Small Town Destinations In The US
When it comes to travel, most people tend to flock to the popular, trendy locations around the globe. These places are touted as the ‘Must-see’ destinations. Sure, there’s plenty to see and do, but these touristy hot spots tend to be overcrowded and expensive.
On the other hand, visiting a small town can offer you different travel experience. Small towns tend to be frill-free and often show the heart and soul of a particular country or region. The US certainly has its fair share of world-renowned places to visit, but it also has hundreds, if not thousands of small towns with plenty to offer the traveler looking for something new and unique. We’ve found some of the best small town destination in the US for you to consider for your next vacation.
Everyone outside of the US dreams of wearing Hawaiian shirts and walking down the beaches of Hawaii and most people head for big airport cities like Honolulu or Kona. While these places are exciting and beautiful, they are also crowded and noisy. If Hawaii is on your travel bucket list but you don’t want to be bumping elbows with too many people, take a trip to Hilo instead. Here you can visit the beautiful Hawaii Tropical Botanical Garden of the Old Mamalahoa Highway and if that isn’t’ impressive enough, you’ll be left in awe as you travel along Scenic Route 19 to get there. If gardens aren’t your thing, Hilo also has a great Astronomy Center, several museums and some of the best hiking trails on the Island, many of which lead to breathtaking waterfalls.
Bar Harbor, Maine
There is so much to do when you visit Bar Harbor in Maine and there is something for everyone. Bar Harbor has some fantastic restaurants and cafes with enough variety to tantalize even the most discerning taste buds. The shopping is also incredible with dozens of small, locally owned stores selling unique little treasures that will be a talking piece to show off when you’re back at home.
If you’re into outdoor activities, you won’t be stumped for choice. You can go hiking in Acadia National Park or simply get involved in a variety of land and water outdoor activities. This is a place where you can unwind for a peaceful weekend in a quaint bed and breakfast, or get close to nature by camping in some exquisite and tranquil location.
Unalaska is the main town of the Aleutian Islands that are part of Alaska. In fact, the island and the town are called Unalaska but as it sits on Dutch Harbor, locals often refer to the town as Dutch Harbor or simply Dutch. If you like winter fishing, the locals here offer chartered fishing excursions as well as just enjoying day cruises along the coastline. There are also a number of old churches, museums and even nightclubs to keep you happy day and night. If you’re not sure where to go, there are organized tours you can book into so you can see the best this small town has to offer.
Situated in Baldwin County, Alabama is the town of Fairhope. Being on the coast, there are a number of piers you can check out with the main one being Fairhope Municipal Pier. This is the most romantic spot to take an early evening stroll with your special someone and watch the sunset over pristine beaches. Some of the nocturnal creases also like to venture out so you can experience nature at its best. If you want something a little more grown-up, make sure the Fairhope Brewing Company is on your to-do list. You’ll also enjoy the many markets and community centers in this quaint little town.
Set in the mountains of Tennessee is the town of Gatlinburg. From here, if you are a hiking enthusiast, prepare your hiking shoes and head out to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, but if you’re looking to do something a little more relaxing, check out Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokies which is a huge aquatic facility where you can see sharks and other monsters of the sea, up close and personal without becoming these beasts next meal. You can also take a chairlift ride through Gatlinburg Skylift Park or visit the observation deck of the Gatlinburg Space Needle and get a real bird’s eye view of this stunning small town.
If you’re looking for a great mountain escape, you can’t go past Whitefish, Montana. Situated in one of the most beautiful mountains in US, Rocky Mountains, this resort town has a lot to offer visitors, you can hike through some of the most stunning terrains you can imagine and there are also other, more adventurous activities such as Wild River Adventures, kayaking, rock climbing and so much more. If you want to tone it down a little, there is also a great golf course for those who prefer slower paced activities. The beauty of Whitefish is that you aren’t limited to just one season as there is something to do here all year round.
Nestled in California’s Monterey Peninsula is the town of Carmel, also known as Carmel-By-The-Sea. Carmel has some of the most stunning beaches California has to offer, but without the overcrowding, you may encounter in other coastal town areas. There are a number of spas, and salons you can unwind in. This is also one of the best places to visit if you are a wine lover, as you can go on a wine tasting tour. Carmel also offers a number of cultural activities and there are a few museums worth visiting. But you can put all of these activities on hold and just relax by the sea.
These are just a small handful of small town destinations the US has to offer. There are so many more to explore and so many things to do. If you’re not sure how to choose your next small town destination, pin a map up on your wall, close your eyes and throw a dart. The closest small town the dart lands is an ideal a place as any for your next vacation. The element of surprise may just make your next vacation a little extra special.