5 of the Best Small Towns to Visit This Summer - Indoors Beauty

5 of the Best Small Towns to Visit This Summer

5 of the Best Small Towns to Visit This Summer

Summer journey is a difficult factor. If I may, I’d spend July in a sun-drenched European villa, sipping tangy white wine and consuming copious oysters. But that isn’t a actuality—at the very least, not now. I used to let summer season journey limitations get to me (thanks, Instagram), however over the previous few years, I’ve taken a brand new strategy to how I make the most of this time of yr. Cringeworthy because it sounds, this season is a few state of thoughts. It’s greatest after I lean into all the extremely accessible locations to go, from campsites to metropolis parks to my high small cities to go to that, admittedly, would possibly even be higher than a Euro journey.

The operative phrase right here is accessible—and I’ve discovered one of the most fun methods to journey in the summer season is to get in the automotive and go to some obscure (or not-so-obscure) home spot that Conde Nast overlooks. America is brimming with tiny cities and small cities to go to. Most are overflowing with distinctive cultures. Take Bentonville, Arkansas: Home to Crystal Bridges, the most beautiful American artwork museum I’ve seen, this Ozarks gem is a bounty of nature and humanities. My time right here gave me a rush akin to a weekend abroad. 

Featured picture by Kristen Kilpatrick.

Image by Michelle Nash

The Best Small Towns to Visit This Summer

There’s catharsis in touring wherever—be it Lisbon, Missoula, or an hour away. Summer is a time for looking for newness as it’s about feeling free. It’s a season that’s home to adventure and exploration as much as it is about being good to yourself and taking it easy.

With that in mind, I’ve rounded up five fantastic small towns to visit this summer. Each unique in charm and filled with potential, these towns—spread across the US—leave an indelible mark.

Summer Travel: A Reality Check

Before I dig in, I’d be remiss not to note what often gets in the way of summer travel: time and money. Even the following small towns require funds and energy to get there and explore. Still, where there’s a will, there’s a way. Even with high gas prices, driving often proves less expensive than flying (and the trip starts the second you get in the car!). Additionally, these smaller cities and towns are more affordable than bigger domestic and international destinations, making dining out and recreation more budget-friendly.

Image by Buff Strickland

Bentonville, Arkansas

Bentonville stole my heart the moment I arrived. I came here several years ago while anchoring the news in nearby Joplin. I’d heard it was worth the hour drive south to take in the northwest Arkansas greenery and hiking trails. Little did I know I’d be inundated with that and so much more—including stellar plays and concerts to see, thanks to the University of Arkansas and Walton Arts Center. Bentonville’s also tucked between Rogers and Fayetteville, two other smaller cities rich in offerings.

What to Do:

Visiting the Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art is a critical should. This unparalleled museum boasts a riveting show of Rothko, Eames, and different modern artists. It additionally hosts the Frank Lloyd Wright Bachman-Wilson House on its property, which is motive alone to go. Thanks to the Walmart-founding Walton household, admission is free.

If you like to soak up nature on foot or on wheels, there’s a bounty of trails on this area, starting from straightforward strolls to intense hiking and mountain biking. The North Bentonville Trail is an efficient starter, because it’s paved and accessible for many skills. At evening, see a dwell efficiency at the Walton Arts Center, usually together with Broadway reveals.

Where to Stay

21C Museum Hotel

This boutique resort chain anchors itself on artwork. Its places (many of that are in smaller cities) both host an in-house artwork assortment or are close to a museum. The Bentonville location is on the city sq., only a stone’s throw from Crystal Bridges, eating places, and cafés.

Missoula, Montana

After watching A River Runs Through It, my mom and I fell arduous for Montana. She may argue she fell tougher as she moved to this storied state 14 years in the past. But I discover each motive to go to her and this magical place each time potential. While each small city and metropolis in Montana has attraction, Missoula holds a particular spot in my coronary heart. Tucked above the Bitterroot Valley and residential to the University of Montana, Missoula has the heartbeat of an enormous metropolis with the slower tempo of a real mountain city. It’s unimaginable.

What to Do

Missoula is an efficient espresso city, so begin your day with a robust cup at Clyde Coffee or Black Roasting Coffee Company. From there, discover downtown by foot or wheels, stopping into the many regionally owned boutiques (Betty Divine’s has a powerful choice of classic Levi’s) and Meadowsweet Herbs is an intimate apothecary that makes natural skincare. Head over to the University of Montana to see the campus and, should you’re up for it and in a position, hike the M, the path behind the campus that provides an ideal view of the city. Cap off the evening with a present at the historic Wilma Theatre and dinner at Florabella.  

Where to Stay

The Wren

A more moderen addition to Missoula, this charming boutique resort has every part a resort ought to: a pleasant workers, proximity to all the items (eating places, bars, outlets, and humanities), and accessible charges. Additionally, its cool foyer makes you need to take a beat and hang around.

Image by Kristen Kilpatrick

Burlington, Vermont

Burlington is the epitome of New England with its quaint streets, historic buildings, and endless arts. I’ve always considered this town Boulder, Colorado on the east coast: The two small cities attract a crowd that loves nature, microbrews, and a slower pace of life. (It’s no coincidence that Burlington’s bustling Church Street is of the same designer as Boulder’s Pearl Street.) While summer is the best time to visit this idyllic town, Burlington impresses year-round.

What to Do

I mentioned Church Street, Burlington’s day and night activity hub. The brick-lined outdoor mall has over 100 places to eat, shop, sip, and explore. It’s always bustling here, especially in spring and summertime. (Vermonters earn their warmer days.) You can find a solid cup of coffee at Onyx Tonics Specialty Coffee, only a block off Church Street, then roam the avenue.

Later in the day, head over to the South End Arts District. Formerly an industrial hub, this neighborhood now has some of the metropolis’s greatest artwork reveals and cider bars and the metropolis’s unparalleled farmers market on Saturdays.  

Where to Stay

Hotel Vermont

Home to Juniper, one of Burlington’s greatest locations to eat, Hotel Vermont is a boutique property alongside Lake Champlain. The design is ethereal, minimal, and heat. There’s a spacious outside patio and a really cozy and lounge-y foyer, each of which magnetize locals as a lot as resort company.

Rapid City, North Dakota

If there’s one small metropolis that will get little or no media consideration that deserves accolades, it’s Rapid City. When I occurred right here on a highway journey, I puzzled Why are folks preserving this a secret? Located proper exterior the Black Hills, a stunning pure maze, Rapid City nails that secret sauce of being small and intimate whereas providing a ton to see.

What to Do

Spend at the very least a day exploring downtown. There are outlets, eateries, and galleries galore, all inside strolling distance of each other. I beloved grabbing a espresso at Harriet and Oak Café and sitting along Main Street Square. Afterward, I strolled in the galleries and checked out Art Alley and the weird-but-cool Dinosaur Park. (You can’t get out of this one if you have littles.)

Now if you have the time—which I hope you do—it’s critical to venture an hour outside the city to see the Black Hills, an expansive swath of forest punctuated by jutting rock spires. It’s intense. It’s also home to Mount Rushmore—a worthy tourist trap. Then east is The Badlands, one of this country’s most eerily captivating landscapes. Visiting here may be the closest thing to seeing the moon. Rocks and cliffs pull in the sunlight, making for an otherworldly terrain.

Where to Stay

Alex Johnson

This Hilton outpost is smack in downtown Rapid City, making for an immediate stroll to the galleries, eating places, bars, and cafés.

Image by (*5*), a quaint espresso store alongside the Deschutes River, for an early oat milk latte to sip in the expansive yard. Then apply tons of sunscreen (that is the excessive desert) and go for a hike or bike trip on the dozens of trails in and round the metropolis. A float down the Deschutes is a enjoyable method to settle down in peak summer season warmth, adopted by a beer or lemonade at Bend Brewing Company. Spend the nighttime seeing an outside live performance at The Hayden Homes Amphitheater in the hip Old Mill District.

Where to Stay

McMenamins Old St. Francis School

You may revolve a day round exploring this property, which was as soon as a Catholic faculty and is now a resort with a bevy of bars (one is hidden), eating places, and a public soaking pool. Every nook is fascinating. The décor is eclectic, rustic, replete with darkish wooden partitions and an ornate combine of artwork and kitschy classic lighting. Once you’re prepared to step exterior the grounds, downtown Bend is there.

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