I have a serious passion for small town traveling. Hence, I am always on the lookout for the next small town to visit. Here are 10 Favorite Small Towns by 10 Travel Bloggers. Hopefully, you’ll discover some new small town destinations to put on your bucket list.
(Photo credit: Photos courtesy of each travel blogger.)
10 Favorite Small Towns by 10 Travel Bloggers
Rojales, Spain – Lifelong Vagabonds
The small town of Rojales is about a half hour’s drive south of Alicante, Spain. Many people might drive past this tiny Spanish town thinking there is nothing to do or see, but they’d be wrong. The locals are seemingly always celebrating some festival or another. My personal favorite is the Moors & Christians Festival, which is held every year in late June and early July. It’s so amazingly unique that I seriously recommend coordinating your travels to match its gun parade, err, I mean ‘sacking of the castle’ event. Just remember to bring earmuffs. Really good earmuffs.
If your schedule doesn’t line up with one of the many festivals, Rojales is also home to some historical cave houses that are worth a visit. They were built in in the 19th century due to the intolerable summer heat and the fact that the building tax at the time didn’t cover anything constructed underground. The paths between these cave houses are also full of artistic metal structures and wind up a hill with a great view of Rojales.
For more information about free things to do near Rojales, including floating in a pink lake and visiting an abused horse sanctuary, check out 30 Free Things to Do Around Alicante.
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Cesky Krumlov, Czech Republic – The Sane Travel
Český Krumlov is situated in the southern part of the Czech Republic, near the Austrian border, 180 kilometers from Prague. A UNESCO World Heritage Site, the small town of Český Krumlov is famous for its Old Town with 300 well-preserved medieval buildings, and its castle complex, the second largest in the Czech Republic. The architecture of the Castle and the town is a mix of Gothic, Renaissance, and Baroque styles. First built around the castle in the 13th century, the town experienced periods of stagnation during the early 18th, and the late 19th century marked another period of stagnation. On on the bright side, lack of further development helped the town save its historical look which is admired by visitors today.
Český Krumlov offers many cultural events, such as FIDELIO classical music concerts, the Five-Petalled Rose Celebrations, an International Music Festival and a festival of Baroque art.Also, you can find many interesting shopping items for tourists, including Bohemian glass and crystal, and jewelry made from Moldavite, which is a semi-precious gemstone found in this area.
Keep up with The Sane Travel’s solo and cultural travel, photo galleries, and travel tips all around the world at:
Argao, Philippines – Dakilanglaagan / Backpack Reflections
Argao is in the southern part of Cebu, Philippines. This small town offers tons of adventure and travel accommodations to interested travel junkies. Arago has numerous waterfalls, like Bugasok and Lusno Falls, and its mountain summits with 360 degrees overlooking Cebu and its nearby province, Negros and Bohol, make for good destinations for hikers and mountaineers. Arago also has a number of natural springs that provides locals with fresh and clean water, not to mention, its bountiful harvest of cocoa from the mountains and fishes from the sea. The town local delicacy is torta – a cake mixed with coconut juice and egg yolk.
Keep up with Dakilanglaagan’s road less traveled adventures, reflections, and experiences in the Philippines at:
Llandudno, North Wales – Llamateurs
The small town of Llandudno is a lovely town on the Creuddyn Peninsula in North Wales. It is somewhere you can stop, take a breath (quite a fresh one actually) and relax. Sea, cliffs, wonderful views – all in one. The main reason you’ll love it as much as we do is the promenade – a curvy road known as The Parade. It gives visitors an excellent opportunity to walk and admire the surroundings. At the same time, while heading the Great Orme (a limestone headland), you can listen or watch different artists creating the unforgettable atmosphere.
If you are more into culture, the Venue Cymru (North Wales Theatre) might be worth a visit (who knows what experiences are waiting for you there?). The main attractions of Llandudno are Happy Valley (a beautiful park and a former quarry) and Marine Drive, which is so picturesque that it fills your camera with great material for future memories. And hey, don’t forget to choose the right dates to visit Llandudno! The best month is May (yes, this is the time when you make a quick mental note) which takes you straight to Victorian Carnival for a whole three days! Just imagine how great it is! Views, attractions, breeze in your hair… what else do you need from life?
Read more at Llandudno on 8 Paws (+ 4).
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Watkins Glen, New York – Wandering Wagars
Watkins Glen is one of those places that blows your mind. A small town with small town features. Amazing ice cream, beautiful views of Seneca Lake, and over 40 wineries and breweries. If your travels are a little more petrol fueled, Watkins Glen is also home to one of the best NASCAR tracks in America. These items alone make the town of Watkins Glen in New York State worth the visit. But, like any place that offers a truly special experience, those things are just what’s on the surface.
The true magic of Watkins Glen appears when you venture to the edge of town. Obscured by a rock face and a busy parking lot, Watkins Glen State Park carries you away from quaint small town America into another world – a gorge teeming with green fauna, flowing waterfalls and mossy cliffs. Watkins Glen is also a part of the famous Finger Lakes region that includes Finger Lakes National Forest. It is truly a town that has something to fit ever taste from the cute to the luxurious to the adventurous.
Read more at Hiking Watkins Glen State Park.
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Schwaebish Hall, Germany – Discovering Legacies
More than 850 years old, Schwaebisch Hall is a small town in southwest Germany where history and modernity blend. Its timbered houses, old city wall, the traditional farmers market in front of city hall, and the beautiful St. Michael’s church make you feel as if you were back in the Middle Ages.
When you’re there, definitely check out the interior of the church, see a play on its steps (during the summer), visit the art gallery Kunsthalle Wuerth, and the Freilandmuseum, where you can step into actual (fully relocated!) buildings from different centuries and get a glimpse into people’s lives until up to almost 500 years ago. Be sure to take in the view from Sudhaus’ rooftop, get a typical German meal at Entenbaeck, or splurge at the Eisenbahn restaurant.
If you plan on traveling to Germany, read these 16 things you should know before.
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10 Favorite Small Towns by 10 Travel Bloggers
Tignes, French Alps – Nomadic Hippie 2.0
My favorite small town is Tignes, a ski resort in the French Alps. Globally renowned for its fantastic ski area, Tignes attracts hundreds of thousands of snow sports enthusiasts every winter. But there is more to Tignes than just skiing. When I first came to the Alps in 2008 to work for the winter season, I instantly fell in love with the village and the mountains, and I ended up living there for over six years!
When all the tourists are gone, Tignes is a little village with only about 2,000 inhabitants, and every time you go out to do your shopping or buy your morning baguette, you run into a friend – it’s so different from city life!
I also love the fact that Tignes has a long, but sad, history: the original village, where people (mostly farmers) had lived for many generations, was destroyed and submerged in the 1950’s when the national electricity supplier decided to build a hydroelectric dam. Today there’s only a huge lake where the village once was, and the ski resort is built a little higher up in the mountains.
A few years ago I had the opportunity to go down and see the ruins of the old village when the electricity company drained the lake to work on the dam. Read more at Tignes Underwater.
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Banff, Canada – Passports and Pigtails
Banff, Alberta is Canada’s majestic backyard, our larger than life playground. As only one of two municipalities incorporated into a Canadian National Park, Banff, is a bucket list destination that calls to travelers around the world. Sitting at an elevation of 1,383 meters, it is the highest town in Canada, and federal law keeps it from expanding beyond its current 3.93 square km border.
But, the small town of Banff is more than just a rocky mountain townsite. Banff is mother nature in her finest moment, a haven of majestic views, unbeaten paths, powdery slopes, and backcountry glory, with a splash of the animal kingdom and gourmet food for good measure. It is a place where Canada can showcase the true fortune of having four very distinct seasons, even allowing for a few to be experienced in the same day as folks take in a morning of snowboarding followed by a bike ride in the sun of the afternoon.
In winter, the ‘Big 3’ mountain resorts reign supreme and in the summer, it’s a hiking and camping paradise. With accommodations ranging from hostels and campsites to the luxury of the Fairmont Banff Springs, families can indulge in gondola rides and natural hot pools, grab a sweet along the shop-lined main street or tackle a day of heli-hiking. Banff is a place that will completely fill your family’s wander-list.
Read more about Banff at Alberta’s Majestic BackYard: This is Banff, Canada.
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Pacific Grove, California – McCool Travel
One of my favorite small towns (I mean, really, pick ONE?) is Pacific Grove, California. Its cute downtown has been featured in many movies, and its coastline is one of the most magnificent in the world. In winter, Pacific Grove is home to millions of Pacific Monarch butterflies, migrating south to Mexico. Adjacent Monterey, Pebble Beach, and Carmel-by-the-Sea are much more popular with visitors, but no one I have told to visit Pacific Grove has been less than amazed.
Read more at 8 Great Monterey California Activities.
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Faribault, Minnesota – Small Town Washington & Beyond
As someone who focuses on small town travel, I have lots and lots of favorite small towns. One that I particularly enjoyed this summer was Faribault, Minnesota.
What did I like about it? Visitors have many options for experiencing this very friendly and historic small town which is nestled nest to the Cannon and Straight Rivers. History buffs can visit town founder Alexander Faribault’s house, tour Faribault Woolen Mill, and snap a photo with a Tilt-a-Whirl. Outdoor enthusiasts can kayak, SUP or snowshoe, bike 39 miles of paved trails or experience the local wildlife at River Bend Nature Center. Foodie lovers can try America’s first commercial blue cheese at The Cheese Cave, sample local brews and learn how to play Hammerschlagen at F-Town Brewing Co., and dine on local favorites like local cheese curds and lobster mash The Depot Bar and Grill.
Another cool fact is that “Faribault has more buildings on the National Historic Register than any other city its size in Minnesota” and it is second only to St. Paul, Minnesota.
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