When you hear the words ‘small town travel’ is your immediate reaction “What now?” or “Why would I go to Chippewa Falls, Wisconsin when I could go to NYC?”
If you’re narrowing your eyes doubtfully at me right now, I beg of you: Hear me out! There are so, SO many reasons to vacation in small towns or make smaller cities a travel destination.
And I should know. I grew up in a town of 2,000 people in rural Minnesota. My hometown has one stoplight, three bars, one grocery store, and 10 churches. Cheryl Strayed and I interned at the same tiny newspaper (about a decade apart, obviously) and my high school mascot is a turkey. (Yes, really.)
And though I love me an overpriced cocktail as much as the next person, I’ll probably always be a country girl at heart. Few things make me happier than a sunny corner booth in a cheap diner or jumping off a rickety dock into a lake. I know a lot of people think small towns and rural America are boring and/or full of rednecks, but I disagree.
4 Reasons You Should Try Small Town Travel
Traveling to small towns is soooo much less stressful
Smaller cities are so much more affordable
The people are (usually) very, very nice
The citizens of New York, Savannah, and San Diego might be a bit worn down by the never-ending tourists and the vacation rentals that eat up available real estate. But small towners? They’re (usually) delighted to meet out of towners and tell them all about what their town or city has to offer.
You’re supporting an economy that needs it
Ideas for a small town travel
- Canoe around a lake
- Paw through awesome, not-picked-over, totally under-priced thrift and antique stores
- Ride your bike on a gravel road
- Buy produce from a roadside stand
- Go to a county fair
- Sit on a porch and drink something cold
- Cook something over a fire
- Attend a local theater production or high school sport event
- Pick wildflowers
- Spot wildlife, nudge your friend and yell ‘looooook!”
- Read a book on a dock
- Enjoy a diner breakfast with pancakes and bottomless coffee
- Listen to loon calls
- Two words: tire swing
- Partake in local delicacies: walleye fingers? butter cake?