Lucas has been called the “Grassroots Art Capital of Kansas,” the tiny town smack dab in the middle of the state is home to art both compelling and different. From the downtown’s storied public restroom in Bowl Plaza; sculpture and rock gardens; the five-room, a traveling roadshow dedicated to putting mega roadside attractions in miniature.
There are, of course, more traditional small towns all over Kansas. But for a certain set of people, this is paradise. And for the rest of us, it’s an essential stopping point on a cross-country trip.
Leavenworth becomes one big tourist trap during Christmastime. Tucked deep in the mountainous forests of central Washington, the town fully exaggerates its alpine aesthetics, with a Nutcracker museum, and live reindeer.
But if you come any other time of year, you’re in for a true mountain paradise, one that’s often overshadowed, especially in warmer months, by Washington’s glimmering coasts. The holidays try their hardest to manufacture magic. But once the crowds have dissipated, that same magic comes naturally in this Bavarian Brigadoon.
New Jersey: Sea Bright
Suppose you want to experience the Jersey Shore without barrels of industrial sludge. In that case, Sea Bright is a veritable 1.2-square-mile oasis of bars you want to visit, beaches where you can find a nook to yourself, and everything else you love about summer, including ice cream.
Sea Bright is surrounded by the mighty Navesink River on the west and the even mightier Atlantic on the east. Sea Bright isn’t overwhelmed by kitschy tourist traps and saltwater taffy stands.
Wisconsin: Chippewa Falls
More enchanting and less busy than its neighbor, Eau Claire, Chippewa Falls feels like a village with a few extra city amenities. Lovers of the outdoors will appreciate 40 public boat landings in the county, the Hickory Ridge mountain biking trail, and about a hundred nearby lakes for fishing.
On the south end of Lake Wissota lies County Highway X, lined with taverns, restaurants, and supper clubs with stunning lake views.
With a population of 2,494, this former silver-mining town sits near a dead-end valley, with mountains sporting gorgeous waterfalls: Telluride's Bridal Veil. With peaks great for mountain biking, skiing, or hiking. Telluride may be the most walker-friendly ski town in North America.
This town has blossomed into one of the nation's best festival sites, with renowned events like the Bluegrass Festival and Telluride Film Festival.