As an American living abroad, I’ve gotten used to the sometimes-unwarranted stigma that the U.S. has little to offer people in terms of culture and travel. I’ve also gotten used to the fact that a large part of Europe was created as a result of the U.S. saving the world from some sort of evil that I’ve never quite understood. So when a friend asked me why I don’t just move to Europe, I explained to her that the U.S. is much, much cooler than Europe.
When you travel to Europe, you’re going to experience a whole new world of culture, cuisine and scenery. But when you’re ready to come home to the States, you might miss the European vibe. If you’re dreaming of European travel but just haven’t found the time yet, you can get a taste of the Old World right here in the United States. From the coastal towns that feel like they’re straight out of the Mediterranean to the outdoor adventure spots that feel like they’re straight out of the Alps, there are plenty of U.S. spots that feel like Europe.
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Do you feel that Europe is calling you? Travelers looking for a vacation can find a city in the United States that looks like Europe. Unfortunately, it is impossible to say when the European Union will open its doors again to American travelers. The good news, however, is that there are several places in the US that have a similar atmosphere to Europe. If you’ve had to postpone your dream trip or just miss the beauty of Europe, these American destinations can be an alternative to the classic European summer destinations. Below are 40 special places in the United States that are similar to Europe.
1. Wish: Bavarian village, Germany rating: Leavenworth, WA
The mountainous landscape of Leavenworth makes this German town beautiful in all seasons. It is perhaps the most European city in America. Leavenworth is located in central Washington State, about 2 hours from Seattle. On Front Street, the city’s main street, travelers will find beer gardens, alpine-style architecture and delicious German cuisine. There are many accommodations here: Luxury hotels, cabin rentals, comfortable guesthouses and rustic cabins. After exploring the Bavarian city, the surrounding nature offers exciting outdoor adventures such as hiking, bird watching, climbing, cycling and horseback riding. In the summer, travelers can enjoy many water activities such as kayaking, tubing, rafting and paddle boarding. Camping and motor home sites are also available. Many Americans choose to go there for a European honeymoon or to propose. Leavenworth is so charming that you’ll think you’ve been to Germany without having to grab your passport. Book now: Bavarian hut
2. Wish: Swiss Alps consider: Vail, Colorado
Vail is partially modeled after the Swiss ski resort of Zermatt and is nestled in the Colorado Rocky Mountains. Are you dreaming of a holiday in the Swiss Alps? The mountain town of Vail may be the best option. Known for its skiing, hiking, gondolas and Austrian-German cuisine, the village exudes alpine charm with its cozy huts. Plus, many of the hotels in Vail resemble the grandiose mountain resorts of Europe. Enjoy lunch and dinner against a backdrop of stunning scenery and architecture. Many menus offer delicious European dishes such as Hungarian goulash soup, bratwurst, pretzels and schnitzel. Travellers who would like to be pampered for a special occasion can visit the Alpenrose restaurant. Here you can dine at the Fondu Gondola, a three-course meal in Bavarian style, served in a comfortable gondola. Of course Austrian wines go well with all dishes. Book now: Sonnenalp
3. Wish: Norway Considered: Decorah, Iowa
A trip to Decorah, Iowa allows travelers to experience Scandinavian culture here in the United States. This is a great option for a European-style vacation in the Midwest. This beautiful town was founded by Norwegian immigrants in the 1800s and is nestled in the hills of Iowa. The Norwegian tourists are surprised by the inhabitants of Decorah, who seem to be more Norwegian than they are. Water Street is Decorah’s main street. You will find many Scandinavian style elements: gnomes, crafts and folk art. In addition, the Vesterheim Norweigan American Museum has the world’s most extensive collection of Norwegian-American artifacts. The highlight of the place is a 25-foot wooden boat that actually crossed the Atlantic Ocean. If discovering Scandinavian culture is important to you, you should coordinate your trip with Decora’s most famous summer festival, Nordic Fest. This festival brings Viking culture to life with folk dancing, battle demonstrations and traditional food. Besides discovering the Scandinavian culture, the region offers many activities. Family activities include visits to farms, nature parks, bike paths, hiking trails and museums. Book now: Hotel Winneshiek
4. Wish: Scottish HighlandsOverpasses Southern Virginia
If you love the beauty and hiking in the Scottish Highlands, Southern Virginia offers a similar experience. Head to Grayson Highlands State Park to spend time among the green hills, misty valleys and rugged cliffs. The park is located near Mt. Rogers and Mt. Whittop, two of the highest mountains in Virginia. The highest point of the Grayson Highlands are the alpine peaks that reach over 2,000 meters. Scottish Highlanders may not be part of the landscape, but free-roaming wild horses are just as photogenic. Amenities include hiking trails, waterfall lookouts, campgrounds and a visitor center. The park also offers year-round access to the Appalachian Trail and the Virginia Highlands Equestrian Trail. Book now: The Martha Washington Inn & Spa
5. Wish: Tuscany Take into account: Southern Illinois Wine Country
We stayed in the Tuscany Romance Suite at Blue Sky Vineyard. The suite had two balconies, one overlooking the estate and the other directly above the tasting room! Midwestern travelers with enough time to explore the area might consider visiting Southern Illinois Wine Country. If you know where to look, the hills, the Italian architecture and the many wineries will give you an idea of Tuscany. Shawnee Hills, Illinois covers a vast area of 2,000 square miles. However, the wine route only covers about 40 miles. The Shawnee Hills Wine Trail map makes exploring the area much easier. Also pay attention to the opening hours of the wineries, as they are all independent entrepreneurs. Most importantly, Blue Sky Vineyards offers visitors a true hidden gem. Two spacious suites are located directly above the winery’s tasting room. The Tuscany Romance Suite has a balcony overlooking the wine bar and an additional balcony overlooking the vineyards and Shawnee Hills. The Tuscany Romance Suite also has a small kitchenette with coffee maker, sink, microwave and refrigerator. European-style breakfast is included in every stay. Book now: Blue Sky Vineyard
6. Wish: Greek IslandsTo be considered Tarpon Springs, Florida
Tarpon Springs, Florida is known as the sponge capital of the world. A visit to Tarpon Springs is the closest thing to Greece in the United States. Greek culture is very present in the city, which has the highest percentage of Greek Americans in the country. In the early 1900s, many Greek immigrants settled here, bringing with them their culture, their boats and their delicious cuisine. Of course there is a large concentration of Greek restaurants, bakeries and gourmet establishments. Definitely try the gyros, the fresh fish and the baklava for dessert. Visitors will appreciate Tarpon Spring’s appeal for water recreation, with 51 miles of shoreline and floating fishing boats along the shore. There is also a charming downtown that is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. You can also stroll through the brick streets and stop in specialty shops, art galleries and antique stores housed in late 19th century buildings. Book now: Lucca Hotel
7. Wish: Aarhus, Denmark Overruns: Solvang, CA
The city of Solvang is considered a little piece of Denmark in Southern California. Located just 45 minutes from Santa Barbara, Solvang is a great place to experience Danish culture in the United States. The town is pure Scandinavia, full of cuckoo clocks, clogs and shops with thatched roofs. Currently, one of the best ways to enjoy Solvang is by hiking. Visitors can walk around the city and discover traditional Danish architecture and the city’s main attractions. There are four European-style windmills and a large bell tower. During your exploration of the city, you can enjoy warm ebleskivers, a Danish dessert similar to donuts. In addition, there are several monuments that pay tribute to the country of Denmark. These include statues and a museum dedicated to Hans Christian Andersen, the Little Mermaid Fountain and a large-scale reproduction of the Round Gate of Copenhagen. Watch out for the storks on the roofs, of course. In Danish culture, they are considered lucky charms. Book now: Winston or the Santa Ynez Inn
8. Wish: Madrid, Spain take into account: St. Augustine, Florida
The Ponce de Leon Hotel was designed in the Spanish Renaissance style. The middle of the 15th. Colonized by the Spanish in the mid-seventeenth century, St. John’s is one of the most beautiful cities in the world. St. Augustine is the oldest city in the United States. Today, the Spanish influence is still present, especially in the architecture of the city. Numerous monuments and historical sites pay tribute to the city’s Spanish past. The Castillo de San Marcos, for example, is the most famous monument in St. Augustine. This large Spanish stone fort is over 300 years old and is the oldest structure in the city. Plus, the colonial quarter is beautiful and a popular place to try traditional Spanish and fusion cuisine. Book now: Historic Marin house on the bay
9. Wish: Nice, France Take into account: Newport, Rhode Island
Yes, it really is Rhode Island. Newport, Rhode Island, is the place to be if you’re dreaming of a trip to the French Riviera. Like Nice, Newport’s landscape is characterized by sailboats, luxury real estate, pebble beaches and seaside elegance. There is also, as in the south of France, an abundance of fresh seafood. Newport is known for its shacks that serve delicious fried clams and lobster rolls. There is another interesting comparison! Nice has a coastal avenue that has inspired famous artists such as Matisse, Cézanne and Picasso. Newport also has a cliff walk, a 3.5 mile trail where visitors can enjoy the natural landscape and famous Gilded Age mansions on the coast. This 70-room mansion was a symbol of social and financial excellence for the Vanderbilt family in turn-of-the-century America. The Breakers is Newport’s finest summer home. Cornelius Vanderbilt II built this 70-room Italian Renaissance-style mansion on Cliff Walk in the late 19th century. Century for his family. Newport is about 90 minutes from Boston. Book now: Hammett Hotel
10. Wish: Bern, Switzerland N.B.: New Glarus, Wisconsin
The red and white Swiss flags give a European feel. New Glarus is considered the little Switzerland of America. It was founded in 1845 by about 100 Swiss immigrants who settled in the hills of Greene County, Wisconsin. Today, the town is famous for its farmers, breweries and cheese-making facilities, which continue the Swiss tradition. What New Glarus lacks in mountain scenery, it makes up for in charming urban details. For example, the red and white Swiss flags fly in the wind. The street names are carefully written in English and German, and all the shops in town look like little houses. During your visit, be sure to try the beer from the famous Spotted Cow Brewery and the Rahmschnitzel, a creamy breaded veal schnitzel, at the New Glarus Hotel restaurant. Book now: Country House Chalet of Hyatt Place Madison
11. Wish: Cinque Terre, Italy Considered: Carmel, CA
One of the most attractive places in Europe is Cinque Terre. This famous strip of five Italian coastal villages is known for its colourful houses perched on steep cliffs, its fishing boats bobbing in the turquoise sea and its spectacular vineyard landscapes. The best place to try to recreate Italian charm is in Carmel. This beautiful enclave on California’s central coast exudes the same coastal magic with its breezy beaches, cliffside homes, vineyards, cafes and shops. Book now: Carmel Valley Ranch or Shelter
12. Wish: The Netherlands, The Netherlands Take into account: Holland, Michigan
Holland, Michigan, is one of the most European cities in America. In fact, even the name of the city is synonymous with Dutch culture and heritage. Holland’s award-winning city centre offers Dutch architecture, shops, restaurants and eateries. The best time to visit is of course in spring, when millions of tulips bloom all over the city. Visit the Veldheer tulip garden especially during the high season, from late April to mid-May. Located on the shores of Lake Michigan, Holland also offers an abundance of outdoor activities and adventures. After exploring the city, tourists can hike to the top of the dune, for example, or play on Michigan’s white sand beaches. Book now: Holiday Inn Express Holland
13. Wish: Sweden Considered: Lindsborg, Kansas
More than 30% of the inhabitants of Lindsborg are of Swedish origin. Affectionately referred to as the little Sweden of the plains, Lindsborg finds its Swedish roots in the charming town centre. Along the main street, visitors can visit specialty shops, delicious restaurants and galleries showcasing Swedish culture and cuisine. One of the most popular shops is Hemslojd, a beautiful workshop where you can buy souvenirs and traditional Swedish handicrafts. Popular objects are dala horses and figurines called tomte. The main attraction of Lindsborg is the Swedish Pavilion. This building was originally constructed for the 1904 World’s Fair, and materials imported from Sweden were used in its design and construction. Don’t miss the chance to hunt the colorful Wild Dala horse in town. Book now: Leopold Hotel
14. Wish: Germany Take into account: Frankenmuth, Michigan
Frankenmuth looks like one of the most charming picturesque villages in Europe. Hiking through Frankenmuth in the snow is like hiking through Nuremberg in the winter. Of course, Germany is a popular place to enjoy the charming Christmas markets and festive magic. So it’s no surprise that the city has the largest Christmas store in the world, Bronner’s Christmas Wonderland. Located at 25 Christmas Lane, this is one of the best places to shop in the city. How nice that Frankenmuth gets into the holiday spirit year round! Besides shopping, there are covered bridges, the clock tower, beer gardens in summer, polka music and authentic German restaurants. Visitors will appreciate that many of the accommodations are built in the same charming Bavarian style. Book now: Bavarian Inn Lodge
15. Wish: Tuscany Take into account: Calistoga, CA
Italian castles always evoke Europe. Imagine exploring castles, walking through vineyards, sipping strong wines and enjoying the delicious Italian cuisine. While it sounds like the ultimate Italy, travelers can find a similar experience in Calistoga, California, a city located in the heart of the Napa Valley. Two of the wineries that offer the most Italian experience with stunning views of the vineyards are Castello di Amorosa and Castello Montelena. Book now: Roman Spa Resort
16. Wish: Germany Take into account: Fredericksburg, Texas
In 1846, German immigrants, intrigued by this part of the Texas hill country, decided to settle in the area. Today, Fredericksburg offers a unique combination of German tradition and southern hospitality. Fredericksburg is one of the most charming towns in the state. To discover German roots, head to the main street, where you’ll find restaurants, specialty shops, a beer garden and cozy guest rooms. The highlights of the town are the market square and the historic Vereinskirche museum. Additionally, Fredericksburg is the epicenter of Texas wine country and is known for some of the best wineries in the Lone Star State. Book now: Barons CreekSide Cabin Resort
17. Wish: Côte d’Azur take into account: Charleston, SC
Charleston can be compared to the French Riviera. Some people say that Charleston is the closest to Europe, while it is in the United States. The town exudes the atmosphere of the French Riviera with its quaint cafes, cobbled streets and street vendors. As in French cities, the spires of old churches adorn Charleston’s skyline. If you are lucky enough to see Charleston from the water, you will understand why it is called the Holy City. Moreover, the city has many well-maintained parks full of statues and historical monuments. Swaying palm trees and wild coastal landscapes make Charleston even more appealing. Colorful Charleston, South Carolina In Charleston’s French Quarter, however, you can experience that glorious essence of Europe. The area has wonderful art galleries, restaurants and the Charleston Waterfront Park. Chalmers Street, the most photographed of Charleston’s cobblestone streets, is full of historic buildings. The most notable building, for example, is the famous Pink House Tavern, built around 1712. The French Huguenot Church is another attraction not to be missed. This beautiful neo-Gothic church is home to the only remaining French Calvinist congregation in the United States. Book now: French Quarter Inn
18. Wish: Netherlands Take into account: Pella, Iowa
Pella is called the Dutch treasure of America. Less than an hour from Des Moines, this small town offers a wonderful concentration of Dutch culture, architecture and cuisine. In 1847, Dutch immigrants fleeing religious persecution decided to settle in the area. In fact, the name Pella was inspired by the biblical city of refuge. Today, descendants of the first settlers still live in Pella. Their goal is to preserve Dutch heritage through local products, food, special events and annual festivals. The historic village of Pella is the main attraction of the town. There are 21 buildings that illustrate the lives of Dutch immigrants in the Midwest. The village has a church, a bakery, a shoemaker’s workshop and a smithy. Wyatt Earp’s childhood home is also part of the site. Other attractions are the many tulip gardens, the Vermeer windmill and the Clock Game, a classic European clock on the town square with motorized figures. Tourists also like to spend time at Molengracht Square, which is a replica of a real Dutch square with a canal and a promenade in the Amsterdam style. Book now: Hotel Royal
19. Wish: Bavaria take into account: Helen, Georgia
Like Leavenworth, Helen introduced Bavarian design in the 1960s to stimulate tourism and economic growth in a moribund city. In order to promote tourism, the town of Helen decided in the 1960s to transform it into a charming alpine village. As a result, every building constructed in the city was steeped in Bavarian design. Today, Helen is the third most visited city in Georgia and a popular stopping point for a vacation in the Blue Ridge Mountains. Tourists love to stop in the specialty shops, feast on the delicious German cuisine and enjoy a refreshing beer in the beer garden. Book now: Valhalla Hotel
20. Wish: Czech RepublicTo be considered West, Texas
West is the Czech heritage capital of Texas and home to the official colache of the Texas Legislature. In the 1880s, a new railroad and railroad depot brought prosperity to West Texas. Czech and German immigrants moved to the region in search of land and opportunity. Thanks to the Czech habit of having very large families, they became a common culture in the West in the 1920s. Today, many descendants of the original settlers still run family farms and local businesses. You will also hear older residents speak Czech. In the centre of town you will find Czech bakeries, souvenir shops and antique shops. Some travelers choose to stay at the Czech Inn of West. Book now: Overnight stay with breakfast in White Rock Creek.
21. Wish: German Consider: New Ulm, Minnesota
The 2002 U.S. Census shows that more than 65 percent of New Ulm’s population is of German-American descent. New Ulm is another Midwestern city with European roots. The city was founded in 1854 by German immigrants who hoped to create a utopian society in America. Today, the German influence is evident in restaurants, shops and local attractions. There is so much to see here! For example, the city’s main attraction is Schell’s Brewing Company, America’s second-oldest brewery. It was founded in 1860 by an immigrant from the Black Forest. Surprisingly, six generations later it still belongs to the same family. After the tour, visitors can sip a German beer in the brewery’s shady garden. The Hermann Monument, better known as Hermann the German, (pictured above) depicts Hermann of Heruskana, an ancient hero whose army fell in AD 9. Chr. freed Germany from Roman rule. The Historic Centre of New Ulm. When German immigrants emigrated to the United States, the legend of Herman, the father of German independence and a symbol of honor and pride, went with them. A similar monument is located in Detmold. Germany. Other popular attractions are the German Park, the Glockenspiel bell tower and the German store Domeyer. Gourmets can enjoy authentic dishes at Veigel’s Kaiserhof, a traditional German restaurant established in 1938. Then visit Turner Hall, Minnesota’s oldest bar, serving German food and drink since 1856. Book now: Best Western Plus New Ulm
22. Wish: Mediterranean Rivierato be taken into account Santa Barbara, CA
Santa Barbara is the American Riviera. You don’t have to fly to Europe to enjoy a holiday with Mediterranean charm. Did you know that Santa Barbara is often called the American Riviera ? The town’s beaches, red-tiled roofs and spectacular mountain scenery will make you feel like you’ve landed in the Mediterranean. During the day, visitors can relax under the shade of palm trees at one of the city’s major resorts or on East Beach. Adventure seekers will find opportunities for hiking, camping and whale watching. Plus, there’s even an electric bike path on the Cabrillo Oceanfront (Cabrillo Bike Path).
Our Lady of Sorrows Church, an iconic Catholic church, is Spanish colonial in style. Much of Santa Barbara’s Mediterranean essence can be seen in its architecture. The Spanish settlers built many of the city’s historic buildings. The Spanish colonial heritage can be seen, for example, in Our Lady of Sorrows Church, the old Santa Barbara Mission and the county courthouse. Just like a typical Mediterranean vacation, tourists enjoy fresh seafood, vineyards and fine wines along the Santa Barbara Wine Trail. Some wine lovers come here for one reason only: to sip a world-class Pinot Noir while relaxing on the beautiful terraces or in the European café-style courtyards. Visit the nearby town of Solvang for a grand tour of California in European style. Book now: Kimpton Canary Hotel
23. Wish: Montpellier, France take into account: Montpelier, Vermont
Monpellier offers a slice of France in New England. It is the smallest capital city in America. The city of Montpellier, about two hours from Montreal, is a colourful combination of New England charm and vibrant French culture. When the city was founded in 1781, it was named after Montpellier, a city in the south of France near the Mediterranean Sea. Today, this bond still characterizes the city with its quaint shops, Parisian-style bakeries, cafes and French-style architecture. Of course, like their French counterparts, Vermonters spend their weekends skiing in the winter and eating in the summer. Book now: Montpellier hotel
24. Wish: Paris take into account: Washington, DC
If you look closely, you will notice the European influence in the American capital. That’s because Frenchman Pierre Charles designed L’Enfant Washington to look like Paris. For example, Washington offers many gardens, public squares and wide boulevards that give it a Parisian feel. The terraces are also ideal for people-watching over a cup of coffee or wine. Georgetown’s C&O Canal bears little resemblance to the Canal Saint-Martin in Paris. Of course, with European diplomats living and working in the city, you’ll hear a variety of accents and languages as you explore. Book now: Trump International Hotel Washington D.C.
25. Wish: UK take into account: Boston
There’s no denying that some of Boston’s neighborhoods are incredibly beautiful. Indeed, Boston is regularly hailed as the most European city in America. At the same time, it is interesting to note that it is difficult to compare Boston to any European destination. Some think it’s most like Britain. Beacon Hill’s cobblestone streets and Federal-style architecture, reminiscent of Boston’s British past, are prime examples. However, Boston also has an Irish influence: The city has the essence of Dublin.
People of Irish descent make up the largest ethnic group in Boston, Massachusetts. What ultimately gives Boston its European essence is its age. Founded in 1630 by English Puritans fleeing to a new land in search of religious freedom, it is one of the oldest cities in America. The European charm can also be found in some of Boston’s most famous landmarks. These include the Boston Public Library, the Old North Church, and the Blackstone Block Historic District. The European charm of the Boston Public Library. Book now: Elliot Hotel
26. Wish: France take into account: New Orleans
Named after the Duke of Orleans, New Orleans is one of the most unique cities in the United States. Despite its current multicultural presence, French culture has had a major and lasting influence on the city’s history since its foundation in 1718. The French Quarter is the oldest part of the city, where you will discover an authentic European atmosphere. The distinctive architecture and iconic trams give visitors the impression of stepping back in time. Jackson Square was also designed in the traditional European style, a central square dominated by a church. It is interesting to note that coffee first appeared in the mid-17th century. The first of the twentieth century, he arrived in the United States via New Orleans. When the French crossed the Mississippi, they brought with them coffee beans, which were successfully cultivated on the island of Martinique.
The traditional terrace is the French style par excellence. This is why a visit to Café du Monde is a must for many people when they are in New Orleans. Founded in 1862, the café is considered the first French-style coffee shop in America. This popular café serves French-style bignettes and chicory lattes. The preference for coffee and chicory was developed by the French during their civil war. In those days coffee was scarce, and it was discovered that chicory gave the drink body and a chocolate taste. Book now: Monteleone Hotel
27. Wish: Netherlands Take into account: Skagit Valley, Washington
The Netherlands may be the world’s leading destination for spring tulip fields, but it’s certainly not the only place to see them! The Skagit Valley in Washington State is known for its beautiful tulip and daffodil blossoms. If the Keukenhof gardens in Lisse are out of reach, head to the Skagit Valley to admire the colourful fields during the tulip festival. Book now: Lucca Hotel
28. Wish: Provence, France Take into account: Sonoma, CA
A sleepy California lavender field can look like Europe. Provence in the lavender season is one of the most beautiful spectacles in Europe. Unfortunately, it is not easy to visit the south-east of France these days. Fortunately, California offers travelers the chance to wander through these fragrant fields. Some will therefore cross a visit to a lavender field off their wish list. Of course, the vineyards and beautiful coastline are an integral part of California. But did you know that the state is also home to beautiful lavender farms that bloom in June and July? The best places to explore the lavender fields are Monte-Bellaria di California in Sebastopol and Matanzas Creek Winery in Santa Rosa. After taking beautiful photos of the lavender field, you can spend the rest of the day drinking the characteristic pink wine from the beautiful vineyard, as is customary in Provence. Book now: Hotel Les Mars, Relais & Châteaux
29. Wish: Klitmöller, Denmark Rating: Montauk, New York
Klitmøller, known as the cold Hawaii, is a year-round surfing mecca in Denmark. Its location on the edge of a wild sea makes it one of the best places in northern Europe for windsurfing. Since a trip to Denmark isn’t an option anytime soon, Montauk might be the next best option. Montauk, located at the eastern end of Long Island’s south shore, is characterized by the sound of Atlantic waves and sleepy beach towns adorned with picturesque lighthouses. In fact, Montauk is so small that it is considered a homestead or a community even smaller than a village. Outdoor adventures abound here: Travelers can fish, surf, view wildlife and windsurf. There are also hiking trails, seafood restaurants and beautiful beaches like Ditch Plains. The six state parks offer many opportunities to be surrounded by nature and beauty. Montauk Point State Park, for example, is home to a national monument, the historic Montauk Point Lighthouse. Book now: Montauk Manor
30. Wish: Greek IslandsTo be considered Catalina Island, CA
Do you miss the sunny beaches and Mediterranean breezes of the Greek islands? Consider taking the ferry to Catalina Island and imagine yourself in Greece on an island holiday. With a similar temperate climate, the holiday experience is surprisingly similar. Upon arrival, warm water, white sandy beaches and palm trees welcome all visitors to the island. Catalina Island is located just 22 miles off the coast of Southern California. This idyllic spot is so beautiful that more than 500 films have been shot here. Among the most famous productions are Jaws, Treasure Island, Waterworld and The Hunt for Red October. A day on the island consists mainly of snorkeling, sunbathing and sipping cool cocktails. But there are also many organized events. There are such things as boat trips, sunset cruises and eco-adventures with wildlife. Fans of the outdoors can go camping, golfing, kayaking or even ziplining. Book now: Hotel Prinsenhof
31. Wish: Germany – Black Forest Take into account: Great Smoky Mountains, Tennessee
The Smoky Mountains National Park is characterized by dense forests and scenic waterfalls. In some parts of the park you feel like you’re in Europe. The Black Forest is a mountain range in the southwest of Germany. It is known for its dense forests, waterfalls and accessible hiking trails. Fortunately, the Great Smoky Mountains offer a similar experience here in Tennessee, as well as many other similarities! As in the Black Forest, here you will find scenic routes, cable cars and mountain huts with soothing whirlpools. There are also hot springs in neighboring North Carolina. Some hikers choose Gatlinburg as a base camp for their Smoky Mountain adventures. It is interesting to note that the city celebrates the annual Smoky Oktoberfest. The city welcomes autumn with German cuisine, cultural events and music. This popular fall festival is a great way to experience Germany during your Tennessee vacation. Book now: Park On Main Hotel
32. Wish: The fjords of NorwayOverruled Ketchikan, Alaska
It is no surprise that Alaska is sometimes considered the Norway of the United States. Since Norway and Alaska are on the same latitude, they have a similar climate and topography. Although the essence of these two directions is completely different, there are surprisingly many similarities. On the one hand, both destinations offer spectacular fjords, glaciers, mountain ranges and tundra landscapes. Another common feature is of course the opportunity to see Arctic wildlife in their natural habitat, such as reindeer (caribou), moose, foxes and polar bears. Alaska and Norway are two popular places for dog sledding. Remember that each of them offers skiing, fresh salmon and most likely the splendor of the Northern Lights. Book now: Creek Street Inn
33. Wish: Azores, Portugal Hawaii
Experienced travelers know that each island is known for its own unique culture and flavor, and Hawaii is no different. The Azores are the European version of Hawaii, only a 5 hour flight from Boston. In recent years, the Portuguese island chain has become an easy alternative to vacationing in Hawaii for Americans living on the East Coast. Despite the great distance between the two archipelagos, the two destinations are in fact very similar. Both offer sandy beaches, beautiful waterfalls and stunning coastal scenery. Similarly, Hawaii is similar to the Azores with its miles of nature trails, pineapple farms and laid-back island life. Book now: Moana Surfrider, A Westin Resort & Spa, Waikiki Beach
34. Wish: Cornwall, England Consideration: Cape Cod, Massachusetts
The charming harbours and villages of Cape Cod could be mistaken for Cornwall, England. Travelers who love the charming harbors and artistic atmosphere of Cornwall can find their traveler’s soul satisfied on Cape Cod. Cape Cod could easily replace Cornwall, with its miles of breathtaking Atlantic coastline, fresh seafood and golden dunes. People come here to wake up to ocean views and spend the day on the pristine beaches of Cape Cod. In fact, the Cape Cod National Seashore may be the best part of your visit to Cape Cod. Wildlife enthusiasts will enjoy the birding and hiking trails at Monomoy National Wildlife Refuge. There are art galleries, gardens and museums to visit. The Glass Museum in Sandwich, for example, is a popular tourist attraction where you can learn more about the art of glassblowing.
Finally, be sure to visit Cape Cod’s most European attraction, the Pilgrim Monument in Provincetown. The construction of the monument was designed to resemble a tower seen in Europe many centuries ago. The summit offers a fantastic view, recalling the first landing of the Mayflower pilgrims. Book now: Candleberry Inn in Cape Cod
35. Wish: Italian wine countryOverride Virginia Wine Country
Follow dozens of wine routes surrounded by magnificent vistas, picturesque towns and monumental historical sites. Vineyards, breathtaking landscapes and elegant gastronomic experiences ? See? Virginia is almost like Tuscany. Although the architecture is more colonial than Italian, Virginia’s wine country has the same rural charm and historical attractions. With over 300 wineries and many official wine trails to explore, Virginia is an increasingly popular destination for wine travel. The five main varieties produced in the Commonwealth are Chardonnay, Cabernet Franc, Merlot, Vidal Blanc and Viognier. More: Wine lovers may want to travel to Virginia just to taste the Viognier! It is interesting to note that Viognier has not traditionally been a popular grape variety outside of certain protected geographical areas in France. Winemakers, however, have discovered innovative ways for it to thrive in Virginia. Viognier thrives here beautifully and is therefore the signature wine of the Virginia wine region.
Do you want your holiday to look like Europe? Plan a trip to Virginia wine country. After a long day on the wine route, travelers can end the day with dinner at a winery, a ride in a hot air balloon, or a romantic getaway at one of the many quaint cottages in the area. Book now: The Red Fox Inn and Tavern
36. Wish: European sensation Considered: Las Vegas
It may be foolish to think that the places listed below can replace a trip to Europe. However, international travel is not always easy or possible for everyone. Therefore, these popular destinations can be an interesting alternative. Can travelers really find the appeal of Europe in the kitsch of Las Vegas? Under all those twinkling lights, travelers can enjoy a Las Vegas version of some of Europe’s best attractions. Think of it as mini-tours through Paris, Venice, Rome and Germany! At the Paris Las Vegas Hotel & Casino, for example, fans can watch the Eiffel Tower sparkle at night or sip cocktails while watching Parisian Moulin Rouge-style cabaret.
The Eiffel Tower in Las Vegas can be just as romantic as in Paris. The Venetian Hotel, located on the Las Vegas Strip, mimics the romantic experience of a gondola ride on the Grand Canal in Venice, Italy. Travelers can glide along canals under graceful bridges and past distinctive architectural structures in recreated Venetian streets. Caesars Palace is another iconic Vegas resort. The design allows visitors to experience what life was like in Roman times. In the background you can see the Colosseum, statues, majestic columns and an ancient temple.
Discover ancient Rome in Las Vegas. Finally, discover Bavarian charm in the Hofbräuhaus restaurant. This institution is a fantastic replica of the oldest German brewery where you can enjoy real Bavarian food, German beer and live entertainment. Book now: Venice Station
37. Wishes: European stimuli Take into account: Epcot Centre
Epcot World Showcase gives every visitor the chance to travel through 11 countries in one day, without a passport or flight delay. At the centre, around the reflecting lagoon, travellers can enjoy live entertainment, music, exhibitions and culinary delights from the countries represented – Canada, China, Italy, Morocco, Japan, the United Kingdom, the United States, Mexico, Norway, Germany and France.
Morocco is one of the countries featured in Epcot’s World Expo. In France, for example, the croque glace, a scoop of ice cream squeezed into a warm brioche bun. For lunch, enjoy a classic fish and chip and a pint of cold beer in the UK at Yorkshire Fish & Chips.
The French version of Disney is actually quite charming. The Disney design team really creates a European atmosphere. Then take a tour of the Norwegian version of Epcot at the Stave Church Gallery. This attraction features historic ruins and Viking artifacts and also offers a virtual display of the northern lights. Italy lovers can relax with a gelato while watching the energetic flag wavers of the Sbandieratori Di Sansepolcro. All in all, many visitors felt lucky to have spent an entire day hopping from country to country on a Dissney-inspired global adventure. Book now: Disney’s Riviera Resort
38. Wish: Spain Consideration: Country Club Plaza, Kansas City
The designers of the KKK modelled the square on the grandiose architecture of Seville to create a European atmosphere. The comparison between Spain and Kansas City may be an exaggeration, but these two destinations have more in common than you think! When Kansas City developers created the Plaza Country Club in 1912, they took inspiration from the markets of Spain. After a trip to Spain, they decided to mimic Spanish architecture to ensure that people would want to visit the Plaza or live near it. The completed project cost $5 million, which was a huge amount at the turn of the century. In the style of Seville, the Country Club Plaza has a large tower, built in the same style as the Moors in the 12th century. Finally, there’s a cool connection again! The Giralda clock tower received its name in 1967, the year Kansas City and Seville officially became sister cities. Book now: Hotel Raphael, Autograph Collection
39. Wish: Germany Take into account: Hermann, Missouri
The Missouri River created a sense of Europe for the arriving German immigrants. Nestled in the Missouri River Valley are Hermann’s 19th century brick buildings. The century on the sidewalk, like in Germany. Because in 1836, German immigrants settled in this picturesque town in hopes of keeping German culture alive in America. They chose this particular location because of its proximity to the Missouri River, which reminded them of the Rhine River in their home state. Today, their dream lives on, notably through culinary traditions, festivals and winemaking. The annual Wurstfest and Oktoberfest, for example, offer German music, a sausage-making competition and, of course, plenty of German beer. Fortunately, there are plenty of German restaurants, parks and museums to visit outside of the festival season. In addition, Herman’s farm offers a glimpse of what a traditional German settlement looks like. Wine regions are a dream, no matter what continent you’re on. The Herrmann wine region will make you feel like you’re in Europe, if you can afford it. Some travelers prefer to combine a visit to Hermann with a tour of Missouri’s wine country. The climate is ideal for wine production. There are currently 11 different wineries in the Herrmann wine region. For more information about events and tourist attractions visit the tourist site of Visit Hermann. Book now: Hotel in Hermannhof
40. Wish: Château de VersaillesOverruled Asheville, North Carolina
The Biltmore Estate may not be as big as some European palaces, but it is America’s premier address for foodies. This private home was built between 1889 and 1895 for George Washington Vanderbilt. The French Renaissance chateau has over 250 rooms with 35 bedrooms, 43 bathrooms and 65 fireplaces. It still holds the title of America’s largest home, with 175,000 square feet. By comparison : Trump’s Mar-a-Lago, built in Spanish colonial style, comes in second with 110,000 square feet.
However, the French essence of the Biltmore is most evident in the extensive gardens, which offer an abundance of colour and beauty all year round. With more than 8,000 acres on the Biltmore’s expansive grounds, visitors have plenty to do. On the estate you can go cycling, walking, horse riding or by carriage. Finally, the French atmosphere continues at the Biltmore winery. A one-day visit to the winery includes a complimentary wine tasting. In addition, wine lovers can visit the Perfect Pairing exhibition at the Biltmore: Red wine and chocolate event. Daily tastings combine premium red wines with exceptional chocolate truffles made by local company French Broad Chocolates. Book now: Hotel Princes Anne Many travelers want to go to Europe. But not everyone has the opportunity to make their dreams come true. Fortunately, as a country of immigrants, the United States has many cities that offer us an alternative to Europe.
The US is so vast that it can feel impossible to find a unique corner of the country that feels European. Luckily, we’re here to help: this list will take you from New England to the Pacific Northwest, and will reveal the most unexpected places in the US that feel like Europe. To help you get the most out of our list, we have included some unique places to visit, such as The Rockefeller Center in New York City and the French Quarter in New Orleans, as well as more obscure destinations, such as Cleveland, Ohio, and Blackfoot, Idaho.. Read more about places in america that look like england and let us know what you think.
Frequently Asked Questions
What places in the US are most like Europe?
There are some places in the US that are incredibly similar to European countries. Some of them even border the ocean, have a great drinking tradition, and have really hot girls. Here are the top ten cities in the US that are most like Europe. The United States has the most diverse and plentiful landscapes—both natural and man-made—in the world. (Luckily, the wide range of temperatures allows for many European-like microclimates to exist!) So if you’re in the mood to escape frigid winter weather or heat wave-inducingly hot summer days, but don’t want to give up the culture and history that Europe has to offer, check out these twelve destinations that feel like Europe without leaving the country.
Where do Europeans go in us?
Traveling to Europe? Well, take note: you can now go to both sides of the Atlantic without leaving the planet. While you can’t actually fly to Europe from the US, you can visit places that mimic the continent in a lot of ways, and you can go on an incredible vacation without paying for travel. We’ve got the lowdown on 40 spots in the US that will have you feeling like you’re across the ocean in Europe, while making you feel like you’re at home at the same time. Need more convincing? Florida attracts the majority of Europeans to America, although the state is a bit of a food desert. If you are looking to explore the New World in-depth, you’ll find other European emigrants in upstate New York, California, Texas and New Mexico. But what makes these spots special? Well, let’s start with the weather. (We’re not saying that Europeans are fleeing their countries because of their poor climate, but it’s always nice to be around people who are not shivering constantly!)
Which US state has the most Europeans?
Most of us love to travel, and Europe is always on our wish list. Due to its proximity, it’s easy to understand why Europe is popular with Americans. But while Europeans flock across the Atlantic, only a few Americans set their sights on Europe. Why is this? In general, Europeans are more relaxed than Americans, and the way they live their lives seems almost exotic. (Hey, it’s probably just the beer.) We set out to find the most European state in the US, and it wasn’t easy. To make the selection process easier, we had to narrow the focus. What we’re looking for is not just a state where Europeans settle, but a state that feels like Europe. For example, while Florida is full If you’re anything like us, you spend a lot of time looking at maps. (No, really. We’re that kind of people.) And whenever we look at a map, whether it’s a political map or a satellite image of a city or a diagram of the human body, we always find ourselves looking for shapes and patterns. So when we saw the map above, we had to take a closer look.