The smaller towns in the United States feature many great locations to visit when looking for an underrated vacation. Everyone knows about the busy cities like New York, Chicago and Los Angeles where the tourism numbers always remain quite high. The desire to visit the bigger city is often strong, but not everyone wants to deal with the hustle and bustle on a vacation. That makes it more valuable to find a small town that flies under the radar.
We will look at some of the areas in America that have smaller populations but a world of fun. They won’t attract big groups of visitors wanting to make it a destination, and that makes it even more appealing for those wanting a quiet vacation. Each of the towns have their own standout attractions that will make for a good trip. These are ten small towns in America that should be on one’s travel bucket list.
10 Gatlinburg, Tennessee
The Gatlinburg town in Tennessee is not one that instantly stands out since the population only features a little over 4,000 in the area. However, there are quite a few fun things to make it an interesting smaller town to add to your travel bucket list.
The Great Smoky Mountains National Park is in Gatlinburg and has been around for a long time as a historical attraction. Other fun attractions include the 400 feet tall Space Needle, the unique Salt and Pepper Shaker Museum and the Hollywood Star Cars Museum.
9 St. Augustine, Florida
Florida is a top tourist attraction for the theme parks and beaches, but the St. Augustine town is not a place most instantly think of as an ideal destination. That makes it quite underrated based on the variety of things to do when taking a trip there.
St. Augustine is home to old school architecture making it look like a throwback visually. The Lightner Museum is a top attraction worth making a full day experience of your trip. Most people would enjoy just soaking in the beautiful décor of the area along with the usually relaxing weather.
8 Cooperstown, New York
New York City is among the top tourist destinations, but there are some fun towns outside of the city that provide a different experience. Cooperstown is an underrated part of New York state with a few different attractions giving it relevance.
A small population of just under 2,000 residents have the perk of the Baseball Hall of Fame continuously updating its presence in Cooperstown. The Fenimore Art Museum is one of the most underrated museums. Cooperstown gives you a lot to do in a generally quiet area for a relaxing getaway.
7 Mystic, Connecticut
The film Mystic Pizza is what most people associate with the Mystic town of Connecticut. Only about 4,000 people reside in the area to show just how small of a town it is. Despite the smaller size and fewer residents, it’s a great place to visit with more attractions than you’d expect.
The Mystic Seaport is an impressive place with a museum of old ships and the set up of an older village. There’s even the local Mystic Aquarium with sea animals like beluga whales and rare penguins worth checking out.
6 Ketchum, Idaho
Anyone with a passion for outdoor activities may be won over by the town of Ketchum in Idaho. Despite only about 2,700 people living in the area, there are quite a few fun things to indulge in. Many people in the area love to take advantage of the scenery with hiking or skiing trips.
Labor Day marks an annual celebration for the Wagon Days festival. Ketchum is an old mining town that both pays tribute to its history along with having enough fun experiences to make it worth checking out. You’ll never have to feel overcrowded during your vacation in this small charming town.
5 Taos, New Mexico
The artistic appeal of Taos, New Mexico makes it another strong choice for an ideal small-town worth visiting. Taos is populated with about 5,700 people and a few attractions to give you a fun trip without an overbearing crowd of people to take away from it.
The old school pueblo houses already give it a unique look, but there are many art museums to check out some incredible pieces of work. Taos has over 80 art galleries in the town despite the smaller number of people to live there. This is clearly the art capital of New Mexico.
4 Camden, Maine
Maine is one of the most underrated states in America which makes it less surprising there are a few great smaller towns in the area. Camden stands out as an ideal destination based on the fun offered during a short trip there.
The activities offered to appreciate nature include a few beautiful beaches, impressive hiking trails and many other destinations. Fans of opera music can check out the Camden Opera House for incredible performances in the area. Only 4,850 people reside in Camden, but that is part of the appeal of visiting.
3 Breckenridge, Colorado
The Breckenridge town in Colorado is home to under 4,900 people. That makes it a quiet hot spot with quite a few attractions worth exploring. The art scene features many art museums and galleries in the area as the small population has even people exploring the artistic world.
Skiing is extremely popular in Colorado and Breckenridge is no different with a few courses providing a great experience on the slopes. The town’s Victorian flair gives it a standout look with the architecture paying tribute to the past with enough modern appeals for the best of both worlds.
2 Traverse City, Michigan
Traverse City is one of the bigger small towns on this list, but it still is relatively small compared to the rest of the country. The annual National Cherry Festival brings in big crowds with the town in Michigan being known for producing the most tart cherries in the United States.
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Denos Museum Center is a highly respected art museum that adds some culture to the area. There is also the City Opera House designed in the old school Victorian style. Traverse City gives you a lot of options to spend your days there while having a big city experience without the crowd.
1 Jacksonville, Oregon
The Jacksonville town in Oregon is among the most underrated places to visit in the entire country of the United States. Only about 2,900 people reside in the area making it quite empty, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t plenty of things to explore.
The Woodland Trails and Forest Park provides great hiking trails along with a generally beautiful atmosphere. Jacksonville used to be a Gold Rush town in the 1800s, but it is known for the modern fun today. The Britt Music and Arts Festival is another attraction with the locals and visitors getting to appreciate great music along with works of art.