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What's Cool And Small? Beaufort, NC

More than 360,000 votes and one website crash later, the results of Budget Travel's Coolest Small Town Contest have been tallied - and the result? It's a tie! North Carolina's Beaufort will share the title with Hammondsport, NY. The drama began in early January as the two towns started a month-long back-and-fourth battle for the top spot. On January 31st as the competition was set to wind down, the Budget travel website was so overrun with votes that it crashed, leaving its editors unsure of who to declare as the official winner when the competition ended at midnight. "We have to declare a tie," said the general manager for digital products, Lisa Schneider. "It is the only thing that's fair under these circumstances." While no more than 10,000 people live in either town, both populations brought out all their tricks in hopes of winning the competition. New York's Senator Thomas F. O'Mara released a statement encouraging support for Hammondsport while New Bern resident and writer Nicholas Sparks asked his Twitter followers to vote for Beaufort. In the end Beaufort won 36.2 percent of the vote and Hammondsport won 32 percent. Third place was Weaverville California, well behind with 13 percent. Even though shared, the title of Best Small Town provides our eastern neighbors with major bragging rights, not to mention major marketing potential.