The coronavirus pandemic still affects the travel industry, and specific COVID-19 limitations exist in different parts of the world. Are you looking to take vacation anyways? Maybe to one of the US cities that feel like visiting Europe? Without the hours of travel time, transport yourself to a destination with all the ambience, beauty, and romance of Europe. Consider visiting a US city that will make you feel like you’re on vacation in another country! This post will introduce you to 20 US cities that feel like visiting Europe. These American cities offer a flavour of Europe, complete with culture, international cuisine, and stunning landscapes – without leaving the country.
1- New Orleans, Louisiana
The French Quarter in New Orleans is also known as Vieux Carré (pronounced “voo car-ray”), which means “Old Square.” This is because both Spanish and French architecture can be found in the city’s oldest areas. New Orleans, however, is immersed in French culture beyond its architecture. A visit to NOLA is about as near to France as the United States gets, from the French bread used in the city’s famous po’boy sandwiches to street names and holiday celebrations like Mardi Gras and Bastille Day.
The city’s overall feel and layout are unmistakably European. It’s walkable for a city of this size. Many homes are close to essential services such as dry cleaners, restaurants, and shops. It’s also one of the few American cities to drink alcoholic beverages on the street, a European tradition.
If you are looking for an affordable place to stay that lives up to the reputation of Louisiana, consider Homewood Suites, especially if you are travelling to Louisiana as a family. Enjoy visiting one of the best US cities that feel like visiting Europe.
2- St. Augustine, Florida
Is it the state of Florida or the city of Barcelona? When visiting St. Augustine, you will pleasantly get surprised in the northeastern section of the Sunshine State.
In 1513, a group of Spanish explorers led by Juan Ponce de Leon arrived in Florida, believing they had discovered the fabled Fountain of Youth in St. Augustine, America’s oldest continuously inhabited European colony. Don Pedro Menendez de Aviles was brought back to populate the land by Spain. He became governor and founded St. Augustine in 1565, long before the English established their first colonies in Virginia.
In today’s Old City, tiny lanes wind along the grand square and the Castillo de San Marcos, demonstrating the Spanish influence.
For an ultimate yet affordable place to stay in St. Augustine, visit The Cozy Inn.
3- Leavenworth, Washington
To attract tourism, the citizens of Leavenworth converted their city into a Bavarian-style village in the 1960s. That goal is still alive and thriving nearly 60 years later. It’s surprisingly easy to imagine yourself in Germany, with Alpine architecture, a mountain backdrop, and plenty of sauerkraut and bratwurst.
One of the best and most affordable hotels in Leavenworth is Hampton Inn & Suites. This hotel doesn’t empty your wallet yet surprises you with its Bavarian-style decor.
If you want to visit one of the best US cities that feel like visiting Europe, Leavenworth is calling you.
4- Santa Barbara, California
If you dream of visiting the Mediterranean, notably the French Riviera, Santa Barbara is the place to go. The sunny beach, architecture, and people will transport you to that remote location you’ve been dreaming about in recent months.
You should visit the County Courthouse and Shoreline Park first while you’re there. Then head over to Cold Spring Tavern for a cool drink. To add to the European feel, choose an Old Fashioned – it’s a classic choice.
If you are thinking of visiting Santa Barbara but don’t want to break the bank, book a room at Avania Inn. This hotel is one of the top-rated hotels in Santa Barbara, and it is an affordable option at the same time! So then, what are you waiting for? Head to Santa Barbara to visit one of the best US cities that feel like visiting Europe.
5- Kansas City, Missouri
“What do Kansas City and Spain have to do with each other?” you might wonder. — yet it is correct!
The planners of the Country Club Plaza were inspired by the marketplaces of Spain, notably Seville when they began construction in 1912. Designers travelled to Spain to imitate buildings that would all people wanting to live near the plaza and visit it.
The plaza, complete with a tower in the style of the 12th-century Moors, cost $5 million (a vast amount at the turn of the twentieth century). In 1967, Kansas City and Seville became sister cities, and the Giralda belfry was dedicated.
For a good yet affordable hotel in Kansas City, visit Best Western Plus Seville.
6- Moab, Utah
The red sandstone of Petra and the neighbouring Jordanian desert have a lot in common with Moab, although being on opposite sides of the planet. Indeed, some claim that the city was named after a historical kingdom in Jordan. You can walk under towering arches, inspect dinosaur prints, and explore petroglyph sites in modern-day Moab.
Best Western Plus Canyonlands Inn is one of Trip Advisor’s Travellers’ choice hotels in Moab with relatively excellent prices.
7- Charleston, South Carolina
Charleston combines the allure of a European getaway with Southern warmth. You’ll come across antique churches, unique cafes, and galleries as you walk down its cobblestone streets.
If you only visit one city in South Carolina, make it this one, and you may do so at any time of year, thanks to the moderate climate. Even in the winter, temperatures rarely fall below 50 degrees. What’s even better? All of this may be had without paying the price of an overseas flight.
For a comfortable and top-rated hotel in Charleston, try Town & Country Inn and Suites. It will enlighten your visit to one of the best US cities that feel like visiting Europe.
8- New Glarus, Wisconsin
If you can’t travel to Switzerland, New Glarus, Wisconsin, is the next best thing. The community, founded in 1845 as a colony of Swiss immigrants, has kept its alpine elegance and beauty.
The community has earned the moniker “America’s Little Switzerland” for highlighting its Swiss history via customs, architecture, cuisine, and traditions. Its tourism agency even says that yodelling and alphorns can be heard at any time.
If you are unsure where to stay in New Glarus, GrandStay Hotel & Suites is the answer! Enjoy your visit to one of the most beautiful US cities that feel like visiting Europe.
9- Holland, Michigan
There’s a reason this aptly named town resembles Holland: it was founded in 1847 by Dutch immigrants and is home to residents who take great pleasure in their heritage. The city, located on the beaches of Lake Michigan, is home to a genuine Dutch windmill, a prominent red lighthouse, and a world-famous tulip festival.
One of the top-rated and most affordable hotels in Holland, Michigan, is Best Western Plus Holland.
10- Boston, Massachusetts
New England has retained many of its early British settlers’ roots, and it shows. A stroll through Boston’s historic area reveals cobblestone pathways and elegant architecture that will transport you to the United Kingdom. Likewise, many of the cities in the metro area are named after English cities.
Although Massachusetts’ weather isn’t always as merciful as other areas, snow can be a lot of fun. Take a stroll around the north end of the riverfront in the spring or summer to people-watch, then visit the Public Garden, America’s first public botanical garden.
DoubleTree by Hilton is one of the best-rated hotels in Boston that is valuable at the same time.
11- Vail, Colorado
Vail’s upscale Swiss-style hamlet strives to accommodate visitors who yearn to visit Switzerland’s famous slopes, especially during peak ski season.
After a day of skiing in Colorado’s Rockies, restaurants will have a steamy pot of Swiss fondue waiting for you. You won’t be missing out on anything if you enjoy apres-ski by a fire in the charming alpine village.
The hotels are mainly on the pricey side in Vail, similar to Switzerland!! But still, some hotels like Highline Vail – a DoubleTree by Hilton, are both charming and affordable hotels to visit in Vail, Colorado. So enjoy your visit to one of the most Swiss-like US cities that feel like visiting Europe.
12- Solvang, California
The city of Santa Ynez in the Santa Ynez Valley is so Danish that the Danish monarchy has visited four times. The timber-framed buildings, windmills, and reproduction of Copenhagen’s renowned Rundetaarn in Solvang make you feel like you’ve walked into another country — especially after a few glasses of wine from one of the area’s 120+ wineries.
For a Danish-style hotel on the budget-friendly side, visit Svendsgaard’s Danish Lodge.
13- Pella, Iowa
“A Touch of Holland” is the tagline for this city. If you ever have the opportunity to visit, you’ll see why. The culture and architecture of Pella, Iowa, are heavily inspired by that of Western Europe. Its vibrantly coloured buildings, windmill, and strategically positioned canal are reminiscent of a Dutch town.
Like Holland, Michigan, Pella has notable Tulip Time celebrations throughout the community. Early May is usually the ideal time to visit because parades, special museum tours, and exhibitions keep you occupied for a week.
Visit Super 8 by Wyndham Pella for a joyful yet affordable place to stay in Pella, Iowa, one of the most beautiful US cities that feel like visiting Europe.
14- Frankenmuth, Michigan
German is the most common ancestry group in the United States, with 49 million people reporting German ancestry. As a result, it should be no surprise that a few communities around the country have German heritage — and the architecture to match.
Begin your German adventure in Michigan’s Frankenmuth, which derives its name from a Bavarian kingdom and means “courage of the Franconians.” The town, which Germans founded in 1845, has German eateries serving classic sauerbraten and spaetzle, as well as German architecture and culture, and, of course, Oktoberfest.
Every year, the town holds the World Expo of Beer, which celebrates the love of beer.
Frankenmuth Motel is an affordable and top-rated place to stay when visiting Frankenmuth, Michigan.
15- Chimayó, New Mexico
With an adobe church with dirt floors claimed to have therapeutic abilities, El Santuario de Chimayó, is located in Chimayó (40 minutes from Santa Fe). The Spanish built the structure in 1813, but it has long been a worship site for Hispanics, Native Americans, and other people of faith. It is now known as “the most important Catholic pilgrimage place in the United States,” with almost 300,000 tourists per year.
There are not many options for places to stay in Chimayó, New Mexico. However, Casa Escondida Bed & Breakfast is a decent and affordable place to stay when visiting one of the most fabulous US cities that feel like visiting Europe.
16- Tarpon Springs, Florida
The rich heritage of Tarpon Springs originated in the early 1900s when sponge divers emigrated here from Greece to participate in the newly booming sponge industry. To this day, the city remains deeply influenced by Greek culture. Take your pick of Greek food, as there are plenty of homestyle restaurants with recipes that taste as if they’ve been perfected through generations.
If you want more than just traditional eateries, visit while the annual Opa Palooza happens at the Historic Sponge Docks of Tarpon (usually in June). Meet locals and fully immerse yourself in the local culture. You can also visit the St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Cathedral all year round — it was modelled in part after the Byzantine-style Hagia Sophia in Constantinople.
Despite being a little pricier than most hotels we recommend in this post, you will not regret staying at Fairfield Inn & Suites, one of the top-rated hotels in Tarpon Springs, Florida.
17- Fredericksburg, Texas
Fredericksburg, named for a Bavarian prince, was founded by Germans in 1846, and German-speaking citizens can still be found today.
The city is proud of its history and has kept the architecture of its town, which includes a cobblestone Marktplatz that hosts the yearly Oktoberfest and other annual festivities.
Many local restaurants and breweries provide German-style beers all year, notably Altstadt Brewery (pictured), which prides itself on having an “Old World atmosphere.”
Country Inn & Cottages has some of the unique cottages and rooms for staying at Fredericksburg, Texas.
18- Ouray, Colorado
This tiny mountain town in southwestern Colorado, pronounced “your-ray,” has been dubbed the “Switzerland of America” because of its beauty. While gazing out at the surrounding mountains, you can stay in a Swiss-style chalet and relax in one of the town’s natural hot spring pools.
Beaumont hotel is one of the Travellers’ choice hotels on TripAdvisor, located in Ouray, Colorado.
19- Helen, Georgia
Helen, Georgia is another destination that will transport you to a small mountain hamlet. The state’s “Little Bavaria” is this southern town tucked beside the Chattahoochee River in the Blue Ridge Mountains. If you want souvenirs, you will appreciate that the neighbourhood has over 200 specialty shops to pick from.
If you prefer the great outdoors, there’s something here for you as well. Take a hot air balloon ride, float down the river in an inner tube, or stay in a rustic cabin and roast marshmallows in the evenings. But, of course, it would be best if you witnessed it for yourself.
Country Inn & Suites by Radisson is one of the best places to stay when visiting Helen, Georgia.
20- US cities that feel like visiting Europe Hermann, Missouri
When German immigrants arrived in this small Missouri town in 1837, they brought a culture that lives on today.
The annual Wurstfest includes grilled sausages and German music, a sausage-making competition, and even a Weiner dog derby. Oktoberfest, of course, takes place in the autumn.
Hermann’s Tin Mill Brewery even produces authentic German beer.
Captain Wohlt Inn is one of the top-rated hotels in Germann, Missouri.
16 thoughts on “US Cities That Feel Like Visiting Europe”
Thanks for this! I will look forward to visiting these cities!🌟
My pleasure. Glad to know you liked this post.
Thank you for your comment! 🙂
It looks like a lot of places are trying to promote tourism because of financial losses from the pandemic. Although, sometimes you wonder if it’s their own silly fault because they let COVID-19 run through their communities because of too many Covidiots. True story and make a long story short, my Dad came to Calgary last October because my Mum had a serious illness. I managed to get my Dad on Mum’s visitor list and explained the situation to screening and the ward. I kid you not, I saw them relax when I said he was coming from the SF Bay Area. One of them said, “It’s not like he’s coming from Texas or Florida!” Just goes to show how people are more aware of local COVID-19 situations than we realize
Wow! I had no idea about Canadians’ awareness of the Covid situation in the US.
I’m glad you could make it happen for your father to join you guys. The Canadian bureaucracy is no joke! Good job! 🙂
Thank you for your comment.
My problems with it aren’t over yet though. Getting my Dad to come to help us out when we really needed him was a win though
I know! It took me a long time to get my PR in Canada. It is a lengthy process! When you get your PR you feel like it’s over but wait until it comes to filling our the citizenship forms! Ugh!
I can’t even…
I know it is hard and overwhelming to deal with all this when all you want is a peaceful life in a normal environment with no extremists! I am sure you’ll figure it out.
I live in Alberta, the Texas of Canada. There are extremists here, even though I don’t notice them as often. I know I will get there, whatever “there” is. Just have to be patient
That’s how everyone here in BC talks about Albertans, but I think they are a minority because I’ve never seen a single extremist Albertan here (maybe they simply stay there! lol) but in general, I’ve been trained since childhood not to believe stereotypes!
Now that I have actually lived in Alberta for a year, there are certain truths about it. Read my post that I did about medical emergencies while abroad. I am not lying there
Sure thing. I’ll read it tonight.
Thank you for your comment! 🙂
Also, after my Mum was in the hospital, I did get some insights on the whole Covidiot situation in Alberta, even though she didn’t have COVID-19. Quite the wakeup call!
Great post. I’ve visited Fredericksburg and Boston. I have yet to visit the remaining 18. New Glarus would be the closest, I look forward to traveling there!
Wow! How did you like Fredericksburg?
We loved it. So quaint, cute little shops and restaurants. Nice architecture.