20 American Beach Towns That Will Make You Feel Like You’re in Europe

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Do you want a European escape but prefer to stay stateside? We’ve got you covered. 

Discover American beach towns with a touch of European spirit. These towns span from the sunny coast of California to the relaxed charm of Virginia. 

Each spot boasts a unique vibe and echoes European locales. Get ready for an adventure at these coastal treasures and experience a taste of Europe in the U.S.

1. Alys Beach, Florida

Lounging area in Alys Beach Florida MSN
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Experience a bit of Greece under the Florida sun at Alys Beach. The town blooms on Florida’s Panhandle, inspired by Greek beauty. 

White-washed buildings shimmer at Alys Beach as the rooftops sketch along a skyline that looks like Mykonos Island. A trip here is a Mediterranean escape in the heart of Florida.

2. Corona Del Mar, California

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Corona Del Mar is California’s gem. This town is in Newport Beach and entices travelers with its natural beauty. 

Incredible cliffs and rock formations grace Corona Del Mar’s coastline. These sights are on par with Portugal’s Algarve seashores. A visit to Corona Del Mar feels like a detour to Portugal.

3. Holland, Michigan

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Holland is a town in Michigan infused with Dutch charm. It surprises visitors with its Dutch-style windmills and vibrant tulip fields. 

Lake Beach adds to its beauty, courtesy of the nearby Holland State Park. Holland is a prime example of a town with an American heart and a European soul.

4. Venice, California

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Los Angeles has a Bohemian enclave known as Venice. Sharing its name with the Italian city, Venice, CA, is an interesting blend of European aesthetics. 

It stands out with a residential area dotted with canals reminiscent of Amsterdam. Be it Amsterdam or Venice, this California town seems to offer slices of both.

5. Old Town Alexandria, Virginia

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Old Town Alexandria sits beautifully on the Potomac in Virginia. While its waterfront views are amazing, the real star of the show is its European influences, seen in its food and architecture.

In Old Town Alexandria, there are traces of Scottish traditions and heritage. The annual Scottish Christmas Walk Weekend is one of the wonderful traditions that leaves visitors in awe.

6. Frankenmuth, Michigan

Frankenmuth, Michigan
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Brush up on your German with a visit to Frankenmuth, Michigan. The delightful Bavarian-styled town draws tourists in with its well-preserved German legacy. 

Wooden bridges, Bavarian storefronts, and German eateries contribute to the town’s gemutlichkeit (coziness). Frankenmuth, also known as “Michigan’s Little Bavaria,” is a bit of Old World Europe in the New World.

7. Carmel-by-the-Sea, California

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Carmel-by-the-Sea is a Californian jewel that pulls in romantic souls. Its alluring coastline reminds us of Italy’s Cinque Terre. 

The cobblestone streets lined with thatched-roof shops give the downtown area a German fairytale vibe. This California town offers a captivating European flavor.

8. Poulsbo, Washington

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Poulsbo presents a Nordic touch amidst Washington’s scenic backdrop. Located on the Kitsap Peninsula, it is very proud of its Norweigan roots. 

Admire the beautiful Norweigan architecture that gives the town its appeal. The annual Viking Fest shows what a rich Scandinavian legacy the place still has.

9. Avalon, California

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Avalon is a charming beach town on Catalina Island, California. It perfectly mimics the vibe of Europe’s Mediterranean beach towns. 

The quaint houses set against the brilliant blue sea mirror the coastal towns of Italy. Beyond scenic views, Avalon’s restaurants don’t disappoint. If you want a good view while you eat great food, stop at Bluewater Avalon.

10. Solvang, California

Old Windmill in Solvang California MSN
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Solvang offers a slice of Denmark in California’s Santa Ynez Valley. Danish heritage is showcased through the town’s windmills, architecture, and bakeries. 

Speaking of bakeries, the aroma of traditional Danish pastries comes from Olsen’s Bakery. Solvang will transport you and your tastebuds to Europe in no time.

11. Mt. Gretna, Pennsylvania

Municipal Building of Mt. Gretna Pennsylvania MSN
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Experience a hint of Europe in Mt. Gretna, Pennsylvania. The little cottages and arts scene give you an English countryside vibe. 

The Mt. Gretna Arts Show is a local event that takes place in August of every year. It creates even more allure for this charming town.

12. Vail, Colorado

Vail, Colorado
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Vail is a high-end mountain resort town in Colorado. It looks like a Swiss ski resort with its chalet-inspired architecture. 

The town’s alpine backdrop and ski resorts make it even more breathtaking. Vail is Colorado’s splendid love letter to Switzerland.

13. St. Augustine, Florida

St. Augustine
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St. Augustine offers a Spanish flair with its historical charm in Florida. Known as America’s oldest city, it showcases beautiful Spanish colonial architecture. 

Its narrow lanes and the Castille de San Marcos fort wrap the city in European charm. St. Augustine truly is a gateway to Spain in Florida.

14. Cape May, New Jersey

Cape May, NJ
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Cape May offers an English style to the Jersey Shore. It looks like a Victorian masterpiece with many buildings constructed in the mid-1800s. 

Its Victorian homes and lighthouse add much intrigue to the town. A vacation here offers an authentic experience that feels like an old English town.

15. Kennebunkport, Maine

Nice view of the small harbour in Kennebunkport Maine MSN
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Kennebunkport is a coastal town that reflects the charm of the French. Found in York County, Maine, it is a beloved destination for those who prefer the beach over cities. 

Kennebunkport twinkles brightest during the Christmas season. Picture this: festive lights everywhere, decorated boats on the harbor, and a small-town winter vibe that wouldn’t look out of place in Normandy. It’s the perfect place to get cozy and catch some holiday cheer.

16. New Glarus, Wisconsin

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Swiss culture thrives in New Glarus, much to the delight of the Swiss Consul in Chicago, who says this Wisconsin town captures the essence of Switzerland beautifully. The town’s commitment to its Swiss heritage is seen in everything from architecture to annual festivals that include cow-milking contests.

Sipping on locally brewed beer in New Glarus, you might just forget you’re not in a quaint Swiss village. It’s a perfect example of how traditions can persist and flourish, even far from their homeland.

17. Vineyard Haven, Massachusetts

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Vineyard Haven rings England’s bell in America’s Massachusetts. As the main port of Martha’s Vineyard, it carries an old-world English charm. 

Its quaint shops, houses, and harbor are similar to their counterparts in England. Vineyard Haven is a perfect display of New England charm blended with old English roots.

18. Leavenworth, Washington

Leavenworth, Washington
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Leavenworth citizens can attest to living in a Bavarian village in Washington. Situated amidst the Cascade Mountains, it exhibits a Himalayan resemblance. 

The town square lined with Alpine-style buildings is a sight to behold. The Octoberfest brings out its Bavarian colors in a vibrant display of tradition.

19. Bristol, Rhode Island

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Bristol in Rhode Island is a beautiful rendition of an English seaside town. It is a splendid example of European beauty with its colonial homes and British-influenced town layout.

The glistening waterfront and the Blithewold mansion are sights you can’t skip. Bristol is an American mirror that reflects the charm of an old English village.

20. Homestead, Pennsylvania

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Homestead in Pennsylvania pays tribute to Irish traditions. It stands on the Monongahela River bank and has an Irish ambiance. 

The Irish pubs and annual St.Patrick’s parade make it a fun place to visit. Homestead is your pint-sized Dublin tucked away in the heartland of America.

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Riley Waterfront Park
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