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Tania is currently the Founder and Editor-in-Chief of The Hudsucker and an Associate Editor at Womanista. With past writing credits as a freelance writer and journalist with Quietly, the International Women's Media Foundation (IWMF), and NBC News' Newsvine, she is currently a member of Indianapolis based, Society of Professional Journalists—one of the oldest organizations in the US that promotes and represents journalists. As a writer by vocation and entrepreneur by nature, Tania is a life long learner who enjoys traveling and meeting new people. She is an avid Indianapolis Colts, Elvis Presley, and baseball fan as well as a lover of pancakes and fine cheeses, film, and music. Tania is a Hoosier at heart with a passionate wanderlust for always traveling and road-tripping across the great United States. She is currently attending Ball State University in Muncie, Indiana and studying journalism. Follow Tania on Twitter: @westlifebunny.

6 of the Most Charming Towns Across the US You Need to Visit

You know the saying — big stories happen in small places. With summer officially here and autumn just around the corner, it’s the perfect time to head out on the open road and take in all the glory of our beautiful United States. When it comes to vacation time, whether with family, friends or just some solo travel, seek out places that bring new experiences and amplify culture with unsung beautiful hot spots that need to be on your bucket list.

And trust us, you’re going to want to check out these ones. To get help you make the most of the warmer weather and everything the season brings, we shine a light on small towns in the U.S. that are often left in the shadows of a big metropolis and are perfect for a family vacation or weekend getaway.

Ferndale, California

Known as “Cream City,” this city’s downtown is ever charming with well-preserved Victorian storefronts and homes that will let you escape the daily grind. Nestled between the California Redwoods and renowned Lost Coast, this charming Victorian Villageis a hidden oasis of small town charm, spectacular architecture, enchanting natural beauty and an inviting North Coast culture.

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Grand Haven, Michigan

This eastern shore town is situated on the Grand River and offers wine tasting, sand dune riding and fun festivals every summer. Grand Haven of the Northern Ottawa County is one of the most historically significant areas in the state of Michigan, with its history dating back over 300 years ago.

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Damascus, Virginia

Nestled in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia, this small town of 800 or so people offers the most beautiful trails in the state for hikers and bikers who seek some solace and scenery straight out of a Bob Ross painting. Spanning across the Appalachian Trail, the Virginia Creeper Trail, the Trans-America National Bicycle Trail, the Iron Mountain Trail, the Daniel Boone Heritage Trail, the Crooked Road Musical Heritage Trail, Virginia’s Birding and Wildlife Trail, it also lies within a short distance of hundreds of miles of other hiking, horse and biking trails.

Gallup, New Mexico

Known as the Indian jewelry capitol of the world, this town is rich in Native American culture and is a destination that embraces it wholeheartedly. Not to mention, located on the historic Route 66 and was a hot spot for Hollywood in the ’50s and ’60s, thanks to its nearby rugged terrain, which were ideal for Westerns.

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Natchitoches, Louisiana

History buffs will love this town as it’s the oldest permanent settlement in the Louisiana Purchase. Pronounced “Nack-a-tish,” this original French colony in Louisiana is known as the oldest settlement in the Louisiana Purchase.  First established in the early 1700s, Natchitoches maintains its European flavor through its unique architecture, heritage and lifestyle. And if it looks familiar, you might recall it from the ’90s favorite, Steel Magnolias.

Shipshewana, Indiana

This adorable town boasts an Amish community, horse wagons for travel and the largest flea market in the country. Not to mention, some of the best food in the state, including to-die-for pies from the Blue Gate Bakery. Named after a local Potawatomi Indian, this northern Indiana town lets you step off the beaten path and enjoy the leisurely pace of the quaint and peaceful Amish countryside.

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What are some of your favorite small towns in the U.S.? Share with us in the comments below.

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