10 Places in the United States That Feel Like Europe
If you love: The artsy and craft-centric coastal region of Cornwall, England
Consider: Cape Cod, Massachusetts
Where to stay: Chatham Bars Inn
Miles of gorgeous Atlantic coastline, sweeping sand dunes, delicious seafood, and a thriving arts and crafts community: Cape Cod could easily pass for Cornwall, as long as you’re OK with swapping Cornish pasties for clambakes. Wake up to ocean views at the historic 1914 Chatham Bars Inn and spend the rest of the day enjoying its private quarter-mile long beach, or head into town to admire the small galleries and houses with picket fences.
If you love: Off-the-radar Italian villages and rustic vineyards
Consider: Virginia Wine Country
Where to stay: The Goodstone Inn & Restaurant
The architecture may be more colonial than Tuscan, but Virginia’s wine country exudes the same bucolic charm as the Italian countryside. A 50-mile drive west of Washington, D.C., Middleburg’s Goodstone Inn & Restaurant is now open for secluded stays in its private cottages. Nearby wineries including Greenhill Vineyards, Boxwood Winery, and Stone Tower Winery are also welcoming guests for outdoor or social-distanced tastings with reservations.
If you love: The lavender fields and rolling vineyards of Provence, France
Consider: Sonoma County, California
Where to stay: Farmhouse Inn
You may be familiar with the wineries and dramatic coastline of California’s Sonoma County, but it’s also home to lavender farms that bloom each June and July, like Monte-Bellaria di California (in Sebastopol) and Matanzas Creek Winery (in Santa Rosa). After a day outdoors in the fragrant fields, check into Forestville’s Farmhouse Inn. With only 25 rooms with private patios set among flowering gardens and a Michelin-starred restaurant with just 14 tables, this charming resort was practically invented for social distancing.
If you love: Attractive lakeside villages in Sweden
Consider: Grand Marais, Minnesota
Where to stay: Mayhew Inn
Opened in spring 2018, the hip Mayhew Inn is Grand Marais’s only boutique hotel. With just six artist-designed suites inside the brick building from the 1900s, the hotel has the feel of an Airbnb (unsurprisingly, its rooms are listed there, too). But your stay also comes with a few welcome amenities: free room cleaning, toiletries, and some of its custom coffee. For views of boats bobbing in the Lake Superior harbor, head up to the roof deck.
If you love: Fresh mountain air and hiking in the Swiss Alps
Consider: Aspen, Colorado
Where to stay: The Little Nell
Set at the base of Aspen Mountain—and literally steps from the Silver Queen Gondola—the Little Nell easily has some of the most covetable real estate in town. It’s also Aspen’s only five-star, five-diamond property, which means you’ll be suitably spoiled.
If you love: Denmark’s blustery beaches and surfing towns
Consider: Montauk, New York
Where to stay: Marram
The Danish surfing hot spot Klitmøller—aka “Cold Hawaii”—may be off-limits for the time being, but Montauk is (by and large) open for business: Bed down at Marram, a 96-room boutique hotel on the water just south of Shadmoor State Park. Tackle the waves with world-class surfers via the hotel’s twice-weekly “surf check,” or opt for something a little more low key, like a sunrise meditation or self-guided nature walk.
If you love: The sunny beaches and sea breezes of the Greek Islands
Consider: Catalina Island, California
Where to stay: Hotel Atwater, Pavilion Hotel, or Mt Ada
Matching Greece’s Mediterranean climate, Catalina Island is a short ferry ride from Newport Beach, Dana Point, Long Beach, or San Pedro. Through October 2020, the island is offering a “Your Boat’s On Us” deal, so whether you stay at the Hotel Atwater, Pavilion Hotel, or Mt Ada, round-trip transportation for two on the Catalina Flyer (from Newport Beach) or the Catalina Express (from Long Beach, San Pedro, or Dana Point) is covered.
If you love: The fairy-tale castles and mountain peaks of Germany’s Allgäu region
Consider: Vail, Colorado
Where to stay: Sonnenalp Vail
Germany’s Allgäu in southern Bavaria is best known for Neuschwanstein, which is said to be the inspiration behind the castles in both Disney’s Cinderella and Sleeping Beauty movies. But instead of booking it to a theme park, head to the scenic mountain village of Vail. The chalet-style Sonnenalp Vail at its heart is actually owned and operated by the same family as the Sonnenalp in Germany. You won’t find a castle here, per se, but you will be treated like a princess.
If you love: The dramatic glaciers and fjords of Norway
Where to stay: Alyeska Resort or Tordrillo Mountain Lodge
About an hour’s drive from Anchorage, the chateau-style Alyeska Resort comprises 300 rooms. Surrounded by majestic snow-capped peaks and creaking spruce trees, the hotel has the feel of an off-the-grid oasis without sacrificing any amenities. Among them? A 60-passenger scenic tram, which ascends 2,300 feet in elevation to the top of Mount Alyeska.
If you’re willing to wait a little longer, Tordrillo, a luxury lodge in the Tordrillo Range, is opening in July. It requires a floatplane flight from Anchorage to reach, but once you’re there, activities—including climbing Alaska’s first via ferrata course, and skiing in the morning and fishing for salmon at night—abound.
If you love: Germany’s Black Forest
Consider: Great Smoky Mountains, Tennessee
Where to stay: Blackberry Mountain
Situated over 5,200 acres across eight miles of the Great Smoky Mountains’ protected ridgetop, Blackberry Mountain—sister property to wine-and-dining destination Blackberry Farm—pitches itself as “your own private national park.” With two on-site restaurants, a spa, fitness classes, and seemingly endless hikes, we’ll take it.