American Towns That Look Straight Out of Europe (2023)

Before you shell out hundreds (or, most likely, thousands) of dollars traveling across the ocean, you may want to look closer to home: There are plenty of cities in the United States that look just like those quaint, historic destinations in Europe. You're going to want to go to all of them, so start saving now!

1

Frankenmuth, Michigan

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Back in 1845, this village was founded as a Bavarian mission colony for Lutherans, and today it's known as "Michigan's Little Bavaria." The town is famous for Bronner's Christmas Wonderland, which claims it's the largest Christmas store in the world.

2

Leavenworth, Washington

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Just two hours from Seattle is Leavenworth, which looks like it was plucked out of Germany and dropped in the mountains of Washington. It's modeled after a small Bavarian village and is the dreamiest escape, especially during the holidays.

3

Healdsburg, California

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If you've ever wanted to visit Tuscany, Healdsburg is your next best bet. It falls along the same line of latitude as the Italian region, so it has a similar climate and grows a ton of Tuscan wine varieties. The town's Italian cuisine is also not to be missed.

4

Solvang, California

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Known as the Danish capital of America, this charming town is filled with quaint shops and even an iconic white and red windmill. The name means "sunny fields" in Danish, which is appropriate for the warm, California weather.

5

St. Augustine, Florida

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Since this city was founded back in 1565 by Spanish settlers, it's no surprise it's filled with Spanish colonial architecture, like cobblestone streets and balconies. It's also known as the oldest city in the United States.

6

Vail, Colorado

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You're probably most familiar with this town for its amazing ski resorts, but did you know it was inspired by the town of Zermatt, Switzerland, which is located the base of the Swiss Alps? That's why you'll find architecture like decorative balconies and detailed woodwork everywhere you look.

7

Pella, Iowa

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The Dutch-style architecture and huge windmill located in the center of this quiet town are some of the reasons this Midwest city will make you feel like you're in the Netherlands. Insider tip: Visit during May to experience the famous Tulip Time Festival.

8

New Orleans, Louisiana

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Since this city was founded by French colonists and then ceded to Spain in the Treaty of Paris, it feels like a unique mix of both countries. The wrought iron balconies and the famous Jackson Square are both French influences.

9

Venice, California

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It's impossible to ignore the comparisons between this California town and the famous one in Italy. Both are full of canals and bridges (like these cities!), except the waterways in the United States-based destination were man-made. Still, it's a sight to behold.

10

Tarpon Springs, Florida

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Forget Santorini: This Gulf Coast town feels like it's a charming Eastern Mediterranean island. Tons of Greek immigrants flocked here at the turn of the 20th century and the town still prides itself on having the largest Greek-American community in the country.

11

Montpelier, Vermont

Named after Montpelier, France, this gorgeous town was founded in 1781 and is rich in history. Its French-style buildings and dazzling fall foliage make it a must-see.

12

Helen, Georgia

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It's hard to believe this town is only 90 minutes from Atlanta. Located right next to the Blue Ridge Mountains, this city was transformed into an Alpine-inspired village in the 1960s to attract more visitors.

13

Kansas City, Missouri

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Since the Country Club Plaza in this downtown area was architecturally designed to mimic the city of Seville, you'll feel like you just walked off of a plane and into Spain. The towers and courtyards might distract from the fact that you're more likely to find BBQ than tapas.

14

Hermann, Missouri

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This small town was handpicked by German immigrants for its close proximity to the Missouri River, which reminded them of their beloved Rhine River. The climate also made the location ideal for winemaking and today there tons of local wineries in the area.

15

Charleston, South Carolina

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Even though this town is the definition of Southern, it's also filled with countless similarities to European cities, like grand churches, cobblestone streets, and short, colorful buildings. Not to mention it was named after King Charles II of England.

16

Holland, Michigan

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The name of this town says it all: It's a little slice of the Netherlands and was founded by Dutch settlers back in 1847. It's also home to the DeZwaan Windmill, which is the only authentic working Dutch windmill in the United States.

17

Fredericksburg, Texas

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German immigrant settlers founded this town in 1846, which is why it's known for its mix of German heritage with Texan hospitality (an unbeatable combination). Throughout the town you'll find tons of specialty shops and biergartens.

18

Poulsbo, Washington

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Poulsbo was founded in the 1880s by a Norwegian immigrant, Jørgen Eliason. Ever since, it's been known as "Little Norway on the Fjord." Everything from the architecture to the beer halls to the annual Viking Festival is inspired by Scandinavian culture.

19

SoHo, New York City, New York

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While every neighborhood of Manhattan looks different, SoHo specifically has a European vibe. Its columned buildings and cobblestone streets will make you feel like you're in Belgium. In fact, the type of stone used is called Belgian block.

20

New Britain, Connecticut

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This quaint little town has a big Polish influence. In fact, even the green points on top of this church resemble St. Andrew's Church in Kraków. Every year, New Britain hosts the Little Poland Festival celebrating the country's best food, music, and dance.

21

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

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The City of Brotherly Love's City Hall—built in the 1800s—is a French-style masterpiece. Its Victorian elements drew inspiration from both the Palais des Tuileries and the Louvre in Paris.

23

Huntington, New York

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There's a mini version of the Palace of Versailles right on Long Island. The French-style chateau, named Oheka Castle, is the second-largest home ever built in America. Fun fact: The enormous estate is where Kevin Jonas got married and where Taylor Swift filmed part of her "Blank Space" music video.

24

Boston, Massachusetts

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There's history on every corner of Boston—especially Acorn Street. It's one of the most photographed places in the city, as it gives visitors a taste of old England. The brick buildings, cobblestones, and lanterns all are reminiscent of the most charming parts of Britain.

25

Santa Barbara, California

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Between the mountains and the beaches and the endless string of seaside homes, it's no wonder Santa Barbara is called "The American Riviera." The bright, cheerful town gives off major southern France vibes. Those red rooftops, meanwhile, serve Spanish Mediterranean flair.

26

Lindsborg, Kansas

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Lindsborg, founded in 1869, is also known as "Little Sweden USA." The town is filled with art galleries and restaurants that celebrate Swedish culture, as well as Dala horses—an ancient folk art tradition. Swedish pioneers brought them to Lindsborg to remind them of their home country.

27

Newport, Rhode Island

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Newport brings the romantic feel of the French Riviera to the United States. The elements of Nice, France can be seen in everything from the town's Gilded Age mansions to its seaside Cliff Walk.

28

San Francisco, California

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Both the Golden Gate's shape and bright red color is extremely similar to the Ponte 25 de Abril suspension bridge in Lisbon, Portugal. The two areas even share a love of cable cars, pastel buildings, and waterside shops.

29

Hocking Hills, Ohio

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Hocking Hills State Park is like Scotland's famous landscape, complete with its lush greenery and waterfalls as far as the eye can see. It's a beautiful spot to visit for a hiking adventure.

30

Old Town Alexandria, Virginia

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This adorable town was once a major port for colonial Britain, so it makes sense why the streets still have an English feel. The brick homes, tree-lined sidewalks, and small shops all add to the charm.

31

Washington, D.C.

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Once you know that a French architect named Pierre Charles L’Enfant designed the city in the 1700s, it's hard to miss its Parisian influence. From its European-style, dome-shaped Jefferson Memorial to its many calming gardens, the nation's capital could be the perfect place to feel far away.

32

New Ulm, Minnesota

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If this New Ulm clocktower gives any indication, nearly everything in the town is inspired by Germany. The Gothic architecture, the famous Hermann Monument, the beer—it's all Germany, all the time.

33

Portland, Oregon

It's been said that Portland has a Berlin-like feel, with its Gothic-style St. Johns Bridge and waterside buildings. Even the bike-friendly streets and love of beer all give off the German allure.

34

Oahu, Hawaii

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The rolling turquoise waves and mountainous terrain of Oahu looks nearly identical to the Azores region of Portugal. If you're lucky enough to visit this island, be ready for tons of fishing, tall cliffs to climb, and plenty of relaxation.

35

Las Vegas, Nevada

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While Las Vegas is no small town, it's the place to go to toss a coin into the Trevi Fountain without leaving the U.S. The iconic Strip is filled with other international landmarks, like the Eiffel Tower.

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36

Skagit Valley, Washington

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You'll think you're in Holland walking through the stunning tulip fields in Skagit Valley. In fact, it's home to the largest commercial flower bulb industry outside of the Netherlands. Located just 60 miles north of Seattle, visit between March and May for peak bloom.

37

Telluride, Colorado

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The hills are alive in Telluride, where the blue skies, the grass is green, and the surrounding mountains look straight out of The Sound of Music. The only difference between this Colorado town and the Swiss Alps? Julie Andrews!

38

Fort Lauderdale, Florida

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With more than 300 miles of canals, Fort Lauderdale offers boat rides and stunning views of the water from almost every angle. Who needs to travel to Venice, Italy when you've got this city right in the Sunshine State?

39

Jim Thorpe, Pennsylvania

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Between the quaint townhouses to the town's famous old-fashioned clocktower, Jim Thorpe has European influence everywhere you look. You'll lose track of time wandering the streets filled with breathtaking historic buildings.

40

Ouray, Colorado

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This quaint Colorado town is surrounded by stunning mountain peaks and reminiscent of ski villages in the Swiss Alps—hence its nickname "Little Switzerland." Not a skier? Downtown is filled with shops, galleries, and delicious restaurants to explore.

41

Eureka Springs, Arkansas

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The narrow, winding roads and historic architecture will transport you straight to the historic streets in Italy. Even the culinary choices in Eureka Springs—a town tucked away in the Ozark Mountains—have major European influence.

42

Boone, North Carolina

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Boone is filled with rich history everywhere you look—and is even home to several cabins from the 1700s. Its location atop the Blue Ridge Mountains just might remind you of the Appalachian terrain of Ireland and Scotland, so bring your hiking boots!

43

Portsmouth, New Hampshire

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The colorful buildings, boats, and docks in Portsmouth are reminiscent of the English waterside town of Brighton. You'll have a blast exploring all this beautiful city has to offer.

44

Georgetown, Colorado

Between its brightly-colored shops and quaint Victorian-style buildings, it's no wonder why travelers have coined this town "Little Europe." Here's a tip: Visit in December and don't miss the famous annual Christmas Market!

FAQs

What American city is most like Europe? ›

Most European Cities in America
  • Leavenworth, Washington.
  • Solvang, California.
  • St. Augustine, Florida.
  • Frankenmuth, Michigan.
  • New Orleans, Louisiana.
  • Montpelier, Vermont.
  • Charleston, South Carolina.
  • New Glarus, Wisconsin.

What US state is most like Europe? ›

Five U.S. cities that feel like Europe
  • Boston, Massachusetts - feels like England and Italy. ...
  • Leavenworth, Washington - feels like Germany. ...
  • Holland, Michigan - feels like Amsterdam. ...
  • New Orleans, Louisiana - feels like France. ...
  • Solvang, California - Feels like Denmark.
9 Nov 2020

Which American city is most like Paris? ›

Instead of Paris: Washington, D.C. America's capital city is full of Parisian elements, thanks to French architect and urban planner Pierre Charles L'Enfant, who designed it. Like Paris, D.C. is bursting with history, horticulture, and haute cuisine.

What city in America is most like Italy? ›

Instead of Venice Italy, Take a Trip to Venice, California

And it's no coincidence that this place will have you feeling like you're in the OG Venice. The canals' design was inspired by Venice's canals in an attempt to bring in more tourists to the area.

Which city in Europe is like New York? ›

The best possible compliment that could be awarded to Copenhagen is that it feels like a mesh of the quaint Gdansk and the larger than life New York City.

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