Small towns in the US have just as much culture as big cities.
INSIDER explored the best small town in every US state.
On the East Coast, Blowing Rock, North Carolina; Hanover, New Hampshire; and Provincetown, Massachusetts, are among the best.
On the west coast of Los Alamos, California; Port Townsend, Washington; and Depoe Bay, Oregon, made the list.
In the south Eufaula, Alabama; St. Francisville, Louisiana; and Corinth, Mississippi, at the top.
While cities are known as cultural centers and entertainment centers, small towns have just as much to offer.
Everywhere in America, small towns become art-paradises, fine meccas and top destinations. The researchers even found that people in smaller cities are happier than those living in a more urban environment.
INSIDER searched from state to state for small towns with a wealth of activities for locals and visitors. While some of the towns and villages are bustling tourist destinations, others are quiet suburban communities where only a few live.
From the east coast to the west coast these are the best small towns of the USA (all inhabitants according to US Census Bureau).
The city of Eufaula is located on the southeastern border of Alabama and Georgia. About 90 km from Montgomery, the city offers breathtaking views of the Eufaula Lake, which became a major steamboat port in the 19th century. Today, Eufaula has a southern charm that can be seen in its Antebellum homes and historic district. The best way to experience the charm of this city in spring is to greet visitors to the annual Eufaula pilgrimage, where you will visit the oldest houses in the city in the National Register.
Sitka is located on the island of Baranof and is therefore only accessible by plane or boat. It is nestled between the mountains and the Pacific, offering the residents a magnificent view and even more incredible wildlife. Sitka is a lively and charming little town with restaurants, shops and even art galleries. Sitka offers everything an adventure traveler in a small town needs, from whale watching to unbelievable hikes.
Bisbee is located about 90 miles southeast of Tucson in the Mule Mountains. Nestled in the Valley of the Mountains, this artistic community radiates a free spirit and relaxed atmosphere. The artistic community also has a historic downtown, which is a monument to the 20th century. Bisbee attracts tourists interested in history, music, museums, antiques and above all art.
Jasper is located in the Ozark Mountains near the Buffalo National River. Its unique location offers residents breathtaking views of nature and wildlife. There is even a feast every year that honors elks living in the neighborhood. In addition, the small city center has a number of prehistoric buildings, including the famous Arkansas House Inn, which opened in 1934, and the Emmas Museum of Junk, a unique antique shop. Ozark Cafe is another popular place in this charming little town.
CALIFORNIA: Los Alamos
Los Alamos was founded in 1876 and you can still feel the old western atmosphere as you walk through the streets. While everything looks vintage and feels vintage, Los Alamos has a vibrant culture, including food, wine, antiques and art. On the third Saturday walk in Los Alamos in September, the city combines its culture and history by celebrating with a barbecue, a car showroom and a parade. Probably the most memorable part of Los Alamos is the Union Hotel, built in 1880 and now hosting weddings.
Colorado: Crested Butte
Crested Butte in the Rocky Mountains is known for its flowers. In fact, the city is also referred to as the "Wildflower Capital of Colorado". One of the city's favorite seasons is July, which hosts the Wildflower Festival, which includes hikes, garden tours and classes. The warmer months also offer 750 km of bike paths and camping in the Gunnison National Forest. In winter, Crested Butte becomes a popular ski resort.
Essex has several claims to fame. First, it is one of the few cities in the US that has been attacked by a foreign country. In the war of 1812, England invaded the city and took control. Second, there is one of the oldest inns, the Griswold Inn, and a steam train.
DELAWARE: Rehoboth Beach
Rehoboth Beach is located on the Delaware coast, overlooking the Atlantic Ocean, making it an excellent beachfront town. A promenade runs along the coast where you will find charming restaurants, shops and hotels. The city thrives in the summer with free concerts and hikes through Cape Henlopen State Park in the north.
FLORIDA: DeFuniak Springs
DeFuniak Springs is located in Florida's Panhandle and has an interesting history. The city was founded in the 19th century as a resort for railway travelers. The city welcomed presidents, poets, writers and musicians in the charming community as a holiday destination. Today, DeFuniak Springs still has its Victorian charm and welcomes travelers interested in Florida's rich history and culture. The Walton County Library – the state's oldest library – is also in the city. There is also the Chautauqua Hall of the Brotherhood, which in the 19th century was an auditorium with 4,000 seats. The city is also home to Lake DeFuniak, one of the few naturally occurring lakes that are almost perfectly circular.
Helen brings the charm of Germany to Georgia. Helen is located on the Blue Ridge Mountains in the northeast of the state and is best known for transforming itself into a Bavarian alpine town. A walk through the winding streets is like a transport to Germany, each building is reminiscent of Bavarian architecture. Although Helen is sometimes considered a tourist trap, it also has major attractions outside the city, including the Chattahoochee River, Chattahoochee National Forest and Smithgall Woods State Park.
Haleiwa is a small town located on the island of Oahu. It is best known as surfing capital of the world. Spectators flock to the beach from October to April to watch surfers brave the waves that plunge regularly into the sand. Here the waves can get 40 meters high. The city is also known for its competitions in Matsumoto Shave Ice, bringing more people to the delightful area. For those who do not participate in contests, the main street of Haleiwa offers a wealth of restaurants, galleries and shops.
There is a reason why Ernest Hemingway settled in Ketchum, Idaho and made it his final home. The bleak mountains of the Sun Valley tower above the small town and the wilderness surrounds the rest. The city has become an idyllic destination for all types of travelers. Ketchum was once a mining town and has become a popular ski resort. The whole city looks like an idyllic ski lodge, perfect for winter holidays. In the warmer months, however, the inhabitants can also hike, hunt and ride.
Although Galena is a small town, it is one of the most visited places in Illinois – and with good reason. Travelers flock to this quaint town, with its preserved 19th-century buildings and peaceful charm. Galena was also the home of former President Ulysses S. Grant, whose former residence is now a museum. The Galena River allows residents and tourists to travel by boat, kayak and canoe. The nearby Apple River Canyon State Park also offers great hiking. In June, the city hosts the Great Galena Balloon Race, where thousands of spectators attend the hot air balloon show.
INDIANA: Santa Claus
Christmas is Christmas year round in Santa Claus, Indiana. The Santa Claus Museum & Village has a castle and a 22-foot statue of Saint Nick. Everything in this little town is a holiday theme, including the post office, boutiques and sweets shops. The city is also very popular outside of Christmas time, especially with the drive-in cinema. It is also home to the world's first theme park, Holiday World, which includes a water park.
Pella, Iowa, was founded by the Netherlands and its Dutch origins are still recognizable today. The 100,000-square-foot Molengracht Canal is a major attraction as it is modeled on an authentic Dutch canal. Near the canal you can shop in boutiques, bakeries and even meat markets. There is even a cinema and fine restaurants nearby. Another authentic Dutch attraction in Pella is the Vermeer Mill, which has been converted into a museum. The Dutch influence of the old world can also be seen in the picturesque architecture of the city. You can even enjoy the Dutch Tulip Festival, where the inhabitants disguise themselves as colonists and perform on the street.
There is a reason why Wamego's motto is "small town". Great experience. "Many residents and tourists visit the 1893-built Colombian Theater for live entertainment. In the city is also the park No. 1 of the state, the Wamego State Park. In the city there is a Dutch mill, the Historical Museum and the Prairie Town Village. The famous Oz Museum is another attraction that draws people to Wamego, with artifacts from the famous musical set in Kansas.
Bardstown, Kentucky, was voted the most beautiful small town in America. Travel + Leisure also says that you'll find America's most beautiful spot in Bardstown. But the city has much more to offer than just its picturesque landscape. Bardstown is known for its bourbon and is considered the Bourbon capital of the world with six distilleries in the region. Some of these distilleries date back to 1776. The city celebrates its esteemed source at the Kentucky Bourbon Festival.
LOUISIANA: St. Francisville
St. Francisville, Louisiana, is all you would expect from a city in southern Louisiana: fancy plantations and hanging greenery. The small town is so idyllic that it even got on the big screen and became the location for films like "Oblivion" by Tom Cruise and "The Maze Runner". Just two hours north of New Orleans, St. Francisville also has a Myrtle's Plantation, one of America's most-hunted hotels. If you do not want to be scared, you can explore some of the country's most historic plantations alongside some of the most beautiful scenes you see in the south. The bluffs are another city attraction for golf lovers.
MAINE: Bar Harbor
Bar Harbor is located on Mount Desert Island and is the gateway to Acadia National Park. Suffice it to say, the views in this city are breathtaking. The Cadillac Mountain offers an even more beautiful landscape, as it overlooks the small town. The idyllic streets are lined with Victorian homes and cozy verandas. However, Bar Harbor is not just known for its scenery. The residents enjoy hiking, kayaking and golfing in the small town.
MARYLAND: St. Michaels
St. Michaels is located on the east bank of Maryland and is a port city that residents enjoy year-round. In fact, USA Today has named it one of America's Top 10 Coastal Towns. In the city there are great shopping. There are also delicious restaurants and bistros to satisfy any hunger, but it specializes in local seafood. What St. Michaels does well are the water adventures, which include sailing, kayaking and skipping. If you're a visitor, the city also offers some of the best Victorian bed and breakfasts on the East Coast.
Provincetown is the northernmost tip of Cape Cod, Massachusetts and the place where the Mayflower landed in 1620. Today, the coastal artist is home to artists known for their LGBTQ-friendly environment. While the Pilgrim Memorial and Provincetown Museum celebrate the city's history, P-town is celebrated for its bustling shopping street filled with shops, galleries and restaurants. Along the main street, visitors and residents are also entertained in nightclubs, bars and cabarets.
While a number of great small towns are at home in Michigan, Frankenmuth is unique for its German style and inspiration. The Bavarian architecture is a magnet of this small town, which can be seen in the Franconian buildings in Frankenmuth. While there are museums worthy of the German style, residents can visit the Heritage Park with spectacular views. The city also houses Bronner's Christmas Wonderland, the largest Christmas shop in the world. Frankenmuth also attracts for its famous festivals, including the World Expo of Beer, the Oktoberfest and the Bavarian Festival.
MINNESOTA: Grand Marais
Minnesota's small town of Grand Marais sits on the shores of Lake Superior and boasts some of the state's finest art galleries, restaurants and hiking trails. The inhabitants of this small harbor village indulge in art and culture in the old art colony and the North House Folk School. With all that Grand Marais has to offer, it is not surprising that it has chosen USA Today as the best small city in the Midwestern United States.
Any history freak would fall in love with Corinth, Mississippi. The town played an important role in the civil war, including the siege of Corinth, when the Union Army occupied the city for a short time. Today you can visit Veranda House, the former headquarters of the Confederate Army. Fort Williams, General Quarters Inn and other historic downtown sites are great attractions. But Corinth is as rich in culture as in history. At Borroum's Drug Store and Soda Fountain, you can enjoy old-fashioned pop.
While Kimmswick has fewer than 200 residents and few storefronts, the small Missouri town has so much to offer. The city was founded in 1859 and most of the 20 shops and businesses are still in the same buildings since its founding. From bakeries to galleries and antique shops, this city offers everything that locals and travelers need. Kimmswick also hosts a number of very popular festivals, including the Strawberry Festival in June and the Apple Butter Festival in October, which bring thousands to the small town.
MONTANA: white fish
Whilst Whitefish, Montana, is known as a ski city, it has something to offer every inhabitant and visitor. Whitefish is located near Glacier National Park and offers the city some of the best views of the White Mountains during the winter months. The Whitefish Winter Carnival is a testament to the charm of the city as residents attend snow sculptures and non-stop parties. In summer Whitefish offers great creek fishing and hiking trails.
It is easy to understand why Chadron is often referred to as one of the best places to live in Nebraska. The city sits on the edge of the Nebraska National Forest and offers adventurous residents the beauty and outdoor activities. By car, Oglala National Grasslands is home to more wildlife. The city itself looks like a village, making it a charming place in Nebraska. Founded in 1884 as a fur trading post, history buffs could visit the city's fur trade museum and the festival of fur trading days in the city.
Nevada: Virginia City
Virginia City became a popular mining town in the 19th century, and it is still evident today. From Victorian homes to stagecoach rides, this charming town pays homage to its past. The museum in the city also offers tourists an insight into the life of a miner. The history of Virginia City attracts some not for their mining past, but for their spirits. The small town also houses the Washoe Club and Piper's Opera Club, both of which are said to be both haunted. In addition to its history, Virginia City also has some of the best restaurants in the area and can not miss any saloons.
NEW HAMPSHIRE: Hannover
Dartmouth College is at home in Hannover, but it's much more than just a university town. In fact, CNN once voted it one of the six best neighborhoods in the country. Hannover lies on the Connecticut River and has some of the most picturesque landscapes that a small town can offer. Since the Appalachian Trail runs right through the city, it is impossible to overlook the natural beauty of this small town. Almost all of the city's events take place on Main Street, where you will find small shops, restaurants, galleries and farmers markets. The thriving arts scene and Victorian architecture prove that Hannover is a great place to live.
New Jersey: Cape May
At the tip of southern New Jersey is a coastal town known as Cape May. Most come to enjoy the beach, but visitors and residents also appreciate the lavish Victorian homes of Cape May, many of which have been converted into B & Bs and hotels. Cape May is also known for its shopping and restaurants, which are open along the boardwalk and Washington Street.
NEW MEXICO: Taos
Taos is located in the Sangre de Cristo Mountains and is known for its breathtaking scenery. The magnificent view has even inspired famous artists such as Ansel Adams and Georgia O's Keeffe, who both came to town. As further evidence of the city's beauty, Taos was voted one of the most beautiful mountain towns in the world by Travel + Leisure magazine. The landscape still inspires artists today with the Taos Art Museum, while the Taos Pueblo, created 1,000 years ago, has been designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site. If art is not your thing, there are four ski resorts nearby.
NEW YORK: Shelter Island
While New York is filled with small, picturesque towns in the north, Shelter Island is the state's best small town. Shelter Island is an ideal getaway for city dwellers and an even greater alternative to the popular Hamptons. The island town is known for its outdoor activities, including first-rate beaches. Shelter Island also has the Mashomack Reserve, a protected area of wetlands and forests that you can explore at will. If you're into history, the Shelter Island Historical Society in a 1743 farmhouse is the perfect place to visit.
NORTH CAROLINA: Beating stone
Blowing Rock, North Carolina really offers something for everyone. From fly fishing and rafting to bouldering and rock climbing, Blowing Rock offers all the outdoor activities you can imagine. However, the true charm of the city is the downtown area, where you will find over 100 small shops and restaurants. With a breathtaking view of the mountains, this little town seems to be a storybook.
NORTH DAKOTA: Garrison
Garrison, North Dakota, is located on one of the largest artificial lakes in the United States. This unique location has turned Garrison into a fishing village where locals and visitors seek to achieve record-breaking zander, pike and bass. The town has much more to offer than just fishing. The Heritage Park Museum pays tribute to the 20th century and the city's annual Dickens Village Festival transforms the garrison into a Victorian village with parades, costumes and carriage rides.
Marblehead sits on the shores of Lake Erie and is a charming town with breathtaking views of Sandusky Bay. Its main street is the epitome of America's small town as shops and shops line the picturesque streets. On special occasions and events, residents are even greeted by parades through Main Street. The Marblehead Lighthouse is another notable attraction for the waterfront city. In addition, East Harbor State Park is located near the shores of Lake Erie, while enjoying the small town vibes of Marblehead.
OKLAHOMA: Medical Park
Medicine Park is perfectly located in the Wichita Mountains and near the Wichita Mountain Wildlife Refuge. This little town is surrounded by natural beauty. Its unique location allows local residents and guests to fish, hike, cycle paths and swim in the river that flows through the city. The cobbled streets give a picturesque town a feeling that enhances its natural charm. Budget Travel even called Medicine Park one of America's coolest small towns.
OREGON: Depoe Bay
Depoe Bay is located on the shores of Oregon, on the shores of the Pacific Ocean. The city is best known for being one of the best places to spot whales because the waters around the city are home to a shell of gray whales. Residents and visitors flock to the coast to see how the sea creatures approach the city. In the city you can shop, eat and explore the beautiful small town with constant views of the oceans.
About one and a half hours north of Pittsburgh is a charming town called Volant. Although inhabited mainly by the Amish people, the city is a perfect place to visit and experience the Amish lifestyle and quaint community. During your tour, horse-drawn carriages will drift past, while every shop you enter will be stocked with Amish merchandise such as fabrics, spices, and jams. You can even get guided tours of Amish schoolhouses and farms. If this is not enough to spark your interest, the city holds a Harry Potter Festival every summer.
RHODE ISLAND: The little Compton
Located on the border between Massachusetts and Rhode Island, Little Compton is the idyllic little town you can dream of. The city is located on the Sakonnet River and has 17th century houses. With a mix of farms and sprawling landscapes, it is known as the birthplace of the red hen of Rhode Island.
SOUTH CAROLINA: Beaufort
After colonizing the famous Charleston, the colonists founded the city of Beaufort, which still exists today. As the second oldest settlement in South Carolina, Beaufort is rich in history and lives in historical sites dating back to the birth of the United States. In addition to its history, Beaufort is also known for its idyllic waterfront on Beaufort. The small town is also characterized by its Antebellum villas, where the inhabitants still live today.
South Dakota: Custer
Custer, South Dakota, is known for its wildlife and wildlife, especially the buffalo. Located in the stunning Black Hills National Forest, this mountain town is ideal for nature lovers. Residents and tourists visit the majestic Custer State Park to catch a glimpse of the wild buffaloes. The annual Buffalo Roundup and Arts Festival also takes place in Custer. For those more interested in history, the historic downtown offers restaurants, shops, and galleries. The Courthouse Museum from 1881 is also located in the city center and was built in 1881.
Historic Gatlinburg could not be in a better location in the Great Smoky Mountains. The small town welcomes travelers who want white water rafting in the summer and skiing in the winter. Everywhere in Gatlinburg there are picturesque walks and animal species as well as wineries and distilleries.
TEXAS: Dripping feathers
West of Austin, Texas, there is a small town called Dripping Springs, whose charm and idyllic nature must be seen. Dripping Springs is a beautiful little town with parks, wildlife and vast expanses. But the biggest attraction of this city is Hamilton Pool Preserve. This natural pool was created thousands of years ago when a riverbed collapsed.
UTAH: Green River
Just three hours east of Salt Lake City, Green River is a quaint little town that's great for city life. Most come to Green River to descend Desolation and Gray Canyons, but there is so much more to see and do. The Green River State Park has a 9-hole golf course and the Goblin Valley is ideal for cave-hunters. The town is also known for its exquisite melons, which they celebrate every September during the Melon Days Festival.
Chester, Vermont, is best known for its famous Stone Village and Chester Village Historic Districts. Both attractions are on the National Register of Historic Places and are visited by thousands each year. Stone Village is special for its granite houses, while Chester Village has a beautiful colonial aesthetic. Inns, shops, galleries and restaurants are also testament to the legacy of Chester in Vermont.
Lexington, Virginia, was named after the notorious Battle of Lexington and Concord, which sparked the American Revolution. The history of the city does not end there. In Lexington, you'll find the burial grounds of Confederate generals like Robert E. Lee and Stonewall Jackson. In addition to history and relics, Lexington has beautiful scenery all year round. The culture is also first class, as many restaurants specialize in farm-to-table.
WASHINGTON: Port Townsend
Port Townsend was born from a mistake. In the 19th century, it was believed that the city was booming as a marina, and built the city with Victorian mansions. But when the railroad went to Seattle instead, Port Townsend was bypassed. Instead of defeating itself, the city has redefined itself as an arts and culture center in Washington state. The historic buildings with large bay windows still stand in this quirky art village. For the more adventurous, there is Fort Worden State Park nearby, where you can enjoy sandy beaches and kayaking.
WEST VIRGINIA: Lewisburg
Like many small towns, Lewisburg, West Virginia, has a rich history, and it is very proud to celebrate its past. Ahistoric tour takes you through the city center and shows you the most historically significant buildings and the architecture of the small town. The streets are also lined with shops, galleries and restaurants. But the best attraction in Lewisburg is the Lost World Caverns, an underground network of caverns that is registered as a National Natural Monument. The ominous caves are worth the trip.
Located along the Mississippi River, Stockholm, Wisconsin has remained relatively untouched over the years. With just over 60 inhabitants, Stockholm has no branches or restaurants in the city, proving that it was saved from urbanization. However, local shops still attract travelers, especially the famous pie shop, Stockholm Pie and General Store. In addition to the location, the city was able to preserve the Swedish heritage, which can still be seen in the entire Stockholm architecture.
In the foothills of the Bighorn Mountains is the historic town of Buffalo. The city is surrounded by breathtaking natural beauty, while the city center is full of history and ancient architecture of the Midwest. For example, guests can stay at the over 130-year-old Occidental Hotel. The Jim Gatchell Memorial Museum, which opened in 1900, is another popular destination. There are even ranches and mountain huts for guests and residents of this historic mountain town.
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