Five U.S. cities that feel like Europe
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For many of us, the pandemic and international travel bans have kept our dreams of a European vacation as, well ... dreams. Before you close the book on that enchanting experience, though, there are cities and towns in the U.S. that can make you feel like you're halfway across the world with a much quicker air time but the same sum of charm. Leave your passport and Lederhosen behind, and follow us to five spots that feel like Europe - right here in the states. And of course, we'll be leaving from TPA.
Boston, Massachusetts - feels like England and Italy
Much like the melting pot that is the United States, Boston consists of cultures, architecture and food largely derived from Mainland Europe. Visit the North End to experience a street-long array of authentic Italian restaurants - with options from dense cavatelli to sweet cappuccino - or check out the English-style architecture and Colonial Revivals.
Leavenworth, Washington - feels like Germany
This small town situated in the middle of Washington state is known for its “Bavarian authenticity and Northwest hospitality," bringing a German culture and feel to the western U.S. In the 1960s, leaders of the town yearned to drive tourists and visitors to the area and did so by altering the appearance of the town to mimic that of Bavaria, Germany. The adjacent alpine hills set the outer landscape of the community, meaning all they'd really need was some festivals, wood- and clay-slated buildings and, yes, lots of bier.
Holland, Michigan - feels like Amsterdam
Since Dutch immigrants began settling in this area as far back as 1847, this small town has been filled with Dutch culture, traditions and tons of tulips. The city, located almost alongside Lake Michigan, has made it a point to preserve Dutch culture with food like Dutch apple pie and lots of cheese, Dutch architecture and events like the Dutch Winterfest and the Tulip Time Festival. Stop at the Holland Museum or tour the DeZwaan Windmill while you're there.
New Orleans, Louisiana - feels like France
New Orleans, or "N'awlins" to the locals, swanks an eclectic blend of many cultures, but there's no denying many aspects are of French origin, after all, Louisiana got it's name after the territory being called "La Loiuisiane" in honor of King Louis XIV. From Catholic churches to classic cottages, you can see the character for yourself during the annual Mardi Gras festival (Coronavirus permitting) or stroll down Canal Street for some seafood or croissants.
Solvang, California - Feels like Denmark
Full of contemporary Danish architecture and surrounded by beautiful greenery, lots of horses and scenic countryside, Solvang is known as "a little slice of Denmark in Southern California." Old school windmills will turn in the heart of the town as rolling hills line the outskirts, making you feel like you've landed in a real German town. Wondering what you can do while you're there? Stomp some grapes, wine and dine around the area (heavy on the wine part, as there are tons of wineries nearby) or even take a horse and carriage around the scenic roads that border the town.