Everyone dreams about a quaint country getaway every now and then. Escaping the hectic city life after a busy week can help you recharge your batteries. We will walk you through the best-hidden gems across America with their historic charm, quaint streets, and scenic beauty. Inspire your wanderlust and plan a fantastic weekend getaway to one of the 50 best small towns in America.
1. Fredericksburg, Texas
Located in the heart of Texas, Fredericksburg is a unique tiny town with German-Texan heritage.
There is something for everyone in Fredericksburg, from the authentic German customs to the traditional Texas barbecue. Founded by German immigrants back in 1846, the town even has its own dialect, known as “Texas German.” The historic buildings along Main Street have been transformed into art galleries, antique shops, and charming restaurants. The area around Fredericksburg is also popular for its wineries and breweries.
Outdoor enthusiasts and adventure seekers can enjoy hiking at the Enchanted Rock State Park. Hike up to the massive pink granite rock for scenic views of the Hill County. Do not miss the country’s largest wildflower farm with over 200 acres of wide varieties of plant species. Fredericksburg’s unique charm and atmosphere will certainly make you feel like you are going back in time.
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2. San Antonio, Texas
With a population of over 1.53 million people, San Antonio is the seventh-largest city in America, yet the fusion of rich history and modern buildings makes it one of the most interesting quaint towns in the country.
San Antonio is a dynamic, fast growing city, bursting with life and energy. Start the day by going back to the 18th Century with a visit at the Alamo – a Roman Catholic Mission now serving as a museum. After learning all about the battle between the Mexican forces and the Texans, head to the River Walk for a chill, relaxing afternoon. You can either take a 35-minute boat tour, or you can explore the River Walk on foot. As you follow the winding river throughout the heart of the city, you will find various restaurants where you can grab a bite and shops to delight any shopper.
For an afternoon filled with colors, visit the San Antonio Garden covering an area of 38 acres with a wonderful selection of tropical plants. As the largest Mexican market outside of Mexico, the Historic Market Square should be your choice for the evening. Indulge in mouth-watering dishes and tasty margaritas while surrounded by music and colors. If you have more time, make sure to visit the second oldest park in the United Sates – San Pedro Springs Park, and take a walk to enjoy the fresh air. For some dinosaur hunting, visit the Government Canyon State Natural Area. The 12,000-acre park offers trails with preserved dinosaur tracks! San Antonio is certainly one of the most charming and unique cities in America.
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3. Beaufort, South Carolina
Beaufort is not only one of the finest South Carolina’s coastal sea islands, but it is also the second-oldest city in the state.
Thanks to the spectacular antebellum architecture, Beaufort’s historic character has been kept for hundreds of years. This small town is perfect for travelers looking for a more laid-back and relaxed destination. Choose between the excellent golf courses, golden beaches, or various water sports to make the most of your time in Beaufort.
Dating back to 1939, the Beaufort History Museum is totally worth the visit. Finish the day with outstanding panoramic views from the Hunting Island Lighthouse. Get ready, though, as you will need to climb up 175 stairs. Beaufort is one of the 50 best small towns in America, so make sure to add it to your bucket list.
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4. Santa Barbara, California
Pristine golden beaches, laid-back atmosphere, and stunning coastal landscapes are just a few of the reasons you should visit Santa Barbara.
Often referred to as the American Riviera, Santa Barbara is quietly nestled between the Santa Ynez Mountains and the Pacific Ocean. The beautiful Spanish colonial buildings, the world-class wine tours, and the astonishing beach line make Santa Barbara one of the best towns in America to visit for a relaxed weekend getaway. The town is extremely popular for the Spanish period; however, evidence has proven that the area was first inhabited by the Chumash Indians more than 13,000 years ago.
If you are not convinced by Santa Barbara’s rich history and beautiful Spanish architecture, you can enjoy the stunning nature of the region. Visitors can experience various outdoor sports activities, such as hiking, kayaking, snorkeling, and surfing. The rolling green vineyards in the area produce all varieties of grape. As a result, Santa Barbara is also a fantastic location for wine lovers, who can enjoy a different and authentic experience while trying different types of wine.
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5. Castine, Maine
Located in the heart of Maine, Castine attracts thousands of visitors every year with its rich history and stunning seaside views.
With a population of only 1,360 people, Castine is a beautiful, small, coastal village situated along Penobscot Bay. Established in the early 1600s and considered one of the oldest towns in New England, Castine has preserved its historic and authentic charm. The town is also known to be one of the wealthiest with more than 100 historic spots spread across the town. As a result, it has been added to the National Historic Register.
Castine is also home to the Maine Maritime Academy, preserving the seafaring culture of the town. Visitors can simply walk around the small village and its quaint shops, galleries, and restaurants, or they can embark on an outdoor adventure. Just a 30-minute drive away from Castine is the world’s tallest public observatory. Reaching 420 feet up in the air, the Panobscot Narrows Observatory offers spectacular views of the bridge and the river.
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6. Ashville, North Carolina
Peacefully nestled in the Blue Ridge Mountains, Ashville is a fantastic choice for a quaint escape in nature from the busy city life.
In the past few years, Ashville has become a popular tourist destination among hipsters and millennials looking for a change of scenery and bohemian charm. With more than 250 restaurants, the small town is a foodie destination also called Foodtopia by the locals as a way to describe the locally produced food. To complement the delicious food, Asheville is also home to 30 breweries offering a wide variety of more than 100 locally crafted beers.
The fantastic River Arts District is another symbol of Ashville, where 200 artists create various artwork in their studios. Not only can visitors explore and take a sneak peek inside of the studios, but they can also participate in live painting shows and take classes from their favorite artists. When visiting Ashville, also make sure to pack your hiking shoes and explore beautiful waterfalls, hiking trails in Pisgah and Nantahala National Forests, and scenic views of the Blue Ridge Mountains.
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7. Hood River, Oregon
Are you a thrill seeker looking for a new, exciting place? Make sure to visit Hood River, Oregon.
Known as the windsurfing capital of the world, Hood River is a small port town located on the Columbia River. Hood River is located just 30 miles from the highest peak in the state – Mount Hood. Outdoor lovers will be able to find numerous hiking and biking trails to choose from.
If you are heading into the winter months, you can also spend the weekend skiing and snowboarding. Make sure to do some wine and beer tasting, as well as indulge in some fresh, locally grown food. Hood River is the perfect destination for foodies, adventure seekers, and nature lovers.
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8. St Michaels, Maryland
Located on Maryland’s eastern shore, the charming harbor town of St Michaels is known as one of the best small coastal towns in America.
Also known as “the town that fooled the British,” St Michaels is a quiet, charming gem filled with history and long-lived legends. You can easily just walk around the main street and enjoy the gift shops, antique stores, and art galleries. It would be a shame to skip the boat tour when visiting St Michaels.
The Miles River and the harbor have various cruise options as well as guided fishing rides. The Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum is home to the largest collection of Chesapeake Bay boats. So make sure to stop by the 18-acre museum to learn more about the 100 watercraft part of the exhibit. Nowadays, St Michaels is a peaceful heaven with its colorful shops, colonial architecture, and beautiful marina park.
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9. Culpeper, Virginia
Culpeper is one of the best foodie destinations in Virginia. From smoked barbecue accompanied by locally crafted beer to duck confit and red wine – you will find it all in Culpeper.
Culpeper has an interesting vibe with its rich history but at the same time modern charm. Start the day by visiting the Museum of Culpeper History and learn about the development of the town from pre-historic times to today. Spend the afternoon strolling down the historic district and exploring the quaint antique shops. Culpeper is also popular for the variety of events it offers year-round.
From craft beer events to concerts, there is always something to find in Culpeper. The local pubs and breweries also offer live shows and performances. If you are lucky, you might be able to catch a horse show at Commonwealth Park. For outdoor lovers, the Shenandoah National Park and Lake Pelham will challenge you with endless hiking trails, paddling, riding, and much more.
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10. Rehoboth Beach, Delaware
Enjoy 30 miles of unspoiled coastline and various nature activities in Rehoboth Beach, Delaware.
With a population of only 1,350 people, Rehoboth Beach is the perfect location to relax and take a break from the busy city life. The town has been awarded a 5-star rating for its crystal clear water. In addition to that, Rehoboth is known for being one of the best family-friendly vacation resorts.
After enjoying a day at the beach, stroll down the boardwalk to explore Rehoboth Beach’s artistic atmosphere and charm. Finish the day with fresh seafood and picture-perfect panoramic views of the Atlantic Ocean.
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11. San Juan Island, Washington
If you want a full getaway escape, which will make you feel like you have travelled to another country, head to San Juan Island, Washington.
An archipelago of approximately 172 landfalls lays in the Pacific northwest of the USA. Just an hour away from continental America, San Juan Island is the perfect location to enjoy a slower pace of life and have a relaxed weekend getaway. Animal lovers enjoy visiting San Juan Island as you can spend an entire day whale watching.
One of the most popular attractions is Friday Harbor – a charming, historic, and easily walkable seaport with local restaurants and shops. The San Juan Islands Museum of Art and the San Juan Historical Museum are a must when visiting the island.
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12. Mackinac Island, Michigan
Mackinac Island in Michigan is probably one of the best places to escape the busy city life. There are no cars allowed on the island, so you will find yourself in the perfect vacation paradise.
Quietly resting in Lake Huron, Mackinac Island covers an area of only 4.35 square miles. The island was colonized around the 17th Century; however, prehistoric artifacts have proven that Native Americans had established the island around AD 900. Due to the historic importance of the island, it has been announced as part of the National Historic Landmarks. In addition, the stunning nature, rich flora and fauna, and fabulous shoreline have been preserved by declaring 80% of the island as Mackinac Island State Park.
As there are no cars allowed on the island, you can explore Mackinac Island by renting a bike, riding in a horse-drawn carriage, or simply just walking around. Start the day at the highest point in the island and explore the historic Fort Holmes. Dating back to 1814, the fort was constructed by British soldiers. Next on your itinerary should be Arch Rock. The arch raises above the water and spans more than 50 feet wide. After you have enjoyed the stunning views, head to the downtown area.
In the historic downtown area and Market Street you can find a variety of quaint art galleries and local clothing and jewelry shops. Mackinac Island is popular for its 13 fudge shops. You can experience the actual fudge-making process and even try free samples before deciding which is your favorite type of fudge. Start planning your trip to Mackinac Island as it is certainly one of the best small towns in America.
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13. Leavenworth, Washington
If you are looking to visit one of the best Oktoberfests in America – look no further! Leavenworth, Washington is waiting for you!
Would you believe that the small town of Leavenworth with a population of under 2,000 people attracts approximately 2 million per year!? The Bavarian architecture and the German pretzels and beer are not the only reasons you should visit Leavenworth. Nestled in the beautiful Cascade Mountains, you will be able to find amazing opportunities for hiking, biking, climbing, and much more.
Regardless of which time of the year you plan on visiting Leavenworth, it will be worth it! The fall and winter seasons are certainly the most popular since the town’s streets start buzzing, preparing for Oktoberfest and the Christmas-lighting festival. Once the nearby Cascade Mountains are covered with a snowy blanket, visitors can also enjoy skiing and snowboarding. The spring and summer months are perfect for hitting the hiking trails and getting a bit of fresh air away from the city life.
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14. Solvang, California
Located in the Santa Ynez Valley, Solvang is one of the most unique and charming towns that you will find in the USA.
Find the taste and charm of Denmark in the heart of California! Yes, it is possible – in the quiet little town of Solvang. Founded in 1911 as a Danish community, Solvang’s quaint streets feature the Danish architectural style even today. Make sure to put on some comfortable shoes because you will want to walk around this small, picturesque town exploring the art galleries and souvenirs shops.
In addition, you will want to try as many of the pastries as possible from the traditional Danish bakeries. Make sure to pay a visit to the old Santa Ines Mission, which dates back to 1804. Visit the Elverhoj Museum of History and Art. It will not only impress you with its rich collection of books and craft arts, but the building itself is a masterpiece, representing an 18th Century Danish farmhouse. Find European charm and Danish taste by visiting Solvang – one of the 50 best small towns in America.
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15. Dunedin, Florida
Home to some of the best beaches in America and in the world, Dunedin, Florida is one of the 50 best small towns in the country.
From mouth-watering food to world-class baseball, Dunedin is the perfect summer holiday destination.
Spend an entire day enjoying the number one state park in Florida – The Honeymoon Island. Some of the activities you can enjoy in the park are fishing and hiking, but you can also simply walk around the beach and enjoy the sun while sunbathing. In the evening, head to the downtown area of Dunedin.
You do not need any type of transport as the town has been named one of the “most walkable cities” in America. Visitors enjoy various festivals year-round with lots of music, fine art, and good atmosphere. Dunedin is also popular as one of the best places for dining in Tampa Bay. It is home not only to the oldest brewery in Florida but also to numerous award-winning restaurants. Enjoy fresh seafood, gourmet barbecue, Spanish and Italian cuisine, and much more.
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16. Cape May, New Jersey
Cape May is one of America’s oldest seaside resorts. The entire town has also been announced as a National Historic Landmark.
Long promenades, pristine golden beaches, and stunning Victorian houses are only some of the reasons why Cape May is attracting more than 10 million tourists per year. As New Jersey’s jewel in the crown, Cape May has the biggest collection of 19th Century framed buildings. It is not just the town’s history, though. Cape May is also popular for having some of the most beautiful beaches across America. Nature and beach lovers will find themselves in paradise when visiting Cape May.
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17.Cold Spring, New York
Just 50 miles away from Manhattan, you will find the quaint, small village of Cold Spring.
Cold Spring in New York was an important iron production center during the American Civil War. The town’s rich history, combined with the roaring waters of the Hudson River and the stunning mountain views of Breakneck Ridge, make Cold Spring a perfect weekend getaway from the chaos of city life.
If you are visiting Cold Spring and looking for an adventure, you should certainly try hiking Breakneck Ridge. Even though the trail is quite steep, it is extremely popular among travelers for its breathtaking views of the Hudson Valley. For a relaxed afternoon, head to Dockside Park. Sit and relax while enjoying the views of the Storm King Mountain rising above the Hudson River. In the evening, stroll down buzzing Main Street to experience Cold Spring charm and atmosphere.
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18. Duluth, Minnesota
Known as Minnesota’s jewel, tourists love visiting Duluth for its artsy vibe and outdoor activities.
As a major port city, Duluth is in fact the second-largest city in the Minnesota state. It is the fusion of unique culture and history and modern attractions, though, that make Duluth a vibrant and interesting city. From tasting your way through the city by visiting the local restaurants and pubs to embarking on outdoor adventures on the Superior Hiking Trail or down the St Louis River, there is a little bit of something for everyone.
You can also hop on the North Shore Scenic Drive and admire the stunning views of Lake Superior and experience a vintage steam engine train ride. For a bit of history, visit the Glensheen Mansion built in 1908. The 39-room mansion is an architectural masterpiece telling stories of some of the wealthiest and most influential families that lived in Minnesota during the early 20th century.
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19. Lake Harmony, Pennsylvania
With a population of approximately 700 people, Lake Harmony is an unincorporated community attracting travelers who want to escape the busy city life.
Lake Harmony has been gaining popularity in the last few years as a hidden summer gem. Nature and outdoor lovers have been visiting the village and staying in small cottages surrounded by quiet nature and green scenery. The village is located next to the glacial Lake Harmony.
If you are looking for a real Pennsylvanian mountain adventure, head to Lake Harmony. Enjoy various outdoor activities such as hiking, biking, rafting, as well as admiring the scenic beauty of Pocono Mountains. Lake Harmony is a real gem and one of the best small villages in America.
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20. St Augustine, Florida
Established by the Spanish in 1565, St Augustine is the oldest continuously occupied town in the country.
It is not only the town’s 455 years of history that will impress you. St Augustine is probably one of the most charming small towns in America. Make sure to stroll down the quaint historic district of St Augustine and explore the old cobblestone streets surrounded by unique shops and colorful cafes. Step back in time by visiting the Castillo de San Marcos fortress. It is the combination of unspoiled beaches, centuries-old buildings, and the European vibe that make St Augustine a must visit!
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21. Anna Marie Island, Florida
Located in the Gulf of Mexico, Anna Marie Island is popular for its crystal clear waters and sandy beaches.
The incredible white sand beaches is not the only reason Anna Marie Island is one of the best small towns. If you are looking for a romantic summer getaway, Anna Marie Island is the place to go. The wide variety of restaurants with waterfront views and luxurious affordable vacation rentals will prove to you why couples enjoy this summer resort so much. Visiting Anna Marie Island is like stepping back in time.
The lack of modern development and the preserved Mediterranean-style architecture will allow you to experience Florida as it was decades ago. Being able to walk around the entire island is a great way to enjoy a peaceful and laid-back holiday away from the big city.
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22. San Luis Obispo, California
Dating way back to 1772, San Luis Obispo is one of the oldest European-founded settlements.
San Luis Obispo will show you another, unexpected side of California. Approximately 190 miles away from busy Los Angeles, the quiet and slow life in San Luis Obispo is like a breath of fresh air. Away from the noisy city life and crowded streets, you will be able to find a romantic getaway with a touch of an adventure. With an average of 315 days of sunshine a year, you will not be surprised that the town is also known as the “happiest city in America.”
In addition to the spectacular sandy beaches and refreshing hot springs, San Luis Obispo is home to one of the best farmers’ markets in California. There is nothing better than trying locally grown food after spending an entire day of hiking in the beautiful Santa Lucia Mountains. Make sure you include San Luis Obispo to your bucket list, as it is certainly one of the best small towns in America.
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23. Missoula, Montana
Located in the heart of the northern Rocky Mountains, Missoula is a remote mountain paradise surrounded by green scenery and national forests.
The city of Missoula was founded as a Hellgate Trading Post in 1860; however, archaeological artifacts show that the valley had been inhabited much earlier than that. The first settlement dated back to 3500 BCE. For a step back in time, pay a visit to the Historical Museum at Fort Missoula. If you are a nature lover, you can choose between mountain biking, hiking, climbing, etc.
If you are visiting in winter, you can also hit the slopes at Snowbowl. If you are planning a relaxing, laid-back weekend getaway, you can just walk around the historic downtown and admire the beautiful, early-century buildings now transformed into unique art galleries and local shops. The town’s rich history combines with outdoor adventures and beautiful scenery to make Missoula one of the best small towns in America.
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24. Sedona, Arizona
Surrounded by the endless Arizona desert, Sedona is a unique small town perfect for a more spiritual and sacred travel experience.
With its stunning red rock formations and spiritual and healing vibe, Sedona is an idyllic corner in Arizona where visitors can reconnect with nature. Adventure seekers will feel like paradise with the wide range of outdoors activities – from hiking trails to helicopter tours, Sedona has it all.
It is not only the stunning sunsets and sunrises the town is famous for. Away from the city lights and air pollution, while in Sedona, visitors can enjoy the magnificent night sky covered with stars. Exploring the art boutiques and galleries at the Tlaquepaque Village is another must-do when visiting Sedona.
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25. Savannah, Georgia
As the oldest city in Georgia, Savannah is a hidden gem filled with Southern charm and Spanish moss.
Founded in 1733, Savannah was a strategic location during the American Revolution and the Civil War. Everything about Savannah is spectacular, from the historic district to the fine dining. The town layout has been planned around 22 park-like squares. As a result, Savannah’s downtown area has been declared the largest National Historic Landmark Districts in America.
While walking around historic downtown, stop by the City Market. Try some homemade goods and admire the interesting architecture. Just 20 minutes away from Savannah, you will also find Tybee Island. The white sand beach offers visitors the opportunity to bike, fish, or just sunbathe, while enjoying the views of the endless Atlantic Ocean. You can also visit the Tybee Lighthouse, built in 1736 and still standing tall to this day.
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26. Ashland, Oregon
Nestled between the Siskiyou and Cascade Mountain Ranges, Ashland is home to the famous Oregon Shakespeare Festival.
A cultural hot spot, outdoor recreation paradise, new growing wine region and foodie destination! Yes, you can find all of these in Ashland, Oregon. Once you have witnessed the beautiful mountain scenery surrounding the city of Ashland, you will be impressed why it was chosen as home to the world-famous Oregon Shakespeare Festival, which draws more than 300,000 visitors per year.
Visiting for just a short weekend getaway might not be enough to experience the various outdoor activities. Rafting down the Rogue River is a must-do while in Ashland. Fall is one of the best seasons to visit the town and take part in the best Halloween parade. Ashland’s fusion of culture and imagination make it one of the best small towns in America.
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27. Estes Park, Colorado
Estes Park is Colorado’s most visited mountain village, nestled beneath the majestic Rocky Mountains.
The picturesque mountain town of Estes Park deserves your attention during every season. As the perfect base camp for exploring Rocky Mountains National Park, Estes Park is a fantastic summer destination. Hiking and biking, horseback riding, rafting, and fishing are some of the most popular outdoor activities that tourists enjoy in Estes Park. Once the snow covers the stunning mountain peaks of the Rocky Mountains, Estes Park becomes a fabulous choice for a skiing destination.
Be adventurous and spend the night in one of the mountain resort cabins surrounded by real wildlife and stunning mountain landscapes. Located along the Big Thompson River, Estes Park’s downtown area and Riverwalk are great locations to spend an afternoon finding local stores and restaurants. Do not forget to get on the Estes Park tram for outstanding views of the Rocky Mountains National Park.
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28. Jim Thrope, Pennsylvania
Nestled in Lehigh Gorge, Jim Thrope is a quaint 19th century town offering breathtaking mountain views and fabulous architecture.
Jim Thrope is a real gem hidden in the Pocono Mountains. Known as the “Switzerland of America,” the town will impress you with its Victorian houses and picturesque scenery. It is difficult to believe that this small American town located just 2 hours away from the busy streets of New York City can provide you with thrilling outdoor adventures. From hiking to rafting, there is a bit of everything for everyone. The town’s streets might be peaceful and quiet, yet the fun never ends.
Various events are organized year-round with free live music, local arts and crafts, delicious seasonal food, and much more. You can easily spend the entire weekend just walking around and exploring the small alleys and stores. Do not skip the chance to get on the Lehigh Gorge Scenic Railway, though. While riding the historic diesel engine train, you will be able to admire the stunning mountain scenery and may even get a glimpse of the variety of wildlife in the area. Jim Thrope as one of the best small towns in America is a fantastic choice for both a family vacation or a romantic weekend getaway.
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29. Marblehead, Massachusetts
Marblehead in Massachusetts could be considered an open-air museum. The town is home to the biggest collection of colonial-era homes.
One of the main reasons you should visit Marblehead is to stroll down the historic district. Enjoy the grand houses, built centuries ago. The narrow streets of the historic district are also lined with quaint art galleries and local shops. Enjoy a delicious seafood lunch with harbor views at one of the restaurants located on Front Street.
If you enjoy sailing, Marblehead is the place for you. Choose from kayaking, fishing, or yachting. Before heading back home, do not forget to try the traditional Marblehead cookie. The Joe Frogger Cookie is a ginger cookie dating back to the Colonial era. Marblehead is the perfect spot to spend a relaxing, peaceful weekend getaway.
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30. Durango, Colorado
The combination of modern wonders, historical attractions, and outdoor adventures attracts millions of tourists every year to Durango, Colorado.
Once a mining town, Durango is one of the most popular mountain resorts in America today. Durango is the perfect outdoor destination for tourists looking for mountain adventures, such as hiking, biking, rafting, climbing, hunting, etc.
Located at the foothill of San Juan Mountains, Durango also offers skiing and snowboarding options in the winter months. One of the best reasons to visit Durango, though, is the nine-hour historic train ride. Historically, the Silvertone Narrow Gauge Railroad was used to transport metal. Now, a vintage steam locomotive will take you on a once in a lifetime experience through the mountains.
During the 47-mile journey, you will be able to enjoy the stunning mountain views and will feel like you have taken a step back in time. Durango, Colorado is one of the best small towns in America for travelers looking for a weekend escape from the ordinary.
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31. Unalaska, Alaska
Unalaska, Alaska is one of the most secluded and remote but at the same time picturesque towns you can visit in America.
The small town of Unalaska is located on a thousand square mile island of the same name. Unalaska Island is part of the Fox Islands in Alaska. Visitors will quickly notice the unique appearance of the island with its numerous tiny bays and coves.
The terrain is mainly mountainous with stunning steep cliffs and hills rising high above the crystal clear blue water. Accessible only by plane or ferry, travelers will certainly experience the deep, real Alaska wilderness. Unalaska is a spot for adventure seekers who want to escape the ordinary and immerse themselves in thrilling outdoor activities.
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32. Monterey, California
Founded in the 1770s, Monterey’s rich history and beautiful scenery is attracting visitors from all over the world.
Monterey was the capital of Alta California for years during both the Spanish and Mexican periods. As the only Californian port of entry for taxable goods, Monterey was once an economic, cultural, and historic center. The town was home to the first Californian library, theater, newspaper, etc. Now, tourists can enjoy a fabulous weekend getaway in Monterey. One of the best things to visit is the Monterey Bay Aquarium.
With 45 interactive exhibits and 28-foot windows, visitors can admire beautiful sea creatures, such as sea turtles, jellyfish, sea otters, sharks, and much more. You can easily just walk around Cannery Row – the center of Monterey. Filled with quaint shops, restaurants, and hotels, the narrow charming streets will remind you of John Steinbeck’s popular novel, Cannery Row. Pay a visit to the historic pier and stroll down the Old Fisherman’s Wharf. Finish the day with fresh seafood while admiring the marina views.
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33. Springdale, Utah
Quietly resting in the foothills of the Zion National Park, Springdale is the perfect weekend getaway for adventure lovers.
The small town of Springdale in Utah is home to only 500 people, yet the fabulous red rock monoliths peeking from the horizon attract more than a million travelers every year. Named one of the 20 prettiest towns in America, Springdale certainly deserves your attention. As one community, the residents of Springdale will welcome you with a smile and genuine hospitality.
Adventure seekers will find themselves in paradise at the gateway to endless challenging hiking trails around the Zion National Park. During the summer months, visitors can also explore the area by floating down the Virgin River. After spending the day adventuring around the Zion National Park, make sure to hit the downtown area for a delicious dinner made of organic and local ingredients.
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34. Seabrook, New Hampshire
Located on the border between New Hampshire and Massachusetts, Seabrook is a beautiful small town worth the visit!
One of the best things to do in Seabrook is hit the beach. Seabrook Beach is a quiet, hidden treasure. Often overlooked by tourists, you will find the beach more secluded without the tourist crowds. It is a fantastic place to spend the afternoon walking or running on the beach.
Be mindful if you decide to swim in the ocean, though, as there are no lifeguards and the waves can get a bit rough. Visitors at Seabrook can enjoy some of the most stunning sunrises and sunsets. The town has much more of a residential community feel, but people are extremely friendly and welcoming. Make sure you try the fresh seafood at one of the local restaurants – there is no better way to end your day!
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35. Eureka Springs, Arkansas
Visiting Eureka Springs in Arkansas is like taking a step back in time. It seems like time has stopped in the small town located in the Ozarks Mountain.
The steep, winding streets filled with unique Victorian cottages have earned Eureka Springs the title “The Magic City.” The buildings are so unique in nature that the entire town has been listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The distinctive Victorian buildings are built along the curving streets.
Just put on some comfortable shoes and admire the beautiful architecture as you wander through the up-and-down walkways. Eureka Springs is home to more than 100 festivals year-round from jazz concerts to art and craft events. Visitors at Eureka Springs can also indulge in world-class dining trying various types of cuisine from Indian to Mediterranean cuisine.
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36. Fairhope, Alabama
Situated on Alabama’s Gulf Coast, the vibrant, picturesque town of Fairhope is the perfect relaxing holiday destination.
The walkable downtown, peaceful parks, and outstanding panoramic views of Mobile Bay are just some of the reasons you should visit Fairhope, Alabama. The small town is also a perfect place to spend an entire day biking around the narrow, quaint streets. Visit the cobblestone courtyard of the French Quarter and the unique art galleries and local shops.
If you are an animal lover and want to learn more about the region’s fauna, make sure to stop by 17 Turtles Gulf Coast Outfitters. The diverse ecosystem is absolutely fantastic with various types of kingfishers, eagles, turtles, alligators, and much more.
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37. Ogunquit, Maine
Once just a small fishing village, Ogunquit, Maine is now a bustling summer destination.
The town’s name means “beautiful place by the sea” in Abenaki Indian language. The town’s charm lives up to its name. Even with the first glimpse of Ogunquit, you will know that you have found a spectacular spot away from the busy life. The town has a population of less than 900 residents and is only four-square miles, yet the untouched beauty of the coastline, as well as the vibrant art galleries and shops, attract thousands of tourists annually.
The town is also known for its artsy vibe, so make sure to stop by the Ogunquit Museum of American Art to learn more about the local artists and their work. For thrill seekers, the 9-mile Ogunquit River is a fantastic kayaking spot. You do not need a plan when visiting Ogunquit. Just go out and stroll down the streets, feel the cool breeze and enjoy the laid-back atmosphere.
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38. Carmel by the Sea, California
Rated one of the top 10 destinations in the USA, Carmel by the Sea is a unique village with a European vibe and top notch white sand beaches.
More than 100 years old, the small city of Carmel is a charming weekend destination. Located on the Monterey Peninsula, Carmel by the Sea features unspoiled beauty in nature. The first European settlers in the area were the Spanish, who established Carmel Mission, which is known to be one of the best in California.
The town has managed to preserve its unique character and the tree-lined streets with beautiful houses and will make you feel like you are in a fairytale. Artists have been drawn to Carmel for years. The town has an interesting, artsy vibe as well, with various art performances and shows, galleries and craft shops. Additionally, the town is known for being dog friendly with many hotels allowing pets, so you can even take your pet with you when visiting Carmel by the Sea.
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39. Oxford, Mississippi
Known as the “Cultural Mecca of the South,” Oxford, Mississippi is one of the best small towns in America.
When people hear Oxford, they often think about the world-famous Oxford University in the United Kingdom. Well, the relatively small town of Oxford in Mississippi was actually named after the British city. The intention was to promote the town as the biggest learning center in Southern America. Dreams come true and in 1848, Oxford became home to the University of Mississippi.
The rich history and culture of the town has been attracting artists and writers for years. Oxford is also known to be the home of the world-famous author William Faulkner, who is a Nobel Prize laureate. Book lovers and people searching for cultural experiences love visiting Oxford and exploring its historical downtown area and taking in the creative vibe and unique atmosphere of the town.
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Also known as “Little Sweden USA,” Lindsborg, Kansas is one of the 50 best small towns in America.
The history of Lindsborg is absolutely fascinating. Native Americans, French, and Spanish have occupied the area around the town. In 1869, a group of Swedish immigrants settled in the region and established the town of Lindsborg. Now, the town will surprise and inspire you with its Swedish heritage, colorful downtown area, unique art vibe, and welcoming, friendly locals.
When in Lindsborg, you should go on a hunt to find the 30 art sculptures resembling the traditional Swedish Dala horse. Make sure to try some traditional Swedish cuisine as well. The town has just a handful of restaurants, but most of them offer mouth-watering Swedish dishes. For the perfect Swedish experience of the town, try to visit during one of the many festivals they hold throughout the year.
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41. Coronado, California
As home to one of the top ten beaches in the United States, Coronado is a perfect laid-back and relaxing destination.
The first thing you should do when in Coronado is take a walk around the downtown area. Quaint little shops and restaurants line the beautiful district. Ranked not only as one of the best beaches in San Diego but also as one of the top ten beaches in America, Coronado Beach should be your next stop. With various water activities, such as surfing, kayaking, paddle-boarding, and more, the wide white sand beach is the place to have an active afternoon.
Biking enthusiasts will be happy to know that the town also offers 15 miles of bike paths along the beach with beautiful views of the ocean. Finish the day at the Ferry Landing Marketplace with more than 20 shops and restaurants. Enjoy some fresh seafood while admiring the San Diego skyline views.
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42. St Petersburg, Florida
Known as “Florida’s Sunshine City,” St Petersburg is the perfect place to enjoy a relaxing holiday filled with sun and fine dining.
Located between the Gulf of Mexico and Tampa Bay, St. Petersburg has been awarded with the title of “most consecutive days with sunshine,” with 768 days in a row! It is not just the award-winning St Petersburg’s beaches that make this city the perfect family getaway. The charming downtown area, located at the heart of the city, is filled with quaint shops and restaurants.
Stop by the world-famous Salvador Dali Museum to admire the unusual paintings and sculptures by the legendary Dali. Grab lunch at Locale Market, a 20,000-square-foot marketplace that offers the region’s best fresh seafood. Do not skip Fort De Soto Park, which covers 1,136 acres on the Gulf of Mexico and Tampa Bay. Covering five islands, the park is not only a place to enjoy the beach but also a great location for water adventures, such as kayaking, canoeing, fishing, etc.
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43. Breckenridge, Colorado
Once a mining town, Breckenridge, Colorado is now a world-class skiing destination.
During the Gold Rush, gold was found in the area along the Blue River. As a result, the town of Breckenridge was founded in 1859 to serve the people working in the gold mines in the region. The town’s rich history and old-lived tales have been so well-preserved that visitors can feel the mixture of ancient and modern while strolling down the historic downtown.
Even though Breckenridge is most popular as a winter destination with its fabulous skiing conditions, the town deserves to be visited during all four seasons. During the warmer months, the town is a perfect location to enjoy some outdoors activities, such as hiking, mountain biking, and climbing.
That is not all, though! Breckenridge has a vibrant art feel that visitors can experience for themselves when exploring the Art District and the numerous studies, art galleries, and performance spaces.
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44. Traverse City, Michigan
Known as one of the most vibrant and beautiful towns in Northern Michigan, Traverse City is an ideal destination for a relaxing weekend getaway.
Your travel itinerary to Traverse City should start early at the beach. Visit the Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore with 64 miles of stunning white sand beaches, coves, and islands. This is the perfect place to slow down and enjoy life. Next head to the pedestrian-friendly downtown area. Stroll along the quaint shops, galleries, and cafes.
Allow yourself to get lost in between the streets – you never know what you might find! If you are looking for a small adventure, bike along the 9.7-mile TART trail while admiring the stunning views of the West Bay shore. If you are a wine lover, visit one of the 24 wineries along the Leelanau Peninsula Wine Trail.
As the biggest producer of tart cherries, Traverse City also hosts the National Cherry Festival during the first week of July. Various activities for the entire family are part of the festival, such as pie eating contests, pit spitting, and the Grand Royal Parade.
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Situated on the northeastern side of Hawaii, Hilo is a charming town offering breathtaking views, fascinating history, and quaint, local shops and restaurants.
Hilo is the largest town in Hawaii, yet the surrounding peaceful, natural beauty makes it the perfect choice for a taste of the authentic island life. First established as a fishing and farming region, Hilo was a major center for the sugar industry in the 1800s. Due to its location, the town had to survive numerous tsunamis throughout the years. The outstanding bay views visitors can enjoy now, though, prove that Hilo has been able to recover and sustain its beauty. The Tsunami Museum is certainly worth the visit as a reminder of the devastating forces of Mother Nature.
While in Hilo, you should also pay a visit to the Panaewa Rainforest Zoo, the only rainforest zoo in America, and enjoy the interesting collections of exotic flora and fauna. Hilo is also home to various parks, such as the Japanese-influenced Liliuokalani Gardens and the Wailuku River State Park, where you can find the stunning Rainbow Falls and Peepee Falls. Regardless if you want to just stroll down the downtown area or you want to embark on an outdoor adventure, you will be able to find it all in Hilo.
The 19th century historic buildings in Wallace, Idaho are not the only reason this is one of the best small towns in America.
The fantastic combination of beautiful nature and rich history have transformed a small mining town into a fantastic weekend getaway destination. Dating back to 1884, Wallace is a former mining town that used to produce more silver than any other district in the USA. The town’s fascinating story and beautifully vivid downtown area are reason enough to have the town listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
Wallace’s history and origin have been well preserved, but at the same time accommodates modern travelers. The town had more than 1,000 miles of mining and logging roads that now comprise the largest mountain bike and snowmobile trail in the world! If you are not an adventure seeker, preferring a more laid-back destination, head to the downtown area to find mine museums and charming antique jewelry shops.
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47. Manchester, Vermont
Quietly resting at the heart of the Green Mountains, Manchester is one of the best weekend getaways in the state of Vermont.
Surrounded by peaceful nature and various recreational activities, Manchester is the perfect spot to recharge your batteries away from the busy city life. Rising high above the streets of Manchester is the highest peak in the Taconic Range. At an elevation of 3840 feet, you can either hike up or drive to the top of Mount Equinox. You can also enjoy various hiking options through Merrick Forest.
Manchester is also home to the famous Northshire Bookstores. You can literally spend hours in this cozy space with thousands of books lining the shelves while sipping on some coffee. For a slightly off-the-beaten-path experience, head to Equinox Valley Nursery. If you are planning a family getaway, this is the perfect spot for the little ones to wander through the corn maze and flowers.
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48.Harpers Ferry, West Virginia
From historic charm to various outdoor activities – there is a bit of everything for everyone in Harpers Ferry.
Located at the confluence of the Potomac and Shenandoah Rivers, Harpers Ferry is a quaint historic town. With a population of just over 200 people, Harpers Ferry is the perfect choice for a remote, laid-back weekend getaway. Even the small streets of the town will take you back in time to early American history. Due to its strategic location, the town has been of vital importance for many years.
As the town is best known for John Brown and his raid, though, make sure to visit John Brown’s Fort, which is now on the National Register of Historic Places. Hiking enthusiasts will find 22 miles of hiking trails from easy to strenuous. Make sure to visit the Appalachian Trail Conservatory Visitors Center and learn a bit more about the world famous 2,178-mile hiking trail.
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49. Houghton, Michigan
The beautiful town of Houghton in Michigan is one of the best small towns in America for adventurers and outdoor lovers.
Situated in Michigan’s Keweenaw Peninsula, the Houghton area is surrounded by 139 inland lakes and 900 miles of streams and rivers. In winter months, the town also offers 233 miles of snowmobile trails for adventure seekers. If you are looking for a bit of history, head to the Seaman Mineralogical Museum to find an interesting exhibit of minerals from the area.
To spend a relaxing afternoon, stop by the Riverside Park and enjoy the marina views, boardwalk, and a small beach with a picnic area. Outdoor lovers can check out the Houghton Waterfront Trail, which is perfect for hiking and biking.
Houghton is the perfect choice for a weekend getaway spent in nature while enjoying outdoor activities.
50. Sheridan, Wyoming
Known as Wyoming’s Jewel, Sheridan attracts visitors with its old western charm and stunning mountain views.
Your trip around Sheridan should start at its thriving historic district. Take a step back in time and visit the Brinton Museum dedicated to Western and American Indian Art from the 19th, 20th, and 21st centuries. Make sure to also stop by the oldest bar in Sheridan – the Mint Bar. Opened in 1907, it has been a meeting place for cowboys and ranchers, so you will certainly learn a legend or two while enjoying a refreshing pint of beer.
The town is situated between the Yellowstone National Park and Badlands National Park. Hence, this is the perfect spot to get out in nature and enjoy the various serene hiking trails in the wilderness. The town is also home to various events year-round, with live music, craft beers, an art and craft vibe, and much more. The combination of breathtaking mountain views and historic charm make Sheridan the perfect spot to immerse yourself in the Western experience.
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