Website names Oak Harbor top 10 small town

Oak Harbor places number four on a list of Top 10 Small Towns in the United States, according to

Oak Harbor made a second list on the website as number five on the Top 10 Awesome Water Cities.

“The scenery in and around Oak Harbor attracts many new residents to this charming island town, but what keeps them here is the city’s high quality of life and excellent services,” according to

“New shops and restaurants in Oak Harbor are opening in the well-preserved downtown area, where a street improvement project was recently completed. Many residents take advantage of the area’s bus system, Island Transit, to get to work or run errands. Two ferry runs get passengers to the mainland in less than 90 minutes.”

To find the Top 10 Best Small Towns in America for 2013 staff started with its own 500 best places to live, then narrowed the search to “micropolitan” areas, according to a news release.

They avoided big-city suburbs and places considered part of a larger metropolitan region.

They examined these cities’ population and economic growth rates to see which of these towns were attracting new residents and businesses, and they looked at how they scored on the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Natural Amenities Scale.

Oak Harbor Chamber Director Kathy Reed, who was contacted by the site for information and photos, said “of course” the city deserves to be on the lists.

“Over the years, I’ve had the opportunity to live in many places, and this is probably the coolest place I’ve ever lived,” Reed said.

“It’s not just about location though that’s a bonus. It’s got a community feel.”

Finally, they talked to people who live in these towns, assessed the amenities they offer and compared employment rates, cost of living and economic factors.

Their sources included the U.S. Census Bureau, U.S. Department of Agriculture, the U.S. Department of Labor and town representatives, the news release said.

“There are many towns in the United States that have small-town charm but that are part of larger metro areas,” said Spokesman Matt Carmichael in a news release.

“This year we decided to focus our list on small towns that stand on their own. What they lack in size they make up for in unique amenities as well as business opportunities.”

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