7 American Towns That Feel European - Full-Time Travel

7 American Towns That Feel European

7 American Towns That Feel European

A smattering of towns across the country offer the atmosphere and aesthetic of your favorite Euro destinations, right here in the USA. Some were founded by homesick immigrants hoping to recreate a little of what they loved about their own countries, while others were built with the express purpose of attracting tourists. Either way, a visit to one of these villages might just fill the Europe-shaped hole in your heart this year. 

Helen  |  by @leahgermain

If you miss Germany, try Helen (Georgia)

In 1968, local leaders of Helen, Georgia decided to save their flailing logging town by transforming it into a Bavarian-style alpine village. Their plan to entice tourists with gingerbread trim, old world towers, and ornate shuttered windows panned out – despite a teeny population of less than 1000 people, Helen is now the state’s third most visited destination. There’s plenty to do in Helen besides drinking beer and eating schnitzel in Bavarian pubs; the town is situated in the beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains, making it a perfect launchpad for hiking, river rafting, tubing, and even hot air ballooning. 

Tarpon Springs   |  by @photografiakam

 If you miss Greece, try Tarpon Springs (Florida)

Arriving in Tarpon Springs, Florida feels like you’ve been transported to the Mediterranean. The coastal town has the largest population of Greeks in the country, and its cobblestone streets are lined with psistarias and tavernas cooking up mouthwatering traditional dishes. After you’ve gorged on your fill of souvlaki, moussaka, and sticky, sweet baklava, head down to the Anclote River docks. This is where ships unload their bounty of natural sponge from the Gulf of Mexico – once Florida’s biggest export and the primary industry in Tarpon Springs. 

Coronado Heights , Lindsborg  |  @noemigoldenphotography

If you miss Sweden, try Lindsborg (Kansas)


The town of Lindsborg in Kansas was settled by a community of Swedes in 1869. As well as religion, education, and farming (Lindsborg is situated amid the Kansas wheat belt), the arts were a pillar of the settler’s new society – a legacy now evident in Lindsborg’s Wild Dala Herd (traditional carved dala horses, painted by local artists and dotted around the town), its thriving local galleries and an annual performance-filled midsummer’s festival. About 2.4 miles northwest of Lindsborg you’ll find the cultural-mishmash landmark of Coronado Heights, a stone building inspired by Sterling Castle in Scotland, but named after the Spanish conquistador Francisco Vasquez de Coronado. It’s a scenic spot for a picnic and one of the 8 Wonders of Kansas Geography.

Solvang  |  by @eme_ere

If you miss Denmark, try Solvang (California)

In 1911, three Danish immigrants teamed up and purchased 10,000 acres in California’s Santa Ynex Valley. They used it to build Solvang, or “sunny field,” a Danish village, complete with architecture and cultural traditions inspired by their homeland. Although only a small fraction of Solvang’s current population has Danish heritage, the town’s origins are still evident everywhere you look, from the replica of Copenhagen’s Little Mermaid statue to the bakeries selling aebleskiver (little balls made from pancake batter, dipped in raspberry jam). Another plus: Solvang is close to Santa Barbara County’s wine country.

St. Augustine

If you miss Spain, try St. Augustine (Florida)

The Floridian town of St. Augustine lays claim to the title: America’s oldest  continuously settled city. In 1513, the explorer Juan Ponce de León seized the territory on behalf of Spain, establishing St. Augustine as a primary northern outpost of the colonial empire. As a result, the entire place is dotted with historical Spanish architecture, including the Castillo de San Marcos fort, cathedral, and a restored 18th-century Spanish Quarter – a dream for hispanophiles. But St. Augustine has tons of modern appeal too, from live music at the St. Augustine Amphitheater to fancy “coffee labs” and artisanal cocktail bars. 


If you miss the Swiss Alps, try Vail (Colorado)

Thanks to its Alps-like terrain, Colorado was a training ground for soldiers practicing survival techniques during WWII. One of the men based there, Pete Siebert, later returned to shape Vail, a ski village modeled after the resort town of Zermatt, Switzerland. Pedestrianized streets wind past boutiques and restaurants housed inside decorative Swiss-style buildings – all with an alpine backdrop of snow-blanketed mountains. Siebert was also inspired by the resorts of St. Anton and Kitzbühel in Austria and Méribel, France, so you’ll be spoiled for choice when it comes to European-style après ski options. 

Sonoma County |  By Trent Erwin

If you miss Provence, France, try Sonoma County (California)

Though Sonoma has no historical ties to France, those familiar with the Provence wine region can’t help but draw parallels between the two. Like Provence, Sonoma’s rolling hills are filled with vineyards, orchards, vegetable farms and lavender gardens. Windy pathways are edged with herbs and giant oak trees, and you don’t have to cycle far to find restaurants serving coq au vin, garlicky escargots, and delicate pastries. Come golden hour, when the light is just right, it’s easy to imagine you’re in the French countryside. 

Book a trip with us + secure free VIP perks

In the latest episode of our podcast, author Meg Stafford joins her daughter on a high school project to Nepal and Bhutan researching happiness. It was a mother-daughter trip that pushed Meg outside of her comfort zone. She found herself avoiding avalanches while climbing to Annapurna basecamp and dodging paint at the Holi Festival in Kathmandu. It also gave her the opportunity to examine what it means for a parent to love and to let go. 🎧 Link in bio to listen! ...

18 0

Istanbul`s beauty lies in its historic architecture, the Bosphorus Strait`s scenic charm, vibrant neighborhoods, bustling markets, rich cuisine, Sufi traditions, captivating sunsets, street art, and its unique blend of cultures as a crossroads of Europe and Asia.

Reel: @samisrt

151 0

Sweeping mountain views of the Dolomites, beautiful wildflowers, and the most delicious dinner included with your stay at @hotel_dolomitenhof_u_altepost.

Reel: @tc.travels

257 3

In the latest episode of our podcast, Christine Winebrenner Irick, entrepreneur (@lotussojourns) and podcaster (@souloftravelpodcast) shares the story of her first big trip to Asia. In the midst of a period of rebirth, as her career and marriage were crumbling, Christine took inspiration from Alex Garland`s book, The Beach, and set off for Thailand with one good friend and no solid plans. What unfolded was a perspective-shifting experience that would, in Christine`s own words, "reveal who she would become." 🎧 Link in bio to listen!

#tttcm #traveltok #thetripthatchangedme #podcast #travelpodcast #thailand #travelthailand

41 0

Is it too early to think about Fall? Daydreaming of autumn in Patagonia.

Reel: @ramirotorrents

692 5

A lovely town on the French Riviera, Menton is known for its beauty, mild weather, colorful buildings, and lemon production. Enjoy beaches, history, and a laid-back vibe.

Reel: @sofikulin

101 0

Full-Time Travel`s sister brand, @kingdomgolf, invites you to a join special guests from the world of golf and entertainment, including Jack Nicklaus and Annika Sörenstam, for a luxury island experience. Play the incredible courses at Wexford and Palmetto Hall Golf and Country Club. ⛳️ Link in bio to reserve your spot at the 2023 Kingdom Cup on Thursday, September 21st thru Sunday, September 24th. ...

49 4

One night in the desert inspires a corporate worker to follow her dream of becoming a travel journalist.

In the latest episode of our podcast, The Trip That Changed Me, travel journalist, podcaster, and entrepreneur Yulia Denisyuk (@insearchofperfect) shares the story of a career-altering trip to Morocco. It`s an ode to the power of looking for signs when you need confirmation you`re on the right track. If you`re harboring a dream but it never quite feels like the right time to make the leap, this episode is for you. 🎧 Link in bio to listen!

#fulltimetravel #travelreel #ftt #thetripthatchangedme #podcast #travelpodcast

23 1

Submerged beneath the ocean waves or inside a kaleidoscopic aquarium, these rare underwater restaurants serve meals alongside a cast of aquatic creatures. Book a table and enjoy a whole new spin on dinner and a show. ...

121 1

Bike through the world`s largest salt flats in Salar de Uyuni, Bolivia.

Reel: @islayjoy

1113 8

Known for its stunning sand dunes that create a landscape resembling white sheets (lençóis in Portuguese), Lençóis Maranhenses is a unique national park located in the state of Maranhão, Brazil.

The park`s most iconic feature is the series of turquoise lagoons formed by rainwater that collects between the dunes. These lagoons are a stark contrast to the surrounding white sands and provide a refreshing oasis for visitors.

Reel: @melly_ba

1910 208

A travel entrepreneur rows 3,000 miles in 36 days, completely unsupported.

In the latest episode of our podcast, The Trip That Changed Me, travel entrepreneur, Jimmy Carroll (@jimmyalexandercarroll), shares his experiences of participating in the world’s toughest rowing race: the Talisker Whiskey Atlantic Challenge.

For 36 days, Jimmy and his three teammates rowed in alternating two-hour stints for 24 hours a day, through storms, sleep deprivation, and an unexpected attack from a 12-foot blue marlin. It was an experience that pushed them to the limit of their resilience but one that was also full of profound beauty and awe.

🎧 Link in bio to listen!

#thetripthatchangedme #fulltimetravel #ftt #travelpodcast #podcast #jimmycarroll

114 7