The COVID-19 pandemic is still in full-swing in the United States. As a result, many countries, including those that are part of the European Union, have imposed travel bans or restrictions against US citizens.
Thankfully, if you’re dead-set on taking that vacation this year, there are at least 10 U.S destinations that will make you feel as if you’ve journeyed across the pond, without ever leaving American soil. And each of these U.S cities is rich with the history and culture of the settlers who founded them.
Let’s take a look!
1. Leavenworth, Washington
It’s no accident that Leavenworth, WA looks so charming and inviting.
In the 1960s, after thirty years of economic struggle, town leaders agreed to adopt a Bavarian theme and give the city a makeover in order to attract tourists.
They instituted a series of festivals, including the Autumn Leaf Festival, Maifest, and Christmas Lighting Festival.
Be sure to visit the Bavarian village for bratwurst & sauerkraut and enjoy a daily morning alp horn saerenade.
2. Frankenmuth, Michigan
Michigan’s “little Bavaria” is known for it’s world-famous chicken dinners but it’s that German pride that really makes Frankenmuth special.
Enjoy German-inspired architecture, craft-beer and wine, and don’t forget to visit Bronner’s Christmas Wonderland, the world’s largest Christmas store, open 361 days a year.
3. Helen, Georgia
Here you’ll find a touch of Bavaria tucked in the heart of the Blue Ridge Mountains.
This charming little alpine village makes the perfect backdrop for a relaxing getaway.
Tour local vineyards, enjoy scenic water falls and hiking trails, or even scout out the perfect location for your upcoming nuptials.
4. St. Augustine, Florida
As the oldest city in the nation, St. Augustine has much to offer.
Gaze upon stately castles, enjoy historic reenactments, and even take a ghost tour.
Originally a busy port town for merchants, it’s also a great place for those who enjoy shopping or romantic water-side dinners.
5. Santa Barbara, California
With its stunning natural landscape and classic Spanish heritage, The American Riviera is hard to beat.
Its distinct architectural style comes from the early Spanish settlers who built Old Mission Santa Barbara, now the County Courthouse.
Soak in the sun and the culture with a walk down Santa Barbara’s Museum Mile or take yourself on the Red Tile Walking Tour.
6. Holland, Michigan
This quaint but colorful city is picture-perfect for a relaxing vacation.
Tour Windmill Island Gardens or make your way downtown for authentic Dutch architecture and cuisine.
Be sure to visit in the spring, during the Tulip Time Festival for the true Dutch experience, as millions of tulips burst into bloom.
7. Solvang, California
Visiting Solvang is like stepping into a storybook.
Enjoy this “little slice of Denmark” by strolling through the village, Danish pastry in hand.
Or maybe hop a ride on a historic, wooden, horse-drawn streetcar!
Be sure to take your picture with Danish icons, including the Little Mermaid Fountain, five windmills, the giant red clog Round Tower.
8. Calistoga, California
You’ll find this European-influenced city Nestled in California’s Napa Valley.
Home to wineries, geysers, and plenty of natural beauty, Calistoga is the perfect spot for endless outdoor adventures.
Take it all in during your hot-air balloon tour.
9. Vail, Colorado
Modeled after the ski districts of European Switzerland, Vail is the perfect spot for the adventurous vacationer.
Take advantage of the country’s largest free transportation system and visit the cobble-stoned, Bavarian-inspired village of Lionshead.
In the summer, come prepared to hike, bike, and enjoy the Betty Ford Alpine Gardens; be sure to bring your snowboard or skis if you’re visiting in the winter.
10. New Orleans, Louisiana
A pillar of community and resilience, this French-influenced city is a must-see.
While Mardi Gras always draws a crowd, there are so many other reasons to visit this city, including its whimsical architecture.
Enjoy mouthwatering beignets and Creole cuisine as you take in the romantic and jazzy vibe of French Quarter.
Now you know! You can enjoy the experience of visiting Europe, without the overseas flight. Visit each city’s websites to learn about the safety measures in place keeping both locals and tourists healthy and happy.
Even if you don’t feel safe traveling right now, it doesn’t mean you can’t start planning for the future.
I don’t know about you, but Santa Barbara is calling my name. Which city would you like to visit first? Let us know in the comments!