See "America's Greatest Main Streets
" from the May issue of Travel & Leisure
Ann Arbor comes in at #10. When I was in college there in the late 1970s/early 1980s, Main Street and Downtown Ann Arbor were hurting. Downtown no longer functioned as a regional shopping destination for the more rural communities in Washtenaw County, and the local/small chain department stores were starting to fail, as they were in city after city across the country.
A few years before, a regional shopping mall, Briarwood, opened, which outshown and outpaced Downtown and its independent retailers.
Now Main Street Ann Arbor
is back, but it is a fundamentally different "retail" experience, much more focused on food, specifically restaurants, and less on the purchase of goods that occurs in traditional retail settings.
More and more, commercial district revitalization is about food consumption, to the point where I think we need to reterm commercial districts something like eatertainment districts.
2. Portland, OR
3. San Francisco
4. New Orleans
5. Portland, Maine
8. San Juan, Puerto Rico
13. Santa Fe
15. San Diego
16. Minneapolis/St. Paul
18. Los Angeles
20. Kansas City, Missouri