Travel the World without Leaving the United States-9 US Cities Full of European Charm

Tired of being cooped up at home and dreaming of a land far far away? Want to use that passport but travel abroad is not a possibility at the moment? Then get ready to get a taste of the European culture and head to any of these charming U.S. cities and towns that are full of European charm. From towering flowery fields, thatched rooftops, and gingerbread-style architecture, you definitely don’t have to travel far to feel like you’ve transported yourself to another world.

alys beach, florida
Alys Beach, Florida

Miss Traveling Abroad? Then Visit These Incredible US Cities and Towns that are Full of European Charm


1. Aspen, Colorado Offers the Magic of Switzerland

Imagine hiking down a path of lush green fields covered in flowers, overlooking a beautiful blue lake and countless pine trees. Sounds a lot like Switzerland, doesn’t it? Well, it’s not. It’s actually, Aspen, Colorado, but it’s the next best thing to visiting the Swiss Alps. The only thing tourists won’t be able to find here is yodelers.

But you’ll definitely get a taste of the Swiss Alps lifestyle. From the beautiful scenery, après ski culture, luxury boutiques, and Swiss-style cuisine, there’s something for everyone.

hot air balloon

Go paragliding, get on a hot air balloon ride, hit the ski slopes, or visit the Maroon Bells, an incredibly serene lake where you can go hiking, and why not? Take a few Instagram selfies.

When you work up an appetite, make sure to stop by Almresi, a restaurant that offers Swiss entrees like pork shank with German Sauerkraut and Swiss cheese fondue. Craving something sweet? Don’t miss out on some of Aspen’s finest Swiss baked products at Louis’ Swiss Pastry like apple fritters and cherry turnovers. 

2. Get a Taste of Denmark by Visiting Solvang, California

If you’re looking for an unforgettable European getaway right here in the U.S., head to Solvang, California, a small Danish village known as “Little Denmark”, and with good reason!

solvang, ca

This charming historical town is tucked away in the Santa Ynez Valley so it's surrounded by scenic hillside views and tons of outdoor activities. You can go cycling around town, go on a jeep tour, and visit a miniature horse ranch, or Ostrichland with the whole family.

In the 1900s, Danish-American immigrants founded Solvang, which explains the strong Scandinavian heritage that lives on every corner of this town. From picturesque windmills, European-style pastries on every corner, and cuckoo clocks, Solvang will make you feel like you’re strolling around in northern Europe.  Oh! And you can easily walk through Solvang in about two or three hours unless you stop for pictures or a traditional Danish snack like Ableskiver, a jelly-filled donut.

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travel the world without leaving the us

3. New Orleans, Louisiana Offers the Best of Three Worlds

Although New Orleans is in the States, it was founded by the French and later taken over by Spanish settlers, so this town’s architecture, including the Creole cottages, has a bit of both European countries.

new orleans, la

Tourists can look forward to experiencing French-style foods with a local twist at restaurants like the Café du Monde which offer tasty dishes like beignets and high-quality coffee. Once you’re done trying the local cuisine, head to The French Market, which offers loads of handmade crafts, arts, and even haunted walking tours. 

4. St. Augustine, Florida has a Strong Spanish Vibe

St. Augustine is considered the oldest city and was founded by Spanish settlers, which explains why so much of the Spanish architecture continues to thrive in this Floridian city. One of the most stunning structures you definitely need to visit is Castillo de San Marcos, a fortress that contains a hollow dome-like frame protruding from the roof of the structure that will make anyone feel like they’re standing in front of a castle in Madrid.

st. augustine, florida

Don't miss this podcast episode from 2TravelDads to learn all about the Best of St. Augustine

5. New Ulm, Minnesota Feels Like Germany

In the 1800s, German settlers immigrated to New Ulm, which is why so much of the architecture in this area makes visitors feel like they’re in Germany. And if there’s one thing Germans are well known for, it’s their beer, which visitors can learn more about and get a little taste of when they visit the historic August Schell Brewing Company.

leavenworth, wa horse carriage

6. Leavenworth, WA was modeled after a Bavarian Village

What once was a struggling logging town was reimagined by two Seattle-area businessmen and it's now a Bavarian-themed village where people gather in the fall for Oktoberfest, in the winter for sleigh rides and tree lightings, and in the summer for wine tasting and festivals. 

Find out more about visiting Leavenworth, WA and get all my favorite tips here


wine tasting in the united states

7. Napa, California is the US’s Answer to Tuscany

Tuscany, Italy is known for its endless rows of grapevines and delicious wine, all of which are accessible to travelers heading to Napa. This California town has lots of wineries that offer wine tasting tours of the vineyards and surrounding scenic views. There are lots of wine shops where you can shop for souvenirs and wine bottles. Don’t miss out on visiting the striking Castello di Amorosa, an Old World style castle full of dungeons and wineries full of medieval European charm.

Want to host a wine tasting party at home like a pro? Check out these tips!

visit tri-cities, washington

8. Want more Wine? Tri-Cities, WA offers a taste of France

Experts say that the weather and the soil in the Tri-Cities are similar to the Burgandy and Bordeaux regions in France. That probably explains why there are more than 200 wineries {big and small} within a one-hour drive!

From wine tasting tours to tasting rooms and even wine cruises on the river, you aren't going to want to miss planning a wine tour in one of the nation's top wine regions.

Find out more about visiting Tri-Cities, WA here


9. Alys Beach, Florida is Strikingly Similar to Greece

Can’t get to the Greek Isles this year? Then head to Alys Beach, Florida which is filled with those lovely all-white Mediterranean style homes you’d expect to find in Greece.

alys beach florida

Much like the Greek Isles, this Floridian town offers beautiful blue beaches to go swimming or surging and golden sandy shores where you can sunbathe for hours. And when hunger strikes, head to Caliza Restaurant for a taste of Greek cuisine. Although this restaurant offers predominantly contemporary American food, the open-air environment has a serious Greek vibe that can make anyone forget that they’re in the States.

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Would you add any US cities to this list? I'd love to hear them!

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