Manitou Springs has earned a ranking on USA Today’s Top 10 Best Small Town Arts Scenes in America.

USA Today 10 Best editors and travel experts nominated Manitou Springs and nine other small towns based on evaluations of their museums, art galleries, performing arts and busy event calendars.

A photo of Manitou Springs’ downtown is featured on the USA Today website, along with the description:

“Sitting at the base of Pikes Peak is the tiny town of Manitou Springs, a resort town ever since the area's mineral-rich waters were discovered in the 1870s. The small downtown area is filled with art galleries and eclectic boutiques. The Manitou Art Center features a maker space for digital artists and hosts courses in both traditional and non-conventional visual arts.”

The rankings were announced June 7.

“Our local artists, galleries and boutiques are what make Manitou Springs the energetic, amazing place that it is,” Manitou Springs Mayor John Graham said. “We thrive on the vitality they bring to our community, and we look forward to their involvement with Manitou Springs in the future.”

The final rankings were determined by a popular vote, which placed Manitou Springs as the ninth best small town arts scene in America just after Taos, New Mexico and West Rutland, Vermont. Manitou Springs was the only Colorado locale recognized on the list.

“We’re honored to see our community recognized for the quality of arts experiences we offer to residents and visitors alike,” Manitou Springs Creative District executive director Becca Sickbert said. “The creative district exists because of their dedication to developing an outstanding place to live and create in 2021 and beyond.”

Manitou Springs has thrived as an artists’ community since the city was founded 150 years ago.

Painters, potters and makers have been attracted to this unique part of the country for the creative inspiration offered by the natural beauty and rich cultural traditions of the Pikes Peak Region.

“The arts are ingrained in the heritage of Manitou Springs, and artists continue to flock to the region for creative inspiration, Manitou Springs Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Leslie Lewis said. “We’re ecstatic to be recognized for the galleries, performing artists, and boutiques that still thrive here today. The arts have and always will be a vital part of our local community, and we are extremely grateful that these artists call Manitou Springs home.”

For more information on the contest and a full list of the Top 10 winners, visit USA Today 10Best.