'What Is Special About My Town': Burlington, Asbury Park, Macon

Readers recommend a craft-brew-loving capital, a city on the Jersey Shore, and a "somewhat progressive southern place." 

Continuing our series in which readers advise our travels, here are testimonials on behalf of Burlington, VT, Asbury Park, NJ, and Macon, GA.

The image above is a screenshot of the interactive map you will find on our Geoblog. Green dots represent the cities discussed today; blue dots are previously featured cities, and red dots illustrate the hundreds of other suggestions from readers. 

Burlington, Vermont (2010 population: 42,417)

Tracking the transformation of the craft beer industry over the past decade, Burlington now has a strong line-up of local breweries, including Fiddlehead Brewing, Switchback Brewery, Zero Gravity Brewing, Magic Hat, not to mention its proximity to the Alchemist Brewery, Hill Farmstead Brewery (who make what I think is the best beer in the world), and Lawson's Finest Liquids. Add to this its picturesque setting on Lake Champlain and strong liberal/left heritage (Bernie Sanders was once the mayor) and you get a wonderful place to live and work. I'm writing this message from Beijing, but I'm getting on a plane in a few hours to head back to Vermont. My lungs can't wait. 
Asbury Park, New Jersey (2010 population: 16,116)
A small, but very diverse city, rich in history, on the Jersey Shore, less than 50 miles from NY and 100 from Philadelphia. Economic growth stunted by decades of political corruption, race issues. Recent renaissance brought about by influx of a more affluent gay community and enrichment of arts and culture.
Macon, Georgia (2010 population: 155,369)
It's a beautifully historic small town in Georgia with issues of economic transition, downtown regentrification, and preservation of green space. An interesting, educational (seat of 2 historic colleges), and somewhat progressive southern place to be. 
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James Fallows is a national correspondent for The Atlantic and has written for the magazine since the late 1970s. He has reported extensively from outside the United States and once worked as President Carter's chief speechwriter. His latest book is China Airborne. More

James Fallows is based in Washington as a national correspondent for The Atlantic. He has worked for the magazine for nearly 30 years and in that time has also lived in Seattle, Berkeley, Austin, Tokyo, Kuala Lumpur, Shanghai, and Beijing. He was raised in Redlands, California, received his undergraduate degree in American history and literature from Harvard, and received a graduate degree in economics from Oxford as a Rhodes scholar. In addition to working for The Atlantic, he has spent two years as chief White House speechwriter for Jimmy Carter, two years as the editor of US News & World Report, and six months as a program designer at Microsoft. He is an instrument-rated private pilot. He is also now the chair in U.S. media at the U.S. Studies Centre at the University of Sydney, in Australia.

Fallows has been a finalist for the National Magazine Award five times and has won once; he has also won the American Book Award for nonfiction and a N.Y. Emmy award for the documentary series Doing Business in China. He was the founding chairman of the New America Foundation. His recent books Blind Into Baghdad (2006) and Postcards From Tomorrow Square (2009) are based on his writings for The Atlantic. His latest book is China Airborne. He is married to Deborah Fallows, author of the recent book Dreaming in Chinese. They have two married sons.

Fallows welcomes and frequently quotes from reader mail sent via the "Email" button below. Unless you specify otherwise, we consider any incoming mail available for possible quotation -- but not with the sender's real name unless you explicitly state that it may be used. If you are wondering why Fallows does not use a "Comments" field below his posts, please see previous explanations here and here.


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