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Everyone Should Visit These 10 Intriguing Small Towns In The USA

Everyone Should Visit These 10 Intriguing Small Towns In The USA

I’ve been fortunate enough to do some traveling around the USA, and along the way I’ve come across a lot of neat little towns. While these places might not offer everything that larger tourist traps and cities have, it’s usually cheaper to visit them than say, New York City. Indeed, it might not cost you much of anything at all if you’re only looking to take a day trip. Below is a list of small towns that draws upon both personal experience and research. They aren’t listed in any ranked order, as each has something to offer that the other doesn’t. Without further ado, let’s take a look at the first town on the list

1. Corinth, New York

10IST#1

    This town is often called “the gateway to the Adirondacks” since it literally resides on the southern border of the Adirondacks in upstate New York. What does that mean? Well, first off, it’s important to understand that New York as a whole is entirely different from New York City, which is what most people think of when they imagine this state in their minds. The rest of New York is more like Vermont or Maine, with greenery everywhere and lakes and streams of various sizes dotting the sprawling natural landscape. This is especially true of the Adirondack region, where Corinth resides. If you’re a fan of beautiful sights, an untainted Hudson river, greenery galore, and American history, you’ll be a fan of Corinth and the surrounding area.

    What To Do

    • Take a swim in the Hudson river.
    • Visit the local Ledge Rock Hill Winery.
    • Go hiking.
    • White water rafting.
    • Visit the nearby Grant Cottage.

    What To Eat

    • I’m not biased or anything, but the pizza in this town is pretty good.

    2. Sedona, Arizona

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    10IST#2

      Unfortunately, I was sick with the flu when my family went to Sedona, so much of the time I was locked in the hotel room. Regardless, I still managed to drag my body around town once I started to recover, and it was definitely worth it despite my condition. Sedona is in northern Arizona, so it’s a bit greener and cooler here than the rest of the state. Overall it’s such a unique environment that it’s tough to put it into words, though basically speaking, it’s sort of got a “mystical” vibe to it. The mesas and plateaus are a site to behold, nearly as majestic as what you see when visiting the Grand Canyon (though with far fewer tourists).

      What To Do

      • Walk along the trails.
      • Take in the sights.
      • Immerse yourself in Native American culture.

      What To Eat

      • The equivalent of main street in this town has an endless amount of restaurants. Both the pizza (somewhat surprisingly) and the Mexican food here was good (though check Yelp as some were better than others).

      3. Lake Placid, New York

      10IST#3

        This town is about a two hour drive from Corinth, and while it’s a bit more tourist-y, it’s definitely got a cool eclectic vibe. From what I could tell, it almost felt like a miniature San Francisco nestled in the Adirondacks, which in itself is pretty cool. Lake Placid was once the site of the winter Olympics, and it still has many athletic competitions hosted there today. If you’re not an athlete, there’s still lots to do, from learning about the town’s Olympic history, to touring the shop-lined streets and admiring the views.

        What To Do

        • Take a gondola up the nearby mountain, giving you an insanely awesome view of Lake Placid.
        • Visit the site of the Olympic games.
        • Take part in one of the many athletic competitions hosted there.

        What To Eat

        • I don’t know if there’s any one thing I could put here, so I’ll refer you to this page.

        4. Santa Cruz, California

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        10IST#4

          Santa Cruz is a pretty small town, but it’s also a prime tourist destination during the summer time. I advise going in the fall or winter, when the weather is a bit more dreary. The plus side to this is that the town will be nearly completely empty, besides the local residents and college students. Being a rather liberal town, there will likely be a bunch of cool cultural events taking place on a daily basis.

          What To Do

          • Go to the beach, just make sure you’re wearing a wetsuit.
          • Hike the forest trails near the university.
          • Check out the Nickelodeon Theater, which shows old movies.

          What To Eat

          • There’s a Chinese restaurant on Mission Street that’s pretty tasty. Santa Cruz has all kinds of foods though, if you can imagine it they probably have it.

          5. Apple Hill, California

          10IST#5

            I’m not sure if this one can be classified as a “town,” per se, because it’s actually an association of Apple ranches that is smack dab in the middle of a couple of towns like Camino and Placerville. That being said, it’s easier to just think of it as its own little town, especially since the people who live there think of it as a separate entity. You’ve probably never heard of Apple Hill, but, much as the name implies, it’s all about apples. If you or a family member has a particularly strong fondness for that fruit, this could be the place of your dreams. Being nestled in the Northern California mountains as it is, you’re also close to lots of natural landmarks.

            What To Do

            • Visit the fifty Apple ranches, and do all of the things that entails (like apple picking)!

            What To Eat

            • Well this one’s easy. Apples! Or anything apple related, of course.

            6. Lexington, Massachusetts

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            OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

              I’m a sucker for Colonial American history, which is good, since I’ll likely be spending the next few years of my life studying it. Anyways, what better way to sate your historical appetite than to visit the town where the first battle of the Revolutionary War was fought?

              What To Do

              • Watch battle reenactments.
              • Visit the site of the “shot heard around the world.”

              What To Eat

              7. Ithaca, New York

              10IST#7

                Ithaca reminds me of Santa Cruz, except instead of an ocean it has a lake, and instead of a UC it has an Ivy League college, Cornell, adorning its hills. It’s very much a college town, though it’s not much of a tourist trap, at least compared to a place like Santa Cruz in the summer.

                What To Do

                • Take a ferry tour of the lake.
                • Visit Cornell.
                • Visit Carl Sagan’s house.

                What To Eat

                • Apparently, Ithaca has more restaurants than New York City. Or at least, that’s what the locals kept telling me. It depends on your taste, but there’s a good restaurant in town for just about every type of food you can think of.

                8. Gettysburg, Pennsylvania

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                10IST#8

                  The main reason to go to Gettysburg is to experience the Civil War history, which is reason enough for me. It’s been a while since I went, but for being a huge historical landmark I remember it to be pretty darn empty and devoid of tourists.

                  What To Do

                  • Visit the infamous battlefield.
                  • Take a ghost tour.

                  What To Eat

                  9. Nevada City, California

                  10IST#9

                    I have a friend with quite the eclectic personality who hails from this area. I used to have trouble understanding her, but now that I know more about her town it all makes sense (if you ever read this, I totally mean that in a completely positive way)! Basically, this “city” (in name only seeing as it only as a population of 3,000) is famous for its art, music, and offbeat culture. It also helps that it’s in close proximity to many of California’s more amazing natural features. A pretty neat combination if you ask me.

                    What To Do

                    What To Eat

                    • Being the eclectic town that it is, Nevada City has farmer’s markets that are bound to please the organic food lovers among you. For everything else, there’s this nifty list.

                    10. Paia, Hawaii

                    Good morning in Paia

                      Located in Maui, Paia represents one of the last places you can get a close-to-authentic Hawaiian experience. By that I mean you won’t find any sprawling resorts or hordes of tourists here, at least not like you’d see on Waikiki beach. They are known especially for their multitude of shops, selling anything from clothes to specialized sports equipment. With a population of under 3,000 people, Paia will surely be a breath of fresh air for those of you who are used to staying in Honolulu.

                      What To Do

                      • Windsurfing is big here. You can buy everything you need for it at the local stores.
                      • Shopping!

                      What To Eat

                      That’s all for now. As you can see, I tried to choose towns that don’t really get much in the way of advertising on other “best small towns” lists. Hopefully this helps you plan a future mini-vacation or day trip! Have you visited a small town that you had a wonderful time in? Tell me about it in the comments below!

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                      Last Updated on March 13, 2019

                      How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

                      How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

                      Have you gotten into a rut before? Or are you in a rut right now?

                      You know you’re in a rut when you run out of ideas and inspiration. I personally see a rut as a productivity vacuum. It might very well be a reason why you aren’t getting results. Even as you spend more time on your work, you can’t seem to get anything constructive done. While I’m normally productive, I get into occasional ruts (especially when I’ve been working back-to-back without rest). During those times, I can spend an entire day in front of the computer and get nothing done. It can be quite frustrating.

                      Over time, I have tried and found several methods that are helpful to pull me out of a rut. If you experience ruts too, whether as a working professional, a writer, a blogger, a student or other work, you will find these useful. Here are 12 of my personal tips to get out of ruts:

                      1. Work on the small tasks.

                      When you are in a rut, tackle it by starting small. Clear away your smaller tasks which have been piling up. Reply to your emails, organize your documents, declutter your work space, and reply to private messages.

                      Whenever I finish doing that, I generate a positive momentum which I bring forward to my work.

                      2. Take a break from your work desk.

                      Get yourself away from your desk and go take a walk. Go to the washroom, walk around the office, go out and get a snack.

                      Your mind is too bogged down and needs some airing. Sometimes I get new ideas right after I walk away from my computer.

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                      3. Upgrade yourself

                      Take the down time to upgrade yourself. Go to a seminar. Read up on new materials (#7). Pick up a new language. Or any of the 42 ways here to improve yourself.

                      The modern computer uses different typefaces because Steve Jobs dropped in on a calligraphy class back in college. How’s that for inspiration?

                      4. Talk to a friend.

                      Talk to someone and get your mind off work for a while.

                      Talk about anything, from casual chatting to a deep conversation about something you really care about. You will be surprised at how the short encounter can be rejuvenating in its own way.

                      5. Forget about trying to be perfect.

                      If you are in a rut, the last thing you want to do is step on your own toes with perfectionist tendencies.

                      Just start small. Do what you can, at your own pace. Let yourself make mistakes.

                      Soon, a little trickle of inspiration will come. And then it’ll build up with more trickles. Before you know it, you have a whole stream of ideas.

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                      6. Paint a vision to work towards.

                      If you are continuously getting in a rut with your work, maybe there’s no vision inspiring you to move forward.

                      Think about why you are doing this, and what you are doing it for. What is the end vision in mind?

                      Make it as vivid as possible. Make sure it’s a vision that inspires you and use that to trigger you to action.

                      7. Read a book (or blog).

                      The things we read are like food to our brain. If you are out of ideas, it’s time to feed your brain with great materials.

                      Here’s a list of 40 books you can start off with. Stock your browser with only the feeds of high quality blogs, such as Lifehack.org, DumbLittleMan, Seth Godin’s Blog, Tim Ferris’ Blog, Zen Habits or The Personal Excellence Blog.

                      Check out the best selling books; those are generally packed with great wisdom.

                      8. Have a quick nap.

                      If you are at home, take a quick nap for about 20-30 minutes. This clears up your mind and gives you a quick boost. Nothing quite like starting off on a fresh start after catching up on sleep.

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                      9. Remember why you are doing this.

                      Sometimes we lose sight of why we do what we do, and after a while we become jaded. A quick refresher on why you even started on this project will help.

                      What were you thinking when you thought of doing this? Retrace your thoughts back to that moment. Recall why you are doing this. Then reconnect with your muse.

                      10. Find some competition.

                      Nothing quite like healthy competition to spur us forward. If you are out of ideas, then check up on what people are doing in your space.

                      Colleagues at work, competitors in the industry, competitors’ products and websites, networking conventions.. you get the drill.

                      11. Go exercise.

                      Since you are not making headway at work, might as well spend the time shaping yourself up.

                      Sometimes we work so much that we neglect our health and fitness. Go jog, swim, cycle, whichever exercise you prefer.

                      As you improve your physical health, your mental health will improve, too. The different facets of ourselves are all interlinked.

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                      Here’re 15 Tips to Restart the Exercise Habit (and How to Keep It).

                      12. Take a good break.

                      Ruts are usually signs that you have been working too long and too hard. It’s time to get a break.

                      Beyond the quick tips above, arrange for a 1-day or 2-days of break from your work. Don’t check your (work) emails or do anything work-related. Relax and do your favorite activities. You will return to your work recharged and ready to start.

                      Contrary to popular belief, the world will not end from taking a break from your work. In fact, you will be much more ready to make an impact after proper rest. My best ideas and inspiration always hit me whenever I’m away from my work.

                      Take a look at this to learn the importance of rest: The Importance of Scheduling Downtime

                      More Resources About Getting out of a Rut

                      Featured photo credit: Joshua Earle via unsplash.com

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