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Traveling Local in 2021: 10 Places in the US that Feel Like You’re in Europe

A person walks a green trail along an oceanside cliff

We can’t know what the next year will bring or what travel restrictions may be in place. But if you were looking into traveling to the best places to visit in Europe and you’re now worried you won’t make it across the pond, we’ve assembled a list of the 10 best places to visit in the USA that offer the European experience.

10 Best Places to Visit in the USA if You’re Looking for European Flavor

1. Solvang, California

Solvang is a charming Danish village in Southern California. Historic churches, an iconic windmill and a Little Mermaid fountain add to the unique feel of this quaint city. Visit in September for the Danish Days Festival, in October for the Solvang (Grape) Stomp, or in December for Julefest (Yule-fest).

2. Holland, Michigan

Established by Dutch settlers in the 1800s, Holland still retains strong influences from the old country. It even boasts the oldest working windmill in the United States. Visit in early May to attend the famous Tulip Time Festival when tens of thousands of colorful tulips paint the landscape in swathes of color.

3. New Orleans, Louisiana

The French roots have grown a culture with strong European influences in the Big Easy. Walking the streets of the French quarter with a beignet will make you feel like you’re strolling the French Riviera.

4. Kansas City, Missouri

Kansas City is a sister city with Seville, Spain, and the Country Club Plaza is designed in the Moorish Revival style. You will even find a smaller version of Seville’s Giralda Tower in the famous shopping center.

5. Lindsborg, Kansas

The Swedish Pavilion in Lindsborg was originally created for the 1904 World’s Fair. Oversized Dala horses can be spotted throughout the town. Stop in any time of the year for a delicious Swedish meal or make a special trip in October for the Svensk Hyllningsfest, their Sweden Heritage Celebration.

6. Frankenmuth, Michigan

Known as “Little Bavaria,” Frankenmuth looks like the setting of a German fairytale. Take a relaxing riverboat cruise, a fun brewery tour, a horse-drawn carriage ride, or even a PedAle Trolley ride where you can drink beer and cycle through the beautiful town. In June, you’ll find the Bavarian Festival with polka music, dances and a street party. September brings Oktoberfest and the fun games, beer drinking and celebration of German culture.

7. Big Sur, California

If you can’t make it to the famed coastal cliffs of Cinque Terre in Italy, the California coastline at Big Sur captures a similar beauty. Take a scenic hike and enjoy the ocean views or explore the town and art galleries.

8. New Glarus, Wisconsin

Just like the Swiss state it’s named for, New Glarus offers delicious cheese and chocolate. Explore the Swiss Historical Village and Museum. Savor a beer at a craft brewery or Swiss bread from one of the many specialty bakeries.

9. Gallipolis, Ohio

Fleeing France after the Storming of the Bastille, a group of French aristocrats settled Gallipolis in 1790. French architecture still stands throughout the town, the pace of life is a little more French, and you can enjoy a delicious croissant on a charming street.

10. St. Augustine, Florida

Founded by Spanish explorers in the 16th century, St. Augustine still has a colonial flair. The historic Castillo de San Marcos still stands along the coast. This fortress is the only structure in the city that withstood an attack by English forces in 1702. Picturesque brick streets and colonial churches remain from the city’s long history.

With proper safety measures, seniors often find traveling can be an enriching and rewarding experience. As you’re traveling to the best places to visit in the USA, you may find a new love for parts of our vast country.