Budget Travel, Rahall Recognize Lewisburg as 'Coolest Small Town in America'

By David M. Kinchen
Budget Travel, Rahall Recognize Lewisburg as 'Coolest Small Town in America'

Washington, DC (HNN)  – U.S. Rep. Nick Rahall (D-W.Va.) on Friday, Feb. 11 recognized the City of Lewisburg in its pursuit as the nation’s “Coolest Small Town in America,” in remarks he included in the Congressional Record. (Editor's Note: Lewisburg won the Budget Travel Coolest Small Town in America contest. The town had organized numerous on-line get out and vote rallies in hopes of capturing the honor.)

“The beauty and splendor of southern West Virginia is only surpassed by the warm and welcoming nature of our citizens,” said Rahall. “I am pleased so many people across the country have supported Lewisburg with this deserved distinction.  Whatever the final tally, Lewisburg’s residents can be very proud.”

The City of Lewisburg was leading the vote tally in an online survey by Budget Travel magazine to find the one town in the United States that is “on the upswing and beginning to draw attention, because of the quality of life, the arts and restaurant scene, or proximity to nature,” according to what Budget Travel defines as the “Coolest Small Town.”  More than 430,000 votes were cast by Budget Travel readers.

Below is the full text of Rep. Rahall’s remarks:

One hundred and thirty nine thousand and sixty eight visitors and residents and still counting have cast votes to designate Lewisburg in my home State of West Virginia, as the coolest small town in America.  Whether victory in this contest is ultimately ours or not, we have learned a lot, reminded a whole lot of our friends not to be strangers, and have won new interest from around the country.  To all those who competed in this year’s effort, we salute you.   Of course there are many towns across this great country and in West Virginia that are cool, worthy of recognition, and multiple honors.   But to be the coolest, you have to heat up a lot of energies, and fire up plenty of old fashioned grit and hard work, and burn untold candles at both ends, and exhaust a multitude of warm hearts.

And Lewisburg has done just that.  Not just in the last year, either.  Lewisburg’s charm, its endearing hospitality, historically spans the centuries, back to America’s earliest beginnings.  Nestled in the peacefully lush valley of the Greenbrier River, Lewisburg has hosted Presidents and Generals, Yankees and rebels, patriots and loyalists.

Historic Lewisburg is the county seat of Greenbrier County, and named after Andrew Lewis, a young surveyor, who, in 1751, established a camp near the spring, located behind  the present courthouse, and known since that time as the Lewis Spring. In 1782, Lewisburg was formally established by an act of the Virginia General Assembly. The Old Stone Church in Lewisburg, the county seat, was the first Presbyterian Church built west of the Allegheny Mountains and has been in continual use since 1786.

The Greenbrier Valley and mineral-rich springs were fertile grounds for prosperous farming and elegant resort hotels and spas for visitors.

Today, Lewisburg – with its many 18th and 19th century buildings – is home to families, young professionals, and senior citizens and hosts thousands of visitors from all across America and around the world each year.  Its vibrant performing arts community offers live performances by artists from around the world, arts in education programming, classes, workshops, fine art exhibits, an independent film series, and more in its own Carnegie Hall – one of only four Carnegie Halls still in continuous use in the world.


But above all its fine attributes, Lewisburg’s lasting legacy will be its people, and their close knit neighbors in West Virginia.