Top destinations in the USA that feel like Europe

Most years in July and August, thousands and thousands of Americans journey to Europe for their summer season holidays. As COVID-19 travel restrictions proceed to shift, this summer season may as soon as once more see transatlantic journey battle to return to pre-pandemic ranges.

Instead, Americans hoping to hop throughout the pond may wish to contemplate visiting locations in the USA that have a distinctly European taste however will not be topic to ever-changing pandemic journey guidelines. Visiting certainly one of these destinations in the USA will make you feel like you’re hundreds of miles away from dwelling, even should you’re solely touring for just a few hours. Here are the greatest locations to take a look at in 2022. 

Leavenworth’s Bavarian village has the Cascade Mountains as an Alps-style backdrop © Connie Coleman / Getty Images

If you like Bavaria, Germany … attempt Leavenworth, Washington

The beer is Bavarian. The timber-framed buildings are Bavarian. Even the seasonal celebrations, like Oktoberfest, are Bavarian. The solely factor not Bavarian about Leavenworth, Washington, is its location, although the snow-capped Cascade Range surrounding the city does look strikingly just like the Bavarian Alps. The mimicry is intentional. In the Nineteen Sixties, after dealing with years of financial turmoil, Leavenworth determined to reinvent itself as a vacationer magnet. Taking a cue from the pure surroundings, the group labored collectively to mannequin itself after the mountain villages discovered outdoors Munich. Their plan labored. Today, Leavenworth attracts thousands and thousands of holiday makers in search of a kitschy slice of German life and a base for exploring the Wenatchee National Forest.


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Flowers along Highway 1 near Big Sur, California
The colourful shoreline on California’s Highway 1 feels like you are cruising alongside the Mediterranean © Kan Khampanya /500px

If you like Croatia’s Dalmatian Coast … attempt California’s Pacific Coast Highway

Take a magical street journey on California’s Highway 1

Big Sur‘s rugged shores and climbing trails give option to San Simeon, the place Hearst Castle rises like a mirage from the ocean’s summertime fog. This Mediterranean Revival mansion is the definition of grandeur. For extra architectural jewels, head south to Old Mission Santa Barbara, an 18th-century relic that conjures pictures of the historic Roman Empire. Exciting although these architectural websites could also be, do not forget to maintain your eyes on the street – the greatest views on the PCH are the ones outdoors your windshield. 

Exterior of the Breakers mansion in Newport, Rhode Island
The Breakers mansion in Newport, Rhode Island, was constructed by Cornelius Vanderbilt © bodhichita / Shutterstock

If you like the French Riviera … attempt Newport, Rhode Island

Rhode Island‘s ritziest summer season escape boasts sufficient Gilded Age glamour to provide Louis XIV a run for his cash. In the 1850s, American enterprise tycoons began developing palatial summer season cottages in Newport, impressed by the Beaux-Arts mansions, Italian Renaissance villas and Elizabethan manor homes their rich homeowners undoubtedly ogled whereas traipsing round Europe. Today, Bellevue Avenue – the road the place the elite constructed their trip houses – feels like the American reply to Versailles. 

Old World opulence is not Newport’s solely jaw-dropping function both. The metropolis has a waterfront cliff stroll harking back to the French Riviera and a fleet of recent yachts giant sufficient to make Cannes feel quaint. It’s no surprise the wealthy and well-known by no means left this seaside port city.

The courtyard of Flagler College designed in Spanish Renaissance style in St. Augustine, Florida
Admire Flagler College’s Spanish Renaissance structure in St. Augustine © Sean Pavone / Shutterstock

If you like Spain … attempt St. Augustine, Florida

St. Augustine holds the distinction of being America’s oldest constantly occupied metropolis established by Europeans. Founded by Spanish settlers in 1565, this seaside metropolis nonetheless bears the stamp of its imperial dad or mum. From the Spanish Renaissance structure by Gilded Age railroad tycoon Henry Flagler to the Spanish colonial buildings courting again to the 1700s and Castillo San Marcos – a Seventeenth-century fort overlooking the ocean – a lot of St Augustine appears simply like the historic middle of a Mediterranean metropole. For these in touring by way of time, St. Augustine’s Colonial Quarter gives an immersive have a look at life in the former Spanish colony, replete with Disney World-worthy reenactments. 

A lap swimmer at Ouray Hot Springs in Ouray, Colorado
Swim laps at Ouray Hot Springs beneath the San Juan Mountains © Chip Kalback / Lonely Planet

If you like Switzerland … attempt Ouray, Colorado

If Ouray’s out of doors choices do not take your breath away, the elevation – at 8000ft above sea stage – definitely will, which is strictly why locals name it the Switzerland of America. The San Juan Mountains flanking the river valley scrape the sky simply like The Matterhorn, and the mineral-rich geothermal waters at Ouray Hot Springs are as therapeutic as these surrounding St Moritz. Seasonal actions corresponding to climbing and mountaineering imply that the solely iconically Swiss factor lacking is a woman named Heidi herding sheep alongside the hillside.

Panorama of a vineyard with an oak tree in Sonoma County, California
Vineyards and wineries in Sonoma County offer you a style of Italy © Gary Saxe / Shutterstock

If you like Tuscany, Italy … attempt Sonoma County, California

In Tuscany, the option to vacationers’ hearts is thru their style buds. The Italian countryside’s provide of wineries, sustainable farms and agritourism outposts have welcomed foodies to the space’s rolling inexperienced hills for hundreds of years, leaving guests buzzed not solely on booze but additionally its magnificence. While northern California’s wine business is simply a pair hundred years previous, Sonoma County tailored the better of Tuscany for his or her equally bucolic backdrop. With greater than 400 wineries and a rising roster of family-run farms that supply excursions, lessons and trip stays, Americans want solely to drive an hour north of San Francisco for Italian taste with Californian aptitude. Don’t miss the space’s first premium vineyard – Buena Vista – a California Historic Landmark based in 1857. 

People dancing to music on a street corner in the French Quarter in New Orleans, Louisiana
A two-man band performs on a nook in the French Quarter in New Orleans © Kris Davidson / Lonely Planet

If you like France and Spain … attempt New Orleans, Louisiana

Between the late Seventeenth century and the early nineteenth century, French and Spanish imperialists traded management of Louisiana’s most well-known port city, leaving an indelible mark on the metropolis’s cultural heritage. Between biting into beignets in the French Quarter’s open-air, European-style market and lusting over the Spanish-inspired iron-lace balconies that adorn the metropolis’s iconic houses, New Orleans may first feel like a duplicate of the international locations that first colonized the space. On nearer inspection, it is not so easy to label the Big Easy. From epicurean curiosities like jambalaya to musical stylings like jazz, New Orleans is a cultural melting pot with so many Cajun, Creole and Native American influences that the metropolis’s energetic spirit feels like a rustic unto itself.

Here and now: New Orleans

Safety suggestions and restrictions throughout a pandemic can change quickly. Lonely Planet recommends that vacationers all the time examine with native authorities for up-to-date steering earlier than traveling during Covid-19.

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