Cheers to these small towns for great Main Streets, where you can admire architecture, sample the local flavor, and find a lost America.

Paducah, KY

In August 2000, Paducah began offering incentives to artists willing to relocate to downtown’s Victorian houses. It was a key step in Main Street’s comeback and helped create a thriving community built around the arts. As you stroll, look for the Floodwall Murals depicting local history and the Art a la Cart program in which artists periodically set up workstations on the sidewalk. Galleries, small independent shops, and festivals round out the Main Street experience.

Worth a Stop: The National Quilt Museum, with rotating exhibitions of contemporary and antique masterpieces, plus hands-on classes.

—Joshua Pramis