20 Best Small Cities in America to Live In or Visit – The Little Gems of the US

As much as we love the hustle and bustle of big cities, sometimes we need a break from the noise, traffic, and pollution. That’s where small cities come in. They’re charming and cozy, and they offer a slower pace of life. But don’t let their size fool you. Small cities can still pack a punch with their vibrant culture, delicious food, and stunning scenery. In this blog post, we’ve rounded up the 20 best small cities in America to live in or visit. So, get ready to pack your bags and hit the road!

1. Asheville, North Carolina

Asheville, North Carolina

Asheville, North Carolina, is the perfect destination for anyone looking to escape the hustle and bustle of city life. Nestled in the Blue Ridge Mountains, it is a haven for nature lovers, with some of the best hiking trails in the country.

But that’s not all the city has to offer. Asheville also boasts a thriving arts scene, with galleries and studios showcasing the work of local artists. And if you’re a foodie, you’re in luck because the culinary scene is top-notch, with farm-to-table restaurants and artisanal bakeries galore.

One of the must-see attractions in Asheville is the Biltmore Estate. Built by George Vanderbilt in the late 19th century, this majestic mansion is a marvel of architecture and design. With 250 rooms, including a library, a bowling alley, and a swimming pool, the Biltmore Estate is a glimpse into the extravagant lifestyles of the super-rich of the past.

But the estate is not just a relic of a bygone era. Today, it’s a popular tourist attraction with gardens, vineyards, and a winery that produces some of the best wine in the region. Don’t miss the chance to explore this stunning piece of history when you visit Asheville.

2. Savannah, Georgia

Savannah, Georgia

Savannah, Georgia, is a city with a rich history, stunning architecture, and mouth-watering cuisine. The city’s Spanish moss-draped oak trees and historic squares make it one of the most picturesque cities in America.

But it’s not just the scenery that draws visitors to Savannah. The city’s culinary scene is second to none, with some of the best seafood, barbecue, and fried chicken you’ll ever taste.

If you’re a foodie, a stroll down River Street is a must. This waterfront area is home to some of Savannah’s best restaurants and bars, with menus that showcase the city’s southern heritage. From fresh seafood caught in the nearby waters to slow-cooked barbecue that’s been smoked for hours, you’re sure to find something that will tantalize your taste buds.

And if you’re feeling adventurous, try some of the local delicacies, like fried green tomatoes or shrimp and grits. One thing’s for sure: you won’t leave Savannah hungry.

3. Boulder, Colorado

Boulder, Colorado

For outdoor enthusiasts, Boulder is a mecca. With over 300 days of sunshine a year, the city is perfect for hiking, rock climbing, and skiing. Whether you’re a seasoned pro or a beginner, there’s a trail or slope for you in Boulder.

And if you’re looking for something a little more relaxing, take a stroll through the city’s many parks and gardens, and soak up the beautiful scenery.

But it’s not just about the great outdoors in Boulder. The city also has a thriving music scene and a thriving tech industry. It is home to the University of Colorado, which has a world-renowned music program.

The city’s many music venues showcase the talents of local musicians and touring acts from around the world. And if you’re interested in tech, Boulder is the place to be. The city is home to many startups and tech companies, making it a hub of innovation and entrepreneurship. So, whether you’re a nature lover or a tech geek, Boulder has something for you.

4. Santa Fe, New Mexico

Santa Fe, New Mexico

Santa Fe, New Mexico, is a city with a rich history and culture. The city’s adobe architecture, art galleries, and museums are a testament to its Native American and Spanish heritage.

Take a stroll through the city’s many art galleries, which showcase the work of local artists and artisans. And if you’re interested in history, visit the city’s many museums, which offer a glimpse into the region’s past.

One of the highlights of Santa Fe’s cultural calendar is the annual Santa Fe Indian Market. This event draws over 1,000 Native American artists from across the United States and Canada who gather to sell their crafts.

From intricate pottery to beautiful jewelry, the market offers a chance to see and buy some of the best Native American art in the world. And if you’re a foodie, don’t miss the chance to sample some of the traditional Native American foods that are sold at the market. So, whether you’re interested in art, history, or food, Santa Fe is a city that’s sure to captivate you.

5. Newport, Rhode Island

Newport, Rhode Island

This city is a charming seaside town with a rich history. The town’s sailing heritage is on full display, with many yacht clubs and sailing regattas taking place throughout the year. And if you’re interested in architecture, Newport is the place to be.

The town is dotted with stunning mansions, including The Breakers, the summer home of the Vanderbilt family. Take a tour of the mansion and marvel at its opulence and grandeur.

After a day of sightseeing, head to Thames Street for a taste of Newport’s famous seafood. The street is lined with seafood shacks and restaurants, offering everything from lobster rolls to clam chowder. And if you’re feeling thirsty, stop at one of the town’s many bars and pubs for a cold beer or a cocktail.

6. Park City, Utah

Park City, Utah

Park City, Utah, is a winter wonderland that’s sure to thrill any skier or snowboarder. With three world-class ski resorts within a 30-minute drive, the city is a paradise for anyone who loves hitting the slopes. But even if you’re not a fan of skiing, this city has plenty to offer.

Take a stroll down Main Street and visit the town’s many art galleries, showcasing the work of local artists. And if you’re a foodie, you will be absolutely thrilled since Park City’s culinary scene is top-notch, with restaurants serving up everything from gourmet burgers to five-star dining experiences.

If you’re looking to do some shopping, you will not be disappointed. The town is home to many boutique stores and specialty shops, offering everything from designer clothing to handcrafted jewelry. And if you’re interested in history, take a tour of the town’s many museums, which offer a glimpse into Park City’s past as a mining town.

7. Napa, California

Napa, California

Napa, California, is a city that’s synonymous with wine. With over 400 wineries in the region, it’s no surprise that it is a must-visit destination for wine lovers. Take a tour of some of the region’s most famous wineries, such as Robert Mondavi and Opus One, and learn about the winemaking process.

And, of course, no visit to Napa is complete without sampling some of the best wine in the world. But the city is more than just wine. It is also home to many fine restaurants and boutique stores.

Take a stroll down Main Street and stop at one of the many cafes and bistros for a bite to eat. And if you’re looking for something to bring home, visit one of the many specialty stores offering everything from artisanal chocolates to handcrafted jewelry. So, if you’re a wine lover or a foodie, Napa is a city that’s sure to delight you.

8. Portsmouth, New Hampshire

Portsmouth, New Hampshire

Portsmouth, New Hampshire, is a charming coastal town that will transport you back in time to its rich maritime history. The town’s cobblestone streets and brick buildings are a testament to its colonial past. Take a stroll along the waterfront and imagine what it was like when tall ships sailed into the harbor.

For a true blast from the past, head to the Strawbery Banke Museum. This living history museum brings Portsmouth’s past to life, with actors in period costumes demonstrating colonial crafts and daily life.

You’ll feel like you’ve stepped back in time as you explore the museum’s historic homes and gardens. And don’t forget to check out the museum’s bakery, where you can sample traditional colonial treats. So, come discover Portsmouth’s rich history and charm. We guarantee you’ll be hooked!

9. Sedona, Arizona

Sedona, Arizona

Looking for a mystical adventure? Look no further than Sedona, Arizona. The city houses stunning red rock formations and ancient ruins that will leave you in awe. But that’s not all that Sedona has to offer.

The city is also a hub of New Age spirituality, with vortexes that are said to have healing properties. So, if you’re feeling a little out of balance, a visit to these vortexes might be just what you need.

Take a hike to Cathedral Rock or Bell Rock and experience the magic of Sedona for yourself. As you climb through the red rock formations, you’ll feel the energy of the vortexes all around you. And who knows? You might just experience a spiritual awakening. So, come explore the city’s mystical side and discover the healing power of its vortexes.

10. Bar Harbor, Maine

Bar Harbor, Maine

Welcome to Bar Harbor, a charming New England town that’s as quintessential as they come. Situated on Mount Desert Island, this town is surrounded by the natural beauty of Acadia National Park. Whether you’re a nature lover or a history buff, the city has something for everyone.

Take a scenic drive along Park Loop Road and stop at one of the many pull-offs to admire the stunning views of the ocean and the mountains. Keep an eye out for wildlife, including moose and bald eagles.

And if you’re feeling adventurous, hike to the top of Cadillac Mountain and watch the sunrise over the Atlantic Ocean. It is, beyond any doubt, a perfect place to explore the natural beauty and experience the charm of New England.

11. St. Augustine, Florida

St. Augustine, Florida

St. Augustine is the oldest city in the United States! Founded by Spanish explorers way back in 1565, this city is a time capsule of Spanish-style architecture, cobblestone streets, and historic buildings. So, if you’re a history buff, you’re in for a real treat!

Don’t miss the chance to explore the Castillo de San Marcos, a 17th-century fort that overlooks the Matanzas Bay. This impressive structure is made of coquina, a type of limestone that’s unique to the region.

Take a guided tour and learn about the fort’s history and its strategic importance. And don’t forget to snap some photos of the stunning views of the bay from the fort’s walls. So, come discover the history and charm of St. Augustine. We guarantee it will be a trip you won’t forget!

12. Burlington, Vermont

Burlington, Vermont

Looking for a small city with a big charm? Look no further than Burlington, Vermont! This beautiful city is situated on the shores of Lake Champlain and is surrounded by the stunning Green Mountains. Whether you’re a nature lover or a city slicker, it has a lot to offer from both worlds.

Take a stroll down Church Street, a pedestrian-only marketplace lined with shops, cafes, and restaurants. This lively street is the heart of Burlington, and it’s always buzzing with activity. Grab a coffee and a pastry and watch the world go by, or do some shopping and pick up some local crafts and souvenirs.

13. Annapolis, Maryland

Annapolis, Maryland

Annapolis, Maryland, is a colonial gem that’s sure to delight history buffs and sailing enthusiasts alike. The city’s brick-lined streets and 18th-century homes will transport you back in time to the days of our founding fathers. And with its prime waterfront location, Annapolis is a hub of maritime activity.

Don’t miss the chance to visit the U.S. Naval Academy, a prestigious military institution that trains officers for the U.S. Navy and Marine Corps. Take a tour of the academy and learn about the history and traditions of this esteemed institution.

And if you’re lucky, you might even catch a glimpse of the academy’s midshipmen in their crisp white uniforms.

14. Park City, Kansas

Park City, Kansas

If you are looking for a peaceful city with a lovely personality Park City, Kansas, might be exactly what will suit your appetites. This charming city is located just north of Wichita and is home to some of the best attractions in the region.

Don’t miss the chance to visit the annual Kansas State Fair, which draws over 350,000 visitors every year. From carnival rides to livestock shows, the fair has something for everyone.

And if you’re looking for a unique experience, take a tour of the Underground Salt Museum. This former salt mine has been converted into a museum and offers a fascinating glimpse into the region’s history.

15. Traverse City, Michigan

Traverse City, Michigan

Traverse City is a charming city situated on the shores of Lake Michigan. It is famous for its cherry orchards, wineries, and breweries. So, if you’re a foodie or a wine connoisseur, you’re in for a real treat!

Take a scenic drive along the Old Mission Peninsula and stop at one of the many wineries for a tasting. You’ll be blown away by the region’s delicious wines and stunning views of the lake. And don’t forget to try some of Traverse City’s famous cherry pie – it’s the perfect way to cap off your wine tour.

16. Charleston, South Carolina

Charleston, South Carolina

Charleston, South Carolina, is a city that’s as beautiful as it is hospitable! This charming location is home to historic homes, cobblestone streets, and horse-drawn carriages – making it one of the most picturesque cities in America. So, grab your camera and get ready to snap some Instagram-worthy shots!

Don’t miss the chance to stroll along the Battery, a promenade along the waterfront that offers stunning views of Fort Sumter and the harbor. Take a deep breath of salty sea air and soak in the beauty of Charleston’s coastal charm.

And if you’re feeling adventurous, hop on a boat tour and explore the harbor up close. Experiencing the beauty and hospitality of Charleston is a real treat, and we guarantee you’ll be charmed by this southern gem!

17. Bozeman, Montana

Bozeman, Montana

Bozeman, Montana, may be a small city, but it’s big on adventure. It is surrounded by mountains, rivers, and forests, making it the perfect destination for hikers, anglers, and skiers. So, if you’re looking to get your heart pumping, Bozeman is the place to be!

But this city isn’t just about the great outdoors. It also has a thriving arts scene and a vibrant downtown area. Explore the local galleries and museums, or catch a live performance at one of the many theaters. And when you’re ready to refuel, head to one of the city’s farm-to-table restaurants for a delicious meal made with local ingredients.

18. Durango, Colorado

Durango, Colorado

Durango, Colorado, is a historic city nestled in the stunning San Juan Mountains. It is the perfect destination for history buffs and nature lovers alike. So, saddle up and get ready to explore the Wild West!

Don’t miss the chance to ride the Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad, a historic train that offers scenic rides through the mountains. Sit back and relax as you take in the breathtaking views of the rugged landscape.

And when you’re ready to stretch your legs, hit the Animas River Trail. This 7-mile trail follows the river through the heart of the city and offers a peaceful respite from the hustle and bustle of daily life.

19. Newport Beach, California

Newport Beach, California

Welcome to Newport Beach, where the sun, sand, and surf are always in abundance! This city’s 10 miles of pristine beaches are the perfect place to soak up some rays, catch some waves, or just relax with a good book. Grab your sunscreen and your favorite beach towel, and get ready for some fun in the sun!

Take a stroll down Balboa Peninsula, where you’ll find a boardwalk lined with restaurants, cafes, and shops. Grab a bite to eat and watch the surfers catch some waves, or indulge in a sweet treat from one of the many ice cream shops.

And when the sun starts to set, head to the beach for a magical sunset that will take your breath away.

20. Bend, Oregon

Bend, Oregon

Bend, Oregon, may be a small city, but it’s big on outdoor recreation opportunities. It is situated on the banks of the Deschutes River and is surrounded by the stunning Cascade Mountains. If you’re a hiker, skier, or mountain biker, Bend will not disappoint you.

Take a hike to Tumalo Falls and experience the natural beauty of the region up close. Or, if skiing is more your style, hit the slopes at Mt. Bachelor for some downhill thrills. And when you’re ready to relax and recharge, head to one of Bend’s many breweries or cafes. Sample some of the region’s famous craft beer, or indulge in a delicious coffee or pastry.

The Advantages of Living in Small Cities in America

Small cities in America may not have the glitz and glamor of big cities like New York or Los Angeles, but they offer a charm and community spirit that is hard to come by in larger metropolitan areas. They come with a wide variety of advantages, including:

1. Close-knit community

Small cities offer a sense of community that is often missing in larger cities. When you live in such an environment, you’re more likely to know your neighbors and be involved in local events and activities. This can lead to a greater sense of belonging and a feeling of being part of something bigger than yourself.

2. Lower cost of living

One of the biggest advantages of living in a small city is the lower cost of living. Housing, food, and transportation tend to be more affordable in small cities, making it easier to stretch your dollar. This can allow you to save money for other things, such as travel or hobbies, or even to start your own business.

3. Access to nature

Small cities are often located near parks, forests, and other natural areas. This can provide opportunities for outdoor recreation, such as hiking, camping, and fishing. Living near nature can also have positive effects on your mental and physical health, as studies have shown that spending time in nature can reduce stress and improve mood.

4. Less traffic and pollution

Small cities tend to have less traffic and pollution than larger ones, which can make for a more pleasant living experience. You won’t have to spend hours sitting in traffic or deal with the constant noise and pollution that come with city living. This can lead to a better quality of life and improved health.

5. Strong local economy

Small cities often have a strong local economy, with businesses that are owned and operated by members of the community. This can lead to a greater sense of pride and investment in the local economy and can create opportunities for entrepreneurship and innovation.

Final Thoughts

Living in a small city in America may not be for everyone, but it offers a number of advantages that are hard to ignore. From a close-knit community to access to nature and a lower cost of living, small cities offer a unique way of life that is worth considering.

So, if you’re looking for a change of pace, consider exploring some of the small cities that America has to offer. Who knows, you may just fall in love with the charm and community spirit that they have to offer and decide to make your new home.

If you want to find out more about the peaceful life that living in smaller cities has to offer, make sure to revisit our website, as we update our content on a daily basis.