Minnesota town ranks No. 10 on best small towns to visit in 2014 list

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A small town about 125 miles southeast of the Twin Cities has been named to Smithsonian Magazine's list of 20 Best Small Towns to Visit in 2014.

For the third year, the magazine examined small towns across America with a population under 15,000 to find towns with a lot of culture – interesting history, good food, education, theater, etc.

Coming in at No. 10 on the list is Lanesboro, Minnesota, located in the cliff-lined valley of the Root River. The town, which has a population of fewer than 800, is known as the bed-and-breakfast capital of Minnesota and boasts one of the best regional theaters around in the Commonweal, which opened in 1989.

The theater is being credited with the town's revival, which was on its way out after being bypassed by the railroad and stuck in agricultural crisis, according to the magazine. The Commonweal is considered one of the most innovative small theaters in the country, the magazine says.

Other notable factors that got Lanesboro on the list: The Lanesboro Arts Center, which shows the work of 100 regional artists and hosts an Art in the Park fair and sponsors a radio hour. The Root River Trail System, which goes along the town's impressive landscape, which features a scenic geological anomaly known as the Driftless Area, which has hills, ridges and entrenched rivers – the area avoided the ice age glaciation that flattened much of the Midwest, the magazine says.

Other nearby towns on the list: At No. 11, Spring Green, Wisconsin because of its American Players Theater. At No. 19, Decorah, Iowa because of its Norwegian-American museum and stunning landscape.

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