This is our final installment in our Most Beautiful Small Towns in Every State series! Today we cover small towns worth a visit from North Carolina to Wyoming.
Manteo, North Carolina
This small island on the coast of North Carolina holds the history of the Outer Banks without the crowded streets. The town of Manteo shares the island of Roanoke with its sister town of Wanchese. With a large portion of the island designated as historical and state land, the area holds endless exploration. Grab a bite to eat at Big Al’s then stroll the boardwalk to experience all the local stores. You can even take a drive over the bridge for a day in the Outer Banks. We suggest visiting the island in the summer for a chance to see world’s largest outdoor drama, The Lost Colony. The drama recounts a tale of what could have happened to the settlement of Roanoke. The family is bound to enjoy this outing!
New Salem, North Dakota
The small town of New Salem is located just 30 miles outside of North Dakota’s state capital, Bismarck. With strong community ties, this town exhibits a friendliness like no other. Take a stroll downtown and visit the many museums that tell the stories of westward expansion. The town is rich in culture and history that visitors are encouraged to explore. Our favorite part of this small town is the interesting statue it is known for. “Salem Sue” is a 38 foot fiberglass cow that stands perched on School Hill. Visitors can walk up to the cow, take some pictures and marvel at its enormity or take in the view of the rolling hills that is offered here. Either way, your trip here is bound to be an interesting one!
Marblehead, Ohio is a small town that sits at the tip of the Marblehead Peninsula where Lake Erie and the Sandusky Bay meet. Here, visitors can experience an area filled with local finds and limestone lined beaches. The point of the peninsula is also home to the United State’s oldest functional lighthouse that continues to warn sailors or shallow waters. With numerous parks and preserves in the area, the town takes pride in it’s native flora and fauna.
During late spring, visitors to the Lakeside Daisy State Nature Preserve can find fields of yellow filled with what is thought to be the rarest daisies in the world, the Lakeside Daisy. While this small town is typically crowded in the summer months, there is a quieter, more homey feel to the area when the tourist season ends. However, no matter what season you visit this small town, you will always be met with beautiful sights and fun adventures!
Medicine Park, Oklahoma
Sitting right on the outskirts of the Wichita Mountain Wildlife Refuge, Medicine Park, Oklahoma is the perfect small town for a weekend away. The town is filled with beautiful scenery that id incomparable. Downtown holds Bath Lake where visitors have the chance to swim during hot summer days. Over the lake there is a beautiful bridge that is part of a nature walk. With the proper permit, visitors are welcome to spend their time here by staying at the primitive camping site. All of the natural features this town has to offer make it the ideal place to disconnect and reset!
Known as “Oregon’s Garden City,” this small town is filled to the brim with natural adventures just waiting to be explored. Silver Falls State Park neighbors the city providing a green getaway to explore. The park boasts a total of 24 miles in walking trails, 14 miles of horseback trails and 4 miles of bike trails. Inside the park, while walking the trails, visitors can find 18 waterfalls, 4 of which allow you to walk behind the flow of the falls. An 80 acre botanical park known as the Oregon Garden can also be found within the small town and is filled with native flowers an other flora. This town is guaranteed to be nothing short of picturesque, so be sure to pack you camera and hiking boots!
Doylestown is the small town that Henry Chapman Mercer called home. As an archeologist and architect, Mercer brought everything he learned back to this town. He created the iconic Fonthill Palace, a concrete European style home that holds 44 rooms. In the town, visitors can also find the Mercer Museum which holds Henry Mercer’s prized possessions that he collected from all over the globe. The museum showcases American life before the Industrial Revolution. Also found in town is the Moravian Pottery and Tile Works which holds the original and unique ceramics created in the area. This town is also the perfect escape for artists, housing multiple studios and galleries for you to explore!
Jamestown, Rhode Island
The small Rhode Island town of Jamestown contains the Islands of Conanicut Island, Dutch Island and Gould Island. While Dutch Island and Gould Island are uninhabited, Conanicut Island has a small thriving population that makes this small town their home. The beauty of this area comes in the combination of history with nature. Originally settled in the 1600’s this town has contains stories that span centuries. Later, the town played a significant role in the American Revolution, Civil War and the World Wars. Now visitors are welcome to explore the historical sites and museums or take a day trip out to the uninhabited islands to experience nature and the abandoned remains of Fort Greble.
Bluffton, South Carolina
Coined the “last true coastal village of the South,” Bluffton, South Carolina offers visitors a unique beach getaway that is unlike any other. Culture and heritage line the streets of this small town. Visit downtown and experience the history and are that can be found in the galleries and museums across the town. The heart of Lowcountry houses a local Farmers Market every Thursday giving visitors and locals alike the chance to interact and create the community spirit that this town is known for. Nearby, adventure seekers can find the May River as a playground for an exploration. Take a kayak into the marshes, look for the bottlenose dolphins that roam the area, bird watch and so much more here! No matter what kind of small town vacation you are looking to have, this are is sure to meet your expectations.
Deadwood, South Dakota
If you have been searching our lists of small tows for the perfect, all inclusive town, Deadwood South Dakota might just be the perfect town to add to your list. What makes this small town so unique is that while it holds significant history, tradition and culture, it has also managed to incorporate modern activities that will keep both history buffs and explorers entertained!
The entire town is on the National Historic Registry with history dating back to the outlaws, gunsligers and gamblers of the late 1800’s. The town holds Wild West reenactments and a vibrant night life. Home to over 80 gaming halls, the casinos and gambling adventures that await you here are truly endless. The streets are lined with an array of local shops, while the outskirts of the town are lined with numerous outdoor activities. And if you can’t decide what to do, take one of the experiential tours to get a taste of everything this small town has to offer!
Morristown, Tennessee is located near the Smoky Mountains and offers a beautiful getaway to visitors looking to slow down the pace for a bit! Originally the home of Davy Crockett, the town now has a museum built on the site of the famous frontiersman. The town is also known as Tennessee’s Disk Golf Capital, so grab your disks and head out to practice on the four championship courses that are scattered throughout the town. Our favorite part about this city is the two tier sidewalk that spans the majority of the downtown area. Experience a walk on the second floor of the city in the only town in the United States that offers this unique feature.
Nestled in the beautiful Hill Country of Texas, Wimberley sits in a central area, an hour outside of Austin and San Antonio. This small town became well loved among locals for it’s incredible natural beauty. Cypress Creek is a visitor and local favorite for the scenery that is found there. We suggest planning your trip here during the summer so you can take a dip in Blue Hole. Visitors can hike up the 200 steps that scale the side of the Old Baldy Ridge. From the top, hikers can get an incredible view of the vast Hill Country. While in town, be sure you don’t miss your chance to explore the multiple art galleries including the Wimberley Glass Works.
At the base of Mt. Nebo in Utah, Visitors can find a small town that is covered in rolling fields. The area is most well known for the large amounts of lavender it produces and the beauty of the fields that line the town. Every year, the farms hold festivals and Lavender Days where visitors can come participate in endless events on the farm and learn all about the lavender crop. We suggest visiting in the middle of summer to see the fields in full bloom! If lavender isn’t your cup of tea, the area also houses the Burraston Ponds where amateur and experienced fisherman alike will find the perfect catch.
The small town of Chester is listed on the National Register of Historic Places in two different areas. The combination of granite buildings integrated into colonial architecture creates a unique atmosphere that allows the town to feel small and homey. Visitors are often adventure seekers that wish to stay away from the resort setting. Within the close vicinity, travelers can find areas to participate in outdoor activities. Mount Killington, Mount Snow, and Okemo are all within a short drive from the tow. If you are looking for a way to explore the area without the crowd, we suggest setting up base camp here to avoid the business of resorts. If you have an extra day and love to take in the sights that surround you, take a day trip on the Green Mountain Flyer Scenic Railroad and let it take you on a journey through the forest and mountain.
Chincoteague is the perfect destination for individuals an adventurous soul. The 7 mile island is lined with mostly local stores and offers experiences you won’t be able to engage in anywhere else. The area is became well know after the book Misty of Chincoteague was published. The story recounts the annual Chincoteague Island Pony Swim. Each year, the wild ponies that make their home on Assateague Island in the Chincoteague National Wildlife Refuge are corralled and set free to swim across the waterway to Chincoteague Island. The even occurs ever year in the summer, so we suggest making sure you plan ahead on this trip! Visitors can also take boat tours over to Assateague Island and relax on the pristine beaches or traverse the empty trails.
La Conner, Washington
Voted the most perfect Washington State getaway, La Conner, Washington is the perfect destination to spend your next vacation days! This small town is a great mix between business and the ideal escape. With so much going on, visitors will never have a dull moment. Fine dining and local eats await you throughout downtown and the coast. Take a day trip out to the San Juan Islands or simply take boat tours around the area. We suggest going during the Skagit Valley Tulip Festival which typically takes place during April.
Shepherdstown, West Virginia
This small town is located right on the banks of the Potomac River and serves as a cultural and historical reminder for the are. Located a little over an hour outside of Washington D.C., this area holds numerous Civil War battle sites. History buffs will not only enjoy seeing the field where the battle was fought but will also love getting to tour all the local museums and wartime reenactments. The town is still decorated with the preserved architecture to give visitors an authentic idea of what life was like during the Civil War Era. When you aren’t discovering history and living out the past, the town is scattered with numerous cafes that are all locally owned for a relaxing meal or hot cup of coffee.
Cedarburg is a small town in Wisconsin just waiting to be explored! Its streets are lined with unique architecture and natural accents. The historical limestone buildings are laced with green vines covering the side. In town, visitors can find art galleries, museums and the General Store Museum that recounts life in the town throughout History. Take a day and visit the local winery or shop at the stores. We suggest scheduling your trip here during the Christmas season. So you can see the extravagant decorations that line the stores the entire season. However, if you would rather stay home for the holidays, mark one of their irresistible festivals down on your calendar!
With the slogan, “remote, yet remarkable,” how could you go wrong with making Dubois, Wyoming your next small town destination? This old western town claims to have the authentic feel of the Frontier while still offering many fun activities. Visitors can explore the wilderness of nearby Yellowstone National Park, Grand Teton National Park, or stay in the town and learn about the history of the area. The nearby mountains are an anomaly – possibly the only place in the world that hold 3 different formations of mountains. The Rocky Mountains in the town are also the site of ongoing archaeological discoveries. Take a hiking trip, go horseback for an exploration or go fishing on the lake. No matter what you choose to do here, you will learn about the culture that created this small town and why it survives to this day.
Which of these small towns are you planning your next trip to?
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We hope you enjoyed reading this series as much as we enjoyed writing it! Let us know your favorite small town that we covered down below!