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Click here to vote for Cedar Key as coolest town in America by February 11th.

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By Ada Lang

You probably already think that Cedar Key is one of the coolest towns in America, but did you know that you can vote in an online poll and make sure it is officially the coolest small town in America?

For the past five years, Budget Travel magazine has profiled up-and-coming American towns that really stand out. The towns must be part hip, part humble and must offer visitors a truly authentic experience. For the past three years they have offered an online poll to help deter- mine who is the coolest.

This year, the contest began with 80 towns were nominated by their readers and then whittled down to the 20 that are currently on the list — with populations that range from 142 to 9,738 residents.

As of Monday, Cedar Key is in third place with just over 3,300 votes out of the 41,000+ votes cast. Ahead of Cedar Key are Lewisburg, W.Va., with 11,958 votes and La Point, Wis., with 8,336 votes.

The entrants are grouped geographically and Cedar Key is in the Southern section. The group includes Lewisburg, W.Va.; Eureka Springs, Ark., and Alpine, Texas.

How do they define a cool town? It has to have “a vibrant culture, natural resources, activities and a great quality of life." It has to be “homey yet hip; historic yet progressive; charming yet edgy." The coolest towns “represent the spirit of America and prove that one needn’t go across the globe — or spend a fortune — to find fun."

Sounds just like Cedar Key.

If you want to cast your vote, visit budgettravel.com before Feb. 11 and click the link near the top of the page. You can also upload photos of the area but most importantly, spread the word to everyone you know and remind them to vote.

The winners will be profiled in Budget Travel magazine’s 2011 September issue.