Carmel, California, is home to some of the most beautiful beaches on the West Coast, and in the world in general. For those looking for an oceanfront wining and dining experience, Carmel has it all. Stroll barefoot down the white sands of Carmel Beach, and visit the many art galleries to see what the area’s artists have to offer. Point Lobos is a must-see and offers views of some of the area’s wildlife, including sea otters that often pop up to play in front of visitors. The architecture, including the fairytale (Hansel and Gretel) cottages, is something else unique to the town.
If you’re looking for nightlife, there are much better areas in California, although you’ll definitely be able to find a great martini and some live music. If you’re looking for the best boutique shopping and scenic walking, however, this may be the perfect small town for you!
Former President Dwight D. Eisenhower once said, “the proudest thing I can claim is that I am from Abilene,” which the town proudly has displayed on its official website. There is now a presidential library and museum in the town named in his honor. It also happens to be located in his childhood home.
Another spot worth visiting if you’re in Abilene is the Seelye Mansion. The home was built in 1905, and features 25 rooms, with original Thomas Edison lighting fixtures installed! Those who take the tour have nothing but wonderful things to say about it. “It costs $10, but it’s worth every penny,” one reviewer said. Another followed up with, “absolutely wonderful experience!”
Rhode Island: Jamestown
25 miles south of Providence sits a quaint little seaside city called Jamestown. It’s located, for the most part, on Conanicut Island, and is known for its beautiful coastal scenery. Take a boat or ferry ride past the famous three-and-a-half-story Clingstone “House on the Rocks,” and check out the Watson Farm for an extra dose of town history.
Chompist Charlie’s, along with several other restaurants in town, serves up delicious, New England seafood, including things like lobster rolls, crab cakes, and chowder. Newport is just a short distance away, as well, where you can spend the night as a lighthouse keeper at the Rose Island Lighthouse.
New York: Cooperstown
If you’re a baseball fan, you definitely need to visit Cooperstown, New York. Located in Otsego, the town is home to the National Baseball Hall of Fame. Outdoorsy types will love the area, too, especially during wintertime, when ice fishing and fat biking prevail. Stay along the water’s edge in one of the many hotels or cabins. Or, if you’re more adventurous and want the full experience, skip the hotel and opt for camping instead.
If you have zero interest in sports, there is still plenty to keep you busy in Cooperstown. The Fenimore Art Museum is worth a visit, as is the Farmer’s Museum. Staying at The Inn at Cooperstown gives you the full small-town experience if you’re planning to spend the night. No matter which part of the state you’re in, no trip to New York would be complete without at least one giant slice of extra greasy, foldable pizza. Bocca Osteria has plenty of it, along with other Italian favorites like spaghetti and calzones.
New Hampshire: Meredith
Another small lakeside vacation town, Meredith attracts visitors all year long with its beautiful scenery and attractions. The town’s air is full of negative ions, and makes for a very relaxing experience, thanks to its location on Lake Winnipesaukee. The lake constantly makes lists as being the best in the state and is the perfect area for enjoying the outdoors.
Church Landing at Mill Falls offers scenic lodging with private balconies facing the lake. And, if you’re looking for some homecooked comfort food, stop by Hart’s Turkey Farm for a warm turkey dinner, complete with stuffing and mashed potatoes, just like Thanksgiving.