The world of travel is undergoing a renaissance of sorts, and this also means that the destinations in mind are changing, as well. We once lived in a world that considered major cities and tourist hotspots to be the best place for a dream vacation. Now, it's not surprising to see that there's been a major shift to small towns over big cities, lesser-known nature areas over the major national parks, and less crowded, smaller countries over previous bucket list destinations.

In fact, there are now more reasons than ever for travelers to opt for a small town as their vacation destination. Coming in on the end of a pandemic, the crowded attractions just don't have the same allure as quiet, charming streets or a tranquil, contemplative nature setting. Here's why a small-town vacation is the best choice for travelers looking to get away.


Related: The Best Small West Coast Towns For Laidback Vacation Vibes

Local Flair, Flavor, And A Community Feel

The one thing that everyone is craving right about now is human connection. At one point, it may have been true that taking a vacation was a way to disappear into the crowd and become an observer in a place. Now, travelers are looking to feel involved and be seen, and a great way to satisfy that urge for connecting with someone is by seeking out a small town. Anything from a local festival to the local pub is fair game when it comes to experiencing something special, and you'll only get that from a small town.

Small-Town Dining

Local flavor is another reason to opt for a lesser-visited destination. There are some towns, especially throughout the U.S., that offer so much for potential travelers but go unnoticed right below everyone's nose.

For example, one would never guess that the small town of Cape Charles, Virginia, would offer incredible beaches, an entire park preserve, a historic downtown area, and local restaurants (with entertainment on weekends) to boot. The surprise of a small town is what makes exploring one so extraordinary.

Small-Town History

From the moment a town is founded or built, it begins a unique history. There are some things about certain places that everyone knows from their high school history classes, but there's nothing like exploring the unknown history of a small town.

For example, the establishment of Eureka, California, and its former gold rush glory. Visitors probably wouldn't know that this small city also boasts a zoo, marine tours, and many other forms of entertainment that would not be expected.

Related: Colorado's Hidden Gems Include These Perfect Small Towns

Giving Back To The Community

It's one thing to strike out on an adventure but it's another to find a way to give back to the community. By visiting a small town or city, travelers have a chance to actively partake in ensuring that businesses survive another year. The excitement and joy of finding a smaller, less-visited corner of the world should be exacerbated knowing that each meal, every boutique that's shopped at, and each purchase made goes back to local success.

For the shopper or diner, there is fun in knowing that unique, one-of-a-kind items can be found in small towns and cities. Anything from antiques to local wares is fair game, which should be quite convincing to anyone who slows down to look in a shop's window while on vacation.

Experience Things That Only A Local Could Know About

The most exciting thing about small-town travel, though, is the fact that travelers will have a chance to experience things that only a local would know about. For example, the midwest can be a destination for many reasons, but one of them could be a local sunflower festival.

Some of the states in this region see the most picturesque fields of sunflowers, spanning for miles, and inspiring annual festivals that rival what one could imagine. Flanked by flower fields on all sides, hopping from food vendor to food vendor, and pursuing locally-made goods is all part of the fun of feeling like a local.

Is A Small-Town Vacation Right For You?

Taking the path less traveled may not have always seemed like the most glamorous or Insta-worthy option, but all that has changed. Chic business suites are a thing of the past and glamping, local vacation rentals, and RVing are taking the place of luxe accommodations. Travel has become so much more about the journey - and the experience - rather than the means by which they can be afforded. If anything proves this, it's the fact that small towns across the U.S. and lesser-known countries are getting the spotlight they very much deserve.

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