The Best Small Towns in Each State

by Lauren Dana

The Best Small Towns in Each State

by Lauren Dana

Ready to hit the road? Plan a visit to one of these 50 distinct, charming, and quaint small towns across the United States.

Ready to hit the road? Plan a visit to one of these 50 distinct, charming, and quaint small towns across the United States.

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Frankenmuth, Michigan / iStock / csfotoimages
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Fairhope, AL

This vibrant coastal Alabama town – which is 30 minutes outside of Mobile – is best known for its panoramic views of the surrounding Mobile Bay. It’s also home to an array of parks, restaurants (local favorites include Panini Pete’s and Sunset Pointe), and shops. 

This vibrant coastal Alabama town – which is 30 minutes outside of Mobile – is best known for its panoramic views of the surrounding Mobile Bay. It’s also home to an array of parks, restaurants (local favorites include Panini Pete’s and Sunset Pointe), and shops. 

Ketchikan, Alaska
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Ketchikan, AK

The port city of Ketchikan has several iconic parks and monuments, including the Totem Heritage Center, which houses one of the world’s largest collections of 19th-century totem poles. It’s also a popular destination among wildlife enthusiasts. Here, visitors can spot black bears, wolves, goats, deer, bald eagles, and nearly 100 other species. 

Read more: Our Review of Ketchikan, AK

The port city of Ketchikan has several iconic parks and monuments, including the Totem Heritage Center, which houses one of the world’s largest collections of 19th-century totem poles. It’s also a popular destination among wildlife enthusiasts. Here, visitors can spot black bears, wolves, goats, deer, bald eagles, and nearly 100 other species. 

Read more: Our Review of Ketchikan, AK

 

Sedona, AZ
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Sedona, AZ

The desert town of Sedona is about two hours from Scottsdale and makes for an easy long-weekend escape. Start with a hike around the scenic Bell Rock Pathway (remember to bring water). Afterward, spend some time perusing the city’s many art galleries. Then, refuel with a bite at Elote Cafe, which is one of the best restaurants in town. 

Read more: A One-Week Arizona Road Trip with Something for Everyone

The desert town of Sedona is about two hours from Scottsdale and makes for an easy long-weekend escape. Start with a hike around the scenic Bell Rock Pathway (remember to bring water). Afterward, spend some time perusing the city’s many art galleries. Then, refuel with a bite at Elote Cafe, which is one of the best restaurants in town. 

 

Eureka Springs, Arkansas
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Eureka Springs, AR

Nestled in the heart of the Ozark Mountains, Eureka Springs truly offers something for everyone in your group. Its Historic District, which is listed on the National Register of Historic Places, features incredible Victorian architecture, plus dozens of shopping and dining options. 

Nestled in the heart of the Ozark Mountains, Eureka Springs truly offers something for everyone in your group. Its Historic District, which is listed on the National Register of Historic Places, features incredible Victorian architecture, plus dozens of shopping and dining options. 

Healdsburg, California
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Healdsburg, CA

Healdsburg is about two hours from San Francisco. This charming town has dozens of tasting rooms, high-end and casual eateries, romantic wine bars, and chic boutiques. Local favorites include Flying Goat Coffee, Hawley Winery, and Valette

Read more: 11 Under-the-Radar US Wine Regions
 

Healdsburg is about two hours from San Francisco. This charming town has dozens of tasting rooms, high-end and casual eateries, romantic wine bars, and chic boutiques. Local favorites include Flying Goat Coffee, Hawley Winery, and Valette. 

 

Durango, Colorado
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Durango, CO

This small southwestern city, which is located at the foot of the San Juan Mountains, offers plenty to see and do. Durango’s downtown features ample shopping and dining options to choose from – plus five breweries. Outdoor enthusiasts can take advantage of mountain biking and hiking trails.

Read more: 7 Cool Small Towns for Escaping the Summer Heat
 

This small southwestern city, which is located at the foot of the San Juan Mountains, offers plenty to see and do. Durango’s downtown features ample shopping and dining options to choose from – plus five breweries. Outdoor enthusiasts can take advantage of mountain biking and hiking trails.

Mystic, Connecticut
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Mystic, CT

The seaport town of Mystic – which is about halfway between New York City and Boston – is packed with a healthy dose of culture, history, and, of course, breathtaking scenery. Cap off your trip with a visit to the nostalgia-inducing Mystic Pizza (which, yes, inspired the 1988 Julia Roberts film) before heading to the Mystic Seaport. The interactive history museum spans 17 acres, and it’s still a working shipyard. 

Read more: Easy New England Escapes: Mystic, Connecticut
 

The seaport town of Mystic, CT -- which is about halfway between NYC and Boston -- is packed with a healthy dose of culture, history, and, of course, breathtaking scenery. Cap off your trip with a visit to the nostalgia-inducing Mystic Pizza (which, yes, inspired the 1988 Julia Roberts film) before heading to the Mystic Seaport. The interactive history museum spans 17 acres, and it’s still a working shipyard. 

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New Castle, DE

History buffs will certainly appreciate a visit to New Castle, which is situated along the Delaware River. Popular attractions include Newcastle Battery Park, First State National Historical Park, and New Castle Court House Museum (which is housed in a 1732-era building). 

History buffs will certainly appreciate a visit to New Castle, which is situated along the Delaware River. Popular attractions include Newcastle Battery Park, First State National Historical Park, and New Castle Court House Museum (which is housed in a 1732-era building). 

Grayton Beach, Florida
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Grayton Beach, FL

This small, historic beach town is situated right on the Florida Panhandle Gulf Coast and is about halfway between Destin and Panama City. At Grayton Beach State Park, you can fish, paddle, kayak, swim, sunbathe, or stroll through miles of scenic trails.

Read more: Avoid the Crowds at These 10 Overlooked Beaches

This small, historic beach town is situated right on the Florida Panhandle Gulf Coast and is about halfway between Destin and Panama City. At Grayton Beach State Park, you can fish, paddle, kayak, swim, sunbathe, or stroll through miles of scenic trails.

Read more: Avoid the Crowds at These 10 Overlooked Beaches

Brunswick, Georgia
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Brunswick, GA

Brunswick is the perfect place to be if you’re in search of some solitude and seclusion. It's best known for its 289-acre, Victorian-era Old Town Historic District – which is listed on the National Register of Historic Places – along with the magnificent Lover’s Oak tree that's estimated to be over 900 years old. 

Brunswick is the perfect place to be if you’re in search of some solitude and seclusion. It's best known for its 289-acre, Victorian-era Old Town Historic District – which is listed on the National Register of Historic Places – along with the magnificent Lover’s Oak tree that's estimated to be over 900 years old. 

Princeville, Hawaii
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Princeville, HI

Located on Kauai (nicknamed the “Garden Isle”), the resort community of Princeville spans a whopping 9,000 acres. Nearby natural wonders include the magnificent Hanalei Bay, featuring an idyllic two-mile stretch of sand surrounded by mountains; and Queen’s Bath, a tide pool surrounded by indigenous rock. Meanwhile, Princeville Center is home to dozens of shops and restaurants to choose from. Golfers will appreciate the Princeville Makai Golf Club, while adrenaline junkies will love Princeville Ranch, which offers off-roading, ziplining, horseback riding, and kayaking excursions. 

Read more: How to Plan a Trip to Hawaii

Located on Kauai (nicknamed the “Garden Isle”), the resort community of Princeville spans a whopping 9,000 acres. Nearby natural wonders include the magnificent Hanalei Bay, featuring an idyllic two-mile stretch of sand surrounded by mountains; and Queen’s Bath, a tide pool surrounded by indigenous rock. Meanwhile, Princeville Center is home to dozens of shops and restaurants to choose from. Golfers will appreciate the Princeville Makai Golf Club, while adrenaline junkies will love Princeville Ranch, which offers off-roading, ziplining, horseback riding, and kayaking excursions. 

Read more: How to Plan a Trip to Hawaii

Ketchum, Idaho
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Ketchum, ID

Ketchum is often skipped over by travelers, many of whom are in town to visit Sun Valley. However, the town is definitely worth a trip alone. Hidden gems include the Sawtooth Botanical Gardens, Chapter One Bookstore, and Maude’s Coffee and Clothes. And, when it comes to food and drink, there are plenty of options to choose from. Hit up Java on Fourth for a cup of Joe, The Kneadery for fresh Belgian waffles, The Covey for upscale dining, and Warfield Brewery and Distillery for drinks. 

Ketchum is often skipped over by travelers, many of whom are in town to visit Sun Valley. However, the town is definitely worth a trip alone. Hidden gems include the Sawtooth Botanical Gardens, Chapter One Bookstore, and Maude’s Coffee and Clothes. And, when it comes to food and drink, there are plenty of options to choose from. Hit up Java on Fourth for a cup of Joe, The Kneadery for fresh Belgian waffles, The Covey for upscale dining, and Warfield Brewery and Distillery for drinks. 

Galena, Illinois
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Galena, IL

Featuring rolling hills, stunning 19th century-era architecture, and four vineyards, this Illinois town is chock-full of charm. Here, you’ll also find the former home of US President Ulysses S. Grant, along with the Chicago Athenaeum museum and an authentic 1897-era blacksmith shop.

Read more: 5 Great Road Trips to Take
 

Featuring rolling hills, stunning 19th century-era architecture, and four vineyards, this Illinois town is chock-full of charm. Here, you’ll also find the former home of US President Ulysses S. Grant, along with the Chicago Athenaeum museum and an authentic 1897-era blacksmith shop.

Chesterton, Indiana
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Chesterton, IN

Chesterton is located just 45 minutes from Chicago and south of the beautiful Indiana Dunes National Park and Indiana Dunes State Park, where you can go swimming, boating, or picnicking. Art enthusiasts will appreciate a visit to the Chesterton Art Center, while foodies can choose to dine at dozens of eateries (Lemon Tree Mediterranean Grill and Third Coast Spice Cafe are among our favorites). 

Chesterton is located just 45 minutes from Chicago and south of the beautiful Indiana Dunes National Park and Indiana Dunes State Park, where you can go swimming, boating, or picnicking. Art enthusiasts will appreciate a visit to the Chesterton Art Center, while foodies can choose to dine at dozens of eateries (Lemon Tree Mediterranean Grill and Third Coast Spice Cafe are among our favorites). 

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Mount Vernon, IA

This delightful farm town has a lively downtown area that’s lined with restaurants, shops, and other businesses (Skillet Cafe is a must-visit). The destination is dotted with farms and rolling hills, which set the scene for a tranquil weekend getaway. 

Read more: These 7 Cities Are Anything But Boring
 

This delightful farm town has a lively downtown area that’s lined with restaurants, shops, and other businesses (Skillet Cafe is a must-visit). The destination is dotted with farms and rolling hills, which set the scene for a tranquil weekend getaway. 

Read more: These 7 Cities Are Anything But Boring

Lawrence
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Lawrence, KS

This small yet lively Kansas city is home to the Spencer Museum of Art (which boasts 36,000 works of art). Meanwhile, The University of Kansas  Natural History Museum features dinosaur fossils and other fascinating artifacts. Additionally, Baker Wetlands and its hundreds of bird species is great for birders, while the 1,500-acre Clinton State Park is lined with trails where you can spot wildlife like adorable deer. 

This small yet lively Kansas city is home to the Spencer Museum of Art (which boasts 36,000 works of art). Meanwhile, The University of Kansas  Natural History Museum features dinosaur fossils and other fascinating artifacts. Additionally, Baker Wetlands and its hundreds of bird species is great for birders, while the 1,500-acre Clinton State Park is lined with trails where you can spot wildlife like adorable deer. 

Paducah, Kentucky
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Paducah, KY

Paducah is actually listed as a UNESCO Creative City, so art enthusiasts and culture vultures will love it here. Popular attractions include the National Quilt Museum and Purple Toad Winery. Plus, its downtown area, lined with shops, restaurants, galleries, and boutiques, is constantly named one of the most beautiful in the country. 

Read more: 5 Totally Unique Stops On a Kentucky Road Trip
 

Paducah is actually listed as a UNESCO Creative City, so art enthusiasts and culture vultures will love it here. Popular attractions include the National Quilt Museum and Purple Toad Winery. Plus, its downtown area, lined with shops, restaurants, galleries, and boutiques, is constantly named one of the most beautiful in the country. 

Read more: 5 Totally Unique Stops On a Kentucky Road Trip 

St. Francisville, Louisiana
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St. Francisville, LA

St. Francisville is about a 40-minute drive from Louisiana’s capital city of Baton Rouge, even though its small-town charm makes it feel miles away from the hustle and bustle. Here, visitors can tour the historic 19th-century Myrtles Plantation or enjoy a picnic at the Rosedown Plantation State Historic Site, which features stunning gardens and scenic trails. 

Read more: 13 Ways to Experience Louisiana Like a Local

St. Francisville is about a 40-minute drive from Louisiana’s capital city of Baton Rouge, even though its small-town charm makes it feel miles away from the hustle and bustle. Here, visitors can tour the historic 19th-century Myrtles Plantation or enjoy a picnic at the Rosedown Plantation State Historic Site, which features stunning gardens and scenic trails. 

Read more: 13 Ways to Experience Louisiana Like a Local

Rockland, Maine
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Rockland, ME

About 80 miles south of Portland is the seaside town of Rockland. Its bustling Main Street is home to the Farnsworth Museum – where there's more than 15,000 pieces of American art – the historic Strand Theatre, a tranquil rooftop sculpture garden (find it at Harbor Square Gallery), a curated selection of beach reads courtesy of Hello Hello Books, and incredible restaurants like North Beacon Oyster and Home Kitchen Cafe.

Read more: Our Official Guide to Rockland, Maine

About 80 miles south of Portland is the seaside town of Rockland. Its bustling Main Street is home to the Farnsworth Museum – where there's more than 15,000 pieces of American art – the historic Strand Theatre, a tranquil rooftop sculpture garden (find it at Harbor Square Gallery), a curated selection of beach reads courtesy of Hello Hello Books, and incredible restaurants like North Beacon Oyster and Home Kitchen Cafe.

Read more: Our Official Guide to Rockland, Maine

St. Michael’s, Maryland
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St. Michaels, MD

The seaside town of St. Michaels dates back to the 15th century when it served as a trading post for tobacco farmers. Today, visitors can explore the destinations’ nautical-inspired attractions, like the Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum or the 1879 Hooper Strait Lighthouse. Don’t skip town without a visit to St. Michaels Winery for vino and Crab N Que for jumbo crab cakes. 

Read more: 5 Southern Coastal Towns to Explore this Summer
 

The seaside town of St. Michaels dates back to the 15th century when it served as a trading post for tobacco farmers. Today, visitors can explore the destinations’ nautical-inspired attractions, like the Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum or the 1879 Hooper Strait Lighthouse. Don’t skip town without a visit to St. Michaels Winery for vino and Crab N Que for jumbo crab cakes. 

Pittsfield, Massachusetts
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Pittsfield, MA

Pittsfield, right in the heart of the Berkshires, has a handful of large lakes and is ideal for outdoor enthusiasts, antique aficionados, and foodies alike. Stroll the downtown area and find Patrick’s Pub – housed in an 18th century-era building – along with several antique shops. Save room for dessert and get the peanut brittle-topped soft serve from King Kone. 

Read more: Cozy Up! 5 Romantic Winter Getaways in New England
 

Pittsfield, right in the heart of the Berkshires, has a handful of large lakes and is ideal for outdoor enthusiasts, antique aficionados, and foodies alike. Stroll the downtown area and find Patrick’s Pub – housed in an 18th century-era building – along with several antique shops. Save room for dessert and get the peanut brittle-topped soft serve from King Kone. 

Read more: Cozy Up! 5 Romantic Winter Getaways in New England

Grand Marais, Minnesota
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Grand Marais, MN

The small city of Grand Marais is set against the shoreline of Lake Michigan. You can’t leave town without paying a visit to the Grand Marais Lighthouse (which dates back to 1922), Sivertson Gallery, or the Cook County History Museum, found in a 19th-century residence. It’s also a great destination for stargazing: Grand Marais and the surrounding Cook County area boasts some of the darkest night skies in the world. 

Read more: 9 Incredible Stargazing Destinations Around the World
 

The small city of Grand Marais is set against the shoreline of Lake Michigan. You can’t leave town without paying a visit to the Grand Marais Lighthouse (which dates back to 1922), Sivertson Gallery, or the Cook County History Museum, found in a 19th-century residence. It’s also a great destination for stargazing: Grand Marais and the surrounding Cook County area boasts some of the darkest night skies in the world. 

Read more: 9 Incredible Stargazing Destinations Around the World

Frankenmuth, Michigan
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Frankenmuth, MI

This European-inspired city looks to be plucked right out of a fairytale. It’s best known for its charming Bavarian-style architecture. The Frankenmuth Historical Museum and Military & Space Heroes Museum are both must-see attractions. Heritage Park is a popular spot for picnicking and people-watching. 

This European-inspired city looks to be plucked right out of a fairytale. It’s best known for its charming Bavarian-style architecture. The Frankenmuth Historical Museum and Military & Space Heroes Museum are both must-see attractions. Heritage Park is a popular spot for picnicking and people-watching. 

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Bay St. Louis, MS

Bay St. Louis lies along the Mississippi Sound and is about 60 miles away from New Orleans. The seaside destination has several art museums, including the Alice Moseley Folk Art & Antique Museum and Bay St. Louis Historic L & N Train Depot. If the weather’s nice, be sure to hit up one of the city’s white-sand beaches. 

Read more: Easy Southern Escapes: Natchez, Mississippi
 

Bay St. Louis lies along the Mississippi Sound and is about 60 miles away from New Orleans. The seaside destination has several art museums, including the Alice Moseley Folk Art & Antique Museum and Bay St. Louis Historic L & N Train Depot. If the weather’s nice, be sure to hit up one of the city’s white-sand beaches. 

Read more: Easy Southern Escapes: Natchez, Mississippi

Rocheport, Missouri
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Rocheport, MO

Rocheport is two hours away from both St. Louis and Kansas City. There are several wineries (including Les Bourgeois Vineyards), Katy Trail State Park, and the 16,700-acre Big Muddy National Fish And Wildlife Refuge, where visitors can hunt and fish. The downtown area features cozy B&Bs, quaint shops, and great dining options. 

Rocheport is two hours away from both St. Louis and Kansas City. There are several wineries (including Les Bourgeois Vineyards), Katy Trail State Park, and the 16,700-acre Big Muddy National Fish And Wildlife Refuge, where visitors can hunt and fish. The downtown area features cozy B&Bs, quaint shops, and great dining options. 

Whitefish, Montana
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Whitefish, MT

Whitefish serves as a gateway to Glacier National Park – but don’t overlook this rocky mountain resort town. Whitefish Lake features its own sandy, crowd-free beach, while Central Avenue is comprised of charming shops and eateries. 

Read more: The 10 Best National Park Hikes
 

Whitefish serves as a gateway to Glacier National Park – but don’t overlook this rocky mountain resort town. Whitefish Lake features its own sandy, crowd-free beach, while Central Avenue is comprised of charming shops and eateries. 

Read more: The 10 Best National Park Hikes

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Ogallala, NE

Nicknamed the Cowboy Capital of Nebraska, Ogallala is just as fun to say as it is to visit. There's the tranquil Lake McConaughy, where you can fish, hunt, sunbathe, swim, or partake in a variety of water sports. Ogallala’s Front Street is a replica of a classic old west town; there's a general store, museum, and bar and restaurant.

Nicknamed the Cowboy Capital of Nebraska, Ogallala is just as fun to say as it is to visit. There's the tranquil Lake McConaughy, where you can fish, hunt, sunbathe, swim, or partake in a variety of water sports. Ogallala’s Front Street is a replica of a classic old west town; there's a general store, museum, and bar and restaurant.

Boulder City, Nevada
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Boulder City, NV

Boulder City is filled with activities and attractions. Highlights include the Ethel M Botanical Cactus Garden (which also happens to be located in a chocolate factory you can tour), Lake Mead National Recreation Area, and the historic Hoover Dam

Read more: 7 Cheap Day Trips from Las Vegas
 

Boulder City is chock-full of activities and attractions. Highlights include the Ethel M Botanical Cactus Garden (which also happens to be located in a chocolate factory you can tour), Lake Mead National Recreation Area, and the historic Hoover Dam. 

Read more: 7 Cheap Day Trips from Las Vegas

Sugar Hill, New Hampshire
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Sugar Hill, NH

The sweet mountain town of Sugar Hill overlooks the scenic White Mountain National Forest. The area is best known for its abundant skiing, biking, and hiking opportunities. Local staples like Harman’s Cheese & Country Store and Polly’s Pancake Parlor are not to be missed. 

The sweet mountain town of Sugar Hill overlooks the scenic White Mountain National Forest. The area is best known for its abundant skiing, biking, and hiking opportunities. Local staples like Harman’s Cheese & Country Store and Polly’s Pancake Parlor are not to be missed. 

Van Vleck House & Gardens
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Montclair, NJ

This New Jersey town boasts a beautiful downtown area, along with an art museum, a handful of parks, incredible eats, and chic boutiques. The Van Vleck House & Gardens (a former private estate with its own botanical garden that now offers public tours), is also a must-see. 

This New Jersey town boasts a beautiful downtown area, along with an art museum, a handful of parks, incredible eats, and chic boutiques. The Van Vleck House & Gardens (a former private estate with its own botanical garden that now offers public tours), is also a must-see. 

Taos, New Mexico
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Taos, NM

This small mountain town is teeming with natural beauty, culture, and adventure. Must-see attractions include Taos Pueblo (a UNESCO site), Taos Plaza, and the Taos Art Museum. The destination also offers great hiking and skiing, depending on the time of year you visit.

Read more: Luxury for Less in Artsy and Historic Santa Fe, New Mexico
 

This small mountain town is teeming with natural beauty, culture, and adventure. Must-see attractions include Taos Pueblo (a UNESCO site), Taos Plaza, and the Taos Art Museum. The destination also offers great hiking and skiing, depending on the time of year you visit.

New York State's Hudson Valley
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Hudson, NY

Farmer’s markets, craft breweries, art galleries, and eclectic boutiques: Find all this and more in Hudson, just about two hours outside of NYC. The town’s lovely downtown area boasts colorful buildings that house incredible restaurants, antique shops, and more. 

Read more: 10 Quick Breaks From Major US Cities

Farmer’s markets, craft breweries, art galleries, and eclectic boutiques: Find all this and more in Hudson, just about two hours outside of NYC. The town’s lovely downtown area boasts colorful buildings that house incredible restaurants, antique shops, and more. 

Read more: 10 Quick Breaks From Major US Cities

Boone, North Carolina
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Boone, NC

Located in the Blue Ridge Mountains, the town of Boone is not to be missed. The Hickory Ridge Living History Museum offers a glimpse into what life was like during the Revolutionary War, while the Daniel Boone Gardens boast 200-plus species of beautiful flora. Before you skip town, pick up a souvenir or two at the Mast General Store

Read more: Easy Southern Escapes: Cashiers, North Carolina
 

Located in the Blue Ridge Mountains, the town of Boone is not to be missed. The Hickory Ridge Living History Museum offers a glimpse into what life was like during the Revolutionary War, while the Daniel Boone Gardens boast 200-plus species of beautiful flora. Before you skip town, pick up a souvenir or two at the Mast General Store. 

Read more: Easy Southern Escapes: Cashiers, North Carolina

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Minot, ND

This destination offers an array of things to do, from the fascinating Dakota Territory Air Museum to the Roosevelt Park Zoo, to The Scandinavian Heritage Park, the only outdoor museum to feature all five Nordic countries (Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway, and Sweden). 

This small town offers an array of things to do, from the fascinating Dakota Territory Air Museum to the Roosevelt Park Zoo, to The Scandinavian Heritage Park, the only outdoor museum to feature all five Nordic countries (Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway, and Sweden). 

Put-in-Bay, OH
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Put-in-Bay, OH

Located on South Bass Island, this dynamic city is often dubbed “The Key West of the North" thanks to its tropical-inspired vibe (think: pool parties, swim-up bars, and tiki bars). Oenophiles should pay a visit to Heineman Winery, which offers affordable wine tastings and underground cave tours.

Read more: Smart Luxury: A Day in Columbus, Ohio
 

Located on South Bass Island, this dynamic city is often dubbed “The Key West of the North" thanks to its tropical-inspired vibe (think pool parties, swim-up bars, and tiki bars). Oenophiles should pay a visit to Heineman Winery, which offers affordable wine tastings and underground cave tours.

Read more: Smart Luxury: A Day in Columbus, Ohio

Oklahoma welcome sign
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Medicine Park, OK

The resort town, located in the Wichita Mountains near the entrance to the 60,000-acre Wichita Mountain Wildlife Refuge, has a fascinating history. It's best known for its all-natural cobblestones, which can be found all over town. Stroll down Medicine Creek and watch the sunset before grabbing dinner downtown. 

The resort town, located in the Wichita Mountains near the entrance to the 60,000-acre Wichita Mountain Wildlife Refuge, has a fascinating history. It's best known for its all-natural cobblestones, which can be found all over town. Stroll down Medicine Creek and watch the sunset before grabbing dinner downtown. 

Pacific City, Oregon
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Pacific City, OR

The picturesque beachfront town of Pacific City offers many activities to see and do. Perhaps its most famous attraction is the 185-acre Cape Kiwanda State Natural Area, where visitors can surf, sunbathe, and picnic. It also offers incredible hiking opportunities, too. The beach is especially gorgeous at sunset, so go ahead and make your Instagram followers jealous.

Read more: The Best Beaches in America to Visit This Fall

The picturesque beachfront town of Pacific City offers many activities to see and do. Perhaps its most famous attraction is the 185-acre Cape Kiwanda State Natural Area, where visitors can surf, sunbathe, and picnic. It also offers incredible hiking opportunities, too. The beach is especially gorgeous at sunset, so go ahead and make your Instagram followers jealous.

Read more: The Best Beaches in America to Visit This Fall

 

 

Gettysburg, Pennsylvania
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Gettysburg, PA

Gettysburg, most famous for the Civil War's Battle of Gettysburg, is a haven for history buffs. Today, visitors can learn more about its fascinating history by visiting one of the handfuls of museums and cultural establishments in town, including the Gettysburg National Military Park Museum & Visitor Center and the Gettysburg Heritage Center

Read more: Find Out Which National Park is Right For You

Gettysburg, most famous for the Civil War's Battle of Gettysburg, is a haven for history buffs. Today, visitors can learn more about its fascinating history by visiting one of the handfuls of museums and cultural establishments in town, including the Gettysburg National Military Park Museum & Visitor Center and the Gettysburg Heritage Center. 

Read more: Find Out Which National Park is Right For You

Westerly, Rhode Island
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Westerly, RI

The town of Westerly dates back all the way to 1661. Today, it's a popular destination for shopping, waterfront dining, and boating. Alternatively, if you prefer sunbathing to shopping, head to Misquamicut State Beach and soak up the sunshine. 

Read more: Smart Luxury: Newport, Rhode Island
 
 

The town of Westerly dates back all the way to 1661. Today, it's a popular destination for shopping, waterfront dining, and boating. Alternatively, if you prefer sunbathing to shopping, head to Misquamicut State Beach and soak up the sunshine. 

Read more: Smart Luxury: Newport, Rhode Island

Sullivan's Island, South Carolina
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Sullivan's Island, SC

This island town is about 25 minutes from downtown Charleston. It's beloved for its laid-back ambiance, beautiful beaches, and incredible restaurants, which are open year-round. Sullivan's Island dates back to the 1600s when it was first settled by Captain Florence O'Sullivan. The Battle of Sullivan's Island (1776) took place here. Today, the island is home to about 2,000 residents – plus wildlife like sea turtles, dolphins, ospreys, marsh hen, and even coyote. 

Read more: 10 Places Every Member of Your Family Will Love
 

This island town is about 25 minutes from downtown Charleston. It's beloved for its laid-back ambiance, beautiful beaches, and incredible restaurants, which are open year-round. Sullivan's Island dates back to the 1600s when it was first settled by Captain Florence O'Sullivan. The Battle of Sullivan's Island (1776) took place here. Today, the island is home to about 2,000 residents – plus wildlife like sea turtles, dolphins, ospreys, marsh hen, and even coyote. 

Read more: 10 Places Every Member of Your Family Will Love

Pierre, South Dakota
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Pierre, SD

South Dakota's capital city has a population of just 11,000, which is why we've included it in our list. While you're here, dedicate some time to exploring the South Dakota State Capitol. If you're traveling with kids, visit the interactive, hands-on South Dakota Discovery Center. Then, lounge out by Capitol Lake, where you can picnic and spot wildlife, including various species of birds and fish. 

Read more: 3 Unmissable Sunrises and Sunsets in South Dakota’s Black Hills
 

South Dakota's capital city has a population of just 11,000, which is why we've included it in our list. While you're here, dedicate some time to exploring the South Dakota State Capitol. If you're traveling with kids, visit the interactive, hands-on South Dakota Discovery Center. Then, lounge out by Capitol Lake, where you can picnic and spot wildlife, including various species of birds and fish. 

Read more: 3 Unmissable Sunrises and Sunsets in South Dakota’s Black Hills

Franklin, Tennessee
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Franklin, TN

Franklin is just south of Nashville, and it played a significant role throughout the Civil War. Travel back in time and learn more about the town's history with a visit to The Carter House and the Lotz House Museum, which is housed in an 1858-era mansion. Afterward, stroll past shops and galleries on Main Street. 

Read more: The Sweet Spot: Nashville, Tennessee
 

Franklin is just south of Nashville, and it played a significant role throughout the Civil War. Travel back in time and learn more about the town's history with a visit to The Carter House and the Lotz House Museum, which is housed in an 1858-era mansion. Afterward, stroll past shops and galleries on Main Street. 

Read more: The Sweet Spot: Nashville, Tennessee

Fredericksburg, Texas
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Fredericksburg, TX

This scenic German town, which was founded in 1846, is tucked away in the heart of Texas Hill Country. Today, Fredericksburg is most famous for its bustling Main Street, which is lined with more than 150 antique shops and boutiques – plus breweries, wineries, and German-inspired flair.

Read more: Our Guide to Fredericksburg, TX

This scenic German town, which was founded in 1846, is tucked away in the heart of Texas Hill Country. Today, Fredericksburg is most famous for its bustling Main Street, which is lined with more than 150 antique shops and boutiques – plus breweries, wineries, and German-inspired flair.

Read more: Our Guide to Fredericksburg, TX

 

Moab, Utah
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Moab, UT

Moab is the gateway to the iconic Arches National Park. Here, you can literally trace dinosaur steps at Bull Canyon Overlook and Dinosaur Track Site, and The Museum of Moab also boasts its own collection of dino artifacts.

Read more: Utah's "Mighty 5" National Parks: Which Should You Visit?
 

Moab is the gateway to the iconic Arches National Park. Here, you can literally trace dinosaur steps at Bull Canyon Overlook and Dinosaur Track Site, and The Museum of Moab also boasts its own collection of dino artifacts.

Read more: Utah's "Mighty 5" National Parks: Which Should You Visit?

Manchester, Vermont
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Manchester, VT

This southern Vermont town is where you'll find the expansive estate that once belonged to President Abraham Lincoln's son, Robert Lincoln. (Today, it's a museum complete with gardens and a farm.) Manchester also has the American Museum of Fly Fishing, as well as several breweries, restaurants, and gorgeous scenery. 

Read more: Easy Autumn Escape: Affordable Woodstock, Vermont
 

This southern Vermont town is where you'll find the expansive estate that once belonged to President Abraham Lincoln's son, Robert Lincoln. (Today, it's a museum complete with gardens and a farm.) Manchester also has the American Museum of Fly Fishing, as well as several breweries, restaurants, and gorgeous scenery. 

Leesburg, Virginia
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Leesburg, VA

This Virginia town dates back to 1740 and features a historic and lively downtown area that's teeming with breweries and boutiques alike. King Street (the town's restaurant row) has lots of bars and restaurants, like King Street Oyster Bars, Wine Kitchen, Crooked Run, and Black Walnut

Read more: Smart Luxury: Richmond, Virginia
 

This Virginia town dates back to 1740 and features a historic and lively downtown area that's teeming with breweries and boutiques alike. King Street (the town's restaurant row) has lots of bars and restaurants, like King Street Oyster Bars, Wine Kitchen, Crooked Run, and Black Walnut. 

Read more: Smart Luxury: Richmond, Virginia

Friday Harbor, Washington
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Friday Harbor, WA

San Juan Island is the largest of Washington State's San Juan Islands. Its main town, Friday Harbor, features boutique shops, museums, and an array of dining options.

Read more: A Peaceful Getaway in the Pacific Northwest

San Juan Island is the largest of Washington State's San Juan Islands. Its main town, Friday Harbor, features boutique shops, museums, and an array of dining options.

Read more: A Peaceful Getaway in the Pacific Northwest

Thomas, West Virginia
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Thomas, WV

The arty town of Thomas has a population of just 586 people. However, it's home to several unique galleries (The White Room is one of several); funky coffee shops and cafes – Purple Fiddle is pretty popular and offers live music on the weekends – and breweries like Mountain State Brewery Co

The arty town of Thomas has a population of just 586 people. However, it's home to several unique galleries (The White Room is one of several); funky coffee shops and cafes – Purple Fiddle is pretty popular and offers live music on the weekends – and breweries like Mountain State Brewery Co. 

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Wisconsin Dells, WI

This family-friendly destination – aptly dubbed "The Water Park Capital of the World" – claims several theme parks and entertainment offerings that are sure to delight everyone in your group.  Other popular activities include ziplining, fishing, and boating. Head downtown for shopping, dining, snacking (homemade fudge, anyone?), and bowling.

Read more: 13 Items to Take to a Water Park
 

This family-friendly destination – aptly dubbed "The Water Park Capital of the World" – claims several theme parks and entertainment offerings that are sure to delight everyone in your group.  Other popular activities include ziplining, fishing, and boating. Head downtown for shopping, dining, snacking (homemade fudge, anyone?), and bowling.

Read more: 13 Items to Take to a Water Park

Jackson, Wyoming
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Jackson, WY

Jackson is located in Wyoming's Jackson Hole Valley. It has three ski areas, one of them being the famous Jackson Hole. When you're not hitting the slopes, head to one of these must-visit spots: Jackson Town Square, The National Museum of Wildlife Art, Mountain Trails Gallery, and Ringholz Studios.

Read more: What to See and Do in Jackson Hole

Jackson is located in Wyoming's Jackson Hole Valley. It has three ski areas, one of them being the famous Jackson Hole. When you're not hitting the slopes, head to one of these must-visit spots: Jackson Town Square, The National Museum of Wildlife Art, Mountain Trails Gallery, and Ringholz Studios.

Read more: What to See and Do in Jackson Hole

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