The most beautiful small town in every state

Just know this – in 2013, Berlin won the European Union City Access Award for its efforts to create one of the most accessible cities in all of Europe.
There's far more to Christmas than shopping and wrapping presents to put under the tree. For those who want to get out and explore, there are cities and towns in every state that truly know how to celebrate the season, rolling out over-the-top lighting displays, sleigh rides, holiday concerts, festivals, carolers, boat parades, and more.
Slide 1 of 51: Escape the crowds and enjoy a much slower pace of life in these adorable small towns. We’ve chosen a hidden treasure for each state, and although some are technically cities, they’re so tiny you’re still a world away from heavy traffic and bustling streets. Here's where to enjoy small-town America.
Slide 2 of 51: The remote town of Sitka is one of Alaska's most beautiful. Located on the harbor in the foothills of the Three Sisters mountain range, there are plenty of outdoor activities on offer, from boating and kayaking to fishing and hiking. The ancestral home of the Kiksadi Tlingit, Sitka’s fascinating heritage can be explored in the town’s museums and National Historical Park.
Slide 3 of 51: Stretching along the shore of Mobile Bay, Fairhope is perfect for observing stunning sunrises and sunsets. Founded in 1894, the brick and ironwork in the city’s French Quarter is reminiscent of New Orleans while the rest of Fairhope offers scenic walks through charming streets lined by oak trees and antebellum homes.
Slide 4 of 51: One of the last silver-mining boom towns in the Wild West, Tombstone is now a living relic of the old days of cowboys and gunslingers. The streets are lined with red-brick buildings, 20th-century saloons and quirky storefronts. Take a tour of the old courthouse, visit the Gunfighter Hall of Fame and watch battle re-enactments on the streets.
Slide 5 of 51: Situated in the heart of the Ozarks, the scenic town of Eureka Springs in Arkansas is lined with Victorian-style architecture. There are also plenty of independent shops and bars and a distinct lack of chain stores. The town is also home to the state’s best-known landmarks: the Thorncrown Chapel and The Christ of the Ozarks, a 66-foot-tall statue of Jesus with his arms open.
Slide 6 of 51: St Helena, California is in the heart of the state’s wine community. Nestled in the hills of Napa County, this charming town is surrounded by vineyards and dotted with grand buildings, including Rhine House (pictured), home to Beringer winemakers. You’ll also find plenty of award-winning restaurants and boutique hotels, making it the perfect place for an indulgent long weekend.  See the best of the Golden State with our guide to the top 50 Californian attractions. 
Slide 7 of 51: Once a thriving silver-mining community, Leadville was almost named the capital of Colorado. The small city, which has a population below 3,000, is lined with well-preserved Victorian buildings, with more than 50 dating back to the 1870s. Leadville is also the state's highest city, so it's surrounded by beautiful scenery. You can even take a scenic railway tour into the Rocky Mountains.   Now read 14 other reasons why Colorado should be your next American adventure. 
Slide 8 of 51: Perhaps best known as the setting for the 1988 film Mystic Pizza, this southern Connecticut port town has so much more to offer. Enjoy the classic architecture as you stroll through the 18th-century style Olde Mistick Village and take a tour of Mystic Seaport, where you’ll find four National Historic Landmark ships. 
Slide 9 of 51: Lewes Historic District, the heart of the small city, is a quaint area filled with Victorian structures, churches, museums, boutiques and several fine restaurants. But the peaceful and laid-back beaches are the town’s main attraction. For a pleasant 4.6-mile walk, follow the Cape Henlopen trail along the coast and look out for the military bunkers tucked away in the sand dunes.
Slide 10 of 51: With over 400 years of history, St. Augustine in Florida claims to be one of America’s oldest settlements. Founded in 1565 by the Spanish, the small Old City is a charming mix of narrow streets, museums and 18th- and 19th-century buildings, some of which are rumored to be haunted.   Check out our guide to the top 50 Floridian attractions here too. 
Slide 11 of 51: With its German-style shops, beer gardens and horse-drawn carriages, Helen in Georgia is a charming recreation of a Bavarian Alpine village. With flowing beer and plenty of bratwursts, the town holds one of the largest Oktoberfest celebrations in the country.   Discover 15 things you need to know before visiting the Peach State.
Slide 12 of 51: With beautiful sunsets, incredible beaches and fresh seafood, Paia is just one of many charming places to explore in Hawaii. Laid-back with a bohemian vibe, you’ll find plenty of colorful coffee shops, yoga studios, surf shacks, street art and the popular Paia Fish Market in this pretty town.
Slide 13 of 51: Wallace in Idaho is surrounded by forests and there are plenty of ways to enjoy its natural attractions. There's biking and zip-lining for adventure seekers, and hiking along the Blossom Lakes Trail, the Trail of the Coeur d’Alenes and Route of the Hiawatha. The town is also one of the world’s largest producers of silver and is famous for its mining industry.
Slide 14 of 51: The quirky town of Galena, Illinois is full of traditional charm. Take a stroll along the cobbled streets, past the old-school blacksmiths and the P.T Murphy Magic Theater and head down to Main Street, where you’ll find boutique stores, antiques shops and restaurants.
Slide 15 of 51: An utterly charming collection of 19th-century buildings, Madison has lots to offer. From historical sites (the entire downtown is a National Historic Landmark) to locally-owned shops, galleries and casual restaurants, it’s a relatively short drive from Louisville, Indianapolis and Cincinnati, making it the perfect destination for day-trippers.
Slide 16 of 51: Founded by Dutch immigrants, Pella is otherwise known as America’s Dutch Treasure. Its canal, distinct Dutch architecture and traditional windmills make for a very European feel as its more Amsterdam than Iowa. The city's Dutch heritage is also celebrated at the annual Tulip Time Festival with tulip gardens, music, food and daily parades.
Slide 17 of 51: Abilene in Kansas is most famous for being the hometown of President Eisenhower, and no first-time visit would be complete without visiting his house at the Dwight D. Eisenhower Library and Museum, where he is now buried. The Georgian-style Seelye Mansion is also a popular attraction.
Slide 18 of 51: Most notably, the home to Jim Beam American Stillhouse, Clermont is a prominent stop on the famous Kentucky Bourbon Trail. Jim Beam offers distillery tours while the nearby Bernheim Arboretum & Research Forest is perfect for long walks. The Bullitt County is steeped in bourbon history so don't miss the chance to visit other distilleries nearby, like Maker's Mark and Heaven Hill.
Slide 19 of 51: The historic Natchitoches (pronounced nah-codish) was a French colony founded in 1714 and is the oldest permanent settlement in Louisiana. Situated on the Cane River, the area has maintained its distinctive French Creole architecture, with elegant townhouses, wrought-iron balconies and brick paths. It’s also home to the Oakland Plantation (pictured) and is the location of the film Steel Magnolias. 
Slide 20 of 51: Nicknamed the ‘jewel of the Maine coast’, Camden is a quintessential seaside town with a charming harbor, an old lighthouse, jagged rock bays and sunset cruises. Many visitors enjoy hiking up nearby Mount Battie or indulging in the town’s many coastal restaurants.
Slide 21 of 51: The vibrant town of Berlin is often described as having a cool, laid-back atmosphere and it's also incredibly pretty. Its Main Street has a mix of Victorian and early 20th-century buildings, many of which are listed in the National Register of Historic Places. The town is also dotted with beautiful magnolias and sycamores and is close to the sandy Assateague Island, where wild horses roam.
Slide 22 of 51: The romantic coastal town of Rockport in Massachusetts, located on the Cape Ann peninsula, is surrounded by beautiful beaches and home to Motif Number 1 – a red fishing shack often cited as the most-painted building in America. Head to the town’s Main Street to discover quirky art galleries, a pottery studio, gift stores and Tuck’s Candy Factory for its delicious salt water taffy.
Slide 23 of 51: Known for its Bavarian-style architecture, Frankenmuth is a celebration of the area’s German roots. Settled in 1845 by German Lutheran immigrants, the town is now filled with Bavarian-themed bakeries, restaurants and hotels. Don’t miss Bronner’s Christmas Wonderland – a Christmas shop that began trading in 1945 and is open 361 days a year.
Slide 24 of 51: The small town of Lanesboro in Minnesota sits along the scenic Root River State Trail. Covering around 60 miles, you can journey along the route on foot, cycle or hire kayaks and tubes to float down the river. The quaint town center is full of individual shops and bars, with a refreshing lack of chain stores and fast food outlets.
Slide 25 of 51: Set on the Mississippi River, the elegant town of Natchez has everything you might want from a southern town – historic antebellum homes, beautiful scenery and traditional southern cuisine. Here you can walk along the riverbank, hitch a ride on a horse-drawn carriage or visit the town’s art galleries and museums.
Slide 26 of 51: Close to the Ozark mountains, there’s lots to do in Branson, Missouri. Here you’ll find the quaint US Silver Dollar City, an 1880s-themed amusement park with rides, performances and craft demonstrations. Visitors can also hop on the Branson Scenic Railway for a tour through the Ozark foothills between March and December. Don't miss a chance to dine at the White River Fish House, serving hearty country cooking and seafood dishes.
Slide 27 of 51: During the winter months, the mountain town of Whitefish in Montana is a popular ski resort. The main street is also a must-see at Christmas, as the snow-capped peaks provide the perfect backdrop to the festive markets. In summer, the lakes transform into scenic swimming spots and the mountain trails are overtaken with bikers and hikers.
Slide 28 of 51: With rolling hills and sandstone canyons at the Smith Falls State Park nearby, Nebraska’s Valentine is a small town with a lot to offer. Nicknamed God’s Country by locals, you can also visit the Fort Niobrara National Wildlife Refuge where elk and bison roam. Pictured is the Centennial Hall Museum, housed in the state's oldest high school building, which displays historical artifacts from the area.
Slide 29 of 51: Walking down Virginia City’s main street is like stepping into a Wild West cowboy film, thanks to the kitschy Western-style saloons, restaurants and shops. Once a bustling silver-mining community, which attracted thousands of newcomers including Mark Twain, the quaint town in Nevada is now home to fewer than 900 people.
Slide 30 of 51: Home to the prestigious Ivy League Dartmouth College (pictured), Hanover is one of the nation’s oldest towns. Head to Main Street for New England architecture, individual boutiques, art galleries and restaurants. The town is also located along the Connecticut River, where you can enjoy kayaking and canoeing or take a walk across the pretty Ledyard Bridge.
Slide 31 of 51: A stroll along the seafront is a must-do when visiting this charming coastal city, which has a population of around 4,000. Admired for its pristine beaches, the waterfront is also lined with pretty, colorful Victorian buildings. The preservation of these eye-catching structures helped the city earn its title of National Historic Landmark in 1976.
Slide 32 of 51: The old town of Taos is located in the Sangre de Cristo Mountains of New Mexico. The desert landscape is dotted with traditional adobe structures – the most striking of which is the Taos Pueblo (pictured). This community dwelling belonged to the native Puebloan people for over 1,000 years and is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Slide 33 of 51: Most notably the host of 1932 and 1980 Winter Olympics, Lake Placid is an excellent destination for winter sports lovers. However, it’s also the perfect spot for fly fishing. The West Branch of the Ausable River, near Lake Placid, is a well-known year-round fishing destination.
Slide 34 of 51: No visit to Beaufort in North Carolina is complete without a stroll along the town’s iconic Front Street. Enjoy the classic Southern-style architecture, unwind in the parks opposite the harbor or plan an afternoon of waterfront activities, from kayaking and fishing to cruises.
Slide 35 of 51: It’s often said everyone knows everyone in the small and friendly city of Park River in North Dakota. Founded in 1884, this charming settlement has a rich agricultural history and is surrounded by miles of potato and corn fields. The Lyric Theatre (pictured), which opened in 1917, is a popular landmark.
Slide 36 of 51: Granville in Ohio is known for its New England character and historic architecture. The picturesque streets are filled with candy stores, coffee houses, antique outlets and old-style bookshops. Stand-out sites include the Bryn Du Mansion, the stunning 1920s Midland Theatre and the Buxton Inn, which has been operating since 1812.
Slide 37 of 51: The former capital of Oklahoma, Guthrie is now a small city with an array of Victorian buildings and 19th-century stone facades. The historic downtown area is full of old-style architecture, antique stores and quirky attractions, and there are ghost hunting tours. The area is also home to the Scottish Rite Temple, one of the country's largest Masonic centers.
Slide 38 of 51: The beautiful port of Hood River sits in the foothills of the snow-capped Mount Hood on the Columbia River Gorge in Oregon. Given the landscape, it's not surprising that hiking, snowshoeing, mountain-biking and sailing are all incredibly popular here. With five breweries, there’s also plenty of good beer to enjoy.
Slide 39 of 51: Nicknamed the Switzerland of America, the Pennsylvanian town of Jim Thorpe is nested in the Pocono mountains. This alpine-esque town, with winding streets and Victorian architecture, also sits along the Lehigh Gorge, a spectacular state park with thick woodlands, dramatic waterfalls and a 20-mile long trail that follows abandoned railroad tracks.
Slide 40 of 51: New Shoreham on Block Island is the smallest town in the smallest state in America. It's far quieter than nearby Newport or Narragansett, so still has all the quintessential charm of Rhode Island. Here you’ll find sandy shores, stunning lighthouses and miles of nature trails.
Slide 41 of 51: Behind Charleston, Beaufort is the second oldest city in South Carolina. The area is renowned for its classic Southern charm, with stunning antebellum architecture and moss-covered oak trees. Walking tours or horse-drawn carriages run throughout the town, and the excellent Beaufort History Museum is worth a stop to learn more about the area.
Slide 42 of 51: During the Gold Rush in the late 1800s, thousands flocked to the Black Hills of Deadwood, South Dakota to seek their fortune. These included Calamity Jane, Wild Bill Hickok and other notorious gunslingers, many of which you’ll find buried in Mount Moriah Cemetery. With just over 1,200 residents, this small town is a lot more peaceful these days, though you can still enjoy shoot-out re-enactments in the historic main streets and saloons.
Slide 43 of 51: Many visitors head to Gatlinburg in Tennessee to explore the Great Smoky Mountains, but the town itself is also worth discovering. Head to the Gatlinburg Space Needle (pictured) or jump aboard the Ober Gatlinburg Aerial Tramway for great views of the leafy surrounds. You’ll also find plenty of charming restaurants, breweries, wineries and distilleries in the area.
Slide 44 of 51: The tiny town of Marfa, Texas, only has 1,700 residents but it has become a nationally-renowned arts hub, largely down to one man. Artist Donald Judd fell in love with the desert community in the 1970s and transformed the place by creating the Chinati Foundation gallery, art installations (pictured), and film and music festivals. Since then, quirky shops and restaurants have flourished, including the popular Marfa Burritos.
Slide 45 of 51: Despite hosting the annual Sundance Film Festival and the 2002 Winter Olympics, Park City in Utah is a surprisingly quaint city. Once a famous silver mining town, the area is surrounded by lush mountains and centered around the historic Main Street, which has over 100 independent boutiques, individual restaurants and bars.
Slide 46 of 51: Stowe in Vermont is the perfect small town for nature enthusiasts, art lovers and ice cream fans who'll find Ben & Jerry's Waterbury Factory here. Not only is it home to thick forests, rivers and valleys but also the state’s highest peak, Mount Mansfield. There are frequent arts and crafts events, galleries and museums as well as an annual Hot Air Balloon Festival in July.
Slide 47 of 51: The adorable Chincoteague Island is just seven miles long and three miles wide but bursting with nostalgic charm. The area is dotted with cottages and surrounded by sandy shores and there’s a distinct lack of fancy resorts, high-rises or boardwalks. Head to the Chincoteague Wildlife Refuge to spot the 400 wild horses roaming the neighboring Assateague Island or attend the annual Chincoteague Pony Swim to watch the animals enjoy a dip in the water.
Slide 48 of 51: Port Townsend in Washington was an important shipping port in the late 1800s and is one of just three Victorian seaports in America. A wave of regeneration in the 1970s restored the area’s historic buildings and the small city now has a charming marina and thriving arts scene with several galleries and museums.
Slide 49 of 51: With the largest clear water lake in the state and the only lighthouse, Summersville is a unique place to visit in West Virginia. Summersville Lake is perfect for boating and swimming and has plenty of biking and walking trails. Downtown, you’ll find charming old storefronts and the neoclassical county courthouse, built in 1895. 
   Love your motorhome? We've got you covered with our guide on where to stay in every state. 
Slide 50 of 51: Perched on the shore of Lake Superior and surrounded by apple orchards, lavender and strawberry fields, Bayfield in Wisconsin is a wonderful escape. For most of the year, it’s home to around 500 people, but thousands of tourists visit in the summer to enjoy the scenic waters, galleries and nearby Apostle Islands.  Discover the historic secrets of the Gold Rush-era ghost towns here.
Slide 51 of 51: Cody in Wyoming was named after William Frederick Cody, better known as Buffalo Bill, and he’s still a mighty presence in the town. Here you’ll find museums and scenic byways dedicated to the famed showman, as well as the Cody Nite Rodeo, which features plenty of lasso-wielding cowboys. For the full Wild West experience, head to the nearby Old Trail Town (pictured) – a living museum with traditional cabins, a saloon and old wagons.  Take a look at our road trip guide for other brilliant things to see in the The Equality State

Small towns that are big on charm

Alaska: Sitka

Alabama: Fairhope

Arizona: Tombstone

Arkansas: Eureka Springs

California: St Helena

St Helena, California is in the heart of the state’s wine community. Nestled in the hills of Napa County, this charming town is surrounded by vineyards and dotted with grand buildings, including Rhine House (pictured), home to Beringer winemakers. You’ll also find plenty of award-winning restaurants and boutique hotels, making it the perfect place for an indulgent long weekend.

See the best of the Golden State with our guide to the top 50 Californian attractions. 

Colorado: Leadville

Once a thriving silver-mining community, Leadville was almost named the capital of Colorado. The small city, which has a population below 3,000, is lined with well-preserved Victorian buildings, with more than 50 dating back to the 1870s. Leadville is also the state’s highest city, so it’s surrounded by beautiful scenery. You can even take a scenic railway tour into the Rocky Mountains. 

Now read 14 other reasons why Colorado should be your next American adventure. 

Connecticut: Mystic

Perhaps best known as the setting for the 1988 film Mystic Pizza, this southern Connecticut port town has so much more to offer. Enjoy the classic architecture as you stroll through the 18th-century style Olde Mistick Village and take a tour of Mystic Seaport, where you’ll find four National Historic Landmark ships. 

Delaware: Lewes

Florida: St. Augustine

With over 400 years of history, St. Augustine in Florida claims to be one of America’s oldest settlements. Founded in 1565 by the Spanish, the small Old City is a charming mix of narrow streets, museums and 18th- and 19th-century buildings, some of which are rumored to be haunted. 

Check out our guide to the top 50 Floridian attractions here too. 

Georgia: Helen

With its German-style shops, beer gardens and horse-drawn carriages, Helen in Georgia is a charming recreation of a Bavarian Alpine village. With flowing beer and plenty of bratwursts, the town holds one of the largest Oktoberfest celebrations in the country. 

Discover 15 things you need to know before visiting the Peach State.

Hawaii: Paia

Idaho: Wallace

Illinois: Galena

Indiana: Madison

Iowa: Pella

Kansas: Abilene

Kentucky: Clermont

Louisiana: Natchitoches

The historic Natchitoches (pronounced nah-codish) was a French colony founded in 1714 and is the oldest permanent settlement in Louisiana. Situated on the Cane River, the area has maintained its distinctive French Creole architecture, with elegant townhouses, wrought-iron balconies and brick paths. It’s also home to the Oakland Plantation (pictured) and is the location of the film Steel Magnolias

Maine: Camden

Maryland: Berlin

Massachusetts: Rockport

Michigan: Frankenmuth

Minnesota: Lanesboro

Mississippi: Natchez

Missouri: Branson

Montana: Whitefish

Nebraska: Valentine

Nevada: Virginia City

New Hampshire: Hanover

New Jersey: Cape May

New Mexico: Taos

New York: Lake Placid

North Carolina: Beaufort

North Dakota: Park River

Ohio: Granville

Oklahoma: Guthrie

Oregon: Hood River

Pennsylvania: Jim Thorpe

Rhode Island: New Shoreham

South Carolina: Beaufort

South Dakota: Deadwood

Tennessee: Gatlinburg

Texas: Marfa

Utah: Park City

Vermont: Stowe

Virginia: Chincoteague

Washington: Port Townsend

West Virginia: Summersville

With the largest clear water lake in the state and the only lighthouse, Summersville is a unique place to visit in West Virginia. Summersville Lake is perfect for boating and swimming and has plenty of biking and walking trails. Downtown, you’ll find charming old storefronts and the neoclassical county courthouse, built in 1895. 
 

Love your motorhome? We’ve got you covered with our guide on where to stay in every state. 

Wisconsin: Bayfield

Perched on the shore of Lake Superior and surrounded by apple orchards, lavender and strawberry fields, Bayfield in Wisconsin is a wonderful escape. For most of the year, it’s home to around 500 people, but thousands of tourists visit in the summer to enjoy the scenic waters, galleries and nearby Apostle Islands.

Discover the historic secrets of the Gold Rush-era ghost towns here.

Wyoming: Cody

Cody in Wyoming was named after William Frederick Cody, better known as Buffalo Bill, and he’s still a mighty presence in the town. Here you’ll find museums and scenic byways dedicated to the famed showman, as well as the Cody Nite Rodeo, which features plenty of lasso-wielding cowboys. For the full Wild West experience, head to the nearby Old Trail Town (pictured) – a living museum with traditional cabins, a saloon and old wagons.

Take a look at our road trip guide for other brilliant things to see in the The Equality State

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