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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 September 10, 2019

                      7 Morning Rituals to Empower Your Day And Change Your Life

                      7 Morning Rituals to Empower Your Day And Change Your Life

                      Most of your reality is not a given. It is shaped by your expectations, beliefs and thoughts you have formed about it. A big chunk of these beliefs and expectations are encoded into habits you integrate in your daily life.

                      Yes, some of these habits are formed unconsciously and can be counter-productive or limiting but conversely, you can consciously form positive habits that will transform and empower your life significantly.

                      This is a powerful point of departure that more and more people are becoming aware of. The most common trait of highly successful people is the recognition of the power they have in co-creating their reality through changing the way they think, believe or expect their reality to be.

                      One of the most effective ways of changing our belief patterns is through practising and maintaining daily rituals. Ancient traditions had clearly understood the power of rituals in reinforcing habits and changing the way we see and create our reality a long, long time ago.

                      Once again, if you look into the life history of any highly successful individual, you will find some form of ritual in their daily routine. Some of these rituals may seem banal or eccentric but don’t be deceived by appearances. Rituals are one of the most effective self-empowering tools freely available at the practitioner’s disposal – that is, you!

                      Below are some the easiest yet life-changing morning rituals you can do every day. Of course, you can have your own afternoon or bed-time rituals but morning rituals are extremely effective in empowering your day since they help you charge yourself before it all starts.

                      1. Gratitude

                      Feeling gratitude and appreciation for those little signs and moments of joy happening in your life is probably one of the most overlooked or underestimated rituals. It is a perfect morning ritual to start your day on a very positive key.

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                      The real power of gratitude is that it makes you pick out and focus on what is working in your life – what is in tune with your being as a whole. It is selectively positive. It reinforces happiness and positivity by shedding light on those awesome things, small or big, that grace your everyday living.

                      Quite often, we just pick out the pain points, the problems, the bottle necks, whatever it is that is not working in our life and causing friction, anxiety and unhappiness. This is like constantly rewriting the script of your life with a negative or tragic overtone. Your subconscious mind follows faithfully that script you write whether it is a negative or positive one.

                      So feeling gratitude is undoubtedly an immensely empowering ritual. Start your day by being thankful for those positive things that happened the previous day or throughout the week. It could be something really petty and small. It doesn’t matter. You might be grateful for an unexpected visit from an old friend, a beautiful encounter with a kind stranger, a new opportunity or whatever it is that shines your way. Do it every morning and see what happens during the day.

                      Gratitude-Quotes

                        2. Writing Down Your Most Important Tasks

                        This is a very practical ritual. Start your day by identifying and writing down from one to three of the most important tasks you need to complete during that day. These tasks are ones which support important long term goals that are aligned to your purpose, passion or general direction in life.

                        For example, if writing a book or building an online community are important long term goals which are aligned to your personal growth, then an important task for the day might be finishing off a particular page or two of the book or coming up with fresh content ideas for the online community.

                        What is important with this ritual is that you identify these tasks and complete them as early in the day as possible. Of course, you will have other tasks apart from the ones you will write down but, these are tasks which can be tackled later or batched up and carried out in one go.

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                        Writing down your most important tasks in the morning helps you focus your day and life according to what is essential. It helps you prioritize and manage your time better. As a result, you simplify your life by applying your focus and energy on what really counts for your overall life progress.

                        3. Affirm Your Goals in Writing or Drawing

                        This is similar to the previous idea but different in its application and purpose. Writing down your most important tasks of the day is a way to have a concrete structure of action to follow. Affirming your goals, on the other hand, is a very powerful way of crystallizing your vision and goals in life into your everyday mental space.

                        Writing down or doodling your goals on a piece of paper helps you externalize those goals by giving them form. In return, they are reflected back in your subconscious mind and thus, reinforcing them and integrating them more wholly.

                        An example of this would be writing down “I am achieving greater success in my career” or “I am becoming healthier and stronger through my exercise.” Notice the present tense being used as a way to tell yourself you are in the process already. Remember the life script we subconsciously follow? You are basically modifying the script to be applied now in the present.

                        Drawing or doodling can be equally, or even more, effective  (if you are more of a visual person) as it summarizes a graphical representation of your goals. For example, if your goal is to build a new house or live in another country, you can draw the house or draw things that symbolise the country you want to live in.

                        write down goals

                          4. Practice Qi Gong Exercises

                          According to Chinese philosophy, Qi (pronounced ‘Chee’) means the life force or energy inherent in all things;[1] and Qi Gong is the practice to cultivate and circulate that energy in your body. This may sound esoteric or complicated but actually, Qi Gong is really a set of simple exercises aimed at increasing your health and vitality.

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                          There are numerous forms and practices available for free through the online media. As a morning ritual, I recommend following these simple exercises by Qi Gong master Lee Holden:

                          5. Drink Hot Water with Lemon

                          Simply add a slice of lemon in a glass of hot water and drink one every morning. This is a very simple ritual I follow faithfully every morning.

                          Apart from being a good source of vitamin C and a great way of flushing out toxins in the morning, it balances and maintains the PH levels in the body, reduces pain and inflammation in joints and knees and helps nourishing brain and nerve cells. Here are some more benefits of drinking hot water with lemon.

                          6. Rise Earlier

                          The practical advantages of waking up early are obvious.

                          For example, you gain more time for doing exercise such as walking, cycling or Qi Gong as suggested above. You gain more time to be with yourself to reflect, meditate or, more importantly, carry out the other morning rituals.

                          So rising early can be seen as a foundation for all the other morning rituals. Many, like myself, find that they are more productive in the early hours of the day.

                          Also, various studies have shown that there are many other benefits from waking up an hour or two earlier in the morning. Sleeping early and waking up early helps the body attune with the earth’s circadian rhythms thus, promoting more restorative sleep. Other curious results from such studies show, for instance, that early risers tend to be more optimistic and can anticipate and solve problems more efficiently than the norm.[2]

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                          7. Listen to Uplifting Music

                          Uplifting music can have a direct impact on our mood, especially in the morning. It charges us emotionally and tunes us into a more positive outlook of the day ahead.

                          Most people wake up to music or listen to music as they commute to work. Very often, however, they tune in to a radio or randomly pick a playlist from their device. Being more selective and conscious of the music you listen to in the morning can have a great impact on your day and life in general.

                          It’s funny how we try to choose music according to our mood. For example if you are feeling down or disappointed by something, you are more prone to listen to music that reflects that mood – for instance blues, sad songs or downtempo music. This has the effect of reinforcing that mood. What you need to do is the exact opposite and retune your mood by listening to music that beats to a different tune than that mood.

                          Try to listen to more uplifting music in the morning even if, or especially if, your mood does not dictate so.

                          More About Energetic Habits & Rituals

                          Featured photo credit: Carli Jeen via unsplash.com

                          Reference

                          [1] Live Science: What Is Qi Gong
                          [2] Harvard Business Review: Defend Your Research: The Early Bird Really Does Get the Worm

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