Travel + Leisure has recently recognized one Jersey Shore town on a list of the 20 Most Beautiful Small Towns In The US.

Looking to travel? There are destinations all over the US that can leave you awestruck with their beauty and charm.  There are obvious stops in the country, sure, but if you want to hit a possible hidden gem, this is the list for you. There are so many worth-it-to-visit towns in the country that are not the big ones.

The list features towns from all over the country including Hawaii and Alaska. From midwestern towns to natural wonders, a California island, and New England beaches. If you’ve been to this town, you’d agree it belongs on this list.

While you’re here, we’d like to know. Have you even heard of any of these (other than the NJ town) outside of this list? Some of these towns are so small, they almost don’t exist in common knowledge. That is totally fine, though. Rather than calling them small, let’s call them exclusive. And now that you’re reading this, you’re exclusive.

All 20 towns on this list have a population under 20,000. They all welcome visitors from everywhere and provide their own little unique and enjoyable experiences. You may be tempted after reading this to take a trip to check it out.  Keep reading to see which Jersey Shore town was recognized as one of the most beautiful. You can read Travel + Leisure’s full article here.

  • 1. Girdwood, Alaska

    This quirky town sits amongst thick forests and is surrounded by the Chugach Mountain Range. Just 36 miles from Anchorage, Alaska’s largest city, this town’s location proves to be convenient. The small town has some rich history. Originally, people were drawn to the rae by the prospect of Gold. Now, tourism is its main draw. Alyeska Resort is a large part of the town. Girdwood actually has the title of ‘Alaska’s only year-round resort’. It attracts visitors throughout the seasons with great outdoor activities that bring visitors from far and wide.

    Visit Girdwood

  • 2. Sedona, Arizona

    Sedona is one of those picture-perfect towns in America. It’s surrounded by red rocks, dizzying canyon walls and lush pine forests. Its postcard views are made even better by a quaint downtown area and bustling arts scene. The name of the game here is beauty. Sedona’s landscape lands its at the top of this small-towns list.

    Visit Sedona 

  • 3. Avalon, California

    This little town is situated on Santa Catalina Island in the California Channel Islands. It boasts that “in-another-country” feel, but you don’t need a passport to get there. The blue water that surrounds the only incorporated town on Santa Catalina Island makes you feel like you’ve been whisked away to the Mediterranean. The city is a resort community. The waterfront is dominated by tourism-oriented businesses, such as a casino, theatre, and marine sanctuary.

    Visit Avalon

  • 4. Palisade, Colorado

    Palisade is nestled in a valley surrounded by areas for skiing, biking, golfing, hiking, or fishing, depending on the time of year of your visit. The town is also vert artsy, much like Sedona, in that it has a very rich creative scene. You can also visit their think orchards, lavender fields, and vineyards. Feel free to take home a bottle of Palisade’s wine after taking a wine tour of the area. They enjoy some of the best wineries in the state.

    Visit Palisade

  • 5. Little St. Simons Island, Georgia

    This beautiful island shows off a stunning natural landscape. The reason its so breathtaking? It is the most undeveloped of Georgia’s Golden Isles. All of that to say, the scenery has been largely untouched by man. There are 7 miles of beaches to explore while you’re there. And, its under-developed landscape does not mean desolate. Tons of adventures can be found on the island, such as kayaking and birding. If you’re all about nature, this is the stop for you.

    Visit Little St. Simons Island

  • 6. Lanai City, Hawaii

    Of course a town in Hawaii was going to make this list. Practically the entire state is stunning. However, this town’s former reputation as a pineapple production haven has been replaced with luxury. Lanai City has gorgeous resorts and plenty of places to golf. They feature unique shopping, dining, as well as rich history and culture. Its past still shows in its present, one example of which being that their largest park is called Dole Park. Where they are situated also makes their climate much cooler, therefore more seasonable for the summer.

    Visit Lanai City

  • 7. Wallace, Idaho

    Wallace sits in the mining district of the Idaho Panhandle. They are the richest mining town still in existence, still producing loads of silver. This tiny place packs a punch, though. Their charming downtown boasts antique shops, breweries, and delicious restaurants. The world’s largest mountain bike, ATV and snowmobile trail system exists here.  There are also plenty of opportunities for hiking on world-class trails. Everything you get up to in Wallace will be against a backdrop of green forests, sunshine, and a friendly community.

    Visit Wallace

  • 8. Bardstown, Kentucky

    This town is described as “the epitome of southeastern Americana aesthetic,” according to If you like bourbon, consider taking a spin over to Bardstown. They are known as the Bourbon Capital of the World. Even without that aspect, the town’s draw also lies in its deep history and Federal and Georgian architecture. Taking a stroll through Kentucky’s second-oldest town will transport you back to the days of old-America. Consider staying at a bed and breakfast and trying out some of their taverns.

    Visit Bardstown

  • 9. Camden, Maine

    Situated between the mountains and the ocean, Camden is the perfect destination to experience all four seasons. Its harbor is a large draw. You can take a boat tour to see whales or puffins, if that’s your thing. You can take Camden as you’d like it. If you’re looking for a quiet getaway, consider Camden. If you’re looking for an outdoorsy adventure, consider Camden. It’s one of those places that has something for everyone.

    Visit Camden

  • 10. Fishtown/Leland, Michigan

    A working commercial fishing village and a slew of summer cottages are just two ways to look at Leland and Fishtown. This scenic fishing village area with its historical markers, restaurants with a view, and fun shopping venues leaves no one dissatisfied. There is also a nearby park that is really beautiful. It seems untouched by time, much like Bardstown, but with a much more coastal vibe. If you’re traveling anywhere in this area, this is a must see.

    Visit Fishtown

  • 11. Taos, New Mexico

    The architecture and seasonality of this place really shine, putting it on this list. There’s really nothing you can’t experience here. From its historical landmarks to its adventurous recreational activities, to its arts ad culture, there is definitely no shortage of things to do here.

    Visit Taos

  • 12. Medora, North Dakota

    Medora is surrounded by nature. Theodore Roosevelt National Park is essentially in its backyard. This historic town is filled with an variety of activities and events for all ages. Whatever your hobby may be, Medora has it in store for you. You can spot bison, hike with the badlands as your backdrop, or explore sandstone buttes and hoodoos.

    Visit Medora

  • 13. Joseph, Oregon

    Joseph is known as the “Swiss Alps” of Oregon. It is located at the base of the Wallowa mountain range, and has plenty of rolling green spaces, which gives it that affectionate nickname. Joseph’s Main Street features centuries-old buildings and a number of bronze sculptures of historic figures, including members of the Nez Perce tribe. This town offers the prettiest views in the entire state.

    Visit Joseph

  • 14. Leavenworth, Washington

    This Bavarian-style village transports you to another time and place. This little town has a German vibes because in the 60s, the community decided it would be a fun way to drum up tourism. And boy did it work. At the base of a mountain range, this small town feels larger than life. If you want to head over to Europe, but don’t feel like bringing a passport, give Leavenworth a try. It is truly a tiny gem in the Northwest.

    Visit Leavenworth

  • 15. Bayfield, Wisconsin

    Of the shores of Lake Superior, Bayfield boasts gorgeous views of the water. It is the city with the smallest population in Wisconsin, believe it or not. If you want to see some waterfalls or do some sailing, check this place out. Apparently, Bayfield is also a great spot for some stargazing.

    Visit Bayfield

  • 16. Cody, Wyoming

    Cody is known as the Rodeo Capital of the World. Wondering why it’s called Cody? It is named after “Buffalo Bill” Cody, and shows off five museums about him. He actually started the town after passing through and basking in its natural beauty. You can find stunning canyons and the Shoshone River flowing along the northern edge of town. Try visiting the Irma Hotel, named after Buffalo Bill’s daughter, if you want to be transported back to the days of saloons and cowboys.

    Visit Cody

  • 17. Edenton, North Carolina

    Visit Edenton to see a slice of history. Colonial buildings surround the landscape, giving this town a super unique feel. Harbor views and awe-inspiring beauty give the town its spot on this list. There is tons of Georgian Architecture to check out, and a lighthouse from the 1800s to explore. The charming downtown really puts the cherry on top of the entire experience.

    Visit Edenton

  • 18. Galena, Illinois

    Wanna step back in time to the 19th century? Galena is the place to be. This town is a well-preserved historic area. There’s tons to do and see there, too. You can snowshoe at Casper Bluff Land & Water Reserve in the cold winter months. Or,you can view the Great Galena Balloon Race in the peak summer. This is a great place to check out regardless of the season.

    Visit Galena

  • 19. Hermann, Missouri

    We’re getting close to the reveal here. Our last stop on the adventure to find out which Jersey Shore town landed this list is Hermann. South of the Mississippi River, this town sits quietly among rolling hills and wineries. This town has deep German heritage. It is picture-perfect in every way. The wineries in and around the historic German community sell nearly 200,000 gallons of wine a year.

    Visit Hermann

  • 20. Cape May, New Jersey

    We have arrived. The moment we’ve all been waiting for. Cape May is the Jersey Shore town named among the Most Beautiful Small Towns in the US. If you haven’t been, you should. This shore town features classic shore delights, such as fudge shops and some of the world’s best breakfast places. It also features gorgeous Victorian architecture that makes the perfect backdrop for any occasion, especially weddings. Plus, it’s right on the beach, and who doesn’t love the beach? It’s a very bike-able town with tons to do and see. Try going on a tour to spot some whales, you won’t regret it.

    Visit Cape May

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