ABILENE (KSNT) – The town of Abilene just made the top ten of a nationwide poll of the best historic small towns.

Abilene not only made the top ten for the 2022 Best Historic Small Town category of USA TODAY’s 10 Best Readers’ Choice contest, but nearly came in first place.

“Since this nomination was carefully made by an expert panel, and the public voted for this honor, you have earned some serious bragging rights!” the Editors said.


The list of winners for the 2022 Best Historic Small Town category are as follows:

  • Wickford, RI
  • Abilene, KS
  • San Elizario, TX
  • De Smet, SD
  • Gettysburg, PA
  • Taos, NM
  • Natchitoches, LA
  • Berkeley Springs, WV
  • Natchez, MS

This marks the fourth time in a row that Abilene has finished in the top ten for the contest. While the town was able to maintain the top spot throughout the voting period, the community slipped to the number two spot in the final days when rankings were hidden, according to the Abilene Convention and Visitors Bureau.

“While we hoped to bring home the gold, coming in second in a nationwide contest is quite impressive,” said Julie Roller-Weeks, Abilene Convention and Visitors Bureau Director. “This award speaks to Abilene’s reputation as a great place to visit and celebrates the community’s efforts to preserve and promote its history.”

Abilene had been named a finalist for the Best Historic Small Town contest earlier this year in May. They also took home a grant of $22,000 to make the world’s largest belt buckle.