Deep in the heart of the Smoky Mountains sits Gatlinburg, a charming little town just outside of Knoxville, Tennessee. The area is beautiful any time of year, but it’s particularly stunning during the fall when all of the leaves are changing colors. If you’re a fan of moonshine, you’ll find plenty of distilleries to explore, including Ole Smoky, which offers free tastings of all of their different flavors. Make sure you try the cinnamon if you happen to be out there when it’s chilly outside. If you’re not a big drinker, never fret, because there is a ton of excellent food in the area, too. The barbecue is known for being especially delicious.
Gatlinburg has plenty of family-friendly activities, as well. Throughout the Great Smoky National Park, you’ll find several things to do, including the SkyLift, which carries visitors straight through the mountains for some amazing views.
Florida: Sanibel Island
Sanibel is both an island and city, located in the Cape Coral and Fort Meyers area of Florida. Sanibel Island has gorgeous beaches, perfect for collecting shells and strolling in the sun. Spend the day sipping on tropical drinks and eating delicious seafood on the water.
The Sanibel Fish House has won several awards and has some of the best local seafood you’ll find, offered up in a family-friendly environment. Or, check in to the Sanibel Harbour Marriot Resort and have dinner without having to step foot off of your luxurious oceanfront property!
North Dakota: Garrison
Garrison may be a small town, but it packs a serious punch! A perfect place to spend your summers, it’s located right on Lake Sakakawea and offers great watersports and fishing. Even if playing in the lake isn’t your thing, perhaps the stunning views and delicious fried fish will sway you. In fact, the town is known as the “Walleye Capital of the World.” When in Rome, right?
Take an area tour on the Queen Elizabus to make note of what else you’d like to do while you’re in town. History buffs will enjoy a visit to the Custer Mine Interpretive Site to learn about Garrison’s coal mining past life.
While a lot of towns on our list may be on the larger side of small towns, averaging 10,000 people in their populations or so, Weston is a true, blue small town. A recent consensus determined the population was around 1,700.
One thing the town is well-known for is its Apple Festival, which they’ve been running for over three decades. The event takes place each year in early October and is full of different types of arts and crafts, plus all kinds of apple tasting, including butter and ciders. For those who are ready to move past the tasting into something more substantial, the food court offers things like pies, dumplings, and cookies. The entire experience is known for being one of the best in the state.
New Jersey: Cape May
Cape May offers stunning views of the Atlantic Ocean and is known as one of the nation’s first vacation resort towns. Travel Channel named the area one of the top ten beaches in the country.
Looking for an all-in-one amazing dining and lodging experience? Check into the Peter Shields Inn, which offers fireplaces and ocean views, along with an award-winning restaurant which is headed up by Executive Chef Carl Messick. Here you’ll find luxury seafood favorites like seared scallops and Maine lobster.