Whether you're a city-slicker or rural native at heart, it’s near impossible for anyone to resist the undeniable charm of a quaint small town, be it the handful of mom-and-pop businesses that you can’t find anywhere else or the completely idyllic scenery. And what most of these provincial paradises lack in size and population, they more than make up for in their quintessentially old-school main streets, some spanning several blocks in the heart of each mini metropolis. Lucky for you, we took a look at some of the best small town main streets in the U.S., each boasting picturesque ice cream stores, eateries, antique shops, bed-and-breakfasts, and even special annual events. Plan your next family getaway to any of these homey locales across the country—from Colorado to North Carolina and everywhere in between— because once you take a look at these cozy spots, you’ll want to add them all to your travel bucket list ASAP.
Wake up each morning during your trip to Galena in , an 1850s mansion with "breathtaking views," according to the . Spend your day picking up fresh produce from the , which takes place every Saturday from May to October. Stop by one of the many before sitting down to a homemade pasta dinner from locally owned
Take a break from the hustle and bustle of Baltimore and visit Fells Point, . Arrive in style on a water taxi, which is a great way to see the area. After checking out local record shop, , shuck some fresh oysters at , which hosts a popular happy hour Monday through Friday.
Settled by the Dutch in the 1600s, this art-imitates-life Main Street reads more country western than east coast (especially with the 1852 inn-and-supper club, the ). Sling back tuna melts and crab cakes on the patio of as you recount memories from yesteryear and plot your day's adventures. As you wander through vintage shops and pass by old train tracks, mighty mountains infuse your view with vivid greens in one of the finest undiscovered gems.
Get your day started on Charlottesville's eight-block row lined with restaurants, shops, and mighty oak trees. The architecture of the buildings found on the Downtown Mall is charming with a distinct southern and historic feel, in a region that several of our Founding Fathers have called home (Thomas Jefferson, James Monroe, and James Madison). For tantalizing eats try , , or (which offers 60 taps with self-serve pouring).
On July 4th is , the biggest Independence Day celebration in the Garden State, with enough live music, fireworks, and carnival-like entertainment to make your head spin in summertime euphoria. Or, come to town for the , a major horse-racing event you won't soon forget. There's also adorably inviting shops, like for homemade Italian Ice, and restaurants such as with a fun cabana scene and corn hole at the beach bar.
Bring comfortable shoes, ladies and gents. Scope out the , grab a bite at (where Moravian sugar cake, bread, cookies, and more still come to life in a 200-year-old, wood-fired oven), and indulge in a meal with staff donning traditional Moravian attire at . Warning: drop us off at the incredible craftsmen shop, , and you may not get us back for a few hours.
No trip to North Myrtle Beach would be complete without wandering Main Street and reliving that childhood vacation high on this nostalgia-imbued strip. Of course, there's also the adult version of fun: grabbing a blanket and holing up where road melds into sand and enjoying live music in the ban shell for . The next day, you'll likely need some hair of the dog at and a burger from . Or, you know, a restorative dip in the ocean.
A Modern-Day Mayberry indeed. We're loving this coastal town's tree-studded Main Street that brimming with boutiques, galleries, and eateries perched over Fishing Bay. You're going to want to swing by to steal a moment of blissful solitude and lush views. It's always a good time for sweets, so be sure to hit up for insanely delectable treats. For historic digs, check into which has been operating for over 100 years.
Texas, you never let us down! Around 20 miles north of San Antonio, the "Hill Country Mile" stretch of Main Street is where it's at. Beeline to (a bistro, boutique, and bookstore tucked inside of a handsome historic building) followed by a visit to . And when you're hankering for a culture fix, check out and buy some treasure to bring your Hill Country memories home.
Summer Sundays are practically made for the where live music, craft artisans, and delicious food vendors abound. Loaded bloody mary in hand, explore the festival by foot on historic Main Street for a day that will linger in your memories fondly for years to come. If you're not in town for the market, the strip still bleeds with mountain town charm. Grab some grub on the year-round heated rooftop patio at and then navigate your way through art galleries, cafes and boutiques. Shouting distance from Main Street is the famed that still feels secluded from the bustling downtown thanks to its spectacular mountain views.
It's hard not to fall in love with this under-the-radar prize. Sip on root beer at (yes, that's it's name) or swing by the soda fountain at for a chocolate malt or lemon soda. Then, ride your sugar rush with a walk at the , a riverfront walkway, pedestrian bridge, and airy plaza that's bordering the Wabash River. Art lover? Plan a June trip around , where you'll be spoiled with live art demonstrations, pop-up performances, fireworks, and more.
Come for the Cajun food at , stay for the plethora of . Adequately stuffed, marvel at the art deco Evangeline Theater (now the , this spot is now on the National Register of Historic Places) before finding your way to , a striking plantation home. In the core of Cajun Country, you'll find the fresh air and stunning views as revitalizing as the welcoming locals.
There's more to this impressive avenue than Top Chef contestant Bryan Voltaggio's much adored restaurant, (though do yourself a favor and book a reservation). On Market Street, you'll find everything from to , which features 400 kinds of vintage soda that can be paired with locally-made ice cream for an unforgettable float. Bonus: Market Street connects to Carroll Creek Park, a linear park reminiscent of San Antonio's famed Riverwalk.
You know a city's not joking around with its Main Street when it wins the 2016 award for from the National Trust for Historic Preservation. Between all the good shopping and eating, catch a show at the beautifully restored . Southern Appalachian charm chimes palpably here, too, with cool events throughout the year like the festival and the Southeast's largest bicycle event, .
As locals know, there's seriously no bad views in Telluride. And as you stand upon this that hangs below the Rocky Mountains' imposing peaks and wide open sky, it's hard to disagree. In the winter, enjoy seeing skiers walk along this road to nearby lifts. In the summer, block parties are a'brewin', with hits including a and a New Orleans-style Second Line Parade for the . Get to know some of the 2,369 warm and hospitable locals, and you'll see why this is a small town with a big reputation.
Midwestern loveliness beams brightly here, in an area known as the Arts and Design District. Pose with the life-sized statues (there are 17 in total, ranging from a violinist to a policeman) for some fun photo opps and hop into for some quirky jewelry. Next up, chow down at , a library turned into a restaurant, and liquor up at , a tasting room that gives away half its profits to charity. Some of our favorite fests: , (a crazy-cool car show) and .
Once upon a time, you dropped us off at , and with its spectacular collection of New England specialty food, we decided we never wanted to leave. When you finally pry us away, we're moseying on over to and , a fantastic old-timey station. Once you're done taking in the quintessentially New England white-steepled church and mountain scenery, sling back the fun at , where you select your favorite vino and create a custom label.
We're more than a little jealous of folks who live in Staunton year round. As visitors, we love diving into a cup of gelato at , grabbing a coffee or beer and hanging in the garden at , and treasure hunting at . Come nightfall, Main Street hums with energy, thanks to spots like farm-to-table restaurant and .
After recovering from a massive flood, Ellicott City has rebounded and rebuilt their Main Street, reaching vibrant new heights. Running parallel to the Tiber River and cutting straight through the historic district, it's hard to decide where to start. Here are our picks: First, get your flow on at which places a strong emphasis on sustainable and green initiatives. Then, drool over the loot at , a local vintage-inspired lifestyle store named for the owner's grandmother. If you need a pick-me-up delight in , a Victorian tea room serving up a traditional high tea experience.
Y'all, we're totally obsessed with celebrations and the , both on this supremely happenin' street. Embrace childhood glee at , where the penny candy barrels certainly strike a chord with our heart. Or, get your crunch on at , where the bloody mary and dill popcorn are both unreal. For some adult fun, the makes one heck of a moonshine—with a "" that hits the spot, too.
Aspen may have big-city culture, but its old-timey Main Street exudes all the charms of country Western days of old. The is an eight-week festival with more than 800 classical music students in town, teachers from Juilliard and other institutions, and some of the most renowned classical musicians in the world. There are more than 300 events during the festival, from opera to chamber to full orchestral to master classes.
Some of the perks of visiting this quaint street include , for a paint night or jewelry workshop, and, of course, lobster at , which has a fun deck scene that overlooks Rockland Harbor. No trip to Rockland would be complete without a visit to for a film, live music, or performance. And before your Main Street adventures conclude, a cold one at is a must, especially at night when the pub typically has trivia, open mics, cribbage tournaments, or live music.
Ah, there's nothing quite like the welcoming breeze and laid-back vibe of Cape Cod. Here, you can hit up all the mom-and-pop shops you want, get a scoop of some of the best ice cream in the country, and slurp up some stellar clam chowder at beloved staple, . Port Summer Nights on summer Wednesdays run through Labor Day and pulse with the energy of live music, lively vendors, stellar food, and that unmistakable strain of summertime magic on the Cape.
After a dip in a rejuvenating mineral bath at , your energy will be through the roof for scoping out this upbeat boulevard. Grab a pick-me-up at before poking around , an indie book shop with lots of stellar gifts. Even if you're not hungry—yet—grab a Tallulah to-go at and bike 20 or so minutes to . There, you can plop down at a picnic table beside an awe-inspiring spring and read the afternoon away. Ready to call it a day? Retreat to the , which is conveniently situated within walking distance of both town and the park.
Population? Oh, 28. Small town Main Streets don't get much better than this remote, former Alaskan mining town. Enjoy the allure of McCarthy at the picturesque . Wake up restored and ready to tackle a day stumbling into mom-and-pop shops on this central drag or exploring Wrangell-St. Elias National Park and Preserve, which the town is contained inside of. Once you're done hiking for the day, try for a celebratory beer and much-deserved garlic curly fries.