merrill, and Canton Studios and Blue Eagle Design Gallery are located in nearby Lisbon. In addition, Cornell College is home to the Cole Gallery, Peter Paul Luce Gallery, and Orange Carpet Gallery.

For the complete article, please visit Budget Travel's web site.