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Traveling all over the world is great! Still, even in a strange land, we often discover the warmest welcomings in quaint little villages. Indeed, in the USA there’s often something quite charming about small towns in the summer. Thus, without further ado, we present the 15 best small towns for summer vacations.

15 Best U.S. Small Towns For Summer Vacations

1. Narrowsburg, New York

The hamlet of Narrowsburg is nestled on the Delaware River. With a population of 269, this is a great place for such river recreations as canoeing, kayaking, and tubing. In fact, you can sign on for both half and full-day river excursions. Be sure to grab some snacks at the noteworthy Narrowsburg Proper general store before boarding. for snacks and sundries before your outing. Dine at The Heron. The Laundrette, or the Cochecton Fire Station. Book your stay across the river in Pennsylvania’s popular Hotel Darby.

2. Buckeye Lake, Ohio

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Image courtesy of Ohio Department of Natural Resources

Some travel writers claim this village is “classic Americana.” Popular for its lakes, it has a population of 2,805. Veteran visitors say a lovely lakefront cottage here can be like “a home away from home.”  

Wake up with a hot cup of java from Millersport Coffee. Then take a morning power walk or jog along the local Buckeye Lake Dam Walking & Biking Trail. Sign on for a kayak-biking-brewery expedition and experience the local lakes, hiking trails, breweries, wineries, and assorted eateries as well. Rent a pontoon and enjoy the lake by yourself. Sample the ice cream at Weldon’s, and have a nightcap at one of the beach bars.

3. Addison, Texas

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Image courtesy of addisontexas.net

The town of Addison covers an area of just 4.4 square miles. There are less than 16,000 people living here and yet you can choose from dining at 200 restaurants. Residents claim they have more places to eat per capita than any other US city.

The best time to visit is on July 3rd. It’s then you can see their fun fireworks show known as “Addison Kaboom Town!” More than 500,000 people come to see the show, eat at their restaurants, and stay in one of their 22 hotels which offer specials and even host watch parties. Indeed, Home2Suites can provide rooms with stunning views.

4. Adairsville, Georgia

Here you’ll find just 4,800 people. Shop for gifts at the historic 1902 Stock Exchange & Public Square Opera House, and sample a tasty slice of hummingbird cake at the memorable Maggie Mae’s Tea Room. Burn off the calories at Barnsley Resort, where you can engage in a number of different outdoor activities including archery, ax throwing, clay target shooting, disc golf, fishing, golf, or horseback riding. You can also enjoy the spa and the saltwater pool. Be sure to check out the Savoy Automobile Museum too complete with its Art Deco cars, woodie wagons, and racing cars.

5. Coronado, California

Coronado may be close to San Diego, but it’s home to only 20,192 people and feels far from the rush of the city. It’s small enough that you can walk or bike everywhere and features beautiful beaches and gin-clear water. Foodies and shopaholics will enjoy the charming main street known as Orange Avenue.  

Explore the art galleries, boutiques, theatres, and assorted eateries. Don’t miss the educational Coronado Museum of History & Art. Stay at the famous Hotel del Coronado either. Every summer weekend there’s free live music at Ferry Landing too!

6. Travelers Rest, South Carolina

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For hundreds of years, this town has been just that, a resting place for travelers heading over the rugged Blue Ridge Mountains. This inviting spot is home to 5,152 and such restaurants as Monkey Wrench BBQ, Tandem Creperie, and Topsoil.

You can rest in a couple of noteworthy places. There’s the quaint Swamp Rabbit Inn Travelers Rest, and Hotel Domestique. The latter is a boutique hotel owned by the celebrated cyclist George Hincapie. Rooms come complete with mountain views. Hike or bike the 22-mile Prisma Health Swamp Rabbit Trail and enjoy the Music in the Park Series in Trailblazer Park.

7. Bardstown, Kentucky

​Bardstown, a.k.a. the “Bourbon Capital of the World,” has a population of 13,567, and is home to 11 distinct distilleries. Veteran visitors favor the Bardstown Bourbon Company, the Heaven Hill Distillery, and the Log Still Distillery. There’s also the Old Talbott Tavern, America’s oldest Western Stagecoach stop, and the world’s oldest Bourbon bar. Get a seat on the Bourbon Excursion with the popular 1940s vintage My Old Kentucky Dinner Train. Sleep it off at the well-known Bourbon Manor Bed & Breakfast or even the Jailer’s Inn Bed & Breakfast.  

8. Abilene, Kansas

Historic Abilene has a population of 6,500. This small town still has a lot to see. You can tour the award-winning Seelye Mansion and bowl in a bowling alley from 1905.  

Check out the exhibits at the Eisenhower Presidential Library and Museum. Ride a steam engine that’s over 100 years old on the local Abilene & Smoky Valley Railroad. Enjoy a ride on a genuine 1901 C.W. Parker Carousel at the Dickinson County Heritage Center. It is officially “the oldest operating Parker Carousel” in existence. Get a room at the Victorian Inn Bed & Breakfast.

9. St. Michaels, Maryland

Home to 1,108 people, some call this small town on the Miles River, “the Hamptons of the mid-Atlantic.” Naturally, it’s a great place for kayaking, paddle boarding, and sailing. See the 17th-century homes on Talbot Street.

Stay at The Inn at Perry Cabin. You might recognize it from the comedy Wedding Crashers which was filmed there. You could also stay at The Wildset Hotel and dine at its on-site eatery, Ruse. Dine on Maryland crabs and oysters too. Less than 50 minutes away, you’ll find the historic Harriet Tubman Underground Railroad National Historical Park.

10. Dewey Beach, Delaware

Only 332 people live here but in the summer, it’s visited by a bunch of beach-goers. Still, with the bay on one side and the ocean on the other, it’s worth the visit. Get a room at Hyatt Place Dewey Beach, less than one mile from the famous Rehoboth Beach Boardwalk. Enjoy a stroll there. Book a charter boat here and dine on incredible crab cakes at Woody’s Dewey Beach.

11. Sheridan, Wyoming

17,844 people live here. Surprisingly, there’s a lot to do in Sheridan. You can go to the WYO Theater and see a show.  

Experience the Sheridan County Rodeo, catch a polo match at the popular Big Horn Equestrian Center, and learn about cowboy culture and the town’s history at the Museum at the Big Horns, the Don King Museum, and Fort Phil Kearny. Music lovers can enjoy one of the Concerts in the Park, any Tuesday. Have fun at the popular 3rd Thursday street festival, and shop at the weekly Farmers Markets.

12. Hermann, Missouri

Here in Hermann, you’ll see a lot of picturesque German architecture. It was founded in 1837 by German immigrants and now has a population of almost 2,400 people. Its’ reportedly the very heart of Missouri’s wine country.

Experts recommend visiting the Adam Puchta Winery, the Black Shire Distillery, Martin Brothers Mead, and Stone Hill Winery. Tour the historic homes at the Deutschheim State Historic Site, the Teubner-Husmann home, and Hermann Farm. Consider a stay at the popular Cottage which comes complete with a trio of treehouses that offer superb views of the local landscape.

13. New Paltz, New York

The 7,165 residents of this town agree this is a great place for a summer vacation. Shopaholics and souvenir-seekers will love the Main Street boutiques and the open-air Water Street Market that offers art, antiques, and more. Hike the River-to-Ridge Trail if you’re feeling athletic or visit litreally a dozen wineries along the Shawangunk Wine Trail if you need more than nature to inspire you. Book your stay at the Victorian castle resort known as Mohonk Mountain House. Run by the Smiley family since it opened in 1869, it has a spa, tennis courts, and even horseback riding facilities.

14. Bretton Woods, New Hampshire

Only 91 people live in this small New England village. It’s nestled in the “larger” town named Caroll which is home to 820 residents. The major draw here is the awesome Omni Mount Washington Resort.  

Here you can go zip-lining, play golf on the Donald Ross-designed course and partake in award-winning dining. You can also ride the world’s first mountain-climbing cog railway, the Mt. Washington Cog Railway. Visit Crawford Notch State Park too and do some fishing, waterfall chasing, and wildlife viewing.

15. McCall, Idaho

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Sharlie is a creature who lives in local Payette Lake. The 3,200 residents claim this monster is a minimum of “35 feet long, with a dinosaur-type head, pronounced jaw, humps like a camel, and shell-like skin.” But there’s more to this small town in the West Central Mountains than Sharlie.  

You can go birdwatching, hiking, horseback riding, mountain biking, paddleboarding, waterskiing, whitewater rafting, take a dinner cruise, and visit Salmon River Brewery’s rooftop beer garden. Dine at the Jug Mountain Ranch or Clubhouse Restaurant. Book your accommodations at the Hotel McCall or Shore Lodge.

2 COMMENTS

    • Hi!
      Thanks for your comment but just so you know, this website focuses on travel not partisan politics. I must say, however, that with gas prices what they are right now under our current administration, I would guess you might not be able to afford to drive to a red state or even a blue or purple state that isn’t right nextdoor to you.

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