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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 July 3, 2020

                      How to Control Your Thoughts and Be the Master of Your Mind

                      How to Control Your Thoughts and Be the Master of Your Mind

                      Your mind is the most powerful tool you have for the creation of good in your life, but if not used correctly, can also be the most destructive force in your life. To control your thoughts means to influence the way you live your life.

                      Your mind, more specifically, your thoughts, affects your perception and therefore, your interpretation of reality. (And here’s Why Your Perception Is Your Reality)

                      I have heard that the average person thinks around 70,000 thoughts a day. That’s a lot, especially if they are unproductive, self-abusive, and just a general waste of energy.

                      You can let your thoughts run amok, but why would you? It is your mind, your thoughts; isn’t it time to take your power back? Isn’t it time to take control?

                      Choose to be the person who is actively, consciously thinking your thoughts. Be someone who can control your thoughts—become the master of your mind.

                      When you change your thoughts, you will change your feelings as well, and you will also eliminate the triggers that set off those feelings. Both of these outcomes provide you with a greater level of peace in your mind.

                      I currently have a few thoughts that are not of my choosing or a response from my reprogramming. I am the master of my mind, so now my mind is quite peaceful. Yours can be too!

                      Who Is Thinking My Thoughts?

                      Before you can become the master of your mind, you must recognize that you are currently at the mercy of several unwanted “squatters” living in your mind, and they are in control of your thoughts.

                      If you want to be the boss of them, you must know who they are and what their motivation is, and then you can take charge and evict them.

                      Here are four of the “squatters” in your head that create unhealthy and unproductive thoughts.

                      1. The Inner Critic

                      This is your constant abuser who is often a conglomeration of:

                      • Other people’s words—many times your parents
                      • Thoughts you have created based on your own or other peoples’ expectations
                      • Comparing yourself to other people, including those in the media
                      • The things you told yourself as a result of painful experiences such as betrayal and rejection. Your interpretation creates your self-doubt and self-blame, which are most likely undeserved in cases of rejection and betrayal.

                      The Inner Critic is motivated by pain, low self-esteem, lack of self-acceptance, and lack of self-love.

                      Why else would this person abuse you? And since this person is youwhy else would you abuse yourself? Why would you let anyone treat you this badly?

                      2. The Worrier

                      This person lives in the future—in the world of “what ifs.”

                      The Worrier is motivated by fear, which is often irrational and has no basis. Occasionally, this person is motivated by fear that what happened in the past will happen again.

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                      3. The Reactor or Troublemaker

                      This is the one that triggers anger, frustration, and pain. These triggers stem from unhealed wounds of the past. Any experience that is even closely related to a past wound will set him off.

                      This person can be set off by words or feelings and can even be set off by sounds and smells.

                      The Reactor has no real motivation and has poor impulse control. He is run by past programming that no longer serves you—if it ever did.

                      4. The Sleep Depriver

                      This can be a combination of any number of different squatters including the inner planner, the rehasher, and the ruminator, along with the inner critic and the worrier.

                      The Sleep Depriver’s motivation can be:

                      • As a reaction to silence, which he fights against
                      • Taking care of the business you neglected during the day
                      • Self-doubt, low self-esteem, insecurity, and generalized anxiety
                      • As listed above for the inner critic and worrier

                      How can you control these squatters?

                      How to Master Your Mind

                      You are the thinker and the observer of your thoughts. You can control your thoughts, but you must pay attention to them so you can identify “who” is running the show—this will determine which technique you will want to use.

                      Begin each day with the intention of paying attention to your thoughts and catching yourself when you are thinking undesirable thoughts.

                      There are two ways to control your thoughts:

                      • Technique A – Interrupt and replace them
                      • Technique B – Eliminate them altogether

                      This second option is what is known as peace of mind.

                      The technique of interrupting and replacing is a means of reprogramming your subconscious mind. Eventually, the replacement thoughts will become the “go-to” thoughts in applicable situations.

                      Use Technique A with the Inner Critic and Worrier and Technique B with the Reactor and Sleep Depriver.

                      1. For the Inner Critic

                      When you catch yourself thinking something negative about yourself (calling yourself names, disrespecting yourself, or berating yourself), interrupt it.

                      You can yell (in your mind), “Stop! No!” or, “Enough! I’m in control now.” Then, whatever your negative thought was about yourself, replace it with an opposite or counter thought or an affirmation that begins with “I am.”

                      For example, if your thought is, “I’m such a loser,” you can replace it with, “I am a Divine Creation of the Universal Spirit. I am a perfect spiritual being learning to master the human experience. I am a being of energy, light, and matter. I am magnificent, brilliant, and beautiful. I love and approve of myself just as I am.”

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                      You can also have a dialogue with yourself to discredit the ‘voice’ that created the thought—if you know whose voice it is:

                      “Just because so-and-so said I was a loser doesn’t make it true. It was his or her opinion, not a statement of fact. Or maybe they were joking and I took it seriously because I’m insecure.”

                      If you recognize that you have recurring self-critical thoughts, you can write out or pre-plan your counter thoughts or affirmation so you can be ready.

                      This is the first squatter you should evict, forcefully, if necessary:

                      • They rile up the Worrier.
                      • The names you call yourself become triggers when called those names by others, so he also maintains the presence of the Reactor.
                      • They are often present when you try to fall asleep so he perpetuates the Sleep Depriver.
                      • They are a bully and is verbally and emotionally abusive.
                      • They are the destroyer of self-esteem. They convince you that you’re not worthy. They’re a liar! In the interest of your self-worth, get them out!

                      Eliminate your worst critic and you will also diminish the presence of the other three squatters.

                      Replace them with your new best friends who support, encourage, and enhance your life. This is a presence you want in your mind.

                      2. For the Worrier

                      Prolonged anxiety is mentally, emotionally, and physically unhealthy. It can have long-term health implications.

                      Fear initiates the fight or flight response, creates worry in the mind, and creates anxiety in the body. This may make it more difficult for you to control your thoughts effectively.

                      You should be able to recognize a “worry thought” immediately by how you feel. The physiological signs that the fight or flight response of fear has kicked in are:

                      • Increased heart rate, blood pressure, or surge of adrenaline
                      • Shallow breathing or breathlessness
                      • Muscles tense

                      Use the above-stated method to interrupt any thought of worry and then replace it. But this time, you will replace your thoughts of worry with thoughts of gratitude for the outcome you wish for.

                      If you believe in a higher power, this is the time to engage with it. Here is an example:

                      Instead of worrying about my loved ones traveling in bad weather, I say the following (I call it a prayer):

                      “Thank you great spirit for watching over _______. Thank you for watching over his/her car and keeping it safe, road-worthy, and free of maintenance issues without warning. Thank you for surrounding him/her with only safe, conscientious, and alert drivers. And thank you for keeping him/her safe, conscientious, and alert.”

                      Smile when you think about it or say it aloud, and phrase it in the present tense. Both of these will help you feel it and possibly even start to believe it.

                      If you can visualize what you are praying for, the visualization will enhance the feeling so you will increase the impact in your vibrational field.

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                      Now, take a calming breath, slowly in through your nose, and slowly out through the mouth. Take as many as you like! Do it until you feel that you’re close to being in control of your thoughts.

                      Replacing fearful thoughts with gratitude will decrease reactionary behavior, taking the steam out of the Reactor.

                      For example: If your child gets lost in the mall, the typical parental reaction that follows the fearful thoughts when finding them is to yell at them.

                      “I told you never to leave my sight.” This reaction just adds to the child’s fear level from being lost in the first place.

                      Plus, it also teaches them that mom and/or dad will get mad when he or she makes a mistake, which may make them lie to you or not tell you things in the future.

                      Change those fearful thoughts when they happen:

                      “Thank You (your choice of Higher Power) for watching over my child and keeping him safe. Thank you for helping me find him soon.”

                      Then, when you see your child after this thought process, your only reaction will be gratitude, and that seems like a better alternative for all people involved.

                      3. For the Troublemaker, Reactor or Over-Reactor

                      Permanently eliminating this squatter will take a bit more attention and reflection after the fact to identify and heal the causes of the triggers. But until then, you can prevent the Reactor from getting out of control by initiating conscious breathing as soon as you recognize his presence.

                      The Reactor’s thoughts or feelings activate the fight or flight response just like with the Worrier. The physiological signs of his presence will be the same. With a little attention, you should be able to tell the difference between anxiety, anger, frustration, or pain.

                      I’m sure you’ve heard the suggestion to count to ten when you get angry—well, you can make those ten seconds much more productive if you are breathing consciously during that time.

                      Conscious breathing is as simple as it sounds—just be conscious of your breathing. Pay attention to the air going in and coming out.

                      Breathe in through your nose:

                      • Feel the air entering your nostrils.
                      • Feel your lungs filling and expanding.
                      • Focus on your belly rising.

                      Breathe out through your nose:

                      • Feel your lungs emptying.
                      • Focus on your belly falling.
                      • Feel the air exiting your nostrils.

                      Do this for as long as you like. Leave the situation if you want. This gives the adrenaline time to normalize. Now, you can address the situation with a calmer, more rational perspective and avoid damaging behavior, and you’ll be more in control of your thoughts.

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                      One of the troubles this squatter causes is that it adds to the sleep depriver’s issues. By evicting or at least controlling the Reactor, you will decrease reactionary behavior, which will decrease the need for the rehashing and ruminating that may keep you from falling asleep.

                      Master your mind and stop the Reactor from bringing stress to you and your relationships!

                      4. For the Sleep Depriver

                      (They’re made up of the Inner Planner, the Rehasher, and the Ruminator, along with the Inner Critic and the Worrier.)

                      I was plagued with a very common problem: not being able to turn off my mind at bedtime. This inability prevented me from falling asleep and thus, getting a restful and restorative night’s sleep.

                      Here’s how I mastered my mind and evicted the Sleep Depriver and all his cronies.

                      1. I started by focusing on my breathing—paying attention to the rise and fall of my belly—but that didn’t keep the thoughts out for long. (Actually, I now start with checking my at-rest mouth position to keep me from clenching.)
                      2. Then I came up with a replacement strategy that eliminated uncontrolled thinking—imagining the word in while breathing in and thinking the word out when breathing out. I would (and do) elongate the word to match the length of my breath.

                      When I catch myself thinking, I shift back to in, out. With this technique, I am still thinking, sort of, but the wheels are no longer spinning out of control. I am in control of my mind and thoughts, and I choose quiet.

                      From the first time I tried this method, I started to yawn after only a few cycles and am usually asleep within ten minutes.

                      For really difficult nights, I add an increase of attention by holding my eyes in a looking-up position (closed, of course). Sometimes I try to look toward my third eye but that really hurts my eyes.

                      If you have trouble falling asleep because you can’t shut off your mind, I strongly recommend you try this technique. I still use it every night. You can start sleeping better tonight!

                      You can also use this technique any time you want to:

                      • Fall back to sleep if you wake up too soon
                      • Shut down your thinking
                      • Calm your feelings
                      • Simply focus on the present moment

                      The Bottom Line

                      Your mind is a tool, and like any other tool, it can be used for constructive purposes or destructive purposes.

                      You can allow your mind to be occupied by unwanted, undesirable, and destructive tenants, or you can choose desirable tenants like peace, gratitude, compassion, love, and joy.

                      Your mind can become your best friend, your biggest supporter, and someone you can count on to be there and encourage you. You can be in control of your thoughts. The choice is yours!

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                      Featured photo credit: Priscilla Du Preez via unsplash.com

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