I am looking for small US and Canadian towns with their own unique flavors.
Help me flesh out this list. So far I have ;
Also any comments on the towns listed would be great as I have only been to a few of them.
All these places will likely very touristy and expensive.
Some places I can add to the list are Leavenworth, WA, a great german style village east of Seattle. It's incredibly beautiful but it reeks of kitsch tourism. Jackson, WY is great too, both have mountains cascading over them like in your pic. I really enjoyed Jackson but it was the slow season so everyone was local. Lots of cool looking 20 somethings and there's lots of money to be made there.
All those Colorado mountain towns are great. I really enjoyed Breckenridge and Steamboat Springs which is supposed to be very hip. That has to be one of my favorite areas in the US.
Taos is a dump from what I gathered. Manby hot springs is there right on the Rio Grande, they filmed a bit of Easy Rider there. Only naked hippies when I was there though. Donald Rumsfeld has a house there among others. I remember laughing at Taos because the power was out and nothing worked. This was also during the summer so it wasn't cool and snow covered. Hippies galore.
Big Sur was cool too but it seemed more of a nature place than an actual town. Santa Cruz is cool too, the locals are iffy though.
Asheville, NC is beautiful. Lots of bums. With all these great little towns comes some very lousy people too. That's the shame of it.
Two Harbors, CA is a great little place, I lived there for a bit. It's expensive to get there, $75 ferry round trip but it's a hidden gem for sure. Again, small town + high tourism = xenophobia, small mindedness, and social retards.
There are tons of great little places. The ones that are less absurdly beautiful are gonna be cheaper and have a more easy going community.
Are you looking for a place to live, OP?
>Are you looking for a place to live, OP?
Sort of, planning a massive year long road trip and going to check all these spots out.
If I find a place I like , I will build a house.
I am surprised you didnt like taos.
I had feel more at ease there than anywhere I have traveled.
You are right about big sur, only a few restaurants and not many people.
The few people there are super woo woo but very nice.
I really liked Salida colorado also, have you been there?
Haven't been to Salida. Manitou Springs is cool. Pueblo was crap and Colorado Springs was meh IMO. I took a huge US road trip. I enjoyed the west better and seems like most of these cool little towns are there. Good luck. Maybe San Luis Obispo too, looks like Hobbiton.
St. Augustine Florida is a pretty cool town. Oldest city in the US and has a nice downtown area with tons of bars and good restaurants. Plenty of history since it's pretty fucking old and has great bed and breakfasts.
Your picture is Banff where I used to live. It's a stunningly gorgeous area but there's no community whatsoever: people who live there live to service the tourist economy, and tend to be very transient. There are probably as many Australians as Canadians.
yeah exactly. Fucking bogans are singlehandedly destroying Whistler and Banff. It's good that it keeps 'em out of our other good mountains (i'm not giving that one up, boganians) but it absolutely ruins those areas for me.
>MATE IM FACKEN HEMMERED LETS FACKIN TAKE OUR SHIRTS OFF AND JUMP ON THE TABLES AND IF DUMB CUNTS FACKIN CAUSE SHET WELL FACKIN SMESH EM MATES
Squamish, BC. It's about 1hr north of Vancouver on the way to Whistler. It's a very beautiful area, some would say even more so than Whistler, but without the ridiculous costs of living in the cities north and south of it. Most people in Squamish are into 2 things, the outdoors and smoking pot. Avoid the injuns and it's a lovely place.
Waterford, ON. Was an underground railroad "stop" back in the slavery days. Home to Canada's largest Cannery (there is a can of apples circa 1880s, label intact at the heritage museum). Its a cool place to spend an hour or two appreciating the small town's upbringing.
Idyllwild, CA (pic related)
Neat mountain town full of artists, backpackers, and retired folks. Heavily forested and docile. Surrounding mountain (San Jacinto) are quite extreme.
St Joseph, MI
It's a small western themed town.
Touristy. But the community is great.
Everyone knows everyone up and down the valley.
There are two towns within 7 miles each direction, twisp, and Mazama.
The former is kind of unpleasant but not terrible. The latter is really just a few buildings but there is some great wilderness up there.
I grew up halfway between Mazama and Winthrop. If you like lots of things to do in town it may not be for you. But there is a ton of wilderness nearby. And it is fairly sparsely populated. There is even a ski hill about half an hour away for the winter months.
The only issue if you are doing a road trip is it is kind of out of the way. It is just before the start of the northernmost mountain pass in Washington. But if you have the time I would say you should drive it. It is one of the most beautiful drives in the USA. There's plenty of hiking trails as well and all kind of things to do if you are an outdoorsy person. Plus due to the touristy nature, the residents are much more well knit because they know one another, and if you want a place to eat in town there is some great places.
My favorite is carlos1800.
Great Mexican food and the owner of it is a great guy.
The Duck Brand isn't bad either, it is a blend of Mexican and American dishes.
Highly recommend what this guy wrote. That route is amazing and the views near Diablo dam are some of the most spectacular I've seen in my life. Did stop in Winthrop but I'm not much into this sort of thing so I only had a quick look around.
Another place near by just across the Canada border is Osoyoos, BC. It's in the only desert in Canada with summer temperatures often reaching 40C (105F). Lots of tourists from Vancouver go there for a few days each year to soak up the sun and spend some time on the lake there. Not everyone is into that sort of scenery but for me it's one of my favourite parts of BC.
If you're looking for soul, go to Newfoundland. Bonavista, Harbour Grace, Marystown, St. George's; etc.
If you're looking for something equally as pleasant but with more agricultural beauty, places in NS like Antigonish or Yarmouth would fit you.
my uncle runs a western-wear store in moab, it is apparently a huge european tourism hotspot
what are some sophisticated small towns?
places with good food and educated citizenry
I grew up un Havelock. A typical weekend growing up was going to the Circle at Atlantic Beach, then over to Ft Macon and going over to Beaufort to get some saltwater taffy and frsh fudge from the Fudge Factory
Kek, those places are burning to the ground as we speak.
I live in Palm Springs as well, 29 Palms is a shithole. Palm Springs is great if the weather not too hot, great hiking during the day and eats and drinks at night downtown. I would suggest OP take a look at Idyllwild or Lake Arrowhead.
Florida was originally colonized by the spanish when they fucked up their search for the fountain of youth. They ended up finding a small fountain with sulphur water and decided that it was the fabled fountain of youth.
And it's official title is oldest continuously lived in settlement in the european in USA
Montana: Bozeman, Kalispell
Colorado: Ouray, Creede, Lake City, Boulder, Golden, Steamboat, Aspen ($$$$$$)
NM: As a prior poster said, Taos is overrated. Then again, so is New Mexico
Wyoming: Lots of interesting towns in the south/southwest part of the state
Washington: Drive 101 all the way around Olympic National Park, or drive the coastal highway up to La Push
Alamosa is a shithole, but it's also the gateway to one of the best areas of Colorado. You'll hit Monte Vista, then Del Norte. After that, it's good. South Fork, then Creede to the North or Wolf Creek, Pagosa Springs and Durango to the west.
+1 for St . Joseph, MI. Spent the summer working just south of there. Great beaches, neat little down town area with lots of shops and restaurants. Warren Dunes is only about 30 minutes away, Chicago is about 2 hours. Nuke plant and Whirlpool means that they have something like an actual economy too, not just tourist services. If only it wasn't for all of the Chicago jagoffs who come to the beaches there. There are a couple of bomb ass mexican restaurants in Benton Harbor as well, but you don't want to be wandering around there.
If you like snobby trust fund hippies, then yea.
Pecos, TX has it's own unique feel, and is fairly cheap(though good luck getting a hotel room). It's a small Mexicana town that has a lot of transient traffic, since it's on a major shipping route and is an oilfield hub, but a small local population.
It also a restaurant with the best tamales I've ever had.
>CTRL + F
>No Lake Tahoe
Lake Tahoe is pretty GOAT. Is there anywhere else in USA as clear and blue as Tahoe?
Lake Michigan is so clear on some days that you can see the shipwrecks
Tahoe is awesome. I would have liked to have seen Mammoth Lakes posted as well.
Northampton, MA vegan, quinoa-eating, montessori schooling, lgbt mecca
Greenport, NY touristy, but there's something quaint about the whole north and south fork areas, there are lots of cute places on the island
Savannah, Georgia - picture perfect southern town, amazing place
Oxford, Mississippi - exclusively only in the fall during an Ole Miss home game. Hit the grove and party, be sure to dress well. Anyone interested in American sports/southern culture cannot recommend enough
St.Augustine, Florida - My hometown, oldest city in the US. Spanish architecture and some solid beaches
Austin, Texas - Cliche, but do it if you haven't
Missoula, Montana - liberal college town surrounded by the reddest of red states. 100k, ~half dozen microbreweries, raucous nightlife, stunning scenery
Tahoe City is pretty fun. The area itself is extremely beautiful and if you can book a cabin or a lodge in the city you'll be a short walk away from biking, kayaking, jet skiing, and other things like that. Squaw Valley is close by as well.
In the category of fun towns to drive through, Petaluma CA. American Graffiti was shot there, and their downtown has so much good and interesting food its ridiculous. Four cafes, two fantastic bakeries, a direct from the farm ice creamery, a sweet and savory pie shop, two high end restaurants, three smoothie places, and even their fucking hospital has a coffee shop rated five stars run by one of the doctors and his colleague.
Everyone has a different idea about what a small town actually is.
To me its 50k or less.
>, Banff is lovely, also get beaver tails while you're there
I spent a year in Banff on the beaver patrol and found them to be overrated
Alamosa is white bread hippie shit/ranch country and a fairly decent college town. Stunning back country that is dominated by Blanca Peak. Great Dunes Nat'l Park is nearby also. Good stopover town for hiking in the southern part of the state and travelling the Rockies without dealing with trust fund babies in Boulder and Aspen.
La Junta, decent mix. Poor as hell though and was a cartel shipment hub when I stayed there. A lot of history in the region though. Sits on the old Santa Fe trail and is about an hour to hour 15 from the Front Range while still enjoying the high plains. Good hub town if you don't want to take the interstate. Lived there for around six months in 2011-2012 for oil work.
Cool, these spots are only a few hours away from me.
I think I will check them out this weekend.
How is the chick situation ?
I'd recommend Percé, QC. It's definitely unique as far as small towns go. You can see things there that you wouldn't see anywhere else.
Can you elaborate?
I'm quebecscum and I was there about a week ago. Aside from the Pit Caribou pub (which was pretty neat), the town was 99% hotels, motels and tourist traps. All due to a rock that has a hole in it.
I don't get it, especially considering that Gaspesia as a whole is fucking awesome.
Williams, AZ - very neat little tourist town along Route 66 and just south of the Grand Canyon. Lots of old and cool shit everywhere, pic related
South Lake Tahoe, CA - my goodness this place is beautiful. Easily accessible beaches, hotels and casinos to the east in Stateline, NV, and Taylor Creek, a stream where salmon spawn in the fall and self-guided trails (open may - oct).
I found Manchester, VT on accident while taking a solo road trip down the East Coast and through the Midwest. Gorgoues town. Great people. The streets are literally paves with marble. Very New Englandy. Avoid the leaf tourists and ski tourist seasons. Eat breakfast at Up for Breakfast. Awesomely quuaint diner. Take the small hike to Mystic Pond. One would not regret it.
Tahoe is cool, I lived in placerville for years and made trips there a lot for roadie gigs. Tons of little bars, and There's a giant renaissance fair there every year. The lake is blue sometimes, but only in the winter and spring really. Cabins are over priced as fuck, like for real. There's lots of Craig's list posts for someone looking for like 10 other people to split a 2 bed for $60/night in the winter season. No joke. The strip in south shore is kinda cute I guess, but it feels kinda like a over sized waiting lobby for heavenly. That said, I've been skiing all over the state's, and the sierras are the best I've ever done. Pizza is kind of the local speciality there, anywhere in norcal really. So is craft beers, There's a lot of local brewers there.
More than likely you're flying in from sac international, then headed up 50 as it's the quickest route. Some people say to take 80 but it's a nightmare over the summit and the roads are not taken care of at all there and it's not uncommon for 5-6 deaths there each season from people getting crushed by a semi or driving off into the ravine. That said, on your way back take 80 into a stretch of towns I grew up in. Nevada city/grass valley are super cute downtowns with shops that change each month (not much tourism these days), and the area is great hiking. Don't look forward to the sites though, all it is is digger pine and scrub oak. oh and wild fires, that shit grows as far as you can see.
>Lake Geneva, WI
A vacation destination for rich people from Chicago since late 1800s. After the Chicago Fire all the super wealthy made their estates on Lake Geneva a larger and permanent residence while the city was being rebuilt. Wrigley (candy company), Maytag (appliances) are just two of the famous families that built estates on the lake a hundred years ago. Before F. Scott Fitzgerald wrote the Great Gatsby he lived in Lake Geneva and wrote a book set there.
However, if looking at absurd $100 million dollar homes isn't your thing, there's really not much else to see.
Where some people go to northern WI, MI and upstate NY for there modest cabin on a lake, these people go an hour and a half north of Chicago where their "cabin" costs as much as much money as the GDP of the poorest countries.
>Harper's Ferry, MD
A small tourist town trapped in the 19th century. The "downtown" is almost exactly what it was 150 years ago and looks like one giant museum exhibit.
Look for Alma in Quebec. It's a little lakeside town near St-Jean Lake. Not so sure about the amount of things to do, so you'd better do some research on it firsrt. What I'm surw of is that it's goddamned beautiful. To get there you have to cross the Laurentides National Park, and that is definitely something you'd like to see in your life... Endless seas of trees and awesome mountains as far as the eye can see!
so how was the chick sitch?
Imagine being able to be magically whisked away to... Delaware. Hi, I'm in... Delaware.
>I love Aspen, but everything is expensive as shit.
That is no joke. Believe it or not it was worse 15 years ago when it was still the most chic small town on the planet. Its still full of jet setters , but not as bad as it once was.
Asheville, North Carolina. It's fun in Autumn with all the fall colors on the mountains.
I've met a few member of the Rockefeller family, the Crown family, Ivanka Trump, Tommy Hilfiger and many others in less than a winter season staying there. Even shared the slopes with Obama's daughter. Exclusive as fuck.
>>1032851 new to thread, but I really enjoyed Austin the many weekends I spent there. That said, I was stationed at Fort Hood and it was nice to get away from that dump as much as possible. Hence, every weekend off with a car, Austin.
>three christian colleges
>80% female enrollment
>the only men are gay
>strict fathers sent their daughters to strict school because they were afraid of blossoming sexuality
>girls get first taste of freedoms
Not as bad as you might think anon.
That's Cascade Mountain, Banff National Park, Alberta.
t. Parks Canada guy
Drove through it when I was on tour. It was amazing. The perfect small American town. Too bad all the famous brothel's aren't still around.
Can anybody help me with suggestions as to an ideal city with the following criteria:
1. coastal town, or at least beautiful lakes. I love water.
2. a nice mix of both nature and city life. Not rural or suburban wasteland, but not cramped los angeles or nyc either.
3. warm weather year round
5. shit to do, places to go
6. cool people
7. opportunities for career photographers (not really sure how one would quanitfy this one)
I doubt such a place fits every single criteria but I'm hopeful. I had my mind set on orange county for a while but I'm having second thoughts after more research (expensive, cramped, traffic everywhere, bumblefucks or ditzy egomaniac wannabe starlets)
>3. warm weather year round
This really limits you anon. You are basically looking for the best places on the planet but do not want to pay.
I suggest you either learn to deal with winter or set up a life where you can live in two places.
Otherwise you will end up in a whale vagina spending money you dont have just to stay alive and never enjoying the simple things.
alright how about just mild relatively short (3 month) winters then? I've lived in upstate NY and PA for most of my life and the 3 months of summer there are great!... just wished I wasn't freezing my nuts off the other 9 months.
North And South Carolina seem to fit this bill and I've always loved SC. But in general it feels like the west coast is more "it" and happening in general compared to the east coast. I've never been to washington but I'd be curious to learn more about it, though I'm sure its mostly cold there. Colorado seems fucking great from what everybody always says here, just wish it was on the coast but I guess it has lakes at least.
>it" and happening
Plus water and economic opportunity = expensive.
You see the trouble here?
Now Colorado is much more reasonable if you are willing to trade mountain awesomeness for water.
I did a lot of kayak fishing in the lakes around Denver.
They are small but fun.
Also look at Northern NM but the only water fun there is fly fishing or white water rafting.
Oregon winters on the coast are not as cold as you are used to but gray as fuck.
Portland might be the best US city to move to. Its amazing how nice they are to new people. My first day there, someone bought my coffee . A stranger who overheard me say it was my first day in town.
I agree with the Oxford comment.
I've lived in Mississippi my whole life and it has a few surprisign places if you've never been here before.
You can skip the Jackson area entirely though.
Natchez and Vicksburg are both towns on the Mississippi river with a lot of Civil War-era history if you're into that sort of thing.
I've never done it but a lot of people say driving the Delta Blues trail can be really interesting but the Delta can be kinda dangerous.
However, no one ever talks about the MS gulf coast. It's where I live now and where I grew up and you'd be surprised by what's here.
Not a lot of people in their 20s if you're looking for a younger crowd but there's beaches, casinos, bars, restaurants, and more. Biloxi is probably the nicest part of it but the whole MS gulf coast kinda stretches together.
The western edge of it (where I live) has a lot of Louisiana influence in the culture and there's po-boys and Cajun food if you're lookiing for that.
The eastern edge of the coastline is far more Florida-influenced and has beach-side seafood shacks if you're looking for that sort of thing.
>east coast comfy edition
New hope, PA
the town was gentrified by gays (seriously) and it is one of the most clean, pleasant, and safe areas you can imagine. nice downtown with a canal running through it, lots of local shops and flavor. the residents take great pride in their gardens and theres even a bit of a local art and music scene.
Cape may, NJ
The quintessential jersey shore experience. Its the oldest beach side resort town in the US, and it shows. A significant portion of the place is historically recognized/ protected and much of the original victorian architecture is still standing/ restored.
Its the ultimate family vacation spot. Its pretty expensive, booking a room beach season is quite competitive and pricey, but if you've got the money its worth it. Paid beaches keep the riff raff away. Most of them are non smoking and dry (although as long as you arent drawing attention to yourself by being blatantly underage/rowdy/ drinking from glass you'll be fine, same with ciggs but that's kinda rude at this point)
TONS of shops and food. A 'boardwalk' that is pavement but somehow still charming. some pretty decent bars right along the main ave/ beach street. Not the greatest nightlife, since that's really not the main attraction, but enough to do a crawl. Just expect an elderly crowd. Food options range from a literal hole-in-the-wall hotdog place to $85 steaks with an ocean view. Every night the sandbonis clean the beach itself and you're nearly guaranteed to have dolphins visible within swimming distance during migration. Its kinda like a tourist trap without any of the typical vibes associated with it. It feels like exactly what 'going to the beach' should be.
Sounds like overly fastidious busy bodies.
Same reason I hate home owners associations.
I would rather have a place a little less tidy and a lot more free.
Just sounds uptight is all but I am a west coaster and many places in New England put me off.
Not to mention that as someone who travels by Westfalia , one tricked out for outdoor adventure, I have a feeling the local cops would love to crawl right up my ass.
Tumbler Ridge is alright if you like being scared of bears, cougars and hiking.
it would definitely be worth 3 days, you could explore flagstaff, and sedona. I spent a year in sedona, and didnt get to explore either place enough. theres also a little town built into a mountainside not too far called jerome, that not enough people know about.
Look at college towns if you are going to be in the midwest. Lots if interesting work and people from around the country here.
Ann Arbor, Michigan
I know this is going to sound racist as hell , but black people scare the living shit out of me.
All the ones where I live are well heeled and educated and are just normal people but the ones where you are seem like animals.
I should have never spent an afternoon watching world star hip hop.
Dont tell him that. Frankenmuth sucks so bad. That is where your grandmother takes you on the weekend when you are 9. If you are in Michigan and want small town at least go for Mackinaw or Traverse City.
This fact makes me crazy. I made a living for years making furniture for mansions in ski towns. One in aspen had leather floors and was as big as a super market.
This house sat empty for most of the year.
Small towns I recommend (in no particular order.. I'll leave it to you to google them and see if they fit the bill):
*Bumpass, VA (lol)
*Harper's Ferry, WV
*Dodge City, KS
* Madrid, NM
*La Honda, CA
In Big Sur there's a Zen monastery, Tassajara -an actual monastery, established a few decades ago by a real Japanese Zen master, although everyone there now is American. Granted, it's a bit commercialized, but they have an active and deeply observant group of legitimate monks.
They regularly take in visitors, with three levels of cost - fully paid, in which case it's just a resort where you have optional meditation classes and really good food... which is cooked by the other two tiers, where you either work half a day and relax the other half, or end up working all day. Prices are tiered as you would expect, and IIRC it's pretty damn affordable if you do the all-work option.
The workers are also expected to attend two meditation sessions a day. You sleep in cabins a little bit off of the main area, 2-3 per cabin. You get woken up at 5am by some fuck ringing a loud gong, go to meditation, and then straight off to work. After a short lunch break, you go back to work, then get an hour of rest, then off to evening meditation, and by then it's dark and there's nothing to do, so you go to your cabin and sleep.
It's so fucking beautiful. It's in a secluded valley, nestled alongside a creek. Everywhere you go, you hear it, and your cabins are located right next to it, so you fall asleep to the sound every night.
The food is fucking amazing. All vegetarian (might even have been vegan, I can't remember), but they do amazing stuff with it. Your meals are the leftovers of what they prepare for the premium guests, and you get it for free (it doesn't loose a lot in the reheating process, and a lot of the time they use it as the basis of an entirely new dish). Depending on your shift, you also end up making a lot of it yourself, and it feels cool to prep the food in the morning, bring it from the kitchen to the restaurant in the evening, and then enjoy it yourself for lunch the next day.
Will continue next post.
The meditation may not be up your ally, but Zen meditation is more or less devoid of any overt religions elements -by that I mean stuff like meditating upon the nature of any particular Bodhisattva or something. You can view it as just a mental control technique for yourself, and once I got into it I really enjoyed it. It only occupies about 1.5 hours of the day, split between two sessions, which may sound like a lot or a little depending on your preferences.
There are hot springs taken as part of the complex, although bathing is communal and completely naked (I had problems with it back then, but if you don't, it's one of the better parts of the experience, I hear). They're sort of an offshoot of the creek, so while you're relaxing in them you're in the bottom of the valley, surrounded by trees, Japanese architecture, and the sound of the creek.
The people there were extremely friendly, and in the case of the monks, helpful. There's a few stern guys, but most are much more open and eager to help you in regards to getting more out of the Buddhist side of the experience. The other guests were a cool bunch - I met a few hippy-ish soulsearchers, a Microsoft engineer, a professor, and a woman from Brazil.
The general atmosphere is one of the most extreme serenity - the sound of the creek, the cozy traditional Japanese architecture, the mountains surrounding you, the trees, the birds (during the summer the place is swarmed by bluejays, to the extent that they actually become a bit of an annoyance, forcing you to always eat indoors). My best memories are the little things.
Making mint tea for myself from the station in the courtyard between the kitchen and restaurant, sitting on a chair, and looking over the rail at the flowing water beneath (while beating off the occasional inquisitive bluejay). Taking my shoes off on a hike (you get one free day a week), putting my feet in the creek, and talking with an old man from Minnesota.
The one memory that stays with me the strongest was a short 10 minute break while cleaning the meditation dojo.
I just sat down on folded meditation mats outside on the patio, and listened to the wind and watch it play upon the Japanese maples overhead. I'd never felt more relaxed and at peace before, and never have since.
Overall, while actually experiencing it, it wasn't exactly what I was expecting. The work could be grueling, and it was a shock to be in a place without so many of the comforts I've come to expect.
But now I really wish I could go back (I just can't fit it in my schedule). It was a great experience, and it would have been even more so if I was more open-minded going into it.
I highly recommend Tassajara if you get the chance. The only potential problem is getting in - there aren't that many spots even for the working guests, and I actually got to skip any reservation list or whatnot due to special circumstances (my dad helped the monastery out, and because he couldn't go due to disability, they offered to let me in instead)
Hi OP, I'm a local to the rockies. I've lived in Canmore, Banff, Nakusp and Revelstoke.
Travel through this area and you will see the most beautiful landscaped and communities. They are all fun to visit in November-December.
Nakusp has lots of heli skiing and hot springs to visit.
Canmore is a good town for cross country skiing, mountain biking and hiking.
Banff is a tourist cesspool, but it is a fun party town. Definitely go check out Lake Louise.
Revelstoke is the pièce de resistance. Live there for a ski season and you will never want to leave.
I quick bit of searching this thread has aspen and Banff with ten mentions.
Asheville with 8
Taos with 9
Flagstaff with 8