From chic beach towns to alpine-style villages, these places in the United States are shockingly similar to popular European destinations

When we can all resume our holidays, I know where I’m going.

Maybe you fancy a Eurotrip but aren’t quite ready to leave the country, or maybe you’re just looking for a getaway closer to home. Either way, consider these unique American destinations that offer a totally European feel.


New Orleans, Louisiana

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The culture of the Big Easy is quite unique, but everything from the cuisine to the architecture has been influenced by Spanish, French and Creole culture. The French Quarter is home to Crayola-colored buildings with wrought-iron balconies, archways, and lush courtyards. Then there is Jackson Square, which might remind you of the famous Place des Vosges in Paris. And, of course, NOLA has a vibrant nightlife, tons of live jazz music, rowdy oyster bars, and treasure-filled antique stores. It’s a big city that feels completely different from anywhere else in the country.


Columbia River Gorge, Oregon

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There’s something magical about this Columbia River canyon that separates the states of Washington and Oregon. Although it’s only an hour from Portland, you might feel like you’re in Germany, Slovenia or maybe even the Isle of Skye as you walk along the cascading waterfalls in the canyon. Don’t miss the most famous of the waterfalls, Multnomah Falls, a 620-foot-tall double cascade that seems larger than life. There are vineyards, orchards and lavender farms covering the rolling hills of farmland anchored by the snow-capped Mount Hood in the background.


Santa Barbara, California

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The Pacific Ocean meets wine country in Santa Barbara, nicknamed the American Riviera (and for the right season). Visiting this west coast gem is akin to a trip to a seaside town in Portugal, Spain or France. Not only do you get the benefits of beautiful beaches, a thriving wine region, and wonderful resorts, but you’ll also find great hiking, farm-to-table restaurants, and great shopping. In other words, Santa Barbara has the best of all worlds in one place.


Mackinac Island, Michigan

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Arrive at this vacation town on Lake Huron between Michigan’s Upper and Lower Peninsulas and you might be convinced that you landed in Switzerland, on the Irish coast or in a seaside village in the English countryside. There are charming little boutiques, horse-drawn carriages, fudge shops, and Victorian-style homes with large porches. Better…

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Sandy A. Greer