The tiny hamlet of Phoenicia in Ulster County was named one of America’s Coolest Small Towns by Budget Travel magazine. © Bill Delozier/Ulster County TourismKingston, N.Y. - Ulster County Tourism is proud to announce that the hamlet of Phoenicia has been named one of the top 10 ‘Coolest Small Towns in America' by Budget Travel magazine. In an online poll, Phoenicia ranked sixth among 20 nominees selected by Budget Travel editors last December. The official results will be published in the September issue of the magazine. To qualify as a ‘Cool Small Town, the magazine stated, a community "must have a population under 10,000....It's also got to be on the upswing...because of the quality of life, arts and restaurant scene, or proximity to nature." Phoenicia located in the town of Shandaken, has a population of approximately 390 and embodies all that the editors were looking for. "Phoenicia is definitely a cool place to be," said Ulster County Executive Mike Hein. "Whether it's enjoying an arts event, a street festival or a sumptuous lunch or dinner, there is always something fun to do in Phoenicia. We are very fortunate to have many wonderful small towns in Ulster County." "We were excited by just the nomination but to be ranked in the top 10 was fantastic," said Shandaken town supervisor Robert Stanley. "For Phoenicia to be recognized by a national magazine and their readers is amazing. This is great for Phoenicia, and Shandaken as well. We have a gorgeous little community, with its own niche. It has a little bit of everything and we're sure that anyone who visits with us will agree." Describing Phoenicia, Budget Travel declared: "Two-and-a-half hours north of New York City, this tiny town in the Catskill Mountains is a smaller version of nearby Woodstock: quiet and rural, with a hippie vibe and an artsy edge." "Phoenicia's main drag is humbled by panoramic views of the magnificent 286,000-acre Catskill Forest Preserve, but surprisingly trendy stores line the street, like Mystery Spot Antiques - packed with vintage clothing, out-of-print books and quirky house wares - and the Arts Upstairs, a seven-room gallery of original works, often by local artists." "Budget Travel certainly had many cool towns in Ulster County to choose from for this list," added Richard J. Remsnyder, Ulster County's Tourism Director. "We are proud that Phoenicia was selected, it's a wonderful, beautiful, unique town, and part of what makes Ulster County so attractive to residents and tourists alike. We are thrilled that Phoenicia has earned this recognition." Budget Travel's ‘Coolest Small Towns in America' top five included Lewisburg, W.Va., Astoria, Ore., Clayton, N.Y., Eureka Springs, Ark., and LaPointe, Wis.

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Photo: The tiny hamlet of Phoenicia in Ulster County was named one of America's Coolest Small Towns by Budget Travel magazine. © Bill Delozier/Ulster County Tourism Contact: Lisa Berger Ulster County Tourism 845-340-3566 lbrg@co.ulster.ny.us