2 of the nicest places in America are in New England, according to Reader’s Digest

New England Travel

They are in Vermont and Rhode Island.

What Cheer Flower Farm in Providence, R.I. Jonathan Wiggs/Globe Staff

A community-minded flower farm in Rhode Island and a restaurant in Vermont are enjoying nationwide recognition this week for their kind acts.

  • New England has 3 of the best restaurants in the U.S., according to The New York Times

Reader’s Digest just announced the results of its seventh annual Nicest Places in America list, and Buffalo, N.Y., topped the list. Two of the four finalists on this year’s list are in New England: What Cheer Flower Farm in Providence, R.I., and Mark BBQ in Colchester, Vermont. The “places” on the list can also be neighborhoods and businesses.

Buffalo’s win is due, in part, to kindnesses such as barbershop owner Craig Elston turning his business into a shelter during the blizzard of 2022, according to the publication.

“Nicest Places has long been a celebration of seeking out the good,” said Jason Buhrmester, chief content officer at Reader’s Digest, in a statement. “Sometimes, that means finding those who are shining a light during their darkest hour like the people in Buffalo after facing such tragedy. “We believe that in sharing stories of kindness, you can encourage more of it and we are honored to celebrate Buffalo this year and look forward to continuing to seek out the good.”

About What Cheer Flower Farm, Reader’s Digest wrote, “This nonprofit is spreading smiles and saving the Earth, one bouquet at a time.”

The nonprofit delivers free flowers to hospitals, food banks, senior centers, and more and was awarded a grant from the Environmental Protection Agency for its revitalization of abandoned land due industrial pollution, noted Reader’s Digest.

“Thank your Readers Digest for voting What Cheer Flower Farm as one of the nicest places in America,” nonprofit officials wrote on Facebook. “We are honored to be recognized alongside some other wonderful places.”

At Mark BBQ, a veteran-owned restaurant on the shores of Lake Champlain, “a combination of barbecue and community service has made Mark BBQ a hot spot,” Reader’s Digest wrote.

Owner Darrell Langworthy employs former addicts as part of his Recovery Kitchen program, keeps a cooler full of free food by the restaurant door for those in need, and has doled out more than 170,000 free meals, according to Reader’s Digest.  

“Never thought [our] little bbq would be mentioned on the Today show and the top story on RD,” wrote Chef Darrell on the Mark BBQ Facebook page. “All because we have the best customers. We [can’t] do what we do without you. Thank you all for being amazing.”

Each year, Reader’s Digest uses a selected panel of judges when determining America’s nicest places.

Other spots recognized on this year’s Nicest Places in America list include Unity Park in Greenville, S.C., and Red Lodge in Montana.