From New York to Los Angeles, urban lifestyles can take a toll. Whether you’re battling traffic, the subway or you’ve just have had enough of that sweaty urban smelly atmosphere; it might probably be time for a move. If the summer season has you craving for a getaway, look no further than the small towns within a few hours of America’s biggest cities. Activities move a little slower away from the stress and hassle of the urban region, but that doesn’t mean you’ll find quiet activities. From old opera houses to beachside getaways to funky art havens, a trip to a picturesque small town could be just what you need.
We’ve put together 10 best small towns of America’s most visited cities. Whether you stay in Chicago or San Francisco, Denver or Miami, here’s where to visit when next you need a break from the cities we love.
If you stay near New York City, have a visit to Cold Spring:
“Do not be confused with Long Island’s Cold Spring Harbor, this town on the Hudson Metro-North line has a main street that looks like something out of a postcard. The residents love the town so much they stick its name everywhere: Get the hat trick by picking up organic skincare products at Cold Spring Apothecary, home goods and jewelry at Cold Spring Store, and having a lunch at Cold Spring, which is along the train rails—ask for an outdoor seat if you want to watch the trains go whizzing by. Also, the local trolley picks up downtown and drops off in front of Boscobel, the restored 19th-century Garrison Mansion.”
If you stay near Los Angeles, have a visit to Ojai:
With the combination of quality wine, stylish architecture, and a legion of spas and health resorts, Ojai has everything one may need from a small town retreat from city life such as taking a hike, reading a book, meditating. Ojai has long been the town Southern Californians visit to relax.”
If you stay near Chicago, have a visit to Ephraim and its next door neighbour Sister Bay:
Ephraim located in Door County, its next door neighbour Sister Bay are popular getaways for Chicagoans. These small towns are big on nature and charm. Those interested in cross-country skiing or snowshoeing can get their fix at the nearby Peninsula State Park in the winter. During the summer time, move in for the classic Americana by visiting Wilson’s Ice Cream and the Skyway Drive-in Theatre.
If you stay near San Francisco, have a visit to Half Moon Bay:
Moving from the surfing Maverick’s picking berries overlooking the sea, Half Moon Bay is a great destination only 30 minutes’ drive out of the city. The drive south-path along the Highway is not too scruffy either.
If you stay near Atlanta, have a visit to Madison:
Unlike Atlanta, Gen. Sherman’s pyro-happy ways did not annihilate Madison, a Morgan County town of about 4,000 the Leader Union famously deemed too lovely burn, according to Georgia lore. Madison’s picturesque, antebellum charms persist these days, with one of the Peach State largest National Ancient Districts chock full of celebrated restaurants and well-kept Greek Revivals and cottages. Madison is recently notched among the most beautiful visiting small towns in the world.
If you stay near Detroit, have a visit to Port Austin:
Port Austin located right at the tip of the thumb; it has the best location for watching both the sunrise and the sunset over Lake Huron. Nice for those who love the outdoors, Port Austin has many hiking trails and kayak opportunities, including the sharp and gorgeous Turnip Rock. The small town has stores, cafes, and a beach.
If you stay near Philadelphia, have a visit to West Chester:
This amazing town is located in the heart of the Brandywine Valley. It was established in 1712 and now has a favourite restaurant, retail stores, and art gallery. In addition to its historic places, the National Register of Historic Centers district also features an impressive amount of Greek revival architecture.
If you stay near Miami, have a visit to Naples:
If an upscale scene is more of your visiting needs, make a drive of two hours west to Naples, where you’ll find a lot of the same outdoor activities but also a solid number of fancy restaurants and high-end hotels.
If you stay near Washington D.C., have a visit to Old Town Alexandria:
Old Town Alexandria has it all, remarkable restaurants, quirky stores, a calm atmosphere, and an artsy museum. This walkway neighbourhood also often hosts festivals, like the annual Sidewalk Sale and Restaurant Week.
If you stay near Boston, have a visit to the charming town of Rockport:
Located an hour’s drive north of Boston and with about 7,000 residents, Rockport have all packages necessary for a quintessential New England seaside town: lobster fishermen (and other smaller, seafaring vessels), lots of rocky beaches, a wholesome class of beach wildlife, and a laid-back vibe that only a rapacious great white shark could disturb.