Murphys makes the 'cool' list of towns

Real Estate Agent with Sugar Pine Realty/GMAC

Published: April 7, 2006 (Union Democrat)


 Murphys, the boutique hamlet promoted locally as the Queen of the Sierra, received national recognition this month.

Murphys is named one of the "10 coolest small towns" in the United States in the April issue of Budget Travel Magazine.

The ranking also appears on the magazine's Web site.

The little burg that has become a popular shopping and wine tasting destination in recent years is the only California community on the 10 coolest list.

Nina Willdorf, senior editor of Budget Travel magazine, which is owned by Newsweek and is published 10 times a year, said this is the first time the publication has done a top-10 package.

"Considering how successful it's been with our readers, we might do it again," she said during a telephone conversation from her New York office.

Focusing on new, high-end businesses such as Alchemy gourmet market and wine bar and Twisted Oak Winery, the brief profile of Murphys describes the town as a Gold Rush era time-capsule with high-energy urban exiles adding their unique touch to the place.

Although the article didn't mention Murphys Barber shop or Murphys Diggins Mobile Home Park, it did give a nod to Murphys Hotel, which has provided tourist lodging since 1856.

Hotel owner Dorian Faught said he was glad Budget Travel recognized Murphys' uniqueness.

"I think they're right on the mark," he said. "I've invested myself heavily in Murphys because it doesn't have a highway running through it. It's a pedestrian environment here. You can cross the road without having to worry about logging trucks mowing you down."

He also said the town is full of cool shops, art galleries and wine tasting rooms.

Donna Anderson, owner of Murphys Village Toy Store, also mentioned the many families who have made Murphys and the surrounding area home. "We've got the elementary school, with about 300 children," she said.

Willdorf said her staff decided that a cool small town had to have an interesting history, a dynamic present and had to merge outdoor activities with art, creativity, good food, coffee and wine.

She said a writer she's familiar with had recently driven through Murphys and found it interesting. He pitched it to Willdorf as a good town for the list of 10.

"We weren't set on having a town from California unless it was the right town," she said. "And Murphys was the right town."

The other nine towns on the 10 coolest list are Barnard, Vt.; Homer, Alaska; Bisbee, Ariz.; Fayetteville, W. Va.; Hudson, N.Y.; Great Barrington, Mass.; Rockport, Mo.; Marfa, Texas; and Hood River, Ore.


Heidi Hovatter
Century 21 Wildwood - Copperopolis, CA
Heidi The Home Hunter

If only they could make downtown Sonora as "cool" as downtown Murphys!  It's fun to visit!

Sep 30, 2010 06:04 AM