The culture and architecture of Europe make it an attractive vacation spot for many. Traveling across the pond, however, requires time and money. For Americans looking to get a taste of Europe without having to travel far from home, we’ve gathered five destinations in the U.S. with a European flair.
1. Frankenmuth, Michigan
This town is a display of Bavarian-style architecture, neatly packed with charming shops and a variety of activities. Frankenmuth is known for its year-long holiday feeling; even a bird’s eye view of the town looks like the Christmas Village sets your parents proudly displayed during the holidays. In fact, Frankenmuth is actually home to the world’s largest Christmas store.
2. New Glarus, Wisconsin
Stepping into New Glarus feels as though you are emerging from a time machine and entering a decades-old village in Switzerland. The New Glarus village was founded by Swiss colonists in 1845 and has retained its old-world feeling. You can visit the village’s historical museum and famed brewery, or just sit with a cup of tea and delight in your postcard-perfect surroundings.
3. Solvang, California
This German-style city is a part of the Santa Barbara Wine country and therefore features an assortment of wine tasting rooms. It is also home to a medley of Danish bakeries as well as several boutiques. This city is known for its peaceful atmosphere, making it the perfect destination for anyone looking to decompress.
4. Boston, Massachusetts
Boston in one of the oldest cities in the United States—founded shortly after the Mayflower brought the first English immigrants to America. Taking a stroll down Beacon Hill (one of Boston’s most famous historical sites) will provide visitors with echoes of European history. The ivy-covered brick buildings are sure to make you feel as though you are walking back in time when America’s founders were still establishing a life for themselves across brave new land.
5. New Ulm, Minnesota
This small city is more than happy to be recognized for its rich history. When walking down the streets you’ll be met with the sounds of bells singing a German tune and street lamps decorated with images of historical figures. Throughout the year the streets of New Ulm have served as the gathering grounds for heritage festivals, attracting thousands of visitors.