Discover local history, bring out the inner adventurer in you, and make memorable travel experiences with friends and family in these 7 fun small towns during your next road trip.
1. Oatman, AZ
On the historic Route 66 in northwestern Arizona, about 29 miles from Kingman, 223 miles from Phoenix, and 498 miles from Albuquerque is Oatman. Once a prosperous gold mining town, Oatman today has just around 100 people but a street full of wild burros. To be precise, there are 2,000 roaming in the tiny town. Oatman has a wild west vibe, perhaps the best thing about Oatman besides being part of the historic Route 66, are the kitschy shops and staged gunfights.
2. Cassville, WI
Cassville, a river town by the Mississippi River in Wisconsin, is 105 miles from Madison and 203 miles from Chicago. It was the gateway for pioneers and miners when it was established in 1827. Cassville is one of the oldest towns in Wisconsin.
History abounds in Cassville. There’s a re-created 1900s Wisconsin village called Stonefield Village of Historic Site, and if you prefer to venture into the woods, check out Nelson Dewey State Park, located close to Stonefield.
3. Sandpoint, Idaho
Located by Lake Pend Oreille and surrounded by three mountains, Sandpoint is the place for you if you’re seeking a small town with lots of year-round outdoor activities. Skiing, mountain biking, hiking, fishing, water sports, are just some of the activities the whole family could enjoy, depending on when you visit. Take a look at a long list provided by Sandpoint.
If you like craft beer, you’re in for a treat in Sandpoint. Check out Matchwood Brewery, MickDuff’s Beer Hall, and Laughing Dog Brewing. This resort town is 72 miles from Spokane and 422 miles from Boise.
4. Auburn, NY
Art and history enthusiasts will find Auburn fascinating. The Willard Memorial Chapel has the rarest Tiffany lamps, stained glass windows and artwork by Louis C. Tiffany of Tiffany Glass and Decoration Co. He was the son of Charles Lewis Tiffany, who established the world-renowned Tiffany and Co. in 1837.
Abraham Lincoln’s Secretary of State William Seward was from Auburn, and his home built in 1816 on 33 South Street was designated a National Historic Landmark in 1964. Another prominent historical figure, Harriet Tubman, had lived in Auburn and her house, and the surrounding area is now the Harriet Tubman National Historic Park.
5. Anna Maria Island, FL
If you like emerald green waters and sugar-white sand beaches, without the crowd and the commercialism, you’re going to enjoy Anna Maria Island. Anna Maria Island has the Old Florida charm, laid back atmosphere, suitable for an unhurried visit. Best of all, this is an unpretentious beach town, and flip flops are accepted everywhere you go.
Anna Maria Island is a barrier island, just seven miles long. On a quiet day, you may see dolphins frolicking in their natural habitat – the Gulf of Mexico. And if you like to see more, get on a tour with Anna Maria Island Dolphin Tours.
6. Camden, Maine
Camden is the best small town for those who love fresh seafood, adventures in the ocean, and outdoor activities. Situated in Mid Coast Maine, right on Penobscot Bay, Camden offers ample opportunities for sailing, boat excursions, and fishing. It is a working harbor where you’ll see fishermen coming in from their days work at sea.
Another attraction is Camden Hill State Park, where you can get the breathtaking views of Penobscot Bay, Camden, and surrounding islands on top of Mt. Battie. You can hike or drive up to Mt. Battie to enjoy the views.
7. Spruce Pine, NC
Set over 2,500 above sea level, Spruce Pine, a small mountain town in North Carolina, 49 miles from Asheville and 116 miles from Charlotte, is a delightful place to check out bluegrass music, antique, and local arts and crafts. This quaint town is surrounded by mountains and is close to the Blue Ridge Parkway.