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Article updated: 12/9/2012 6:59 AM

Nation's 12 'Prettiest Painted Places" includes colorful, hidden gems

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The Simpson-Vance house, built in 1892, is in Eureka, Calif.

The Ann Bean Mansion in Stillwater, Minn.

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Stillwater, Minn., has colorful Victorian mansions and a Main Street listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

This home is in the Bay View Association, a small community of about 400 houses just north of Petoskey, Mich., overlooking Little Traverse Bay.

This cottage is in Bay View, Mich, a small unincorporated area that was founded in 1875 as a Methodist community.

While checking out one of the "Prettiest painted places" in America, you can stay at the Mansion on Main bed and breakfast in Smithfield, Va.

This St. Louis house is in Lafayette Square, an elegant urban neighborhood comprised of stately Victorian-era homes.

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If you want to see the prettiest painted communities in America, you're going to need a lot of time, several tanks of gas, and a state-of-the-art GPS. The Paint Quality Institute has identified the nation's 12 most beautifully painted neighborhoods and towns, and many are little known and far from the beaten path.
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    • The Simpson-Vance house, built in 1892, is in Eureka, Calif.
    • The Ann Bean Mansion in Stillwater, Minn.
    • Stillwater, Minn., has colorful Victorian mansions and a Main Street listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
    • This home is in the Bay View Association, a small community of about 400 houses just north of Petoskey, Mich., overlooking Little Traverse Bay.
    • This cottage is in Bay View, Mich, a small unincorporated area that was founded in 1875 as a Methodist community.
    • While checking out one of the “Prettiest painted places” in America, you can stay at the Mansion on Main bed and breakfast in Smithfield, Va.
    • This St. Louis house is in Lafayette Square, an elegant urban neighborhood comprised of stately Victorian-era homes.
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