Skip To Content

    15 Places In The US That Feel Like A Completely Different Country

    No passport needed.

    The coronavirus pandemic is still impacting travel, and destinations around the world have different COVID-19 restrictions in place. Always check and adhere to local government policies, and use our content to dream about a future trip.

    1. Leavenworth, Washington

    Busy street lined with European-style buildings and a snowy mountain in the background
    Annkuz / Getty Images

    In the 1960s, the people of Leavenworth transformed their city into a Bavarian-style village to promote tourism. Almost 60 years later, that vision is still alive and well. With Alpine architecture, a mountain backdrop, and plenty of sauerkraut and bratwurst, it’s surprisingly easy to imagine you’re in Germany.

    2. Moab, Utah

    Natural red rock arch perched above giant plateaus captured at sunset as a storm is rolling in
    Lightpix / Getty Images

    It may be worlds away, but the red sandstone of Petra and the surrounding Jordanian desert have a lot in common with Moab. In fact, some say the city was named after an ancient biblical kingdom in Jordan. In modern-day Moab, you can walk under massive arches, examine dinosaur prints, and visit petroglyph sites.

    3. Holland, Michigan

    Dutch-style windmill in a field of tulips
    Csterken / Getty Images

    There’s a reason why this aptly named town looks like Holland: It was settled by Hollander immigrants in 1847 and is home to citizens who take great pride in the Dutch culture. The city sits on the shores of Lake Michigan and boasts an authentic Dutch windmill, a heavily photographed red lighthouse, and a world-famous tulip festival.

    4. Solvang, California

    Buildings with a Danish architectural feel lining a quiet street
    Frankix / Getty Images

    This city in the Santa Ynez Valley is so Danish-y that Danish royalty has visited on four separate occasions. Solvang’s timber-framed houses, windmills, and replica of Copenhagen's famous Rundetaarn make you feel like you’ve stepped into another country — especially after a couple glasses of wine from one of the area's 120+ wineries.

    5. Chimayó, New Mexico

    Adobe gate leading to an old adobe and wooden church surrounded by trees
    Miroslav_1 / Getty Images

    The area of Chimayó (40 minutes from Santa Fe) is home to El Santuario de Chimayó, an adobe church with dirt floors that are said to have healing properties. The building was constructed by the Spanish in 1813, but it's been a place of worship for Hispanics, Native Americans, and other people of faith for many years before that. Today, it is considered to be "the most important Catholic pilgrimage center in the United States,” drawing almost 300,000 visitors each year.

    6. Ouray, Colorado

    Overhead view of a small town nestled between mountains on a cloudy, fall day
    Craig Zerbe / Getty Images

    Pronounced “your-ray,” this tiny mountain town in southwestern Colorado is so stunning that it’s been nicknamed the "Switzerland of America." You can stay in a Swiss-style chalet and soak in one of the town’s natural hot spring pools while staring up at the surrounding mountains.

    7. New Orleans, Louisiana

    Three-story building in New Orleans' French Quarter captured on a quiet evening
    Espiegle / Getty Images

    Renowned for its live music, nightlife, and cuisine, New Orleans is a melting pot of many different cultures, in particular French, African, and Creole. And nowhere in the city is that history more prevalent than the French Quarter. You can sip on cocktails at Napoleon House, search out live jazz, or spend the afternoon at St. Louis Cathedral — the oldest Catholic cathedral in the US (that's been used continuously).

    8. Lindsborg, Kansas

    9. St. Augustine, Florida

    Sprawling red-and-white building with a beautiful fountain and palm trees in the foreground
    Seanpavonephoto / Getty Images

    As you’d expect from the first US city founded by settlers, St. Augustine boasts eclectic European architecture, Ponce de Leon’s “Fountain of Youth," and an impressive fortress, all of which give the city a Spanish feel. For a true Spain-like experience, spend the evening sampling tapas before walking down the cobblestone streets of Aviles Street, the oldest street in the country.

    10. Decorah, Iowa

    11. Lewiston, Maine

    A town and riverside park captured from the other side of the river on a fall day
    Denistangneyjr / Getty Images

    One of the best parts of traveling to another country is hearing a different language and trying (albeit embarrassingly) to get around using gestures and a limited vocabulary. The city of Lewiston, while in the US, has a relatively high number of people of Canadian or African decent, including many who speak fluent French. It all ups the odds that you’ll hear a little French as you explore town.

    12. Roswell, New Mexico

    An old, rusted sign in the middle of nowhere that says "UFO Crash Site"
    Elvisfontenot / Getty Images

    Really getting out of town — like to another planet — doesn’t require a trip to space; all you have to do is head to New Mexico. Roswell was the alleged landing site of an unidentified flying object in 1947. And since then, the town has embraced its extraterrestrial connection, making visitors feel as though they’ve stepped into an alien world. Expect to find hokey alien-themed menu items, UFO exhibits, and the only space- and UFO-themed McDonald’s in the world.

    13. Framingham, Massachusetts

    14. Bahia Honda Key, Florida

    A beautiful view of Florida's turquoise blue ocean taken from a hillside above
    Michaelwarrenpix / Getty Images

    For a taste of the Caribbean right here in the US, it doesn’t get better than a trip to Bahia Honda in the lower Florida Keys. The island is home to the 524-acre Bahia Honda State Park, where you can lounge under palm trees on white sand beaches or snorkel through transparent water — without leaving the country.

    15. Fredericksburg, Texas

    A trail leading through a park  to an odd-shaped building with a wide steeple on top
    Faina Gurevich / Getty Images

    Texans have long flocked to Fredericksburg, a city in Texas Hill Country that’s over an hour drive from both San Antonio and Austin. The city was founded by 120 German immigrants in 1846, and German was the predominant language spoken until the 1940s. Today, the area is known for its wineries (there are more than 50), excellent German food (try Otto’s German Bistro), and a replica of Vereins Kirche, the building that once housed the immigrant community’s church and school.

    Don't forget to check out Bring Me! for all of BuzzFeed's best travel tips and hacks, vacation inspiration, and more!

    Illustrated city skyline
    Jay Fleckenstein / BuzzFeed