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Helen, GA is a beautiful American town that looks like a European City.

5 American Towns That Look Like European Cities

By Bus Travel, California, Georgia, Helen, Iowa, Leavenworth, New Glarus, Pella, Solvang, Washington, Wisconsin

You may harbor fantasies about traveling to Europe someday. But if “someday” has been in the cards for years, then it’s time to make those Euro-travel dreams a reality! You can do just that by visiting a few American towns that look European. You might be surprised by their authenticity and charm. Here are five that you should add to your must-visit list.

1. Pella, IA

It’s no wonder that Pella, Iowa, bears such a resemblance to a quaint European town. It was founded in the mid-19th century by 800 Dutch immigrants. Their mission was to escape the religious persecution and famine they suffered in the Netherlands. As they left, they committed to naming the new city “Pella,” a reference to the Jordanian city that was a refuge for Christians during the Siege of Jerusalem in 70 CE. The city’s highlight is the Vermeer Windmill, which was built in Holland, dismantled, and brought to America in the early 2000s. It’s now the largest working windmill in the country. Another landmark is the Tulip Tower, another iconic representative of Dutch culture and a key element of the Tulip Time parades that occur in May. Be sure to stop into Jaarsma Bakery, a family-owned area institution that opened in 1898. It’s renowned for its homemade Dutch pastries! There are also compact specialty boutiques carrying everything from gifts to antiques.

2. Leavenworth, WA

Expect magic when you arrive in Leavenworth, Washington. Against the backdrop of the magnificent Cascade Mountains, the city is about 120 miles from Seattle. It offers quintessential mountain living at its very best which is so true to the Bavarian culture that you’ll almost forget for a moment that you’re actually in the Pacific Northwest. It’s a very small town with a population of approximately 2,000 but is packed with curious tourists who want to experience a little taste of Germany in America. The architecture is characteristic of the country, the roads are dusted with snow throughout winter, and wildflowers coat the ground during spring. Festival life is definitely a thing in Leavenworth so you won’t be able to leave without experiencing at least one. There’s Oktoberfest in the fall, of course, along with the Autumn Leaf Festival, the Christmas Lighting Festival, and the Bavarian Bike & Brew during summer.

3. New Glarus, WI

Affectionately known as “America’s Little Switzerland,” New Glarus is among the most beloved small towns in Wisconsin. Founded in 1845 as a Swiss colony, the area became a village in the early 20th century. Since then, it has remained a beacon of Swiss-style heritage and culture in America. You’ll find traditional Alpine architecture at every turn, along with plenty of delicious regional delicacies to whet your appetite. Among the city’s highlights is the delightful Swiss Historical Village & Museum, where you can enjoy a self-guided tour of the area’s most noteworthy Swiss landmarks. Many are replicas, but the 19th-century settler cabin is well worth a glance if you want to get an idea of how the earliest residents lived. Stop into Puempel’s Olde Tavern, founded in 1893, for a pint and a hearty sandwich. Need a place to stay? Pop into the Chalet Landhaus Inn, immediately notable for its traditional, wide, low-pitched roof and classic Swiss décor.

4. Helen, GA

People flock to Helen, Georgia, for its small-town appeal. Home to just a few hundred people, the city enjoys a privileged position in the midst of the Blue Ridge Mountains. It replicates a traditional Bavarian village, complete with cobbled pathways and native meals. The city was originally a logging destination for Native Americans before Europeans settled the area during the 19th century. The timber industry dwindled through the years, and as business declined, town leaders decided to transform it into an ersatz German attraction. In 1968, Helen as a Bavarian village was born. Warm colors flooded the streets, dramatic architecture recalled old-world Germany, and imposing towers cast shadows on the cobblestone roads. There are festivals aplenty year-round, from the Bavarian Nights of Summer to the WineFest held every spring.

5. Solvang, CA

Solvang is an actual Danish village founded in 1911. It was during this period that the Danish-American Colony Corporation purchased some 10,000 acres of land in the Santa Ynez Valley in California. The new owners named the colony Solvang, or “sunny field.” Settlers quickly made their home here and swiftly transformed it into a vibrant farming town. It was so renowned that it even drew members of the Danish royal family over the decades. Authentic foods and beverages are a tourist highlight here and among the many reasons why people consider it one of the most impressive American towns that look European. Be sure to stop into the Hans Christian Andersen Museum to learn more about the beloved author. If you’re visiting in September, prepare for the Danish Heritage Festival and celebrate the holiday in style, complete with dancing, music, food, and parades.

Book Your Domestic Euro Getaway Today

Why book a flight when you can enjoy the creature comforts of Europe in North America? These American towns that look European are easily worth a bus journey! Head to BusTickets.com to book your trip today.

References:

http://www.cityofpella.com/

https://www.biblicalarchaeology.org/daily/biblical-sites-places/biblical-archaeology-places/pella-a-window-on-survival/

https://www.pellahistorical.org/

https://leavenworth.org/

https://leavenworth.org/festivals-events/

https://www.swisstown.com/

https://newglarusvillage.com/

http://www.helenga.org/

https://www.solvangusa.com/

http://www.elverhoj.org/history.html

Book a bus ticket and enjoy Midwest spring travel

Midwest Spring Bus Travel Guide: What to See & Do

By Bus Travel, Iowa, Jackson, Kansas, Michigan, Pella, Witchita

A spring getaway is a perfect cure to overcome any remaining winter blues, and no region celebrates the season quite like middle America. But with so many fantastic destinations, it’s challenging to decide where to travel in the Midwest during spring. Fortunately, we’ve taken the guessing work out of bus travel by highlighting a few of the best locations to visit. If you’re itching to hit the road after a long winter, book your bus tickets to these three spots.

Wichita, Kansas

Wichita, KS, offers a rich assortment of spring activities for visitors of all ages. The city places a particular emphasis on outdoor activities, which isn’t surprising considering the rich, lush landscape of the area. Whether you’re traveling as a family or pursuing a solo adventure, here are three locations you won’t want to miss.

Bask in the Aromatic Blooms at the Botanica Wichita

One of the most beloved attractions in Wichita is the botanical gardens. Botanica Wichita offers 18 acres of gardens, exhibits, and horticulture library. While the grounds are open year-round, the site comes to life in spring when over 120,000 daffodils bloom, along with thousands of tulips, wildflowers, and irises. After taking a tour through the mesmerizing gardens, enjoy a gourmet meal at the Garden Cafe.

Become One With Nature at the Great Plains Nature Center

To truly appreciate spring, you need to immerse yourself in nature. In Wichita, the best place to accomplish this feat is the Great Plains Nature Center. Guests have the option to explore the historical and educational exhibits in the Koch Habitat Hall before exploring the 282-acre Chisholm Creek Park. The reserve is home to hundreds of plant and wildlife species, which you can see up close and personal on the paved trails. Admission to the center is free.

Enhance Your World View at the Wichita Art Museum

The Wichita Art Museum offers a well-rounded selection of historical and contemporary art and culture exhibits with regular feature rotations. There are also a variety of programs and events catering to specific interests and age groups, including Senior Wednesday and Art Start. The museum offers free general admission on Saturdays.

Pella, Iowa

Often overshadowed by its big brother Des Moines, Pella, IA, is a hidden Midwest gem. The small town was founded by Dutch immigrants in 1847, and the residents are committed to preserving their heritage. Not only is the town ideal for history and architecture buffs, but for tulip fans, it’s a top contender for where to travel in the Midwest during spring.

Surround Yourself With Blooms at the Tulip Time Festival

Held at the beginning of May, Tulip Time is a three-day festival celebrating the town’s Dutch heritage and the arrival of spring. There are parades held on each day of the event, along with a host of shows and exhibits. Whatever attractions you add to your schedule, you won’t want to miss the Annual Flower Show. The event is open to the public for nine hours, and you can even order tulip bulbs on site.

Step Back in Time at the Historical Village

The flower show is held in Pella’s Historical Village, but a few hours roaming the event isn’t enough time to truly take in the spectacular attraction. The site houses 22 buildings, including a black shop, log cabin, and sod house replica showcasing the first home accommodations of the town’s founders. An admissions fee of $10 for adults ($6 for students) gives you full access to all the buildings and shops.

Jackson, Michigan

Spring bus travel to Jackson, MI, is ideal for families. The small, welcoming city is home to numerous exciting attractions, but there are two options perfectly fit for spring: the Fairy Festival and birding.

Experience the Magic of the Fairy Festival

The Fairy Festival is unlike any other spring event in the region. While it’s designed for younger family members, visitors of all ages are welcomed to get in touch with their inner child for a weekend of imaginative fun. Stroll the Fairy Kingdom, browse the craft booths, and vote for your favorite fairy garden.

Celebrate the Arrival of Spring With a Birding Adventure

One of the first signs of spring is the return of bird chatter outside the window. In Jackson, you can take this welcomed experience a step further by going birding. There are a variety of spots to choose from for this adventure. For hikers, the Kate Palmer Sanctuary offers 53 acres with 100 known species of birds, while the Haehnle Memorial Sanctuary is home to over 200 species on nearly 1,000 acres. There’s even a free bird sighting checklist made specifically for Jackson County.

Book Your Spring Bus Travel Today

Now that you know where to travel in the Midwest during spring, it’s time to book your bus tickets. At Bustickets.com, a few clicks of a button is all that stands between you and an unforgettable vacation. Our price comparison tool allows you to save money so that you can travel even more, and our charter bus quote service makes booking group trips a breeze. Enjoy the season before it’s gone by buying your bus tickets today.