Finding Europe in America: US Cities That Look and Feel Like Europe

Finding Europe in America: US Cities That Look and Feel Like Europe

Travel across the Atlantic without ever leaving the comforts of American territory. This is a captivating tour of the quaint streets, amazing buildings, and cultural relics of the Old World hidden in the center of the New.

This article invites you to explore the European character of America’s many urban environments, from the lively Scandinavian heritage of Minneapolis to the cobblestone alleys of Boston that whisper tales of colonial days.

Get ready to be taken to the charming cafes of Paris, the majestic plazas of Madrid, and the tranquil canals of Venice—all only a short distance from your home—whether you’re an experienced tourist or an inquisitive local.

Solvang, California

Authentic and immersive Danish village, totally out of place in Western California, near Santa Barbara in the Santa Ynez Valley. It’s not a negative thing, either!

The quaint European-style city of Solvang, California, is home to windmills, Danish bakeries, regional wineries, and even beer gardens that pay homage to Denmark’s Scandinavian heritage.

Any time of year is a fantastic time to visit Solvang, but December is the best time to go to take advantage of the Julefest Maker’s Market, a classic European Christmas market with handcrafted goods and seasonal gifts from local artisans!

St. Augustine, Florida

The oldest city in America, St. Augustine, Florida, is still greatly impacted by its Spanish heritage, which can be seen all over the place.

Finding Europe in America: US Cities That Look and Feel Like Europe

The city’s magnificent cobblestone walkways, historic sites like the Castillo de San Marcos fortification, and well-preserved Spanish architecture all pay homage to the Spanish Renaissance.

It feels like strolling through a coastal Spanish town like Sitges or Estepona when you stroll through the historic streets and along the Florida coast.

Read Also: Fading Memories: 5 Haunting Ghost Towns in Florida’s History

Kansas City, Missouri

You may not immediately think of Kansas City, dubbed the “Paris of the Plains,” when considering American cities that have a European feel to them. Still, there are plenty of surprises!

In fact, the Plaza de Armas in Seville, Spain in 1922 served as the model for the Country Club Plaza in particular.

In the middle of the Midwest, the Plaza’s lovely architecture, elaborate fountains, and quaint pedestrian lanes offer a flavor of Spanish elegance.

Read Also: From Data to Danger: Missouri’s 5 Most Crime-Infested Cities

Ouray, Colorado

With a plethora of European-inspired activities and attractions, Ouray, Colorado, has earned the title of “Switzerland of America” with good reason.

Ouray, which is totally encircled by the San Juan Mountains, bears a striking resemblance to several other Swiss mountain communities, including the stunning Lauterbrunnen village.

Finding Europe in America: US Cities That Look and Feel Like Europe

Ouray is one of the many American mountain towns that resemble the Alps in Europe. It provides a range of outdoor activities to enjoy while immersed in a scene reminiscent of Switzerland, including hiking, rock climbing, and hot springs.

Apart from the breathtaking scenery, Ouray’s downtown stores and little cafés offer a true alpine experience that perfectly encapsulates Switzerland.

Read Also: 5 Must-Visit Resorts in St. Thomas for Your Perfect Getaway

Carmel-by-the-Sea, California

Carmel-by-the-Sea is another treasure in California that has a strong European feel about it. Situated on the Monterey Peninsula, this quaint seaside town boasts the most exquisite and vibrant cottage-style structures.

Entering Carmel-by-the-Sea seems like stepping into a Brothers Grimm story set in Germany’s Black Forest.

From Highway 1 to Carmel Sunset Beach, Ocean Avenue offers a stroll that is both distinctive and authentically European. You really must check out all of the stores, eateries, and nooks while you’re here!

To Conclude

Traveling to the United States has an unexpected abundance of undiscovered treasures that evoke the allure and uniqueness of Europe.

These locations give travelers a taste of Europe without requiring them to take a transatlantic journey, from the Danish bakeries of Solvang to the cobblestone lanes of St. Augustine that are reminiscent of Spain.

So, prepare for a closer-than-you-may European trip by packing your bags and grabbing your walking shoes!


With more than two years of expertise in news and analysis, Eileen Stewart is a seasoned reporter. Eileen is a respected voice in this field, well-known for her sharp reporting and insightful analysis. Her writing covers a wide range of subjects, from politics to culture and more.