What makes a small town special? It is a je ne sais quoi – an enchanting blend of welcoming locals, charming shops and restaurants, simple architectural elegance, and serene landscapes that just can’t be found in the big city.
Many travelers will be visiting popular tourist destinations this summer, but others will prefer to explore small(er)–town America. These communities operate at a more relaxed pace and thrive on old-fashioned hospitality.
Northern California’s Sonoma County is known for its beautiful climate, rolling hills, and lush vineyards – Healdsburg is centrally located in Sonoma wine country. The fertile land in this small town enables the majority of Healdsburg restaurants to serve farm-to-table meals and support the eat-local movement. The Camellia Inn offers guests fresh organic breakfasts each morning after they have enjoyed a peaceful night’s sleep in one of the inn’s luxurious accommodations.
Estes Park, CO
Outdoor enthusiasts will fall in love with Estes Park, CO, which serves as the headquarters for Rocky Mountain National Park. With a population of just over 6,000, Estes Park is an intimate destination for year-round mountain fun. In summer, visitors can enjoy rafting, fishing, and hiking, while winter offers cross-country & downhill skiing and snowmobiling. This mountainside town also boasts a variety of craft breweries and wineries. The Wildwood Inn is a woodland retreat situated on seven acres of land next to Rocky Mountain National Park. This exclusive inn offers a variety of spacious cabins, luxury suites, and fully-furnished vacation homes. Guests can explore the small caves that surround the property, fish right outside their front door on the Fall River, or simply sit back and enjoy the breathtaking mountain views.
The picturesque town of Ashland is nestled between the Cascade and Siskiyou Mountains. Visitors come to Ashland not only for its natural wonders and outdoor attractions, but also for its world-famous theater and arts festivals. Ashland is home to the Oregon Cabaret Theatre, Ashland New Plays Festival, and the Oregon Shakespeare Festival. Ashland’s neighborhoods are filled with charming Victorian homes, including The Iris Inn Bed & Breakfast, which is conveniently located just four short blocks from downtown. During the summer, guests enjoy the beauty of the inn’s landscaped yard and comfortable rooms with colorful décor and hillside views.
Known for its colonial history, Williamsburg offers visitors a fascinating look back in time. Visitors can experience a 300-acre colonial district featuring reenactments with role players in authentic period costumes. Cultural attractions include the Abby Aldrich Rockefeller Folk Art Museum and the DeWitt Wallace Decorative Arts Museum which displays historic relics and antiques. The elegant Magnolia Manor Bed & Breakfast is located in the heart of Colonial Williamsburg. This colonial revival home offers lavish guest rooms and suites with canopy beds, whirlpool tubs, and fireplaces.
Galena’s captivating history and beautiful scenery make this small town the perfect summer destination. Surrounded by the Galena River, wineries, hiking trails, and world-class golf courses, there is truly something for everyone. Galena’s historic attractions include the Ulysses S. Grant Home and Museum. The Farmers Guest House is centrally located to historic sites, local artisan shops, wine trails, and art galleries. The inn has been lovingly restored to its original 19th-century condition, and features nine luxurious rooms and suites, as well as Annie’s Galena Cottage for larger parties.