Thanks to its extremely diverse population, landscape and culture, the United States is home to an abundance of quirky small towns. We took the time to research the ones that best fit the bill for a staycation in small towns on the East Coast this summer.
To help us narrow it down, we looked only at communities with a max population of 50,000 that hold a unique quality. Whether your idea of charming small towns equal a historic village, a harbour town or something different entirely, it’s probably on this list.
Small Towns To Visit On The East Coast
1. Stockbridge, Massachusetts
Stockbridge looks like something out of a Norman Rockwell painting, and that’s because it is! This cosy New England town was made famous by his portrayal of the city during Christmas. Stockbridge is the ideal New England small-town.
Its charming square, constant community events, historic inns, local eateries and preserved homes make it a perfect place for an East Coast getaway.
2. Meredith, New Hampshire
Historic sites, local concerts, art fairs and fishing derbies give Meredith its small-town flair. Here you’ll find a shared sense of place, history and culture that’s unique to the town. Whether you’re looking to indulge in some local foods or explore Lake Winnipesaukee, Meredith has you in mind.
3. Mystic, Connecticut
This seaside village is every bit as charming as you’d expect with a name like ‘Mystic’. Tirelessly devoted to all things nautical, this cosy Connecticut town is unbelievably cute. Plenty of local festivals, markets and community get-togethers bring the place to life. Additionally, the Historic Downtown features plenty of great options for local dining, nightlife and shopping.
4. Skaneateles, New York
This quaint lakeside village is known for its famous art gallery and nearby nature preserves. The John D. Barrow Art Gallery is perfect for a weekend afternoon, and Anyela’s Vineyard is a real treat for winos. In Skaneateles, you’ll find a healthy amount of local shops and restaurants that only add to the charm.
5. Nantucket, Massachusetts
This former whaling village sings of the old days with its crooked cobblestone streets and sleepy harbours. While widely known as a tourist destination, Cape Cod has done an excellent job of ensuring that it doesn’t turn into a tacky vacay-town. Eat your heart out with their world-famous seafood and then take in the golden beaches.
6. Cape May, New Jersey
Cape May, New Jersey an East Cost Victorian gem. With nearly 600 perfectly preserved Victorian buildings, the whole town is a historical area. In addition to stunning Victorian architecture, you’ll find excellent dining options, seaside activities and jazz festivals.
7. New Castle, Delaware
New Castle spins a tale of Delaware’s history with its peaceful cobblestone streets and old colonial town. Hugging the Delaware River, it’s surrounded by beautiful scenery and just a hop away from famous New Castle Battery Park. Additionally, history buffs will love their First State National Historic Park and Court House Museum.