5 U.S. Cities That Offer a Taste of Europe
If you’re eager for an international vacation but can’t justify the cost or length of a European trip at the moment, you may be in luck. While there’s nowhere quite like Europe, some surprising U.S. destinations can cure your travel bug without ever leaving the country.
From Florida to California, you may be surprised to find the U.S. has many locations that make you feel like you’ve traveled to another country. So what are the best cities that offer you a taste of Europe? Let’s find out.
#1 – St. Augustine, Florida
Some may not realize St. Augustine is the oldest continuously occupied settlement in the country. Founded in 1565 by Spanish explorers, this city’s rich history and age greatly influenced its European resemblance.
While visiting, you’ll notice the Spanish Colonial architecture mixed with many other design styles like Spanish Renaissance Revival, Moorish, and Neoclassical. All these historic buildings come together to create a truly unique city drenched in European charm without needing to leave the U.S.
If you’re planning a visit, St. Augustine is easily reachable by many major cities in Florida, like Miami. A short road trip up the stunning Atlantic Coast will land you in this European-inspired city. Just be sure you get auto insurance in Miami before leaving to stay protected on the road.
Hop on a trolley or boat tour to get the city’s best views during your stay. If you’re feeling adventurous, you can even take a ghost tour to learn more about St. Augustine’s haunted past.
#2 – New Orleans, Louisiana
While New Orleans is a big city, the area’s French Quarter seems to have never given up its old-world, European architecture. Walking the streets of the French Quarter may make you feel like you’re walking through a city in France instead.
Spanish and French architecture played an essential role in the area’s overall look, but French culture has certainly taken root. The food, celebrations, and even language have French inspiration.
New Orleans is an extraordinary city with a unique culture and heritage. While visiting, you’ll notice how walkable the city is, which is a common theme throughout Europe. If you’re looking for a lively city with a European feel filled with excitement, look no further than New Orleans.
While visiting, you can take a step into the past at what is rumored to be the oldest bar in the country — Lafitte’s. You can also take a food tour to sample some of the area’s best cuisine, embark on a voodoo mystery tour, or visit one of the town’s unique cemeteries.
#3 – Charleston, South Carolina
Charleston is famous for its southern charm and stunning streets lined with beautiful buildings. For someone looking for a taste of Europe, Charleston is a perfect choice.
Nestled along the Atlantic Coast, Charleston has played a significant role in trading and naval defense throughout history. It was the original capital of the state of South Carolina until 1790 when the title was moved to Columbia.
A few architectural styles make up Charleston’s unique look, from Greek Revival to Colonial. While the buildings are stunning, the cobblestone streets add an extra flare of European essence to help you feel as though you’ve traveled to an entirely different country.
During your stay, be sure to rent a car to enjoy the delicious food and eclectic shops Charleston has to offer. Or, take a carriage ride around the city to enjoy the European-inspired views.
#4 – Holland, Michigan
Holland may be a province in the Netherlands, but it is also an incredible city in the Mitten State that makes you feel like you just stepped into a storybook. The area is filled with buildings that resemble the Dutch architecture the town is named after.
During the spring, Holland hosts its annual Tulip Festival. If you visit during this time of year, you’ll be in awe of the beautiful blooms sprouting up for miles.
Even if you don’t plan a stay in Holland during its famous festival, the city is still worth a visit. Sitting on the shores of Lake Macatawa, you’ll enjoy a stunning backdrop to Dutch architecture.
Suppose you’re looking for fun things during your stay. In that case, you can explore the Windmill Island Gardens, dine at any of the delicious restaurants, or visit the Holland museum to learn more about the town’s fascinating history.
#5 – Solvang, California
Another Dutch-inspired city you can’t miss is Solvang. Originally founded by Dutch immigrants in 1911, the town boasts streets filled with traditional architecture, such as windmills and thatched roofs.
During your time in Solvang, you’ll feel like you’re spending your day walking through a European city rather than the west coast. There are shops serving traditional dutch pastries and food and over 120 wineries to explore during your stay.
The town is highly walkable, giving it an added European-inspired charm. While walking around the area, you may come across the Hans Christian Anderson museum.
If you’re unfamiliar, Anderson is the author behind many famous fairytales known and loved, even today. His notable works include The Little Mermaid, The Ugly Duckling, and Thumbelina. He was also a Denmark native, which is why the town has a museum dedicated to his work.
No matter how you choose to spend your time in Solvang, you’ll thoroughly enjoy the Dutch-inspired village that allows you to feel as though you’ve traveled all the way to Europe without ever leaving the country.
Enjoying a Taste of Europe in the U.S.
You might be considering a trip across the ocean to explore all the unique cities Europe offers, but time and money may put a dent in your plans. Luckily, some stunning U.S. towns provide a taste of Europe without the expense.
Whether you travel to the sunny state of Florida or enjoy the changing seasons of Michigan, there is a little bit of Europe all across the country. Just be sure to travel safely while visiting. Whether you opt for car insurance on a road trip or travel insurance to protect your flight, keeping yourself and your wallet covered is essential during your trip.
Once you’ve properly prepared, you can enjoy some European-inspired locations, all while staying within the U.S.
Alexandra Arcand writes and researches for the auto insurance comparison site, AutoInsuranceEZ.com. She is an avid traveler who enjoys sharing her favorite destinations with others.