In 2020, despite the pandemic, we were able to travel a lot. To keep ourselves and others safe we tried to stay away from majorly populated areas like big cities or popular amusement parks. That’s one of a few reasons why we focused on showcasing small town America.
With that said, we visited a lot of incredible small towns. We think that big cities are great, and we’re visiting a lot in 2021, but small towns are underrated, y’all! So here are the top three small towns we think you should visit this year!
#3 Sautee, Georgia (area)
We visited the Sautee, Georgia in June 2020 and really fell in love with the area. It’s in the beautiful Georgia mountains and, with surrounding small towns, there are a lot of things to do and see.
In Sautee you can stay at Sylvan Valley Lodge (one of our top three B&Bs) and check out some adorable little shops. Just a few minutes in opposite directions you’ll find Helen and Cleveland.
Helen is a fairly touristy town and is designed to be like a Bavarian village. If you visit make sure you go to Bodensee for some incredible German food.
In addition to some great food, shopping, and attractions, there are many opportunities for outdoor activities like hiking, tubing, etc.
#2 Lititz, Pennsylvania
We visited Lititz, Pennsylvania specifically because it was in the heart of Lancaster County aka Amish Country. However, we ended up discovering that this town really has it all, y’all.
While we were there we stayed in the beautiful Alden House, which is located downtown where all of the action is. There’s essentially one main street, so most everything in Lititz is within walking distance (if you want it to be).
There is a ton of shopping to be done, and we did it for sure! Our favorite boutique was Pebbles and Lace.
We had an incredible culinary experience while in Lititz. For dinner we ate at Blackworth Live Fire Grill and Appalachian Brewing Company. For lunch the go to spot is Tomato Pie and, if you want a yummy pastry or coffee, you can visit their sister business (on the edge of town) called Cake & Cup.
If you drive about thirty minutes outside of Lititz you can go to a pretty famous spot (that we’re visiting again in 2021)… Hersheypark!
#1 Jacksonville, Illinois
If you’ve followed any of our content, then our top favorite town will come as no surprise at all.
Jacksonville, Illinois is a town of about 20,000 people, but it’s filled with incredible places to eat, shops to enjoy, and historical attractions.
If you visit, make sure you stay at Blessings on State, which is our top pick for a B&B. In Jacksonville there are so many yummy restaurants, so you can’t really go wrong. Our favorites were Elm City Roastery, Burger Board, Leo’s Pizza and Mulligan’s. Also make sure to grab some cookies from No Regrets.
All of our favorite shops are within walking distance of the town square. We loved Market House Antiques, Home Girls, Just Good Trade, and A Collaborative. There are so many others you can explore based on what you’re looking for or your personal style.
As for attractions, we highly recommend checking out the Governor Duncan Mansion and Woodlawn Farm if you enjoy history. If you’re looking for something more sports centered you can check out Future Champions or get a golf lesson at K’s Creek. Finally, if you want some great music, food, and wine then you need to visit Waters Edge Winery (and make sure to order the Sangria Wine!).
If you need help planning a trip to Jacksonville, reach out to the Convention and Visitor’s Bureau. They’ll make sure you hit all of the shops, restaurants, and attractions that best suit you.
In all honesty, y’all, we haven’t visited very many places we didn’t enjoy. Everywhere from Stanford, Kentucky to Durham, North Carolina has been incredible and has brought a new and exciting adventure.
We know that traveling to a larger city (like Durham) is often easier, because there are a ton of resources for where to stay, what to do, and where to eat. We wanted to make this post so that you have a point of reference for small towns as well. Broaden your horizons, and let us help you do that!
If you know of a small town we should visit, don’t hesitate to leave it in a comment! We’re open to going anywhere and everywhere!