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The Best (and Cheapest!) Small Town Weekend Getaways You Need to Book ASAP

Ditch the crowded tourist destinations, and hit the road to these charming American towns for the perfect weekend vacation. You'll thank us later.

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franklinJames R Martin/Shutterstock

Franklin, Tennessee

Searching for a weekend getaway with small town charm, culture, and fun of Nashville? Look no further than the small town, Franklin, Tennessee. About 30 minutes away from the Music City, you may even run into a celebrity or two while you’re in line for your coffee or enjoying brunch. Filled with antique shops, boutiques, fine dining, and world-class music. “With nearby hotels and plenty of cute bed and breakfasts within walking distance of the fun, it’s my top pick for an affordable Southern getaway,” says Catherine Haley of Louisville, Kentucky.

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Seagrove Beach, Florida

Located on the Historic 30A in the panhandles of Florida, according to Cassie Osborne of Greenwood, Indiana, “being there feels like a small beach town; where you can ride bikes, visit homemade craft shops, and find plenty of great eats.” Fun fact: The movie, The Truman Show, was filmed here.

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rodeoHailey Russell

Grangeville, Idaho

Are you a fan of the rodeo? Look no further than Grangeville, Idaho for your next small town weekend getaway. Known for its summertime Border Days events (which have kept audiences coming back since 1912), head over to this beautiful small town, at the edge of the Camas Prairie near the Nez Perce National Forest. These National Parks off the beaten path are also worth a visit.

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Point Pleasant Beach, New Jersey

ached to it.” Boasting small shops, antiques, and the “original” Jersey Mike’s sub shop, this is a must visit, particularly if you’re looking for a kid-friendly weekend getaway. “It has a family feel in town because lots of people always return summer to summer,” says Foreso.

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warsawHenryk Sadura/Shutterstock

Warsaw, Indiana

For a laid-back lake weekend in the heartland, check out Warsaw, Indiana, located in Kosciusko County, which boasts nearly 100 lakes. Airbnb and VRBO offer many charming cottage rentals right on the lake and the nearby downtown has lots of unique restaurants and boutiques. Visit Winona Lake’s quaint village for fun activities, festivals, and shopping that embody everything that’s good about small town America.

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newbuffaloThomas Barrat/Shutterstock

New Buffalo, Michigan

New Buffalo is an ideal getaway, especially for those in Chicago and Indianapolis who are in close proximity. Many city dwellers travel there for a weekend break from the daily grind to enjoy the views and beach activities on Lake Michigan. “I can leave busy city life behind and immerse myself in nature and small town life,” says Bridget English of Chicago. “New Buffalo features small independent businesses including quaint boutiques, a deli and coffee shop that attracts artists and writers from surrounding areas, and a sustainable foods and cured meats shop offering locally sourced meats and produce,” English adds. Also known for its restaurants and nearby activities for daily excursions, this is a great town in the Midwest to add to your list to check out this summer!

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salemKsenia Ragozina/Shutterstock

Salem, Massachusetts

Though its known for the Salem Witch Trials of 1692, this town just outside of Boston boasts museums, gift shops, restaurants, and walking tours. History and literary buffs will appreciate the museums, cemetery, and The House of Seven Gables. The restaurants are amazing and strolling the wharf and riding the ferry are fun for visitors of all ages.

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LincolnNewHampshireJeff Holcombe/Shutterstock

Lincoln, New Hampshire

Another small town to check out is Lincoln, New Hampshire located at the foot of the White Mountains, within minutes of the Franconia Notch. Though people tend to hit up this town to ski in the winter months, there is so much more. Local, Jennifer Duncan explains that camping, hiking in the protected national forest, and the gorgeous drives over the Kancamagus highway make this a beautiful destination for those who love rustic environments, mountains, and wildlife. “I love living up here,” Duncan says. Next, find out the best spots for weekend getaways in every state.

Julia K. Porter
Dr. Julia Porter has worked in Higher Education since 2008, following a career as a High School teacher in Brooklyn, NY. She holds a PhD in Global Leadership from Indiana Tech, an MA in English Literature from Brooklyn College, and a BS in English Education from Indiana University-Purdue University-Indianapolis (IUPUI). She lives in Indiana with her husband, daughter, and rambunctious Australian Shepherd.