If Atlanta traffic has you yearning to escape the big city, then TripAdvisor is your new best friend.
The travel site features hundreds of destination and experience reviews, and recommends 17 small towns throughout the United States — six of which are in the South.
Beaufort, South Carolina
Coastal Living magazine proclaimed Beaufort the nation's Happiest Seaside Town in 2013, citing the town’s "Low Country friendliness and urban refinement, antebellum architecture, exquisite local cuisine, and rich African-American heritage.”
Drive over the first weekend in May for the 2019 Taste of Beaufort Festival and Festival Run/Walk.
Black Mountain, North Carolina
Visitors can find plenty to do in “The Little Town That Rocks.” In addition to the galleries, craft stores, restaurants and breweries, Black Mountain boasts a Donald Ross designed golf course with one of the longest holes, a par 6, 747 yards. Visitors during the last week of June can enroll the kids in a summer camp so mom and dad have to time to themselves. “Under the Big Top” camp is for preschoolers, and “Dancing Through the Decades” is designed for elementary school kids. Find out more here.
Fernandina Beach, Florida
Fernandina Beach is on Amelia Island, and is the northernmost city on Florida’s Atlantic Coast. Visit during the Isle of Eight Flags Shrimp Festival and enjoy food, a parade, contests and more. This year’s festival is May 3-5. Fernandina Beach is known as the "Isle of 8 Flags" because it has had the flags of France, Spain, Great Britain, the Patriots of Amelia Island, the Green Cross of Florida, Mexico, the Confederate States of America and the United States flying over it since 1562.
Harpers Ferry, West Virginia
This quaint town at the junction of the Potomac and Shenandoah rivers is perfect for both nature and history lovers. Enjoy a history-rich hike through the national park, or plan your visit for a weekend when locals will re-enact events and offer lessons on the Civil War.
St. Augustine, Florida
The nation’s oldest city offers everything from beautiful beaches to living history museums. Every Wednesday from May 8 to Sept. 11, enjoy the city’s Music by the Sea series. A local musician and local restaurant are featured each week. The music is free, and the meal is just $10.
St. Simons Island, Georgia
A 2014 poll by Travel & Leisure named St. Simons “America’s Best Beach Town.” The stretch of Mallery Street that makes up Pier Village is less than a quarter mile long, but there are enough shops, bars and eateries to keep everyone happy. As the sun goes down, head to the pier to do some fishing, or just relax and watch the sunset. Don’t forget to visit the lighthouse and museum.
The other 11 small towns TripAdvisor recommends are:
- Camden, Maine
- Sitka, Alaska
- Stowe, Vermont
- Solvang, California
- Deadwood, South Dakota
- Big Sky, Montana
- Hanalei, Hawaii
- Telluride, Colorado
- Healdsburg, California
- Galena, Illinois
- Cannon Beach, Oregon
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