The tranquil hamlet of Ocean Springs sits on Biloxi Bay on Mississippi's east Gulf Coast and has a history of endurance. It began as the first permanent settlement in French Louisiana in 1699. In the mid-1800s, it became a resort town and garnered accolades for its healing waters. In 2005, it was severely damaged by Hurricane Katrina and even today continues to rebuild.
Situated in a green landscape of cantaloupe fields, alfalfa crops and grazing cattle about an hour east of Reno, quiet Fallon sits along Highway 50, the aptly named "Loneliest Highway in America."
Located on the Colorado River in southern Nevada, Laughlin was once nearly dead, nothing more than a dusty, desert outpost. Today, it is a gambling resort and attracts three million tourists per year.
Banner Elk got its name from the man who founded the town, Martin Banner, in 1848. It is located in the Blue Ridge Mountains of northwestern North Carolina and today is a popular tourist destination and home of Lees-McRae College (1,000 students), a private, four year college associated with the Presbyterian Church.
This Brunswick County town split from its nearest neighbor, Calabash, after battles over city services and ordinances. Despite its name, it sits about 5 miles inland from the Atlantic Ocean and does not have a shore or beach. It was incorporated in 1998.
Sneads Ferry, relaxed but growing, sits along the New River on the southern North Carolina coast. It is home to military families and fishermen, and it started out as a ferry crossing dock in the early 1700s. Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune is just across the river.
In the middle of the Outer Banks, Wanchese, a rustic unincorporated town, occupies the southern edge of Roanoke Island. It was named after the last known indigenous ruler of the island and does not have the typical Outer Banks crowds or high costs.
Attractive Athens sits in the Hocking River Valley in pretty southeastern Ohio and is surrounded by rolling hills. While coal companies were once the major employers here, now Ohio University (22,000 students) is the lifeblood of the city and has a lovely campus.
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