When you plan a vacation, most people tend to go to more popular places, right? It's usually cities they've read about or towns and attractions that have been recommended by friends and family. But that's about to change, because there are plenty of small towns in America that are worth traveling to, even if you didn't even know they existed. These 55 unheard-of towns across the U.S. might not have made it onto your bucket list yet, but they absolutely deserve a spot.
Stuart is formally known as the Sailfish Capital of the World, thanks to its close proximity to the St. Lucie River and the Indian River Lagoon. The small town's tropical climate is perfect for snowbirds who enjoy getting away during the bitter winter months, but are looking for a less popular destination.
From a legendary castle to mushroom houses to a stunning red lighthouse, the small town of Charlevoix has plenty to offer. And if you’re a fan of all things lavender, this is the ideal destination for you—Charlevoix is home to one of the largest Lavender Hill Farms, abundant with 25 varieties.
Black Mountain is nestled deep in the Blue Ridge Mountains with a population of 7,500 and is considered one of the prettiest small towns in the United States, according to Trip Advisor. Taking a stroll through the Town Square reveals stunning landscaping, the small town’s famous rocking chairs, and of course, hiking trails, camping grounds, and waterfalls.
This town has a Bavarian village feel that makes it a must-visit during Oktoberfest and during the holiday season. Take in spectacular views of the Pacific Northwest on nearby hiking trails or just take it easy with some shopping and wine tasting.
This tiny town is located on the Shannendoah River and the ideal getaway for nature lovers. There are eight (yes, eight) national parks and heritage sites to visit in the area.
History buffs and beach lovers alike will love this small island town off the Georgia coast. There, you can golf, fish, and visit plenty of historical monuments, and you can't miss climbing to the top of the St. Simons lighthouse to see the view of the entire island.
Back in the day, Bisbee was a major silver and copper mining hub, but now it's a quaint small town home to artists and retirees. With houses on cliffs' edges and a mine cavern that you can still explore, it's pretty picturesque.
In this town, you can skip the touristy parts of the state and relax by the (much less crowded) beach. With fishing, boating, snorkeling, multiple golf courses, and more, there's a little something for everyone.
If you like whiskey, Bardstown is basically a can't-miss stop — you might not be familiar with it, but it is the bourbon capital of the world, after all. It's home to several distilleries, including Jim Beam and Maker's Mark.
Spend a few minutes in this charming, serene town, and you'll forget you're even in New Jersey. It's a great spot for biking and hiking, and if you visit in July, be sure to check out their Bastille Day festival.
With a population of less than 400 people, calling this town small is an understatement. That said, Trinidad is home to some beautiful public beaches and picturesque offshore rocks, and it has a rich Native American historic heritage.
You'll need to take a ferry to make it to this quaint little island, but once you get there, you'll be instantly charmed. Relax at the beach, go sailing, or head to one of its many attractions, like the Antique Car Museum or Butterfly House.
Astoria is actually the oldest settlement west of the Rocky Mountains, so if you love history, you'll love exploring this interesting town and its many museums, like the Columbia River Maritime Museum.
For a peaceful visit, head to this quiet town and enjoy beautiful walking trails and an abundance of maple trees. Take a wildlife tour, head to a local music festival, or even check out a museum, like the American Museum of Fly Fishing.
In the heart of the Ozark Mountains is this charming Victorian village, known for both its Historic District and its natural springs. Turpentine Creek Wildlife Refuge, which is home to big cats, is also in Eureka Springs.
This boating and fishing community located on the salty Damariscotta River will have you wondering why river towns aren't more popular. The shores are lined with oyster shells that historians say are from Native American gatherings 2,500 years ago. Cool, no?
The historic charm of this mining town's six-block Main Street will make you feel like you took a time machine to a different decade. After you conquer downtown, must-see attractions include the Old Market House and the Historical Society and Museum.
Even though this midwest town is quaint and quiet during the majority of the year, it totally transforms in May for the annual Tulip Time Festival. To honor their dutch culture, they transform the streets into the Netherlands and host an epic parade.
This town used to be all about coal mining, but today it's rich in history thanks to the Kimball War Memorial. We recommend grabbing a bite and sitting next to the Elkhorn Creek that flows through the town and into the Tug Fort.
This town's motto is "The Oldest Summer Resort in America," and its prime location on Lake Winnipesaukee proves why. People from all over New Hampshire, Boston and even Hollywood (Drew Barrymore once visited!) vacation here during warm summer months.
Wineries and breweries: check. Panoramic views of a gorgeous lake: check. Restaurants filled with top-notch food: check. This southern Finger Lakes community offers something for everyone and has become a favorite for destination weddings.
Even though downtown Keene is a must-visit destination, the countryside and lakes are the real treasures in this town. Make sure you take a tour of the covered bridges and hike up Mount Monadnock during your stay.
It makes sense why this city's population of 1,372 people all live within one square mile when you see how lovely it is downtown. It's known as the "Cream City" for its well-preserved Victorian storefronts and homes and will let you escape the daily grind.
About 21 miles south of Nashville is a much quieter downtown experience that still offers tons of culture. Wind your way through antique shops and restaurants, then catch a live show at one of their award-winning venues, like The Franklin Theatre.
This northern Sonoma County town is a lesser-known destination for wine tasting, but no less gorgeous. If you've had your fill of pinot, there's still plenty to do, including hiking, biking and even canoeing.
Known as the bed and breakfast capital of Minnesota, this small town (the population is just 754!) offers relaxation for couples and outdoor adventures for families in the bluffs of the Root River Valley.
This fishing town originally belonged to the Sakonnet tribe, but today it's known as Rhode Island's secret coast. It's a favorite place for locals to escape to the beach, take in local artwork or grab a lobster roll.
On Cape Cod is this tiny, bustling town that was once a pass-through destination for Martha's Vineyard ferry travelers. Now it holds its own thanks to a waterfront filled with restaurants and shopping.
Back in the 1700s, when this town was settled, it was named in honor of Marie Antoinette. Today, it's a historic riverboat town that's ideal for families who seek out vacations full of outdoor adventures.
This secluded beach community is less about the hustle and bustle and more about small town living. Proof: The restaurant- and buffet-filled streets of the mile-long historic district are filled with bicycles instead of cars.
Located on the Eastern shore of Lake Michigan and the mouth of the Grand River is this appropriately named town, which offers wine tasting, sand dune riding and an annual Coast Guard Festival at the end of every summer.
Less than one hour from Washington, D.C. and Baltimore is this small town that's surrounded by mountains, wineries and orchards. Downtown has even been designated as the Arts & Entertainment District, where you can find live music, dancing, you name it.
Along the shores of Lake Champlain is this quiet town that's most famous for Shelburne Farms, a series of barns where people can milk cows and watch cheesemakers make cheddars.
Nestled in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia is this small town (we're talking a population of 814 people) that is known as "Trail Town." Hikers and bikers seek it out since it's at the cross roads of some of the most beautiful trails in the state.
This small town has surprising German roots and old-time residents even refer to it as Fritztown. But the Magic Mile (a shopping scene with more than 150 stores) and some of the best wine tasting in Texas are what keeps the tourists coming back.
There's a reason this town is known as the Indian jewelry capital of the world: It's rich in Native American culture and the destination embraces it across the board. Another pro tip? The High Desert Trail System is an amazing way to take in the sights by foot.
This little town is known for offering one of the few remaining traditional island experiences — in fact, it kind of feels like a time warp. The one-stoplight town is vibrant, colorful and offers authentic cuisine.
During any time of year, this town along the Columbia River offers outdoor activities for adventure seekers, including skiing, wind surfing and mountain biking. After a day outside, you can explore one of the three microbreweries located downtown.
Even though this town is hard to get to (it's only accessible by air or sea!), once you arrive you'll be pleasantly surprised by how unique it is. It's nestled amongst a spruce and hemlock rain forest and sea life. Go on a tour to spot humpback whales.
History buffs, you're going to want to visit this town, which is the oldest permanent settlement in the Louisiana Purchase. Today, you can wander around the 33-block district or try one of their famous meat pies.
If you need proof that this quaint town is Hollywood-approved, both Runaway Bride and Tuck Everlasting were filmed here. And it's not surprising why: Strolling the streets and visiting the antique shops instantly make you forget what year it is. (In a good way.)
Not all American wine is made in California: This French-influenced town (it was founded by French Canadian colonists) is home to several vineyards, along with its historic cornerstone church that goes by the town's name.
There's a reason Turner Falls Park is a favorite swimming hole for locals: It's home to an impressive 77-foot tall waterfall that you can swim underneath. After taking a dip, explore the rock castle that was built into the hillside nearby.
Those rolling hills? That charming architecture? There's a reason this town is known as the "Switzerland of Pennsylvania." Come here if you want to try your hand at white water rafting or hike the day away, then roam the quaint town afterward.
This bright and vibrant town is a quiet surf destination for some, a trendy place to shop and eat for others and a place where you can fish off of the wharf if you fit somewhere in between.
This quiet town was first settled in 1639 and is considered to have the third largest collection of historic homes in New England. But even if you're not into history, the shops on the green, local seafood and the peaceful marina are more than worth the trip.
If Mount Rushmore is on your bucket list, skip the bustling Rapid City and stay at this quieter escape instead. It was once a mining town, but has since lost the gold and kept the charm. Visit the Black Hills Mining Museum to gain a deeper appreciation of the town's history.
This cute town boasts an Amish community and the largest flea market in the country, featuring a whopping 900 booths that cover 100 acres of land. You can munch on treats like sweet corn, while the kids feed animals at the petting zoo.
The famous War Eagle Mill was built in 1832 and has been destroyed and rebuilt three times, yet it's still in operation today. During the fall, the town hosts an elaborate craft fair that DIY lovers won't want to miss.
This historic mining town is like walking into an old western movie. In fact, Johnny Depp shot scenes here for the action western Lone Ranger. The downtown shops and surrounding nature adventures allow you to enjoy a trip that's as busy or quiet as you'd like.
This town's claim to fame is that President Dwight D. Eisenhower grew up here, which is why they have a library and museum dedicated to him. Another can't-miss attraction is Great Plains Theatre, which used to be a church.
It's appropriate that this town is named after American pioneer Daniel Boone, since most visitors come to hike and explore the local Blue Ridge Mountains. The town is also full of bluegrass musicians and Appalachian storytellers.
You don't have to choose between different bodies of water here: It's located on the banks of the Broadkill River and is just a few miles from the Delaware Bay. But some people might find it even more exciting that it's home to the famous Dogfish Head Brewing Company.
The most popular area of this southern town is the courthouse square, which is full of historic buildings and shopping, including the Canton Flea Market. At night, escape to the east side, which is filled with adorable B&Bs.
The beauty of this urban town is that it's located in the middle of rural country and is full of farm-to-table restaurants, shopping and miles of trails. More than anything, the community of 400 prioritizes living a slower, happier pace of life.