There are plenty of bucket-list vacation cities that are sure to foster lifelong memories. New York City, Las Vegas, Paris, London, Tokyo—any of these spots are likely on any serious traveler’s list of places to visit (or return to). But what about the small towns—the ones most folks have never heard of? There’s something special about visiting a quaint little town or village that isn’t in any tourist book and creating your experiences. Here’s a list of the some of the best small towns to visit in the U.S. that you’ve likely never heard of.
Thomas, West Virginia is a coal town located in the Alleghany Mountains. It’s a beautiful little community, which doesn’t consist of much more than the main street running through town. That street used to be pretty deserted, but now it comes alive on weekends as travelers come in from surrounding states to experience a music lodge called the Purple fiddle, as well as a coffee shop, art galleries, record store and antique shops.
At only 627 residents, this little town in the Hudson Valley is a haven for those folks looking for a weekend of shopping vintage stores and chowing down on comfort food at quaint restaurants. Fun history fact: artist Marc Chagall called high falls home, where he painted in the 1940s.
This small village an hour south of Tucson is as much of an artist colony as it is a town. You’ll find a plethora of pottery shops to browse, as well as traditional Spanish fortress and plenty of hiking opportunities for outdoor lovers. Finish off your day with a margarita at The Goods, arguably the town’s favorite watering hole.
Lostine has a population of 300 residents, one of which is Tyler Hays. This furniture designer runs an old country store called M. Crow & Co., where visitors can buy antique furniture, as well as hardware, veggies, and meat. Most visitors hail from Portland—a five-hour drive—and stay at the eclectic Jennings Hotel in the neighboring town of Joseph.