As America grows, our lives feel more strained. With cell phones and the web, we’re constantly connected to the “noise” of world around us. It becomes harder and harder to experience things that are quiet, enduring and real. We tend to retreat to the safety of gated neighborhoods and well-insulated shopping centers.

But we also seek out Places that pull us out of our shells! Places where we let down our guard and connect with everything and everyone around us.

Places where we openly connect with other cultures, social classes and lifestyles. Because they are drawn to this Great Place, too.

From a community perspective, Great Places give us a sense of pride and identity. In showcasing something of our history and our values, they provide a sense of what is good and enduring.