Because of its tremendous geographical expanse and its broad cultural variety, the United States is still one of the greatest places to live and travel, with more beautiful cities and towns than anyone can imagine. Unfortunately, we could not put every lovely town in the U.S. on this list, so we settled for choosing one from each state. From Maui’s gorgeous small town of Paia, to Alaska’s hidden gem of Sitka, to the artistic village of Yellow Springs, Ohio, and down to the nation’s oldest city of St. Augustine, Florida, each of these destinations offers something enchanting and unique. Be sure to check out which town from your state made our list.
The name of this beautiful town comes from the old magnolia trees that shade the streets, and the natural springs flowing on both sides of the Magnolia River. The small-town, Southern feel of this area makes for a lovely escape from the metropolitan lifestyle of cities like Pensacola, Florida, and Mobile, Alabama — both of which are only a short drive away.
Located on the harbor between the Sisters mountain range and the Gulf of Alaska, Sitka is one of Alaska’s hidden gems. This remote town is a gorgeous destination for any outdoor adventurer who loves to hike, boat, kayak, or even climb — and we can’t forget about the various fishing opportunities as well.
What began as a bustling mining town in the Mule Mountains is now a quaint town of artists and old architectural styles. The city’s history is visually present, with old saloons and brothels from the mining period finding new purposes, such as the Bisbee’s Brewery Gulch. Experience the rich culture of the town with guided mining tours.
Jasper is a scenic, picturesque town in Arkansas surrounded by lush forests and the Buffalo National River, with a large herd of elk that roams the area. This town sits in the Ozark Mountains and has plenty of outdoor activities to enjoy, like caving, mountain biking, horseback riding, fishing, hunting, and just about anything else you can think to do outside.
This wonderfully vibrant community in the center of California’s wine country has much to offer its visitors. Aside from the sheer beauty of the natural landscape and the must-visit wineries, there are several award-winning fine dining restaurants (like The Restaurant at Meadowood), various art galleries, and unique boutiques to explore.
Another American town with mining roots, Breckenridge is situated in the stunning Rocky Mountains. The mountains are any adventurer’s playground, with skiing available in the winter and great hikes during the summer. Stroll through the town’s endearing Main Street, where you’ll find boutique shops and restaurants in historic buildings “that have stood for over 100 years.”
Home to the three boarding schools, Kent is beautiful in its nature. Its two state parks, Kent Falls State Park and Macedonia Brook State Park, are perfect for hiking with the former having over a dozen waterfalls to marvel at.
Located at Cape Henlopen, where the Delaware Bay and Atlantic Ocean meet, you’ll find the quiet walking town of Lewes. Explore the historic district, eat at some of their fine restaurants, and do some shopping between stops at the town’s various museums. The biggest attraction to Lewes, though, is their beautiful beaches.
A cobblestoned town with over 400 years of history, St. Augustine is easily the prettiest town in Florida, and the Nation’s Oldest City. Check out the oldest masonry fort, pop in and out of the many stores down St. George Street, or stop into one of the restaurants to grab a bite. You’ll quickly fall in love with the city’s ambiance.
With the strong college presence of the University of Georgia, Athens has a well-known music scene. Not only did famous bands like R.E.M and the B-52s get their start in Athens, but Pulitzer Prize-winning authors also came from the area. Stop into one of the many coffee shops or trendy stores in downtown Athens, all housed in beautiful Victorian buildings.
Choosing only one beautiful town in all of Hawaii is close to impossible, but one that is undeniably wonderful is Maui’s Paia. This small town has a vibrant surf culture and, naturally, stunning beaches, such as Baldwin Beach. Paia is a hidden gem where you can truly hang loose on the increasingly-commercialized island of Maui.
Wallace, Idaho is a historic mining town with a small population of only 784. Although there is still silver mining done in the area — the town’s nickname is “Silver Capital of the World” — the mountains surrounding Wallace create a striking backdrop to the historic buildings of downtown.
The city was named after the mineral that was mined in the area, but is now a beautiful getaway for those looking to step back in time. Galena’s Historic District is even on the National Register of Historic Places. So take a scenic drive through the town’s rolling hills, and take a stroll down the charming Main Street, which overlooks the Galena River.
The town’s beauty and art are the primary bases for tourism in Nashville, Indiana. Nashville has all of three traffic lights and a population of 803, with most of its residents working as artists. Beyond the Brown County State Park, Nashville has wonderful bed and breakfasts, cottages, restaurants, art galleries, shops, music venues, and antiques dealers.
One of the fastest growing towns in the area, LeClaire, Iowa, is a picture-perfect destination. It’s a historic, scenic town along the Mississippi River. LeClaire has an annual tug-of-war across the river with Port Byron, Illinois, in August called the Tugfest, and the charming Cody Road Historic District to stroll through.
The beautifully kept homes of Abilene are the true treasures of this town. It is the hometown of President Eisenhower, and you can visit his house at the Dwight D. Eisenhower Library and Museum. Another must-see attraction in the town is the Seelye Mansion.
The Crawfish Capital of the World is also the prettiest town in Louisiana. In Cajun Country, Breaux Bridge is home to the annual Breaux Bridge Crawfish Festival.
This coastal town in Maine has plenty of local shops and restaurants to keep busy, but there are also the Camden Hills to explore. Hit the water and go sailing, or go mountain biking in the hills for an exciting Camden experience.
In 2014, Budget Travel named Berlin, Maryland the Coolest Small Town in America. Berlin’s town center has a mix of historic Victorian, Federal, and early-twentieth-century-style buildings, many of which are listed in the National Register of Historic Places. Beautiful magnolias, sycamores, and various other trees cover the town, adding to its allure.
A romantic destination that’s only an hour from Boston, Rockport is located at the very tip of the Cape Ann peninsula and has miles of beaches for you to enjoy. Lie out under the sun or take a day to go scuba diving off the coast.
Traverse City, Michigan, is a dream destination for any foodie or outdoor adventurer. You can go biking or paddleboarding, head to the Sleeping Bear Dunes for a great view across the lake, and even check out the town’s microbreweries. There’s a little something here for everyone’s taste.
Lanesboro, Minnesota, is a small, isolated town with a population of 754 where you won’t find any wine bars or large chains. The town has a prominent art scene, and is a truly unique place with livestock auctions held twice a week in its downtown area.
A village in the Missouri River Valley, Hermann has lovely rolling hills and seven wineries which produce a third of the state’s wines. Established by Germans in the nineteenth century, the old town has a cozy atmosphere with vintage brick buildings that line the sidewalks.
Although this town is quickly growing in population, you’ll still experience its small-town charm. Located in the Bitterroot Valley of Montana, Hamilton is surrounded by mountains and forests that are perfect playgrounds for any outdoor activities. While you’re there, check out their breweries: Bitter Root Brewing and Higherground Brewery.
Located in the Great Plains region, Chadron has an abundance of nature destinations surrounding it with Oglala National Grasslands and the Nebraska National Forest nearby. Chadron has a history that began in the fur trading industry, and in honor of its past, the town celebrates with the annual festival called the Fur Trade Days.
Although beautiful year-round, Genoa is particularly magical in the winter. Located at the base of the Sierra Nevada Mountains, the entire town becomes a wonderland under a coat of white, with holiday lights abounding and the mountains providing a picturesque backdrop.
Hanover is a pretty college town that is home to the Ivy League Dartmouth College, and sits in the Upper Connecticut River Valley of New Hampshire. It is one of the nation’s oldest towns, and inside the charming buildings of Main Street are various restaurants, art galleries, and unique shops.
This beautiful New Jersey town is a perfect getaway destination. Cape May has beautiful beaches you absolutely must visit and equally pretty homes that hug the coastline — which makes for a scenic stroll down the beach. Or, if you’d prefer to see the town from a wider aperture, carve out some time in your schedule and go parasailing.
This beautiful town in the Sangre de Cristo Mountains is known for its traditional adobe-style architecture and desert landscapes. It is also widely recognized as the subject of famous works by artists such as Georgia O’Keeffe and Ansel Adams. Nearby is the must-visit UNESCO World Heritage site of Taos Pueblo, an adobe community where people have lived for over a thousand years.
Most famously known for the music festival that didn’t take place there, Woodstock is considered “the most famous small town in the world.” Located at the foot of the Catskill Mountains, the town is immersed in natural beauty with stunning lakes and beautiful hiking trails. The artistic presence in the town can’t be missed, with various festivals held there throughout the year for comedy, film, and music.
This picturesque town in North Dakota overlooks the largest lake in North Dakota, Lake Sakakawea. Must-do activities in Garrison include fishing, visiting the lake and the Garrison Dam, and checking out the open-air Heritage Park and Museum.
Yellow Springs is a lovely, art-centric village in Ohio that you’ll undoubtedly fall in love with on your first visit. The downtown area is bustling with a unique assortment of local boutiques, galleries, eateries, and pubs that have vibrant and colorful storefronts.
The main attraction to this pretty town in Oregon is the food and wine scene. Last year, Jacksonville was named one of the top 10 wine destinations in the world by Wine Enthusiast magazine, largely because of the 80 wineries in the region. Aside from the awe-inspiring landscape, you’ll find quaint boutiques and antique shops on Jacksonville’s charming Main Street.
The architecture and scenery of Jim Thorpe has lent itself to being called the “Switzerland of America” and the “Gateway to Poconos.” This romantic, Victorian town is located in the Lehigh Gorge and offers visitors everything — from an adventurous experience exploring the Pocono Mountains to a quiet weekend away enjoying live entertainment and strolls through the downtown area.
Newport, Rhode Island is known for its opulent seaside mansions and for being the “Sailing Capital of the World.” Along with the stunning coastline views, gorgeous homes, and classic architecture, you’ll enjoy some of the freshest seafood during your stay here.
Charleston is the second-largest city in South Carolina as well as the oldest. This friendly city has cobblestoned streets, enjoyable weather all year round, beaches, and delicious comfort food. Take a scenic drive on the causeway to Sullivan’s Island and stroll down the lovely Rainbow Row — but before you leave you must try the Charleston signature dish of she-crab soup.
Hill City is the second oldest town in the Black Hills and — because it is located at the region’s center — is considered the “Heart of the Black Hills.” The town has three wineries, a busy downtown area with shops and antiques, and is close to attractions such as the Crazy Horse Monument and Mount Rushmore. This charming small town in South Dakota has roots in the mining rush and a population of 948.
Gatlinburg borders the Great Smoky Mountains National Park and is a popular destination for visitors due to its close proximity to various mountains (Sugarland Mountain, Cove Mountain, and Big Ridge Mountain) and its charming downtown. The town itself offers plenty to do, with breweries, distilleries, wineries, countless dining options, and lively entertainment.
Wimberley is a quaint and beautiful small town in Hays County, Texas, with much to do. The most exciting entertainments in Wimberley include attending their weekly “Bluegrass Jam” event and losing track of time at the Blue Hole — a gorgeous swimming hole surrounded by cypress trees and park area.
Stowe is a picturesque town in Vermont and home to the state’s highest peak, Mount Mansfield. There are constantly arts and crafts fairs taking place in the town, as well as museums to visit and art galleries to stroll through. There’s also an amazing Hot Air Balloon Festival in early July that you absolutely can’t miss if you’re planning a visit soon.
Rudi Riet/Wikimedia Commons
This romantic little village is in Highland County, Virginia, and has a small population of fewer than 200 people. Known as Virginia’s “Little Switzerland,” Monterey is home to the annual Highland Maple Festival where you’ll see how sugar maples are collected and turned into syrup. It is a year-round beauty that is even more gorgeous in the winter, when holiday celebrations are abundant.
Port Townsend is one of three Victorian seaports in America, with incredible architecture and a community immersed in the arts. You’ll find writers, painters, sculptors, dancers, and plenty of other artistic individuals creating art across the city. While in Port Townsend, head downtown or uptown to wander through galleries and shops; go for a bike ride or explore hiking trails; and make your way to the coastline for some kayaking.
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What brings people to Summersville isn’t necessarily the town itself, although it is lovely as well — the most beautiful attractions are Summersville Lake and the Gauley River, which is just below the city. Gauley River is well-known for its adventurous whitewater rapids, while Summersville Lake is ideal for swimming, snorkeling, and boating.
Located on the shore of Lake Superior, Bayfield is a beautiful town by land and by sea. Take a lighthouse cruise to the nearby Apostle Islands, kayak through their sea caves, pick your own berries and apples, or wander through the town’s local artisan galleries.
Acquaint yourself with the old Western town of Dubois, Wyoming, with a leisurely horseback ride, a calming hike, adrenaline boosting mountain biking, some fly fishing, or even snowshoeing during the winter. You won’t be disappointed with the town’s incredible views of the Absaroka and Wind River Mountains.