America's Prettiest Towns: Lake Placid

Lake Placid, New York is rated one of America's Prettiest Towns

101 Best Outdoor Towns co-authors Sarah Tuff Dunn and Melville both put the upstate New York town of Lake Placid on their (independently compiled) lists. Dunn says it's the "classic Main Street, pine-speckled hills and pristine small lakes" that appeal to her, while Melville describes Lake Placid as "the closest you can get to living out West when you're in the East. It's got the jagged mountain backdrop surrounding an unpretentious ski village bordered by two crystal lakes." (

It comes as no surprise that Lake Placid, tucked into the heart of the Adirondacks, is featured as one of America's Prettiest Towns along with these notorious gems:

  • Annapolis, Maryland
  • Aspen, Colorado
  • Burlington, Vermont
  • Dillon, Montana
  • Guttenberg, Iowa
  • Monterey, California
  • Portsmouth, New Hampshire
  • Santa Fe, New Mexico
  • Savannah, Georgia
  • Sedona, Arizona
  • Rockport, Maine

Beauty, as they say, is in the eye of the beholder, so the definition of "pretty towns" was left up to the experts: Alan Blakely (architectural photographer), Erin Anderson (residential designer), John Vander Stelt (painter), Bob Krist (photographer and host of PBS' Restoration Stories), Sarah Tuff Dunn and Greg Melville (coauthors of 101 Best Outdoor Towns), Danno Glanz (designer at urban planning and architecture firm Calthorpe Associates), and Greg Ward (coauthor of The Rough Guide USA). The overarching criterion was that all locations balance man-made and natural beauty. Obviously Lake Placid was a shoe-in, but I suspect that there are probably many more that should have made the list. What do you consider to be America's prettiest town?