Kauai’s Waimea named Distinctive Destination
The National Trust for Historic Preservation describes the town as "too good to be true"
Waimea, Kauai, is one of a dozen destinations making the National Trust for Historic Preservation's 2006 list of America's Dozen Distinctive Destinations.
The organization described the small town as being "too good to be true. The town's exquisite setting and vast rugged canyon provide the perfect backdrop for Waimea's most treasured possession, a diverse collection of architectural and cultural sites that date from the 13th century."
The trust, the country's largest private, nonprofit preservation organization, produces the annual list to offer alternative vacation destinations dedicated to historic preservation in recognition of a growing travel trend.
Here are the 11 other destinations that made the list:
» Arrow Rock, Mo.: A scenic town perched high on a bluff above the Missouri River, this is a charming and vibrant community known for its cache of well-preserved early 19th-century buildings, breathtaking vistas and three centuries of river history.
» Bartlesville, Okla.: Once a humble prairie town, Bartlesville struck it rich when oil was discovered here, and today the town cherishes both that history and the nation's only Frank Lloyd Wright-designed skyscraper.
» Bowling Green, Ky.: Nestled along the picturesque Barren River, this is a thriving community with a history defined by a wealth of Civil War sites, a treasure trove of early 19th-century architecture and an ancient cavern, once a secret hideaway for soldiers and outlaws.
» Lewes, Dela.: The first town in the first state, this small hamlet is where the Delaware Bay and Atlantic Ocean meet. It's home to miles of white-sand beaches, a colorful maritime heritage and diverse collection of historic homes, some dating to the 1660s.
» Milwaukee: On the shores of Lake Michigan, Milwaukee boasts a world-famous art museum, a well-loved zoo and diverse sites celebrating its history as the nation's beer-making capital.
DAVID S. BOYNTON / NATIONAL TRUST
FOR HISTORICAL PRESERVATION
The National Trust for Historical Preservation names a "Dozen Distinctive Destinations," appealing to tourists, as historic places each year. Waimea, Kauai, is on this year's list.
» Monterey, Calif.: Made famous in the classic John Steinbeck novel "Cannery Row," coastal Monterey offers a stunning setting and endless supply of visitor delights, including a world-class aquarium, a bustling wharf, historic canneries and centuries of American Indian, Spanish-Colonial and Mexican heritage sites.
» Palm Springs, Calif.: Long a weekend getaway for the rich and famous, Palm Springs boasts a near-perfect climate; a desert location ideal for golfing, swimming or loafing; and an array of buildings designed in the Modern style.
» Philipsburg, Mont.: Known for its majestic mountains and wide-open spaces, Philipsburg is a city of extraordinary beauty and history. The community's mining past can be witnessed today in its many historic treasures, including the state's oldest operating school, jail and opera house.
» Prescott, Ariz.: Begun as a rustic and raucous mining camp on the Hassayampa River in 1863, Prescott was literally born overnight when gold was discovered in this stark land of granite dells. Today, Prescott celebrates the Wild West in several nationally recognized museums featuring American Indian and Western art and frontier history.
» Saranac Lake, N.Y.: A timeless Adirondack village nestled among pristine lakes, evergreen forests and mountains, Saranac Lake came to prominence as a pioneering health resort in the late 19th century. Today, the town is still a refuge for those who come to be cured by its serene setting and impressive collection of period architecture.
» West Chester, Pa.: A former Quaker village incorporated in 1799, West Chester is a picture-perfect town known for its charming brick sidewalks and large collection of Victorian and Greek Revival architecture, located in the Brandywine Valley.
Since 2000 the National Trust has honored 84 Dozen Distinctive Destinations in 41 states. This year, nearly 93 destinations in 39 states were nominated by individuals, preservation organizations and local communities.
The 12 winning communities met the following criteria: well-managed growth, a commitment to historic preservation with a protected historic core and meaningful context, interesting and attractive architecture, cultural diversity, activities for families with children, an economic base of locally owned small businesses, and walkability for residents and visitors.
In each community, residents have taken forceful action to protect their town's character and sense of place. Whether by enacting a local preservation law to protect historic buildings against demolition, rewriting zoning codes to prevent commercial sprawl, removing regulatory barriers to downtown housing, making downtown areas more walkable, enacting design standards or taking some other major step that demonstrates a strong commitment to their town.
For more information, visit www.nationaltrust.org.