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 West 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 West Coast
1. Truckee, California
Truckee, California has long been a jewel of the West for adventurers. Only 30 minutes from Lake Tahoe, the surrounding area is just as interesting as the local town. In addition to an active art and music community, there’s a great dining scene making it one of the most charming small towns.
2. Wallace, Idaho
Home to a plethora of historic buildings, museums and local shops, it’s not hard to see why Wallace is so charming. For over a hundred years, Wallace has been the world’s largest silver producer, and it’s got a lot to show for it. For example, it’s the richest mining town still in existence and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
3. Cannon Beach, Oregon
Few places wow like the neverending stretch of Oregon’s coast. Towering rocks surrounding by wild waters and infinite stretches of forest make the region a gem of the nation. Inside this gem, you’ll find Cannon Beach. Home to Haystack Rock, tide pools galore and only 1,800 residents, it’s the cosiest Pacific town imaginable. In addition to a gorgeous landscape, it’s home to a bustling art and gastro scene.
4. Bisbee, Arizona
Bisbee is home to a rich Apache, cavalry and mining history. Nowadays, it’s known for its thriving art and food scene, downhome vibes and charming small-town atmosphere. Whether you want to explore local galleries, get fancy with fine dining or indulge in a local pub crawl, there’s something for everyone.
5. Moab, Utah
Tucked away in both the Arches and Canyonlands National Parks, Moab, Utah is simply stunning. Surrounded by the otherworldly beauty of the burnt orange landscape, it’s truly unlike anywhere else on Earth. In addition to stunning scenery, the local art and gastro scene is thriving. Take your pick from tons of local galleries, microbreweries, mom and pop eateries and more.
6. Carmel-by-the-Sea, California
Carmel-by-the-Sea checks all of the boxes for a charming small town. Unspoilt white sand beaches, cosy B&Bs, old-world taverns and a unique historic district. At Carmel, you’ll immediately fall for the storybook cottages and romantic coastal atmosphere. The old town is chock full of hidden gems from tiny eateries to family jewellers and the coast hosts several outdoor activities. Its boutique businesses, stunning seaside and friendly mood makes it one of the most charming small towns in America.
7. Big Sky, Montana
Big Sky is the rustic charming small town of your dreams. Situated at the base of Yellowstone National Park, it’s famous for its surrounding beauty. The dramatic rugged wilderness combined with the friendly nature of the locals only adds to the mountain lodge charm.