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April 15, 2024
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These Are America’s Best-Kept Vacation Town Secrets

America has a wide variety of stunning vacation destinations, from the oceans to the mountains. locations where you can get away from the crowds while still enjoying familiar comforts, fascinating attractions, and delectable local cuisine.

Small towns with fewer than 50,000 residents can provide untapped treasure troves of outdoor activities and untamed nature, ideal for summertime fun. Do you know the locations that are the best small-town hidden gems in America?

Anaconda, Montana

Anaconda, Montana

Population: 9,106

Near the Continental Divide, Anaconda has a panoramic backdrop of enormous mountains. The Deer Lodge National Forest offers hiking trails, photo ops, and charter fishing boats on Georgetown Lake, all of which are popular with tourists.

The Fairmont Resort offers a “big sky country” getaway with tranquil pools fueled by hot mineral springs. For movie tickets, visit the retro counter beneath the marque of the restored historic Washoe Theater.

Avalon, California

Avalon, California

Population: 3,731

The Avalon coastline on Santa Catalina Island’s southern tip resembles a picturesque little patch of the Mediterranean. Campgrounds, family-friendly hotels, and romantic bed-and-breakfast lodging are all available in the lovely city.

Numerous marine life can be seen in the abundantly alive waters by scuba diving, in glass-bottom boats, or at the marine preserve. The Green Pleasure Pier, which also has a visitors’ center and fishing, is where you can reserve these activities.

Bar Harbor, Maine

Bar Harbor, Maine

Population: 5,535

Bar Harbor on Mount Desert Island provides a wide range of on-land and offshore activities. For breathtaking views of Frenchman Bay and Acadia National Park, climb Cadillac Mountain. Mount Katahdin is visible on a clear day.

At low tide, cross the land bridge to reach the wild forest of Bar Island. The full vista’s beauty can be seen on helicopter tours. Also, don’t forget to visit the old lighthouse. The Bar Harbor Grand, a recreation of a bygone era of porch rocker gossip, is one of the lodging options.

Read more: The World’s Most Beautiful Locations For A Destination Wedding

Beaufort, South Carolina

Beaufort, South Carolina

Population: 13,404

Visitors enjoy educational walking tours led by costumed guides who share vivid tales of the area’s history and people in this center of Southern history and charm. The Spanish Moss Trail’s natural beauty is appreciated by both cyclists and pedestrians.

The Penn Center, Hunting Island beach, and the Woods Memorial Bridge—as seen in the motion picture Forrest Gump—are notable landmarks. Before retiring to a historic bed and breakfast inn, finish the evening with a carriage ride.

Berkeley Springs, West Virginia

Berkeley Springs, West Virginia

Population: 792

The mineral spring waters that served as “The Country’s First Spa” were first utilized by Native Americans. Massages and bathing in the therapeutic waters are part of the local spa culture. There are places for biking, hiking, swimming, and golfing outdoors.

The town also has a busy calendar of annual festivals, which includes wine and food events in the summer. Rest well in a resort, bed and breakfast, old-fashioned inn, or cabin, or go to a cottage or cabin tucked away in the countryside.

Bethel, Maine

Bethel, Maine

Population: 2,607

Bethel is a town with things to do for people of all ages and is surrounded by the White Mountain National Forest. Grafton Notch State Park offers breathtaking views for trail hikers, and canoeing and kayaking are available on the Androscoggin River.

The Maine Mineral and Gem Museum and the Sunday River Covered Bridge are popular with families. There are many B&B retreats to choose from as well as the exemplary and award-winning Bethel Inn Resort, which offers both guest rooms and longer-term townhouses.

Big Bear Lake, California

Big Bear Lake, California

Population: 5,241

Big Bear Lake offers hiking, walking, and panning for gold opportunities while being tucked away in the San Bernardino National Forest. The visitor center has information on nearby restaurants and activities.

The historical museum’s knowledgeable docents explain artifacts and provide historical context. The museum continues outside, where 300-year-old structures and cordial blacksmiths can be found. You shouldn’t skip the 90-minute historical boat tour.

Blowing Rock, North Carolina

Blowing Rock, North Carolina

Population: 1,163

The village of Blowing Rock is located along the Blue Ridge Parkway and is renowned for being the only location in the world where snow falls backwards (gorge walls create a flume with upward drafts). The hiking trails, waterfalls, and floral scenery are popular summer attractions.

The Mystery Hill science center, free estate tours at Flat Top Manor, and a three-mile ride on the vintage steam train at Tweetsie Railroad’s Wild West Adventure park are all popular attractions for tourists in addition to gem and gold panning.

Breckenridge, Colorado

Breckenridge, Colorado

Population: 4,938

Tenmile Ridge’s base town, a former Gold Rush settlement, offers more than just winter skiing. Adventurers enjoy a variety of outdoor pursuits during the summer, such as whitewater rafting, mountain biking, and hiking trails.

Hoosier Pass and McCullough Gulch should not be missed on independent mountain tours. There are guided historical and cultural walking tours available, as well as ghost tours of eerie structures. Shopping and dining options must be found on Main Street.

Bryson City, North Carolina

Bryson City, North Carolina

Population: 1,723

In addition to hiking and waterfalls, Bryson City serves as a gateway to the Great Smoky Mountains. In the summer, tourists can also enjoy kayaking, rafting, swimming, and fishing in the Tuckasegee River. The Three Waterfalls loop-trail hike is not to be missed.

The Nantahala River Gem Mine is fun for both adults and kids and has a gemologist on staff. A nearby aquarium and art galleries are also available. The historic Everett Hotel & Bistro offers lodgings as well as a rooftop terrace for weary tourists.

Burley, Idaho

Burley, Idaho

Population: 10,313

Outdoor pursuits like hiking, mountain biking, and water sports are popular in Burley. Additionally, visitors can take in the Milner Historic Recreation Area’s fishing and camping opportunities, Storybook Park’s walking trails, and golfing.

The quality and quantity of the food at El Caporal, a Mexican restaurant north of the Snake River, are highly praised. Visitors seeking a more formal setting for dining gush about the ambiance and bread at Kassiani Restaurant Brewery & Bakery.

Cannon Beach, Oregon

Cannon Beach, Oregon

Population: 1,491

This charming Pacific Coast village with its own name is a charming summer vacation destination or a day trip from Portland. Tidal pools on the beach contained sea anemones, crabs, and starfish, as well as the 235-foot monolithic Haystack Rock.

There are many fine restaurants serving wine from nearby vineyards, accommodations with ocean views, and amazing shopping opportunities, as well as numerous art galleries and boutiques (don’t miss watching the glassblowers!).

Cape May, New Jersey

Cape May, New Jersey

Population: 3,463

The Jersey Shore here is not at all like the MTV show. The landscape is dotted with Victorian mansions and historical sites. There are restaurants, specialty stores, and art galleries in a pedestrian shopping area.

Stand-up paddleboarding and sightseeing cruises with opportunities to see dolphins and whales as well as other marine life are both fantastic in Cape May. Salt Marsh Safari and Cape May Lighthouse are not to be missed.

Cedar Key, Florida

Cedar Key, Florida

Population: 773

The second-oldest town in Florida welcomes summer visitors with plenty of sunshine and fine white sand beaches. Rent a fishing vessel or go offshore at Cedar Key Pier. You can also go to a wildlife refuge to learn more about conservation efforts.

Along with art galleries and street markets, there are shops selling antiques, mementos, and specialty items. A charming Victorian-style hotel close to dining, shopping, and the waterfront is the Cedar Key Bed and Breakfast.

Chester, Vermont

Chester, Vermont

Population: 3,154

Visitors seeking a more relaxed summer getaway need look no further than this charming town in the Green Mountains. Shoppers can find a wide range of specialty items and artwork at one of New England’s best antique hotspots.

The lodging options include charming bed and breakfast suites with four-poster canopy beds or inns straight out of a Norman Rockwell painting. Pub food is favored by locals and is suggested for hearty fare.

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