For generations, Berlin, Maryland was an outlier along the Route 50 corridor, an overlooked, underdeveloped town that sat and watched as beachgoers sped by on their way to or from Ocean City. Since 2005, however, Berlin has been on a mission to forge its own identity and establish itself as a distinct destination along Ocean Gateway.
Fast forward to present day and you find a Berlin that is “historically charming and artistically alive.” In addition to the spectacular scenery that includes nearby Ocean City and the Assateague National Seashore, Berlin boasts a vibrant downtown community complete with original Victorian architecture, quaint shops and galleries, an exuberant art and music culture, a creative culinary scene, an award-winning, world-class brewery, and frequent funky, community centered events and festivals (such as May Day, the Peach Festival, Octoberfest, Victorian Christmas, the New Year’s Eve Ball Drop, 2nd Friday Art Strolls, bathtub races, and the Fiddler’s Convention- just to name a few).
In 2013, Berlin earned widespread recognition when the Baltimore Sun, taking notice of its combination of aesthetics and attractions, awarded it the title of “Maryland’s Coolest Small Town.” But the Sun wasn’t the first entity to fall in love with Berlin’s charm and character. Hollywood has been a big fan of the small town, which has served as the set for the major motion pictures Runaway Bride and Tuck Everlasting, since the 1990s. Receiving state accolades and appearing on the silver screen are impressive, but as Berlin continues its emergence and attempts to make a national name for itself, it has its sights set on even bigger honors.
Budget Travel runs an annual ‘Coolest Small Town in America Contest’ to celebrate towns with populations under 10,000 and unique attributes that separate them from their neighbors. Berlin, which finished in the top 3 out of hundreds of nominees in the preliminary round, is one of 15 finalists vying to be crowned coolest small town in the country for 2014.
Voters are asked to take shopping, dining, arts, music, location, scenery, events, attractions, history, and other factors into consideration, so Maryland’s Coolest Small Town is in a great position to land on the top of the podium. Berlin excels in each of these categories, and, with just over 4,500 residents, truly embodies what a small town is and should be.
As awesome as Berlin is, however, its fate is in your hands as the title of ‘America’s Coolest Small Town’ will be decided by popular vote. Berlin jumped out to an early lead, but other towns are mobilizing voters and closing the gap. Show your hometown pride, and love for the Ocean City area, by voting at coolberlin.org. Each IP address is allowed one vote per 24 hours, so bookmark the page and go back daily to vote again.
“Everyone on the shore should vote for Berlin,” says Director of Economic Development Michael Day. “We are the only Maryland town eligible for this distinction and receiving this type of national recognition will only benefit, and bring awareness to, the entire area.”
Make sure you vote daily between now and when the polls close at midnight on February 25. But don’t just vote once. Vote from your computer, your phone, your tablet, and any other device you can get your hands on that has internet access.
Together, we can help Maryland’s Coolest Small Town get recognized as coolest in the country.