If you’ve had the chance to visit some of the large cities in the United States, like New York City, Los Angeles, Miami or Atlanta, you know how busy and exciting these cities can be, but with millions of people, there is congestion and traffic to deal with, long wait lines, and expensive parking. In addition, there are so many things to do in a big city, that if you’re there for a weekend, it can be overwhelming to select just a few activities to do.
There is a whole other side of America to explore and they are the small towns that are interspersed throughout the country. They range from a few hundred to several thousand in population. They are located in the foothills of the mountains, in the dessert, near the coastline, and exist all the way from the eastern to the western coast.
Every small town has their own unique characteristics, their own individuality, culture and cuisine. If you need a break from the hustle and bustle of where you live or you are just looking for a little adventure, a small town can give you the freedom to explore at your own pace, relax and enjoy different surroundings.
Some small towns have become well known across the country for their cuisine, wine or brewing distilleries. You’ll find wonderful and tantalizing food creations, created by accomplished and creative chefs. For example, Rockland, ME is considered the birthplace of where the farm- to-table movement started. Or, If you have never foraged for food in the forest looking for edible food items, then visit Weaverville, NC where you can have the food you just picked, cooked by one of the restaurants in town.
In small town America, we are reminded of the times when mom and pop stores were scattered throughout town and a Cola costed a dime. We remember that there are some things from the past that are still worth learning about and understanding. In some ways, we have the chance to briefly experience a simpler way of living.
Here’s a curated list of the best small towns in American, selected from submissions from our audience.
The Midwest Region extends north and west from the Ohio River to west of the Mississippi River. It includes the states of Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, and Wisconsin. The region’s fertile soil makes it possible for farmers to produce abundant harvests of crops such as corn, wheat, soybeans, oats and barley. The region has become known as the nation’s “breadbasket.” (Source: U.S. Department of State)
What makes your town Unique: This lovely town is only twenty miles from Downtown Minneapolis. Water Street in downtown Excelsior have restaurants and quaint shops that sell everything from antiques to art supplies. True to its name, Water Street also leads to the Excelsior Bay on Lake Minnetonka, where visitors can rent kayaks or paddle boards, have ice cream from Tommy’s Trolley or charter the majestic Queen of Excelsior to cruise Lake Minnetonka.
The village of Excelsior makes an effort to maintain its historical identity and many of the buildings on Water Street date back to the 19th century. In fact, Water Street was voted as one of the “16 Best Main Streets in America” by Parade Magazine in 2014. Excelsior is also the home to two operating streetcars that were in service from 1954-1998,