Medicine Park nominated as America's coolest small town

MEDICINE PARK, Okla. - Oklahoma's historic first resort, has been selected by Budget Travel Magazine as one of 21 finalist in the nationwide contest seeking "America's Coolest Small Town."

On Thursday, January 28, 2010, it was announced that of 147 towns across America that were nominated, the magazine selected 21 towns that stood out from the crowd.  Medicine Park made that final cut and is now a contender for the title. 

Area residents and fans of Medicine Park can help Medicine Park become the winner by casting their ballots. (read on)

Arthur Frommer's "Budget Travel" magazine is one of the nation's premier travel publications. It is published monthly except for combined issues in December/January and July/August by Newsweek Budget Travel.

BudgetTravel.com is the website for Budget Travel magazine. In June 2005, Budget Travel launched the website in partnership with the Washington Post and Newsweek Interactive. The website receives approximately 1.8 million unique page views per month.

Budget Travel editors make regular TV appearances on the Today Show, CNN, Fox News, CNBC, Fox Business News, and more, as well as been quoted in or written for newspapers such as USA Today and The New York Times.

A Coolest Small Town, according to the magazine, is a town of under 10,000 residents that's beginning to draw attention—and new residents—because of the quality of life, arts, and restaurant scene, or proximity to nature. They want towns with an edge, avant-garde galleries and shop, not country stores.

Other small towns seeking the title are: the seaside village of Barnegat Light, New Jersey.; Brevard, North Carolina, nicknamed the Land of Waterfalls; Cuero, Texas, a little over two hours southeast of San Antonio; Ely, Minnesota, also called the End of the Road; Bandon, Oregon, on Oregon's rugged coast; Egg Harbor, Wisconsin, the only town in America named after a food fight; Sisters, Oregon, at the base of Central Oregon's Three Sisters Mountains; Sitka, Alaska, near the snowcapped Mount Fuji look-alike Mount Edgecumbe; Stowe, Vermont, contains more award-winning restaurants than any place in New England outside of Boston and Providence; Ojai, California, at the southern border of the expansive Los Padres National Forest;  Red Lodge, Montana, a gateway to Yellowstone National Park; Saugatuck, Michigan, a beach village on the shores of Lake Michigan; Kennett Square, Pennsylvania, outside of Philadelphia holds the distinction of being the Mushroom Capital of the World; Nyack, New York, less than an hour north of New York City and sits on a natural swelling of the Hudson River; Cooperstown, New York, home to the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum; Lyons, Colorado, the "Double Gateway" to the Rockies; Sandpoint, Idaho, in picturesque mountains of Idaho's northern Panhandle; Cloverdale, California, a quiet Sonoma wine town along the Russian River; New London, New Hampshire, a popular vacation destination since the late 1800s; and Three Rivers, California, lies in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada Mountains near the entrance to Sequoia and Kings Canyon national parks.

Budget Travel, in their nomination says: "Medicine Park, Oklahoma, an hour and a half southwest of Oklahoma City, Medicine Park was founded on the Fourth of July in 1908 as the new state's first planned resort. The town is notable for its cannonball-size red-granite architecture, a style unique to the region. Check out the nearby Wichita Mountains Wildlife Refuge, nearly 60,000 acres of prairie where the buffalo roam and the deer play. Medicine Creek runs through the middle of the town and is stocked yearly with trout, while two dams form the popular Bath Lake Swimming Hole. The Winery of the Wichitas, which opened its doors in October 2005, offers panoramic vistas of the community and the neighboring hills from the deck of its on-site Buffalo Bistro. Sip a glass of wine, munch on a cheese plate, and listen to some live red dirt music—a sub genre originally based out of Stillwater that is said to mix rock, western swing, folk, country, bluegrass, blues, and honky-tonk, with the occasional Mexican influence thrown in for good measure."

Local residents and fans of Medicine Park can help the town achieve the status as "America's Coolest Small Town" by logging onto http://www.budgettravel.com/bt-dyn/content/article/2010/01/28/AR2010012802688.html to read more and then click on the link that says Go to our interactive map to vote and explain your choice. On the map, click on the star in Oklahoma, then when the new window pops up, click "add to ballot." Then click "cast your ballot."

As of Tuesday evening, Medicine Park had 225 votes and was in 18th place out of 21 contenders for the title. The leading contender was Brevard, North Carolina with 4,121 votes. 

Vote before the poll closes, and then spread the word. And if you can spare the time, upload photos, and video of the restaurants, galleries, people, events, shops, and natural settings that make Medicine Park the coolest in the country.