11 US Cities That Will Make You Feel Like You're in Europe

by Colleen Stinchcombe
Nov 28, 2017 at 5:00 p.m. ET

Want to take a European vacation but can’t find the time? We feel you. Between the cost of international flights, lodging, getting a passport in order, taking the time off work, then dealing with jet lag… sometimes extended travel doesn’t quite seem worth it.

But don’t let that kill your dreams of sampling European style. There are some pretty incredible European-style towns right here in the U.S. Sure, they’re not exactly the same, but they will give you a taste of far-off places without the far-off price tag or travel time.

We’ve rounded up some of the best examples of Europe in the U.S. Feast on delicious Danish food, sample German-style beers and peruse Swiss architecture. Whether you’re looking for a French countryside experience or skiing in the Alps, consider whether one of these towns would scratch your travel itch without the need for a passport.

1 /11: Pella, Iowa

1/11 :Pella, Iowa

Eat tons of Dutch treats, walk through the festival of tulips and check out the Vermeer Mill in Central Park.

2 /11: Montpelier, Vermont

2/11 :Montpelier, Vermont

Montpelier feels a little like a countryside French village. European architecture and gorgeous greenery make it a perfect getaway if you can’t make it to France.

3 /11: Frankenmuth, Michigan

3/11 :Frankenmuth, Michigan

Known as “Michigan’s Little Bavaria,” in Frankenmuth, you can visit the world’s largest Christmas store, dine at the Bavarian Inn restaurant and take in the gorgeous Bavarian-style architecture.

4 /11: Vail, Colorado

4/11 :Vail, Colorado

Known as a ski destination, Vail is a walkable town modeled after Zermatt, Switzerland.

5 /11: Leavenworth, Washington

5/11 :Leavenworth, Washington

Between the stunning mountains and Bavarian-style architecture, it’s hard not to imagine you’re in a German wonderland.

6 /11: Helen, Georgia

6/11 :Helen, Georgia

In Helen, Oktoberfest lasts from September and into November. The town of 430 has sweet German architecture and plenty of outdoor activities.

7 /11: New Ulm, Minnesota

7/11 :New Ulm, Minnesota

Home to 50 percent German-Americans, in New Ulm, you can hang out with some giant gnomes, go beer tasting and see a 45-foot-tall glockenspiel.

8 /11: Fredericksburg, Texas

8/11 :Fredericksburg, Texas

You’ll definitely feel the German influence in this little town. Visit the Vereins Kirche and stay at the Haussegen Platz Log.

9 /11: Solvang, California

9/11 :Solvang, California

Known as “The Danish Capital of America,” in Solvang, you can visit the Hans Christian Andersen museum and the Elverhøj Museum of History & Art and admire the Danish-style architecture.

10 /11: New Glarus, Wisconsin

10/11 :New Glarus, Wisconsin

Visit during one of the town’s many festivals, visit the Swiss Historical Village Museum, walk the downtown area for traditional Swiss gifts and eat lots of delicious Swiss food.

11 /11: Lindsborg, Kansas

11/11 :Lindsborg, Kansas

Lindsborg boasts it’s own castle in Coronado Heights, a historic walking area called Välkommen Trail and recognizable Wild Dala fiberglass horses around town. Be sure to visit the town known as “Little Sweden USA” during the biennial Svensk Hyllningsfest.