Right between Houston, Dallas, and Austin lies the retro-cool town of Huntsville. It’s perfect for Texas history nerds, with museums and memorials aplenty. Or, check the modern-day handiwork of Dan Phillips, who takes repurposed materials (like recycled bottles) and builds standout homes for low-income community members.
The colonial town of Frederick, Maryland, has kept up with the times while preserving the old. Travel back to the 1800s with a visit to the Museum of Civil War Medicine, then end with a taste of Hunter S. Thompson’s favorite hops at Flying Dog Brewery.
In the Canadian capital, Ottawa, you’ll marvel at Parliament buildings, cops on horses (serving as entertainment with the Royal Canadian Mounted Police Musical Ride), plus more museums than any other city around. Top it off with nature excursions and a burgeoning restaurant scene. (Must: poutine and BeaverTails. Trust us.)
Detroit’s Corktown has locally owned restaurants, boutiques, and a style of its own. Get in line early for cult-status bagels (yes, in the Midwest), browse indie books, and shop way more items that you’d expect at the Corktown farmers market.
Seattle ranges from corporate to free-spirited, with the latter going strong in its seaside neighborhood of Ballard. Sorry, Starbucks. You may be locally based, but you’re no small business. Head to the Scandinavian-meets-hipster flavor of the area and pick up everything from terrariums to local brews.
Did you know that Sacramento is the country’s Farm-to-Fork capital? The trendy Midtown area serves up health-conscious baked goods and fresh dinner fare, but it’s not all about food. Even the infrastructure is homegrown, with custom-made bike racks by local sculptor, Gina Rossi.
Lower Greenville sits just outside of downtown Dallas and feels a world away. Here, you won’t find ten-gallon hats or huge Tex Mex chains. Instead, sip kombucha on tap at Mudsmith or try a variety of cuisines at the foodie Truck Yard.
Denver’s RiNo Arts District serves all tastes. Refurbished warehouses host artisan markets, urban farms feed locals, fermentation-philes make beer and wine, and there’s live music. Where are you going to get water in a land-locked city? Check the seasonal pop-up, RiNo Beach Club, with 10,000ft2 of sand and a pool.
Walk along the shore or zip the scenic stretch of Ocean Drive in Newport, Rhode Island. You can do everything with a seaside view, like eating at Flo’s Clam Shack, gaping at the glamorous Newport Mansions, and sitting on an Adirondack chair in the summer breeze.
Summer lovers love the Florida Keys for a reason. Drive to Islamorada, close to the country’s southernmost point, for a dolphin swim at the Theater of the Sea, or rent a boat at Robbie’s Marina.
Minnesota hosts an abundance of state parks that have bird-watching, rock-climbing, camping, and more. Trek to one of these sixteen favorites within two hours of the Twin Cities.
Only an hour or two north of Los Angeles lies the serene town of Ojai. Fuel up on outrageously delicious food at Farmer and the Cook before browsing the (outdoor!) shelves at Bart’s Books, then head to the outskirts of town for amazing vibes and views at Meditation Mount.
It’s artsy, it’s musical, it’s local, it’s vegan-friendly. Visit Baltimore’s Station North for an outdoor mural gallery, a classic diner, and an anarchy-inspired bookstore (but we’re willing to bet there’s a whole lot more to find).
Lake Geneva is ideal for water lovers, who can explore on foot or on deck. Beyond that, drink locally roasted coffee, tour a nineteenth-century lakefront mansion, even finish the night with stargazing at the Yerkes Observatory.
Long known for being a healthy, happy, and hippie town in Vermont, Burlington packs a lot into a small area. The flourishing arts scene along Church Street lives happily alongside a family-owned pewter workshop, local cider, and Lake Champlain. (Just watch out for Champ, the rumored lake monster.)