6 Best Cities & Small Towns To Visit In The U.S.

By Erin Sullivan

Big cities vs. small towns — what should a vacationer choose? There’s something about strolling through a city that makes you feel like you’re really somewhere. The bustling streets, bright lights, and round-the-clock entertainment are invigorating, especially when visiting a new city. On the other hand, there’s nothing quite like exploring the charming pockets of a small town. They’re the perfect place to escape the hustle and bustle of city life, relax and unwind. No matter which setting you crave, pack your bags and head to one of these six best U.S. cities and small towns to visit with RCI.

1. Nashville, Tennessee

Nashville — the home of historic landmarks, Southern hospitality, and, of course, country music. The list of things to do in Nashville is a long one, but they don’t call it Music City for nothing, so be sure to make a stop at the legendary Country Music Hall of Fame. Then, catch a show at the Grand Ole Opry or grab a drink on Broadway. For epic views of the city, take a stroll along Shelby Street Pedestrian Bridge. After all, you know what they say, “These boots are made for walkin’.”

2. New Orleans, Louisiana

On the Mississippi River lies one of America’s greatest gems: the city of New Orleans. The cultural hotspot is known for its rich history, vibrant nightlife, and iconic cuisine. From gumbo and jambalaya to crawfish and po boys — there’s no shortage of delicious dishes, so come hungry. A trip to NOLA wouldn’t be complete without visiting the heart of the city: the French Quarter. Start your day with a beignet at a Café du Monde and end it with a nightcap and some live music on Bourbon Street. If it’s your first time in New Orleans, it surely won’t be your last.

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3. Pasadena, California

Looking to escape those brisk winter months? Look no further than sunny Pasadena, California. Less than a half an hour northeast of Los Angeles, Pasadena boasts exquisite restaurants, trendy shops, and stunning architecture. Once you’ve had your fill of the beauty that is Old Pasadena, be sure to check out the Rose Bowl Stadium where the famous college football game of the same name is held each year. Oh, and don’t forget to start your day with a fresh smoothie bowl like a true Angelino!

4. Leavenworth, Washington

Who knew you could feel the wonder of small-town Germany without ever leaving the U.S.? Welcome to Leavenworth, Washington, the Bavarian-style village of your dreams. If a trip to Europe isn’t in the cards, this whimsical town is a close second. Check out one of Leavenworth’s many festive events, or make a special trip during the holiday season to experience the magic of Winter Karneval.

5. Taos, New Mexico

Home to some of the oldest communities in the U.S., Taos is a truly fascinating place to visit. Explore the town’s signature adobe architecture, including Taos Pueblo, then grab a bite to eat and watch the sunset over the mountains in the historic Taos Plaza. From captivating museums to snow-capped slopes, this Southwestern jewel has something for everyone.

6. Woodstock, Vermont

Small towns don’t get much more charming than Woodstock, Vermont. With rolling hills, historic buildings, and scenic views as far as the eye can see — it’s no wonder this place is often regarded as one of most beautiful towns in America. Cross one of Woodstock’s picturesque covered bridges on your way into the village center, then taste some of the state’s famous cheddar cheese at Sugarbush Farm. And if you really want to feel like you’re living inside a postcard, be sure to visit Woodstock during fall.

*These vacations are limited and subject to availability.

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