Written by Laura Vogel | Conde Nast Traveler |
Whether they have over-the-top American charm (we're looking at you, Woodstock, Vermont) or proximity to some of the loveliest landscapes on earth (hello, Big Sur), these towns are worth a stopover. And, since they are all on the smaller side - all are home to fewer that 130,000 people, and most far less - you can experience their culture and beauty like a local.
1. Woodstock, Vermont -
For a dose of absurdly quaint New England charm, it's tough to do better than this town in the Green Mountains. Complete with a perfect village green with a white steepled church, this is just the destination for antique shoppers and B&B fans—some lodging even dates back to the 1750s. Almost all of the town's buildings are on the National Register of Historic Places; be sure to drop in at the 1886-era general store F.H. Gillingham & Sons for some souvenir maple candy. (Getty)
2. St. Augustine, Florida -
You'll quickly forget the Florida you think you know when you enter this Spanish-founded seaside city that dates back to 1565. In fact, St. Augustine is the oldest permanent European settlement in the continental U.S., home to some of the country's first Spanish colonial architecture and many historic buildings constructed in the centuries since. St. Augustine also played a pivotal role in the Civil Rights Movement of the 1960s, and there is a Freedom Trail where you can walk in the footsteps of Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. Don't miss the Castillo de San Marcos, a 17th-century fortress complete with drawbridges and daily cannon fire.
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