The charm of small cities in the USA

When it comes to America in general, everybody tends to associate the States with skyscrapers and yellow taxis crossing metropolises with several million inhabitants. Heavy traffic accompanied by neon lights and city streets which never sleep. It is the real face of America or, to be more precise, one of its parts. In fact, people have the tendency to pay more attention to the ones who expose themselves either in schools or at workplaces. However, apart from the aforementioned metropolises, America provides the tourists with a wide range of small cities that have their unmistakable charm, tradition and future.

Magic Bangor (Maine)

This city is said to be one of the most beautiful small cities of the US. With the population of over 33 000 inhabitants, Bangor is reminiscent of those classical European smaller cities in relation to its architecture, art and life in general. Whoever is looking for peace in the United States should immediately set off for the state Maine where Bangor is located as well.

The city has its characteristic features which serve as a great attraction for the tourists. One of its celebrated personalities made Bangor well-known all over the world. I refer to its most famous resident Stephen King, who drew a lot of inspiration from the streets and incorporated them into his novels. By the way, he himself recommends the city to those who would like to experience the true nature of America, the place where settlers still sit on the porch and mammoth shopping malls are replaced by classic supermarkets. Needless to say that Stephen King’s hacienda in itself enjoys popularity among literature lovers despite its spooky features. On the other hand, taking this horrifying link into consideration, the city is renowned for the second lowest crime rate in the US. One thing is for sure – one does not have to worry about the safety and their camera here.

Paducah (Kentucky)

The second largest city of Jackson Purchase region in the state of Kentucky had only 25 000 inhabitants in 2010. This place is tailored for travelers who want to become familiar with the American lifestyle. It has its own history. In 1980, the city consisted of only twenty historic blocks which are historical monuments now.

However, Paducah was built on nasty foundations. Brought up by crime, illegal activity and under-investment, the city suffered from lack of interest, the commercial buildings were yawning with emptiness. As time passed by, it had gradually been cleansed and brought back to life. There was a substantial investment in the excess of 100 million which aided in the development of small enterprises along with some breath-taking piece of art. Newly built sidewalks, brick buildings, trees and parks provide the artists with a place to create and tourists with locations to relax. Every May, Paducah organizes its music and arts festival which is very popular with many tourists. It was a conscious decision to make a good use of the city’s smallness. Moreover, the city boasts with an UNESCO Creative City award.

Traverse City (Michigan)

For all  wine, sun and pleasure lovers . The city with less than 15 000 inhabitants is a blessed region for wine-making. In addition to quality wines, there are many small breweries in the region that are renowned for keeping their traditions and resisting the advances of several transnational companies whose products taste the same all over the US.

Located on the shores of Grand Traverse Bay, Traverse City is popular with the tourists not only because of good wine and beer, but also due to the breath-taking natural scenery. Thanks to the relatively small amount of inhabitants. there are several open spaces for afternoon walks and the possibility of enjoyment of silence, peace and freedom. While walking around the cherry orchards, one can forget for a while that he or she is in America. This place has the potential to get under your skin.

Louisville (Colorado)

Just take your bike and visit Louisville in Colorado. With the population of less than 20 000 inhabitants, the people of this city create a family atmosphere. It is located in a state enriched by tradition and culture of the first Americans and above all, the well-known American nature. In fact, the place was tormented by poverty and violence until 1887 when the classical mining towns such as Louisville were struck by the decline of the whole sector. The decline which saw the city experience problems primarily associated with crime and poverty. Mines were definitely closed down in 1950.

Since then, Louisville in Colorado has gone through many changes – new suburbs and residential areas have emerged along the way. The population growth has prompted the city to construct new districts and improve the infrastructure in general. These newly implemented changes helped the city to win two awards in 2009 and 2011 in the category of cities with the best living conditions all over the US. It’s worth the firsthand experience.

DeLand (Florida)

The small city in Florida, which goes by the name American Athens,  is associated with a noble and relaxing lifestyle. DeLand is the center of education and art which is evident from the first glance. Stetson University is located here. Visitors can visit many museums, but this city is about much more than that.

Unlike in the big cities, where people keep struggling with lack of time and reach for fast foods, DeLand is suitable for real gourmets. Mainstreet Grill is the best restaurant in the city. Its Sunday supplement is a sought-after one among domestic and foreign visitors. During the magic and unforgettable mornings every visitor deserves to get in touch with the magnificent scent of a small town in Florida.

Marek Mittaš
Fotografie: Dreamstime, Louisville CO, Visit Florida/Press