Are you looking for a weekend getaway or a vacation away from home, yet still retaining a relatively calm and private atmosphere? There are hundreds of small towns all across America that can fit the bill perfectly, each with their own unique character and attractions to offer something for everyone. We’ve chosen our favorite little towns that are guaranteed to get your mind off the clock.
Oregon is known for its beautiful outdoors and easy-going lifestyle. The beaches in Oregon are no exception here, it is both ideal for romantic getaways and family vacations. The town of Florence isn’t packed with shopping malls, but it does have plenty of amazing sights and landmarks to visit. If you’re the more adventurous type, you can dive into the country’s largest sea cave and watch all the sea lions frolic around.
Michigan is packed with cozy little towns, but we chose Traverse City for its access to both great beaches and iconic blossoming of cherry trees everywhere you look. It will produce moments of feeling as though you stepped into a watercolor painting with pinks, blues, and vibrant greens all around.
This small town has a great mix of historic sights, country comforts, and spectacular seats to the Atlantic that would put any stressed soul at peace. If you like to be out on the water, Beaufort has great kayaking opportunities and boating tours to try to catch some dolphins out in the wild.
Chicago may be all about crowded, loud, and windy streets, but if you take a trip down to Galena, you will experience a drastically different climate. Things seem to slow down more here. While still a very popular destination in Illinois, Galena’s real estate is all scaled down and very traditional. You can enjoy some the nation’s best kept secret: Illinois wineries, over a romantic dinner inside a cottage.
This location in California is a favorite among celebrities, but don’t let that deter you from considering it as a great small town to visit as a mere common. The village isn’t about glam or expensive tastes (although, they do cater to those that do), the cobblestone streets, small shops, and quiet beaches are postcard-quality features you can come to expect from small towns like Carmel. Why the name Carmel? Because of its sweet interior. The residents are delightful in Carmel, too.
This is a special crossroads in the DMV, it’s where you can access both Maryland and the Virginias at the merger of both Potomac and Shenandoah rivers. Spending time exploring along these beautiful rivers is a great way to get away from the modern hustle and bustle of the city. The town of Harper’s Ferry is also very accommodating, including many heritage buildings that date back to colonial times.
This Pacific small town gem is almost like something you would normally find in Maine or Connecticut, filled with the staples of every iconic portside town: fishing boats, fresh markets, sleepy cottages, and the refreshing salty breeze with the backdrop of tall trees. This is a seafood lover’s paradise, where you can fine dine without needing to be seated at a fancy restaurant.
We return to the East Coast to include a town that isn’t just known for their clams and lobsters (although they are amazing); Stowe is the highest village in Vermont, accompanied by Mount Mansfield and its beautiful scenery. Active vacationers will love the many trails and activities to explore along the mountainous region. The town is very easy-going and will offer a warm welcome to all travelers.
This isn’t like your typical small town in America. Sitka is the collection of nature and man’s relationship over many years. This place exudes a certain mystique, but also provides plenty of opportunity to relax with the waves rhythmically washing along the shore. As with most areas of Alaska, the sights are breathtaking. This town is also home to a rich native cultural influence, which will show you a side of America that does not often get visited.
If your idea of a vacation includes cozy cabin fires and dramatic snow-capped mountains with exhilarating skiing, Estes Park is your dream destination. Nestled at the base of the Rocky Mountains, you are completely surrounded by the National Park, which means you will be within eye-shot of all the native wildlife, as well. Take the lift up the mountains and watch as the tiny village of Estes Park turns into a small dot; you can’t help but be in awe of just how lucky we are to have such a majestic mountain range in our own nation’s backyard.