1. Your next destination doesn’t have to be a big urban metropolis.
2. There are plenty of awesome small towns to visit in the country.
3. It’s great for couples, families, or to just simply relax and enjoy the view.
As soon as traveling makes a comeback, not everybody will book accommodations in some large metropolis, full of tall buildings, clubs, and loud music. After all the challenges we went through last year, it is only but fair to dream about a relaxing vacation somewhere small and quiet, with plenty of nature around.
To help you choose a place to stay on your next vacation, we selected a few small towns you can visit for a peaceful trip.
The town of Telluride in Colorado is a great combination of a small area with big adventures. The beautiful scenery makes it ideal for all sorts of summer outdoor activities, including biking, hiking, fly fishing, rafting, horseback riding, climbing, camping, and even golfing.
If you would like to add a spoon of urban in your stay, you can visit all eight blocks of downtown Telluride, known as a National Historic Landmark District since 1964, due to its significant role in American West history.
Hop on the (free) gondola for a 13-minute ride and soon you will reach the Mountain Village, at the mark of 9,545 feet, surrounded by the mountains in southwest Colorado. From there you can access the Telluride Ski Resort and Uncompahgre National Forest.
Founded in 1987, the Town of Mountain Village includes 2,100 acres of fun with plenty of areas for outdoor activities, a gorgeous view of the San Juan Mountains, as well as rolling aspen and spruce-covered mountainsides.
Both village and mountain include several dining options with bars, coffee shops, restaurants, including a place called Giuseppe’s, a New Orleans-inspired restaurant that serves food at 11,885 feet above sea level.
Bar Harbor, ME
With a population of a little over 5,000 people, the beautiful town of Bar Harbor is located in Mount Desert Island, the largest island off the coast of Maine. From there you have access to other small towns on the island, such as the villages of Northeast Harbor and Southwest Harbor.
It offers plenty of activities to all ages and, if you like to simply relax by the ocean, it is perfect for a well-deserved vacation. You can go for a hike or rent a bike to enjoy the land but being so close to the Atlantic, it is obvious that the water activities are the most popular ones.
One of the most popular “citizens” of Bar Harbor is the ever so cute Atlantic Puffins. Wildlife enthusiasts can hop on cruises to spot the little guys by the coast, as well as to see lighthouses and learn more about the island.
Of course, that, once you are on Mount Desert Island, you must enjoy all the beautiful flora of Acadia National Park. Known as the Crown Jewel of the North Atlantic Coast, it is among the most visited parks in the country.
Families, couples, and adventure lovers can all enjoy the park’s area. It includes plenty of space for picnics, bicycling, hiking, climbing, fishing, boating, and even birdwatching. It also offers a Junior Ranger Program for kids, with a workbook full of activities.
Maybe this is not the Jackson town you hear Johnny Cash and June Carter singing about but that doesn’t mean it shouldn’t be included on your bucket list.
Located about 80 miles south of Yellowstone National Park, the small town of Jackson in Wyoming is know not only for Elk Antler Arch but also for its magnificent scenery that welcomes anybody looking for some chill time surrounded by nature.
In the summer, biking, hiking, and horseback riding are a great start for any traveler. If you want to go even further — or higher — in the sports activities, rock climbing options are also available, including the city’s free Bouldering Park.
“We got married in a fever, hotter than a pepper sprout,
We’ve been talkin’ ’bout Jackson
Ever since the fire went out.
I’m goin’ to Jackson, I’m gonna mess around,
Yeah, I’m goin’ to Jackson,
Look out Jackson town.”
— Written by Billy Edd Wheeler and Jerry Leiber.
If you would rather visit Jackson in the winter, there is also a lot to enjoy. Just make your way to Jackson Hole Mountain Resort, Snow King Resort, or Grand Targhee Resort for some fun in the snow.
For those looking for something slower, there are plenty of restaurants, stores, and bars to check out, including the amazing Million Dollar Cowboy Bar, established in 1937, where the barstools were replaced for saddlers. Literally.
Lake Tahoe, Sierra Nevada
Not exactly a city but a gorgeous place nonetheless, Lake Tahoe is the largest alpine lake in North America, located in the mountain range of Sierra Nevada, right at the border between California and Nevada.
The lake’s beautiful water, surrounded by mountains, is a natural invitation to nature lovers and wildlife enthusiasts. Due to its massive size, Tahoe includes several parks around itself, like Emerald Bay State Park, known for its panoramic views of the lake and its glacier-carved granite; and Ed Z’berg Sugar Pine Point State Park with its Hellman-Ehrman Mansion, built in the year 1903
In the winter, in the north area of the lake, skiers, and snowboarders can enjoy the snow on the slopes of the Northstar California Resort, Sugar Bowl Ski Resort, or Squaw Valley Ski Resort. You can also head south of the Tahoe, and find the Sierra-at-Tahoe Resort and Heavenly Mountain Resort.
Ethan Hunt may have chosen Dead Horse Point in Utah as his place for rock climbing, but you should seriously consider Sedona in Arizona if you are looking for buttes, trees, outdoor activities, and a lot of fun.
Hiking trails and jeep tours are available for travelers. Once into the wild, you should definitely stop by the Chapel of the Holy Cross to admire its stunning architecture. However, if you prefer to just simply relax, you can enjoy the Tlaquepaque Arts & Crafts Village or the Verde Valley Wine Trail.
The Sedona spas and the Slide Rock State Park should also be included on your bucket list to complement the entire relaxation experience. You can even add history to your vacation by checking out the Palatki Heritage Site, full of pictographs dating back from A.D. 1150 and 1350.
Have a good trip!
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That’s all folks! See you in our next publiCATTions!