It’s the holiday season and many of us would love to travel abroad but Christmas budgets seem to warrant us staying in the states. Have you ever wanted to go somewhere that made you feel like you are in another country? Maybe, this year you can without breaking the bank. We have compiled a list of places right here in the U.S. that will be a great get-away during your Christmas break.
- Boston’s Little Italy. A favorite destination of Italian immigrants in the early and mid-1900s, you’ll still find an array of Italian restaurants, bakeries, and shops in this historical section of Boston, which is also home to Paul Revere’s house.
- San Francisco’s China Town. Home to the largest population of Chinese residents outside China. Enter through the Dragon’s Gate on Grant Avenue, and you’ll find streets filled with Chinese restaurants, bakeries, shops, temples, and herbalists.
- St. Augustine Fla. The oldest city in the United States, St. Augustine was founded in 1565 by Spanish explorers. You can still see the influence of those early settlers in the Spanish colonial architecture littered throughout the historic city.
- Helen, Ga. Americans just can’t get enough of the Bavarian Alps, as so charmingly displayed in the tiny mountain town of Helen, Georgia. A popular Oktoberfest destination, the town’s zoning laws require every building—even fast-food joints—to portray typical Bavarian alpine design.
- Venice, Ca. You could travel to the oceanfront town of Venice, California, and admire the newer canals flanked by beautiful homes.
- Fredericksburg, Tx. Founded by German immigrants in the mid-1800s, residents of Fredericksburg, Texas often refer to it as Fritztown. Along with many German bakeries, restaurants, historic homes, and public buildings, the city is also known for its many wineries.
- Charleston, S.C. If you feel like you’ve been transported to somewhere in Europe upon sight of Charleston’s cobblestone streets, pastel-colored buildings, and antebellum architecture, you aren’t alone. Tourists flock to this southern gem to take in the scene, the laid-back pace, the friendly people, the many festivals, and the historic monuments.
- Grand Sand Dunes National Park, Co. Is a trip to the Sahara Desert on your bucket list? If that’s a bit too far, travel instead to the Great Sand Dune National Park in south-central Colorado. You’ll see the tallest sand dunes in North America, with some topping out at 750 feet high. You’ll enjoy hiking, sandboarding, and sand-sledding across this natural wonder.
- Key West, Fla. Mix together Spanish, Cuban, Native American, New England, and African influences, drench it all in the balmy sunshine of the Gulf of Mexico, paint it pastel, and you come up with Key West, Florida. This small island is the southernmost point of the United States and is closer to Cuba than Miami.
- Las Vegas, Nevada. You’ll feel like you’ve left the United States altogether while taking in the Paris Las Vegas Hotel on the famed Vegas strip. Designed to resemble its namesake city on a smaller scale, you’ll enjoy the 540-foot replica of the Eiffel Tower, two-thirds-scale Arc de Triomphe, a replica of the La Fontaine des Mers, as well as the facade, inspired by the Louvre and Paris Opera House.
So, after spending Christmas with the family, jet off to one of the get-away destinations and see what it feels like to spend time in another country/culture without leaving the states.
Ref. MSN/lifestyle/Bob Villa
Photo courtesy of Bing via nationalgeographic.com