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National finalist
Snohomish may be Coolest Small Town
The charming town of Snohomish, Washington, has been named a finalist for Budget Travel Magazine's Coolest Small Town in America Award for 2015. Voting continues until Feb. 25.

 1It's the magazine's 10th annual contest and the winner will be celebrated in an online feature and an upcoming issue of Budget Travel. You can vote for Snohomish -- the only entrant from the Pacific Northwest -- by going to www.budgettravel.com. Here's what the magazine had to say about Snohomish, one of 15 towns chosen as finalists:

With rolling farmland, Puget Sound, and the Cascade Mountains as a backdrop, this town is a Pacific Northwest paradise just a short drive from Seattle! Activities here are as big as all outdoors, with hot-air ballooning, sky-diving, and unique local festivals such as "Groundfrog" Day and the Easter Parade with its Sauerkraut Band. You can bike or walk the Centennial Trail, be one of the first to see the brand-new aquatic center, and enjoy downtown's excellent restaurants, justly famous antique shops, and in fall, this is the Pumpkin Capital of the Northwest!

It's interesting that the magazine overlooks the most famous designation Shohomish has earned -- Antique Capital of the Northwest. If you enjoy browsing through endless shops and displays of historical antiques, Snohomish has long been known as the place to go.

Enjoying good old-fashioned home-cooked food is also high on the list of local activities, and a lot of people will recommend the Cabbage Patch Restaurant which, for years, has been the place to go in town for tasty comfort food and amazing desserts.

Other activities the town is known for include ballooning and skydiving. Arlington Airport is not that far away so anything that flies is welcome in Snohomish County.

Visitors also enjoy the historic homes of Snohomish and you can get maps to guide you on your tour at the Snohomish Visitor Information Center, 1301 1st Street. If just looking at historical buildings is not enough, be sure to check out the Blackman House Museum for an even stronger dose of Northwest history.

Weather permitting, stop by Snohomish Bicycle where you can rent a bike, along with everything else you need to enjoy the sights of Snohomish while getting some valuable exercise. The paved Centennial Trail starts at 6th and Maple and you can ride as far as 20 miles to Smokey Point trailhead.

Out at Heiman Wildlife Preserve, you can view wildlife, take a long walk, picnic and even fish. It's only a 10-minute drive from downtown Snohomish.

You can read more about the contest and vote at www.budgettravel.com.
RECOMMENDED LODGING: Snohomish County lodging
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