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15 Coolest Downtowns in America

Heading downtown for a relaxing day is something millions of Americans do every year. Some downtown areas are better than others and offer plenty of great experiences.

Greenville, South Carolina

Greenville, South Carolina

In the last decade, Greenville, South Carolina, has revived itself and is now the place to be. There is a cluster of new shops, arts offerings, homes, and restaurants. Enjoy the pedestrian area where there is plenty of shopping and entertainment, as well as lots of greenery.

Winston-Salem, North Carolina

Winston-Salem, North Carolina

The main downtown area of Winston-Salem, North Carolina, is a hub for arts and culture, but visitors short on time should check out the Old Salem district. This area of downtown has plenty of history and is a National Historic Landmark with its quaint churches, re-enactors, and old shops.

Kansas City, Missouri

Kansas City, Missouri

The downtown area of Kansas City, Missouri, is a place where people live and play. The city takes their arts seriously, including the new Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts where you can catch a show. Go to The Plaza for upscale entertainment, dining, and shopping.

Savannah, Georgia

Savannah, Georgia

Savannah, Georgia, is home to amazing architecture and southern charm. You can tour many historic homes and buildings, enjoy Southern comfort food, grab a drink at a local brewery, purchase handmade jewelry and art, and check out the riverside stretch for some greenery.

San Antonio, Texas

San Antonio, Texas

San Antonio, Texas, is home of the Alamo, but this historical city offers so much more, including colorful cafes, a bevy of bars and restaurants, and plenty of shops and stores. If you want to enjoy nature and activities, head down to the San Antonio River Walk for the afternoon.

Salt Lake City, UT

Salt Lake City, UT

With the perfect blend of family-friendly attractions and rowdy nightlife, Salt Lake City has a lot to offer. With low vacancy rates and a slew of new renovation projects, the downtown area is thriving and continues to bring in new homeowners to the city. There is a light rail system, a great education system and loads of popular attractions making Salt Lake City the place to be. Oh, and the best part, the mountain view.

Indianapolis, Indiana

Indianapolis, Indiana

Indianapolis, Indiana, is a hub for art and culture with the Indianapolis Museum of Art. The museum offers a 54,000-piece collection for you to explore. The bohemian vibe of the city makes it friendly and easygoing as you stroll around and check out the restaurants and small shops on every corner.

Cleveland, Ohio

Cleveland, Ohio

Cleveland, Ohio, is on a major upswing and has one of the largest theater districts in the country. You can catch both on and off Broadway shows, enjoy a meal at a swanky restaurant, shop at Tower City Center, and catch one of three major sports games without ever needing to drive.

Burlington, Vermont

Burlington, Vermont

Burlington, Vermont, is a downtown area that is reminiscent of a small town because everything is walkable and some streets do not allow vehicles. You can enjoy views of Lake Champlain as you enjoy microbreweries, art, shopping, street performers, and small shops and boutiques.

Chicago, Illinois

Chicago, Illinois

Chicago, Illinois, has one of the largest downtown areas in the country, and one of its most popular areas is the Loop. This area covers a two-mile radius; you can walk everywhere, and it includes a variety of lounges and restaurants, art museums, a park, and the popular Navy Pier.

Portland, Oregon

Portland, Oregon

Portland, Oregon, is a vibrant city that is bicycle-friendly and has a very active arts scene. There is a variety of restaurants and cafes serving out both American and international favorites and plenty of boutiques and shops to keep you busy. Riverside Park gives you a place to enjoy nature and take a break from the city sounds.

Columbus, Ohio

Columbus, Ohio

Columbus, Ohio, is home to Ohio State University, making it a college town with plenty of passion. Around the university there are many small restaurants and shops to keep you busy. You can walk around at night and check out several galleries and lounges to wind down from a long day.

Austin, Texas

Austin, Texas

Austin, Texas has plenty of history, and the large downtown area has a small-town feel. The city has a major arts scene, so it is easy to scope out interesting works, as well as buy handmade art. The restaurants serve traditional Southern favorites, and there are several nearby parks.

Lincoln, Nebraska

Lincoln, Nebraska

Placed on the 'Best Places to Live' for both 2014 and 2015, the downtown Lincoln, Nebraska has a lot to offer. Situated next to the State capitol building and University of Nebraska, Lincoln's downtown caters to a wide range of people from college students to business professionals. The downtown recently went through a 6 million renovation in 2014 bringing about wider roads, bike racks and a multitude of large art installations, creating the perfect blend of old and new.

Fargo, ND

Fargo, ND

With low vacancy rates, a wide collection of cultural attractions including the Plains Art Museum and Fargo Theater, and a recent 10 million dollar renovations, makes downtown Fargo one of the 'it' city for young millennials. The main business district overlooks the Red River and is perfect for outdoor enthusiast, as the river allows for kayaking, fishing and trails through the nearby park.

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