Not too long ago we wrote a post about our favorite BIG cities to travel to in the United States. (We’re embarrassed to admit that we actually published it without including New Orleans! What were we thinking?! Duhhhh. New Orleans is awesome.) In any event we’ve decided to create a post about some of our favorite mid-size and small cities.

Annapolis, Maryland

The capital of Maryland sits right on the Chesapeake Bay and is one of the loveliest places on the east coast, some might argue in the United States. There are tons of boats (some of which you can charter for a cruise) and many, many great places to eat and drink. It’s also home to the Naval Academy and St. John’s College so you are sure to experience a youthful energy to this city that is rich in history.

Best Small and Mid-Size Cities

Asheville, North Carolina

It’s home. And for good reason! Beer City is got it all and though locals say the traffic has only gotten worse in the last several years, it’s nowhere near navigating New York City. This is a four season kind of town so don’t worry about when’s the best time to visit, just pack your bags and head to the mountains!

Best Small and Mid-Size Cities

Athens, Georgia

College town meets thriving local food and drink scene. You’re going to need at least 48 hours in this city. Come and see our top picks for the best things to see, do and eat as well as the best place to stay in Athens!

Best Small and Mid-Size Cities in the US

Bellingham, Washington

Way up in the upper left hand corner of the United States is one of our favorite small cities: Bellingham, Washington. It’s got it all in the food and drink department (great breweries, great coffee shops, amazing restaurants), trails for days and an open and welcoming vibe that made us feel at home the moment we arrived.


Charleston, South Carolina

If you’ve ever been to Charleston then you know what I mean when I say it’s like stepping back in time. Walking around the downtown historic area feels like being on the set of a movie. Everything is manicured and just-so. It’s warm most of the year too which only helps us make a case as to why Charleston makes the list of our favorite mid-size cities.

Best Small and Mid-Size Cities in the US

Durham, North Carolina

There is way more to Durham than the 80’s movie starring Kevin Costner. It’s got great food, great bars, awesome museums, street art, a walkable downtown and it’s only about 3 and a half hours from us in Asheville. And of course, a minor league baseball team as well. This is easily one of our favorite places to go when we want to get out of town for a bit.

Best Small and Mid-Size Cities in the US

Eugene, Oregon

This is one of those places that felt like home the moment we arrived. It had all the elements that we look for in a city aaaaaand it had trails for days. We had some serious discussions about moving here and already can’t wait to return.

Best Small and Mid-Size Cities in the US

Flagstaff, Arizona

Sitting pretty at about 7,000 feet of elevation, Flagstaff is one of the coolest places we’ve visited in Arizona. Make that the United States. The iconic Route 66 runs right through downtown and makes the perfect jumping on or jumping off spot for those of you traveling along this road.

Moab, Utah

Some might argue that Moab is a town and not a city and they’d probably be right. But we decided to include it because it’s not only the gateway to Arches National Park but it’s also known as the Adventure Capital of the World. You can pretty much do any outdoor activity that you can think of here. What’s not to love about that?!

red rock landscape in Arches National Park

The famous arch in Moab

Santa Fe

The capital of New Mexico also happens to be one of the most unique cities we’ve ever been to. We’ve been there twice within the last year and have quickly fallen in love with the architecture, food, culture, landscape, outdoor scene … and MEOW WOLF. If you haven’t been to Santa Fe, put it on your list, it’s nothing short of awesome. And if you’re going, be sure to check out our favorite things to see and do and eat there!

Santa Fe, New Mexico

Our Favorite Small and Mid-Size Cities Recap:

This list started getting bigger and bigger the more we continued to write. That said, I’m sure we forgot to put several small and mid-size cities on this list. So please tell us: which places do you think deserve to be on this list?! Leave your comments below!

2 Comments on “10 of Our Favorite Mid-Size and Small Cities!

  1. Pingback: Our Top Travel Picks for Big Awesome Cities • Authentic Asheville

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