Anyone who’s ever been to Asheville will tell you that it’s rad. It’s flanked by the gorgeous Appalachian scenery, it’s super sustainable and progressive, and Rolling Stone once called it the “New Freak Capital of the United States.” And let’s not forget the awesome music scene, from folk punk bands to the annual music fests, like Mountain Oasis Electronic Music Summit!
2. Fairfield, Iowa
It’s an unassuming town, surrounded by rolling farmland, that has gained fame for both its abundance of startup companies and its abundance of Transcendental Meditation practicers. It’s also full of amazing architecture, notably by George Franklin Barber and Barry Byrne. Don’t forget to stop by the American Gothic House while you’re there — just a mere 20-minute drive away.
Red rock, red rock, red rock. A chapel built into red rock. Red rock canyons and red rock sinkholes. A town surrounded by red rock. Totally beautiful from every angle.
It’s the entryway to the majestic Rocky Mountain National Park, so don’t be surprised if elk get all up in your business while you’re passing through. Estes Park is also home to the Stanley Hotel, infamous for inspiring the Overlook Hotel in The Shining.
It’s like the other Portland, but less mainstream. Aside from historic buildings and the harbor, the main attraction in Portland is the food, which is so awesome that even Anthony Bourdain filmed an episode there.
8. Portsmouth, New Hampshire
A historic seaport, founded by the captain of Portsmouth, England, that was once one of the nation’s busiest seaports and shipbuilding cities. Today, it’s the perfect summer destination, with vibrant culture, beautiful scenery, and tons of historic sites.
9. Park City, Utah
Go for the Sundance Film Festival and world-class skiing in the winter, the Rocky Mountain wildflowers in the spring, the Sunday Market and alpine slides in the summer, and the incredible foliage in the fall.
10. Athens, Georgia
Athens rules. Music pours onto the streets, and the city is home to the historic Athens Theatre, which is probably the greatest venue in all of America.