Last week, Smithsonian Magazine published its sixth annual list of 20 Best Small Towns to Visit and Page was included on that list. This came hot on the heels of an article from National Geographic Traveler Magazine that listed Page as No. 28 in their top 100 places to visit in the world.
“The remote town of Page in Arizona’s Coconino County has snuck on the radar in recent years as more and more outdoor enthusiasts come to the mesa in extreme north-central Arizona to discover the beauty of Horseshoe Bend and Antelope Slot Canyons,” wrote Jackie Mansky, the author of the Smithsonian article.
“Surrounded by the deep reds of the Vermilion Cliffs and icy blues of Lake Powell, the close-knit community of Page is young — the town was only erected in the mid-20th century as a housing area for a nearby construction site. But from its modest origins, Page has quickly forged its own identity, shaped in no small part by the nearby Navajo and Hopi reservations.”
Mansky specifically mentioned the Powell Museum, Navajo Village, Sanderson’s Into the Grand, Big John’s Texas Barbecue and the Balloon Regatta as some of the stops that make a trip to Page worthwhile.
The Smithsonian team responsible for compiling their 20 Best list has been working on the 2017 list for several months, said Manksy, assistant editor of humanities at Smithsonian.com
The research team started with a list of more than 100 small towns they were considering, and started winnowing from there.
In order for a town to make it onto the top 20 list, it had to meet several criteria, said Mansky. It had to have fewer than 20,000 residents, and it had to have several reasons why you’d want to visit the city this year.
The research team was also looking for a diversity of rural towns and small towns near metropolitan cities, and they wanted their cities to represent a wide varieties of regions across America.
“Though we were looking for towns that met certain criteria, it certainly isn’t a cold, scientific process,” said Mansky by phone Monday. “We wanted to find America’s small local gems, and I think we did that.”
Because of the cornucopia of world-class tourist destinations surrounding Page, it was an obvious choice, but it was the locals love for their city that solidified Page being selected, said Mansky.
“Everyone I talked to took great pride in their community and really seemed to enjoy living there,” said Mansky.
Page Mayor Bill Diak was thrilled, but not surprised, by the accolades our fair city has recently garnered.
“Both Smithsonian and National Geographic are such great, well read, well-respected magazines,” he said. “To be recognized by them is fantastic. It really speaks to what Page offers — to the country and internationally.”
“Such high honors from such highly-respected magazines makes us want to continue what we’ve been doing so the tourists will keep visiting, and enjoying their stay in Page.”