Charming Towns You’ll Never Believe Are in the U.S. from Charming Towns You’ll Never Believe Are in the U.S.
Charming Towns You’ll Never Believe Are in the U.S.
Charming Towns You’ll Never Believe Are in the U.S.
Going on a trip, whether for the weekend, a week or a month, is probably everyone’s favorite pastime. Make the most of the few vacation days you have, and don’t flock to tourist traps like New York or Los Angeles. Think outside the box. Choose a laid-back atmosphere over the hustle and bustle of a big city and see one-of-a-kind historical sites. What these cities lack in size they make up for in character and allure.
Woodstock is a charming, year round destination on the banks of the Ottauquechee River and the Crossroad of Vermont Scenic Byway. Located in the Green Mountains of Windsor County, the town boasts the only national park in Vermont, agricultural landscapes and many unique lodging cabins. This historic town looks like a fairytale during Christmas time. A light dusting of snow, cheerful displays, Christmas parades, and exciting events are just some of the many things you have to look forward to.
Newport, Rhode Island
Would you ever think of the ocean state as a possible food destination? Probably not, but Newport made the list of the best foodie cities in the country. Almost 20 percent of the town’s restaurants have five stars on Yelp, which is remarkable for a city of its size. The more adventurous of you should try cliff walking for 3.5 miles along the eastern shore of Newport, a popular public access walk that combines the natural beauty of the coast with the architectural history of the city’s golden age.
Traverse City, Michigan
Traverse City, which often makes the lists of best beach towns in America, is known for its outdoor recreation every season of the year, according to Pure Michigan. The Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore, a magnificent mix of water, sky and towering sand dunes on the Lake Michigan shoreline, is a famous attraction with an abundance of hiking trails. The biking and fishing opportunities are endless.
Sitka is considered Alaska’s most beautiful seaside town with its views of island-studded waters and stately spruce forests reaching to the water’s edge. Ancient lands were home to the Tlingit Indians, long before Russians or Americans walked on the rocky shores. Visit the Fortress of the Bear, go whale-watching, and explore Alaska’s oldest national park. It commemorates the Battle of 1804. The 113-acre park includes the scenic Totem Trail.
This is the Outdoor Recreational Capital of Colorado, nestled in some of the most rugged and towering peaks of the Rockies. It’s an ideal adventure spot every season of the year. Go hiking or biking along any section of the Dallas Trail system. You’ll pass through Telluride, with off-shoots to the famous scenery of Blaine Basin and Blue Lakes. Relax in hot springs, go on an amazing road trip and drive the San Juan Highway, and go river tubing on the Uncompahgre River in the fall.
Wallace is the world’s largest silver producer — making it the richest mining town still in existence, and the last town entirely listed on the National Register of Historic Places, according to Visir North Idaho. Explore the more than 1,000 miles of mining, logging and Forest Service roads that have been turned into the world’s largest mountain bike, ATV and snowmobile trail system. Go on underground mine tours, and visit the mine museums after hiking in lush green forests.
Alpine is a desert oasis with everything you need to unwind and relax, including unique shopping, nightlife and cozy guest houses. The town was rated by Texas Highways readers as one of their favorite destinations in the state, according to VisitAlpineTX.com. Go hiking along the rolling hills and mountains of the southbound road to gorgeous Big Bend National Park, see the art-mecca Marfa, and explore the peaks and twists of the Davis Mountains.
The town was built in 1946 with the intention of being like an Old West set worth visiting, with 1880s-style false-front facades but interiors that had stuff for visitors to see and do as well, according to Visit California. You can still see frontier stables, saloons, and jails, even though inside they have ice cream parlors, bowling alleys, and motels.
St. Augustine, Florida
The oldest city in the U.S. is tied with a few other cities on the list of best beach towns in the country for having the most nightlife establishments and restaurants per capita. Its overall “Quality of Life” rank is second. The city, which has a quaint feel but big appeal, offers historic sights, family fun adventures and venues, awesome “on the water” experiences, and unique scenery.
Take on an outdoor adventure along the Mississippi River, or spend hours exploring the nooks and crannies of our many historic sites. Whatever you do, you will never be bored in Galena. Among the favorites is soaring the sky in a hot air balloon. You may also like teeing up a round of golf on the championship greens. From waterways and byways to unbeaten paths, Galena Country is a thrilling gem.
Port Townsend, Washington
This is Washington’s Victorian seaport and arts community. It is an easily accessible base camp to the Olympic Peninsula and beyond, according to Enjoy Port Townsend. October is the best time to visit to see stunning fall foliage that offers a riot of glorious shades of amber, pumpkin and russet. It’s also a month of exciting events such as theatre performances and dance parties.
Visit the site of the first major U.S. Gold Rush and the Heart of Georgia Wine Country, settled in the state’s Blue Ridge Mountains. Go in November for the Hemlock Festival if you want to enjoy three days of live music, arts and crafts. Don’t skip the Gold Museum to learn about the region’s unique history and to see rare coins and nozzle used to blast soil from mountainsides. Dahlonega is also home to the University of North Georgia, one of the fittest colleges in the country.
Flickr/Eli Christman/CC BY 4.0
This town in the Blue Ridge Mountains is the gateway to the Mount Rogers National Recreation Area. Damascus is a hiking paradise, especially if you love to explore the wilderness. It lies within a short distance of hundreds of miles of other hiking, horse, and biking trails and is traversed by dozens of iconic trails including the Appalachian Trail, the Trans-America National Bicycle Trail, the Iron Mountain Trail, and the Virginia’s Birding and Wildlife Trail, according to Visit Damascus.
Jim Thorpe, Pennsylvania
Jim Thorpe, a small town of about 5,000 people, is consistently ranked on national media’s “Best” lists, and recognized among the most fun, most beautiful, most romantic and best adventure destinations in the country. Take a train ride or go on a whitewater rafting trip along the Lehigh River; hike the gorgeous Glen Onoko Falls in Lehigh Gorge State Park; bike the Switchback and D&L trails; or camp and canoe at Mauch Chunk Lake Park.
This small town nearby the Glacier National Park is a perfect destination to escape the heat in the summer, and to go skiing in the winter. The charming city is right at the bottom of Big Mountain. The Whitefish Mountain Resort is a go-to place for everyone. Paddle a kayak on Whitefish Lake for beautiful views of the surrounding forest.