We've all seen the trends on Instagram: Big cities are out and small towns are in. Not only are they more aesthetically pleasing, but they offer an escape that the larger cities and towns don't. There's a laid-back, lackadaisical atmosphere to it all and one that has been carefully honed and perfected by its locals. For those who enjoy people-watching, there's nothing like sitting in the local coffee shop and watching the rhythm of a small town as its residents interact, go through their daily lives, and share stories that only a local would know about. It's nothing short of magical and this is exactly what many people are realizing; not to be part of it, per se, but to get a glimpse into a life that's completely different from our own.
With travel being in the state that it is, it's no surprise that many are looking to the future of domestic travel rather than international travel. Supporting smaller towns in the upcoming year or after has become much more of a priority as travelers realize that adventure was much closer than they realized - in fact, it could be right in their own backyard (metaphorically).
Idaho has no shortage of places to explore when it comes to outdoor recreation and that's one of the reasons this town calls tourists from all over, every season of the year. The summer is full of hiking, bike trails, and perfect weather for walking around and enjoying its towns and cities. In the winter, the town of Ketchum comes alive with ski trails and snowboarders looking to hit the slopes. Because of its year-round allure, travelers come from all over to enjoy its scenic vistas and appreciate the small-town life, especially with a downtown area that's about as welcoming as can be.
Eureka Springs, Kansas
Eureka Springs is quite the alluring small town thanks to a number of reasons. There's truly something for everyone and despite its small population of only 2,091 people, there's still plenty going on in this town to warrant a visit. Set against the picturesque Ozark Mountains, Eureka Springs is also home to traditional Victorian architecture and homes that have survived centuries, still preserved and kept up to this day. Walking through this time is like taking a step back in time, complete with a shop-filled downtown that screams local charm. For those looking to explore a bit outside of Eureka Springs, the town's natural hot springs, which can be accessed by public baths, are open to visitors.
Lake Placid, New York
With not much bigger a population than Eureka Springs, Lake Placid is the name of a popular thriller movie but is also a real place in upstate New York. What's normally a vacation destination during the summer for many, Lake Placid is actually quite beautiful at any time of the year. It's a popular spot for swimming and boating and with the surge of rental properties such as Airbnb, many people are investing in spending their time lazying days away in cabins while soaking up the sun on the shores of this gorgeous beach.
Saint Simons Island, Georgia
Saint Simons Island has a relatively large population for being considered a 'small town' but that hasn't stopped its charm from winning over the hearts of the travelers who have been there. Not far from the border of its sister state, Florida, it's known for its laid-back beaches that very rarely see a massive influx of people due to the states north and south of it being more well-known. This town is also home to plenty of local history that's just waiting to be explored, and for the outdoor lovers, kayaking and hiking are only a few of the activities they can look forward to on this coast.
Many might recognize Sevierville thanks to Dolly Parton, who has called it her hometown. Despite this, it's not a premier destination for many but that could change in the future. The Smoky Mountains run through the state of Tennessee and from Sevierville, visitors can get a pretty fantastic look - both from afar and up close - of the mountain range that holds so much history and allure. Great Smokey Mountain National Park is a designated UNESCO World Heritage Site and spans more than half a million acres and while it does see many visitors each year, there's still enough land spread out to make it feel as though you're the only one around.