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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

                  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 January 15, 2019

                      8 Simple Mindfulness Exercises to Bring Peace and Happiness to Your Life

                      8 Simple Mindfulness Exercises to Bring Peace and Happiness to Your Life

                      In life, we all need to be conscientious of what we are doing. You don’t need to live a life of stress if you don’t want to. You can achieve peace and happiness in life by carefully building mindfulness exercises into your life’s routine.

                      Exercising mindfulness isn’t rocket science and as importantly, you can do it. It will, however, take a few tries to get into the groove of things but once you get it, it is like riding a bike, you will never lose it.

                      Trust me. It’s in your best interest to learn and put these mindfulness exercises into practice. In this article, I will share with you 8 mindfulness exercises that will help you to boost your energy, vitality and live a more peaceful and happier life.

                      Why Is It Hard to Live A Peaceful And Happy Life?

                      Our Habitat Has Become Too Technological

                      The world has accepted the idea that technology is often the cure for all evil. We have accepted, as a society, that everything technological will make us live a better life without fully investigating the many side effects that modernity brings.

                      There are a number of technological side effects that have a tremendous impact on your life that the media rarely tells you about.[1] Some of them include self-harm, economic inequality, having less sex, and even suicide. The global community is becoming less happy because of technology.

                      How can anybody live a peaceful and happy life when they are depressed? Technology advancements, ladies and gents, is a major reason for why we are living a poor life because it has infiltrated our lives too much.

                      According to my research, Americans spend an average of 8 hours a day looking at the computer screen — The average screen time spent on smartphones alone is about 20 hours per week. That’s a lot! No wonder why living a happy and peaceful life is so difficult these days.

                      Too Many People Don’t Want to Unplug

                      Americans check their phones an average of 80 times during vacation.[2] Some admit to checking their smartphones 300 times every single day. In countries like Brazil, India and China, the situation is no different.

                      The reality is that people are constantly plugged into technological devices and this behavior is literally making people all over the globe fight an inner war with themselves, which consequently makes them very sad. As we know, war is the enemy of peace which won’t make anybody happy.

                      Listen carefully:

                      We have a global anxiety epidemic because people don’t want to unplug from their smartphones and most people aren’t doing anything to fix it. It is a sad state of affairs but very real. This obsession with technology is turning us into perishable robots who live terrible lives.

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                      The era of anxiety is here to stay. There is little doubt about it. We can, however, fight back with the best remedy of all — We call it mindfulness!

                      Thank God there is an antidote to this whole technological madness. Without further ado, let’s go straight to the mindful exercises.

                      8 Mindfulness Exercises to Start Practicing

                      There are tons of mindfulness exercises available for you to engage with out there.[3] In the paragraphs below, I will include the best ones I’ve personally tried or have seen my close friends and family members try.

                      Are you ready for it? Let’s go!

                      1. Pray Daily

                      You should pray on a daily basis. Why is that you may ask — Well, because science has told us to do so.

                      When people pray, they feel peaceful, almost eliminating anxiety. Worries become secondary, and often gives people energy and hope to cope with the difficulties of life.

                      Prayer can make you more confident and focused. Prayer also helps you with self-control, helps to control pain, and can protect you against illnesses and disorders like cancer and high blood pressure. At least, this is what researchers from Harvard Medical School have said.[4]

                      Pray. You won’t regret it.[5]

                      2. Pay Attention to Your Inner Thoughts

                      A lot of people allow themselves to be influenced by their negative thoughts. Be different and resist believing in them. It is a bad habit that can lead to unhappiness.

                      By the way, if you do feel this way, chances are high that somebody other than you put these thoughts into your head.

                      Here is my secret to combat this cancer — look at things objectively. I bet that if you look at things as they are, you will realize that most if not all of your negative thoughts are only inside of your head.

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                      If you pay close attention, you will quickly realize that these voices aren’t worth your time. Believe me — Ignoring them and looking at things with objectivity is often the best course of action.

                      This article can guide you to beat negative thoughts:

                      How to Stop Automatic Negative Thoughts When You’re Overwhelmed

                      3. Smile Often

                      Smiling will slow down your heart. It will also relax your body because when you smile, your body releases endorphins which in itself has a number of positive benefits for you as a person.

                      Smile often! You may want to smile early in the morning, during the day, and late in the evening. It is amazing what happens to you when you decide to smile instead of being grumpy.

                      Surrender your problems to a nice smile. You will notice two things. First, most people just don’t which makes them live a miserable life. Second, if you decide to smile often, you will eventually smile unconsciously which is the ideal.

                      The moment that you smile unconsciously, you then know that you are truly happy.

                      4. Organize Your Working Desk

                      A messy desk will make you less productive and can agitate and overstimulate you. You don’t want that.

                      When you clear your desk, you engage in deep inner-thinking and your systematic decision making ends up becoming therapeutic.

                      Most people realize that they are most creative when their creative space is clean and organized. The former often makes people more aware of what they are doing which lends to less stress and more productivity.

                      Organizing your desk will also make you more energetic and focused because order often decreases chaos which is a condition that often slows down daily progress.

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                      5. Celebrate Your Friend’s Victories

                      I love this mindful exercise. One of the best ways to live a happy and peaceful life is to celebrate the victories of others. When you do that, you automatically make your friends in a better mood which makes you in a better mood, as well.

                      Happiness is contagious! We might as well celebrate others as much as we can. If you find out that your peer has won an award, celebrate with him! If your friend is the recipient of a local charity award, celebrate with her!

                      What is also awesome is that when you celebrate with others, they often celebrate with you in return. This, ladies and gentleman, will make you feel fantastic. You can’t go wrong with this one, period.

                      6. Listen to Your Spouse/Partner

                      God put someone in your life for a reason. You might as well listen to him or her.

                      I listen to my wife everyday. In fact, I often ask the following question to her, “Amanda, what are your thoughts about…” or “What am I missing about…” It is shocking what I hear back from her. Without her having much context and perspective, by the art of observation in my own nonverbal behavior and the behavior of others, she accurately gives me incredible insights which helps me out with living my life to the fullest.

                      I’m a firm believer that spouses are supposed to engage in interpersonal communication every day. I most definitely do and will continue doing it. You should do the same.

                      7. Give Yourself a Break from Technology

                      You can’t be in total equilibrium if your computerized devices control your life. You must get away from technology on a daily basis.[6]

                      How do you do that? This is my formula:

                      First, go to my website (find my website here in my profile) and take the smartphone control test. It is only ten questions but this test will place you somewhere in the human robot cycle continuum.

                      If your score is between 25-30, take a break from the computer (or smartphone, pad, laptop/desktop) every twenty minutes and stop being on a computerized device after 8:00pm.

                      If you score between 30-35, still take a break every 20 minutes but stop being on these devices at 5:00pm.

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                      If you score more than 35, you need to take action immediately.

                      Limit computer use as much as possible throughout the day. Give yourself as many breaks from the computer as possible. Are you ready for the challenge?

                      8. Go Exercise

                      Go exercise at least three times a week. I don’t care if you need to workout early in the morning, late in the evening, on the weekends or during work days. Working out is absolutely imperative for you to live happy and peaceful life.

                      The stresses of the modern world are too much for you to neglect this important mindfulness exercise. When you go to the gym, you burn calories, focus on activities one step at a time, your mind relaxes, anxiety decreases, you sweat and often think about topics unrelated to your work place among many other benefits.

                      You must exercise at least three hours each week for optimum results. Why? Just take a look at all the benefits of regular exercising:

                      12 Benefits of Regular Exercise You Should Know

                      The Bottom Line

                      It’s in your best interest to learn and put these mindfulness exercises into practice. Now that our habitat has become too technological and many people just don’t want to unplug, engaging in daily prayer, celebrate your friends’ victories, and listening to your spouse are among the best ways to be mindful about what you are doing and how you are living.

                      It is possible to live a happy and peaceful life. It only depends on you.

                      Go exercise! Take a break from technology and invest in you! Life is too short for distractions.

                      More Resources About Mindfulness

                      Featured photo credit: Lesly Juarez via unsplash.com

                      Reference

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