US Towns to Visit To Feel Like You’re in Europe

What if you could take a leisure trip to Europe without having to leave the country? Thankfully, this article from CountryLiving provides an overview of 35 American towns that offer European-style attractions and activities for people who want to travel to Europe without traveling internationally. America is home to numerous towns that mimic the European style through their historical architecture, restaurants serving traditional dishes, and unique recreational activities that are sure to satisfy any traveler.

St. Augustine, Florida (Spain)

The historic city of St. Augustine is located in the northern part of Florida, and it’s one of the top tourist destinations in the Sunshine State. St. Augustine is home to historic sites and attractions that reflect its Spanish colonial history,including the Castillo de San Marcos National Monument, a spectacular fortress that was built in the 1700s and is still standing today. This attraction has been carefully restored, preserving many of its features while adding modern amenities like restrooms and barrier-free access areas, allowing visitors to explore this historic gem with self-guided or history-laden tours with experts.

Vail, Colorado (Switzerland)

At 10,000 feet above sea level, Vail, Colorado is a quaint mountain town that many travelers flock to during the winter season, as it’s home to a wide variety of unique Swiss-inspired architecture. This town, which is home to spectacularresort experiences, five-star dining, and diverse shopping options, is also an architectural mecca for those who appreciate the work of Swiss architects and their work in Zermatt, Switzerland, a town located at the base of the Swiss Alps.

Hermann, Missouri (Germany)

Located in the heart of Missouri wine country and tucked away in the Missouri River Valley is the town of Hermann, Missouri, a German-influenced town that’s rich in culture and history. In the present day, you’ll feel instantly transported to a German town beside the Rhine River when visiting Hermann, and this is because this town was flocked to by German immigrants in 1837 and founded by Hermann Mannheim. The town not only offers architecture that is reminiscent of Germanic buildings, but it also hosts festivals throughout the year that celebrate German heritage like Das Fest and Maifest, offering an authentic taste of Germany without the international travel.

Charleston, South Carolina

Named after King Charles II of England, the city of Charleston, South Carolina is a historic destination with a rich, distinct Southern charm and ever-present English influence. Charleston is a city that is known for its classic architecture that reminds tourists and residents of England due to its colorful, short buildings and Europe inspired streetscapes. From stately churches, such as Saint Michael’s Episcopal Church, to colorful, short buildings such as Leon’s Oyster Shop, both of which are set alongside charming cobblestone avenues, you’ll be instantly reminded of England once walking about Charleston.

Holland, Michigan (Netherlands)

Located in Michigan’s Ottawa County, is Holland, a city famous for being reminiscent of the Netherlands, as it was founded by Dutch settlers in 1847. Known as the “Dutch Capital of North America,” the city of Holland serves as an authentic reminder of the Netherlands with its historic sights such as the Settler’s House Museum, a small family home that has been lived in by a series of working-class families over the course of its long history. After surviving the Great Holland Fire of 1871, the house has been restored to its original Dutch architecture. Other attractions in the city that are potently reminiscent of the Netherlands are the annual Tulip Time Festival, the Nelis’ Dutch Village Theme Park, and the 250,000 tulips and Dutch-style DeZwaan Windmill at the Windmill Island Gardens.

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The Greatest Florida Islands for Your Vacation

There’s a simple reason as to why images of palm leaves, clear blue waters, and white sandy beaches enter the mind when one attempts to picture the perfect island vacation. It’s because the iconography of the over 4,500 Florida islands located in Florida’s archipelago is akin to the idyllic summertime retreat, and thanks to this useful article detailing the best islands that the Sunshine State has to offer from Southern Living Magazine, you’re one step closer to making that unforgettable island vacation yours in the near future.

The Sunshine State doesn’t necessarily need an overabundant amount of help when it comes to attracting tourists to make their way down to Florida in the summer months for some rest and relaxation. Not only is Florida the country’s fourth most populous state, but it also has a long-standing history of alluring an enormous amount of visitors in the summer months to its wide selection of vacation spots, welcoming beaches, and amusement parks such as Walt Disney World and Universal Studios. 

In fact, in 2021 the state’s tourism industry was responsible for welcoming 122.4 million visitors, which was a decrease from the record 131.4 million visitors in  2019, and with early recent statistics indicating that “Florida had 30.8 million tourist visits between last October and December, a slight increase over the fourth quarter in 2019,” this upcoming summer is looking to be just as promising for the domestic tourism magnet.

Because there’s such a proclivity for vacationers to automatically have palm trees and destinations like Orlando or Pensacola enter their minds when they’re beginning to plan out a summer retreat, it’s all the more alluring to escape to an isle off the coast of Florida so that you can enjoy the scenery, personality, and natural majesty of the state without all of the crowds. Luckily, Southern Living’s Betsy Cribb has compiled this list of the seven best Florida islands in the state for your next trip. These locations range from barrier islands such as Amelia Island, which is located only a less-than-an-hour drive away from Jacksonville, Florida, while still toting a State Park that invites you to peruse its “over 200 acres of unspoiled wilderness along the southern tip of Amelia Island.” Seriously, if you’re looking for a destination that is straight out of an idyllic beach read or cathartic third act in a romantic drama, make it a point to book a trip to Amelia Island, as it’s “the only Florida State Park that offers horseback riding on its beaches” thanks to Kelly Seahorse Ranch.

Another stand-out island from the list is one that prides itself on offering its visitors “all of the modern conveniences that most vacationers have come to expect, but [also] has tempered its growth by clearly placing quality offerings above quantity.” Such is life on the barrier islands that blends both a relaxing and family-friendly atmosphere, Sanibel Island. Located only two and a half hours from Tampa, this fish hook-shaped island treasure is indicative of a bygone era when it comes to American vacation spots. This is because it’s filled with 17,000 acres of lush, picturesque landscape that’s framed by the San Carlos Bay and the Gulf of Mexico while also having no stoplights, high-rise buildings, nightclubs, or big-chain grocery stores.

Because of these carefully-implemented regulations when it comes to city planning, Sanibel Island offers its guests a comfortable, memorable experience where they feel transported to another world entirely. In fact, this attention to detail in the experience is most present in the fact that Sanibel Island is most known for its outrageous abundance of pastel-colored seashells that are quite literally calling out for tourists to bring home with them to remember the times they had on the island.

Additionally, the island features the world-famous J.N. “Ding” Darling National Wildlife Refuge and its approximately  “6,000 acres of mangrove jungles and wetlands [that] encompass a large portion of the island.”  Nearly 70% of the island’s total 17,000 acres are protected, ensuring that the magic of Sanibel Island will be preserved for your next trip to its sandy shores and many years afterward.

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Top “Hidden” Florida Day Trips

When it comes to Florida, residents and tourists alike agree that theme parks, heat waves, and big cities get all the acclaim. Thanks to the summer heat dying down and this handy article from SouthernLiving for the “must-visit,” secretive places in the panhandle state, there’s never been a better time to visit! Planning Florida day trips have never been easier.

Gordon River Greenway in Naples, Florida

Longtime Florida residents can agree that the state has become more and more developed over the past decade. Metropolises and commercialization are on the rise across the panhandle, but in Naples, Florida, there’s a spot that is known as one of the “last unspoiled areas in the region” by the locals. The Gordon River Greenway is a breathtakingly gorgeous nature trail that is elevated, and its paved pathways weave and meander throughout the mangroves, lead to kayak and canoe launches, and provide scenic overlooks for all sorts of wildlife viewing. The best part of all is to use this location as an opportunity to not only go on a pleasant, pedestrian hike but also a jumping-off point to brighter adventures. This is because the Greenway itself leads to a hidden entrance to both the Conservancy of Southwest Florida and the Naples Zoo, making it a truly spectacular find! It’s one Flordida day trip you don’t want to miss.

The Banyan Tree in Islamorada, Florida

For another interesting Florida day trip, step into mystical, tropical gardens that are brimming with expansive and unforgettable plant life like orchids, succulents, and (of course), the titular, towering Banyan Tree. Located in Islamorada, Florida, you’ll be at peace with Florida’s often overlooked foliage and fauna as you wander through a magical garden, pursue the local wares of nearby shops, or even rediscover a lost talent by taking up an art class. As expected, most events and shops are plant-inspired such as various boutiques and gardens selling floral outfits, clothing accessories, home décor, jewelry, and so much more. Last, but not least, you should make it a dedicated point to attend Creative Plant Night, which is held every second Thursday of the month, so that you can design your own terrariums and flower arrangements with and for friends.

Historic Sponge Docks in Tarpon Springs, Florida

If you’re particularly nautical-minded and a fan of Greek culture, then try heading north of Clearwater, Florida to check out Tarpon Springs and their rich, luscious history of sponge harvesting. The sponge harvesting industry is best seen by visiting and truly taking in the legacy of Tarpon Springs’ Historic Sponge Docks, as their tale dates back over a century. Besides a rich tapestry of sponge, sweat, and tears, these docks are also home to some of the most authentic Greek cuisine in the Southern United States. Stop into the Spongeroma’s Sponge Factory for an impressively large selection of natural sea sponges, boat tours, and a museum that’s sure to teach you a thing or two about absorbent, underappreciated sea life.

Shiny Fish Emporium in Anna Maria Island

When it comes to a Floridian beach trip, it’s widely expected that shells, sand dollars, or some artifact that was found in the sand is being brought back home with you. To round out our list of fun Florida day trips, why not lean into that impulse by turning necessity into art at Anna Maria Island’s Shiny Fish Emporium. Owners Rebecca and Dan have cultivated the perfect space to allow patrons to embrace creativity and decorate their own sand dollars so that they look souvenir-shop quality. This activity serves as part artisan safe space and tropical boutique as you can also browse the various wares of the shop to not only make your own gift for those back home but to also buy the perfect Floridian kimono or musical instrument that’s decorated in tropical fashion.

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Visiting the Sophisticated City of Tallahassee, Florida

While it doesn’t have the Kennedy Space Center or the magical expanse of Walt Disney World Resort within its city limits to draw in its tourists, the capital city of  Florida (Tallahassee) is a pinnacle of southern charm, unforgettable hospitality, and sheer sophistication, as evidenced in this feature from the blog Travel Pulse.

 The city of Tallahassee stands proudly in the western panhandle of Florida as being more than the sum of its parts. This is due to the fact that many Americans typically view the city as solely being the home of notable football programs and collegiate achievements. These tourists are often surprised by the multitudes contained within this aptly nicknamed “southern gem” for its vibrant arts district, breathtakingly lush park grounds, and a plethora of quaint experiences to be had within its boundaries.

Tallahassee, Florida is the eighth-largest city in the state of Florida and the 126th-largest city in the nation, and because of it being home to Florida State University, Florida A&M University, and Tallahassee Community College, it’s still widely considered to be a significant college town. This classification contributes to the lively spirit that is seen embodied throughout the city’s recreational, historical, and social scenes.

Residents and tourists alike take advantage of the numerous eco-adventures offered by the city such as its many biking, hiking, and paddling trails from which the beautiful scenery of the capital city can be observed. Consider booking an expedition (ranging from beginner to expert) that has you adventuring down the Munson Hills Mountain Bike Trail or one of the city’s other offered trails. Tallahassee has so many trails to traverse that the city has a resource named “Trailahassee” that helps to guide its visitors and residents to make the most out of the city’s 700+ miles of trails.

Outside of being a notable collegiate city, Tallahassee also is the capital seat of the state of Florida, giving a home to the Florida State Capitol, Supreme Court of Florida, Florida Governor’s Mansion, and dozens of additional state agencies. This is in addition to the city also being widely-known for its contributions to the field of science with it being home to the National High Magnetic Field Laboratory as well as the domain of public safety with it being recently honored by the American Public Power Association for receiving the prestigious honor that is the 2021 E. F. Scattergood System Achievement Award. This award names Tallahassee as having the top public utility in the entire country for “demonstrated achievements that made a difference in the community, improved service to customers and enhanced the profile of public power.”

If you find yourself wanting to see a more social and creative angle to the city, then look no further than Tallahassee’s Arts & Creative District where everything from live performances, art classes, and vibrant festivals can be enjoyed from the Railroad Square Craft House. Additionally, immerse yourself in the worlds of both architecture and nature with the secret gardens and floral marvels found at the Alfred B. Maclay Gardens State Park. The gardens encompass over 1,000 total acres that wrap around Lake Hall, and they offer adventures in canoeing, horseback riding, and biking alongside vibrant artwork made from the state of Florida’s own flora.

Round out your trip by immersing yourself in the rich history of the city by exploring the Tallahassee Historical Museum and Capitol Building where you can stroll through the preserved gardens, living exhibits, animal sanctuaries, and even a “Tree-to-Tree” zip line. On the premises, you’ll also find the Florida Historic Capitol Museum that is housed within the original capitol building, and since it was originally constructed in 1902 there is plenty to be learned from its architecture as well as its archives, making it a perfect destination for anyone interested in the state’s history and politics.

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Is 2020 The Year of The Road Trip?

According to, these are the top ten places to visit around the Land of the Free, Home of the Brave if you’re planning a summer holiday this year. From beach holidays, hiking, road trips or camping, there’s something beautiful and fun for every type of vacationer, and it looks like 2020 may be the year of the road trip.  Let’s get packing, but first, make sure you have proper safety measures in place and learn which states are open for visitors!

US Road Trip

If you’re like us, deciding on one spot to visit can be difficult. Nearly all destinations require some sort of road trip to get to – so why not make the whole trip into one big road trip?  Consider planning a route to take in sights on the west coast, east coast, or even cross country. provides a great list of the 11 most popular routes.

Los Angeles, California

If you’re looking for fun in the sun this summer, check out beautiful LA.  With so much to do and see, including beaches, theme parks, movie studios, sports and Hollywood tours, you’re certain to be able to find something suitable for everyone and within a reasonable budget.  Other locales nearby to check out include Malibu, Orange County, San Diego and Santa Barbara.

New York City, New York

Take a bite of The Big Apple (once it’s safe), one of the most sensational cities in the world with a spirit unlike anywhere else. Check out the Empire State building, Central Park, and various shops or theatrical productions.  If city life isn’t your speed, check out nearby beaches, including Coney Island, Orchard Beach and Robert Moses State Park.

Orlando, Florida

Orlando is a perfect road trip from Louisiana and a great family destination for a summery holiday.  Not only is Orlando the home of Disneyland, for kids and big kids alike, but they also offer tons more attractions including SeaWorld and Universal Studios. If you get tired of all the theme parks and attractions, you’re just a quick drive to some of the most beautiful beaches and state parks the states have to offer.

San Francisco, California Road Trip

This friendly, cultural city is a well-suited destination for a laidback summer vacation.  A few highlights to enjoy while there are the Golden Gate Bridge, Lombard Street, cable cars and Fisherman’s Wharf.

Ocean City, Maryland

With its 9 mile long beach, “OC” is a classy vacation destination. Looking for rest and relaxation, complete with culture, restaurants and community events in a friendly/safe environment?  Look no further than Ocean City.  We hear the 4th of July celebration is like no other!

Nashville, Tennessee Road Trip

Famous for its vibrant live music and food scene, Nashville is one of the most fun and lively vacation destination spots to be found. You’re going to love the friendly Southern laid back energy of this destination.

Portland, Oregon

Looking for a splash more green on your road trip holiday?  Check out Portland – a great spot for a family summer with a combination of outdoor beauty and city buzz.  Portland boasts a very cool culture, including a thriving culinary scene, unique markets, beautiful parks and huge bookstores.

Cape Cod, Massachusetts

If lighthouses, beaches, seafood and quaint villages are more your speed, you’re going to love Cape Cod. This hook-shaped peninsula is like nowhere else in the country and is perfect for those that prefer to lay back and soak it in or go out exploring.

Boston, Massachusetts Road Trip

Full of history and culture, Boston is a great vacation destination for the warmer months of the year.  Check out one of their legendary sports teams or gorgeous parks, or go exploring in their museums, markets, and walking trails.

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