LOS ALAMOS, NM—March 25, 2013—The “city where discoveries are made” – Los Alamos, New Mexico – has been named one of America’s top 10 “Best Small Towns to Visit in 2013” by Smithsonian Magazine.

 The Smithsonian Magazine article, written by Susan Sprano, noted the city’s unique history as the home of the once-secret Manhattan Project of World War II, led by renowned physicist J. Robert Oppenheimer. The article also mentioned the city’s numerous art fairs, farmer’s markets, and annual Next Big Idea Festival, which sponsors an international science and math based art contest.

“Los Alamos is in easy reach of skiing and hiking, ancient Pueblo dwellings at Bandelier National Monument and Georgia O’Keeffe’s house in Abiquiu,” the article went on to say.

 “As residents, we already know about the unique, culturally significant qualities of Los Alamos, but being ranked as the eighth ‘best small town to visit’ in the entire country is quite a feat; it validates that others are recognizing the city’s significance as well,” said Kelly Stewart with Los Alamos County’s Economic Development Division. “Not only do we offer many culturally infused activities, but there is an abundance of outdoor offerings including more than 70 hiking trails, the Valles Caldera, and much more,” She added.

Smithsonian Magazine enlisted the help of geographic information company Esri to narrow down the top 20 small towns and cities in the U.S. with a population of less than 15,000 that had a high concentration of cultural offerings such as museums, art galleries, orchestras, theaters, and historic sites.

Among other reasons, Smithsonian Magazine chose the top 20 small towns based on their gentler pace compared to metropolitan America; the fact that they were generally devoted to preserving their historic centers and encouraging talent; and that seemed to reflect high cultural expectations and small town values.

The top 10 “best towns to visit” include (in order of placement): Gettysburg, Pa.; Cleveland, MS.; St. Augustine, Fla.; Baraboo, Wis.; Astoria, Ore.; Petoskey, MI.; Fairfield, Iowa; Los Alamos, NM; Sitka, Alaska; and Provincetown, Mass. A full list of the remaining top 20 can be found at smithsonianmag.com/travel/

Los Alamos, NM has been dubbed the “healthiest place” (Bloomberg News, April 2012); the “most educated” (U.S. News, 2012) and the fourth “richest county” in the U.S., (Forbes Magazine, May 2012), among many other recent accolades. For a complete list of rankings, visit http://locateinlosalamos.com/what-people-are-saying.htm.

For more information about the city of Los Alamos, NM–including upcoming summer events, trail maps, and more–visit www.visit.losalamos.com

National Park Week kicks off on April 20 with crafts demonstrations from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. by Santo Domingo Pueblo native Caroline Lovato. Lovato will demonstrate how to craft native jewelry, and how to create one of a kind turkey feather blankets. Lovato will repeat the demonstrations on April 27 and 28. On the evening of April 20, from 8 to 10 p.m., get acquainted with the dark night skies over Los Alamos with a multimedia discussion followed by a night sky telescope viewing, weather permitting. Night sky event takes place at Juniper Campground.

On April 21 from 8 a.m. to noon, join Bandelier Trails Program leader Dale Coker for a guided 4-mile hike along the Burnt Mesa Trails. The hike is moderate in difficulty and takes place on and off a trail with light rock climbing. Registration is not required, but calling ahead is recommended. Please bring snack, water, comfortable hiking shoes and sunscreen. Park entry fees apply; however, the hike is free. Call 505-672-3861×517 for details.

Santo Domingo pueblo natives Harvey and Priscilla Abeyta will lead a workshop on flint knapping (making arrowheads) and the art of jewelry making on April 24 and 25 from 9-4 ; and Dolores Toya of Jemez Pueblo will host a pottery demonstration on April 26.

For more information on Bandelier visit nps.gov/band or call 505-672-3861.

For more information on Los Alamos, see visit.losalamos.com.