5 New Downtowns to Explore in America Jul 17, 2017 by Nicole (Awesome Escape Blogger)
With our evolving work habits and lifestyle choices, downtowns are also evolving to fit a new generation of young travelers. For more than a decade in America, downtown was where people worked. People would drive to their workplace during rush hour in the morning and drive back to their home during the rush hours of the evening. With the advent of suburban malls, downtown cores even lost their traditional shopping and dining opportunities. With rare exceptions like New York that became tourist meccas, many downtowns became decrepit husks, despite their beautiful buildings, theaters, art, and other entertainment opportunities. Fortunately, that is changing in the majority of the cities, big and small. Downtowns have been reborn as a community where people can enjoy shopping, walking, biking, dining, and even living and raising a family. If you want to visit some of the most vibrant and exciting new communities in the country, check out the five best new downtowns in America.
Downtown Birmingham, Alabama
It was not very long ago when Birmingham suffered from economic turmoil after an industrial decline and dwindling population. Things started to look up with the renovation and redesign of one park that initiated a streak of revitalization projects that attract new visitors, residents, and businesses. Downtown Birmingham attracts outsiders with events such as the Magic City Art Connection and Sidewalk Film Festival, along with shows at Red Mountain and Alabama Theater. New residents like the growing emphasis on a walkable core full of bicycle paths and new parks.
Fort Worth, Texas
One might find wagons, longhorn steers, and horses parading through the downtown areas a little strange, but in the Fort Worth, it is considered a tradition. The annual event of All Western Parade starts the Rodeo and Stock Show and still draws over 100,000 people. This fast-growing metropolis is still close to the agricultural roots in addition to a growing modern art scene. There are only a few downtowns that have achieved cohesion between the urban sophistication and cowboy culture, and Fort Worth takes the cake with big sky, big food, and big fun.
Providence, Rhode Island
Downtown Providence was revitalized by the restoration of the city’s two rivers during the 90s and a streak of development projects. The uncovered rivers were reborn with riverside walks and pedestrian paths, including Waterplace Park. Founded in 1636, it’s one of the oldest cities in the United States and has a dense and historic urban center. Once a center of industry, it’s now a vibrant arts community and cultural capital on the East Coast. It draws visitors and tourists for classical music, performing arts, public art, and festivals.
Young professionals and new families are drawn to downtown Indianapolis’ new condominiums and hip neighborhoods on the revitalized Central Canal. Living in this downtown provides people with a funky entertainment district, great sports venues, restaurants, and parks within walking distance. Downtown Indianapolis has more the fifty new developments under construction totaling approximately three billion dollars. The city is humming with potential and the sound of engines from the Indy 500 and accompanying festivities.
Stunning landscape and unique history make Provo, Utah, one of the most interesting downtowns in America. Beautiful and imposing temples celebrate the state’s Mormon heritage, including the new Provo City Center Temple. The city is also known for its seasonal festivals like Festival Latinoamericano and the famous Sundance Festival at the nearby ski resort. Access to the mountains, waterfalls, lakes makes this city a great base to explore the Wasatch Mountains.
It takes time, dedication, planning, and hope to build a lively downtown that attracts visitors and new residents. The growth and development of these five downtowns prove that the future of our cities is again bright.