Sometimes, when the hustle-bustle starts to get to me I think - maybe I should just leave it all behind and settle myself down on a porch somewhere in small town America, rocking with dogs and babies at my feet. I grew up in the city but my grandparents lived on a large farm in the countryside so I always felt half city mouse, half country mouse. There's nothing quite like the molasses-slow pace and the deep quiet of the country. So, for your lemonade-sipping, chair rocking, porch sitting pleasure - a list of three of my favorite small towns.
1. Davidson, NC: Charm, embodied. Yes, I'm biased - this is my college town. But take a walk along main street, stopping into the Soda Shop and enjoying the shaded deck of Summit coffee shop, and you'll know exactly what I mean.
Just steps away from town, you'll find Davidson College - such a beautiful embodiment of the classic, red brick + marble architecture of the grand south.
If you're looking for a weekend trip in the Southeast, Davidson is an excellent destination. That fabulous Davidson Inn is a home away from home for my family - just don't miss afternoon tea and cookies! Davidson sits on the edge of Lake Norman and the warm water is the perfect place for swimming (almost all year round) and water sports. There's lots of little towns nearby for exploring, and Charlotte's but a half hour away if you need some urbanity - but mainly I'd suggest lazy days of walks in the woods and picnics on the lake.
2. Mackinaw Island, MI: Almost overly sweet, this island destination at the tip-top of Michigan state is the perfect place to slooow down.
There are no cars allowed so bikes and horse drawn carriages are the only transportation. Rent a tandem with your hunny and head around to the north side of the island which is all protected national park land.
|Natural Bridge on Mackinaw Island - here|
B&Bs dot the island and their lush gardens and perky paint jobs differentiate one from the next. We had a lovely time staying at the Metivier Inn --though next time I want to stay at the the Inn at Stonecliff- it's further out of town with a great view of the lake. Pick up some fudge in town - you'll pass by at least 30 shops. I recommend the chocolate butterfinger flavor!
3. Goshen, IN
This one of my new favorite places. We stopped by Goshen last weekend and I didn't want to leave! Located in ho-hum rural Indiana, Goshen is a little spec of charm and culture among the farmland. The main street is adorable with so many fun shops: Ten Thousand Villages, Better World Books, and tons of sweet vintage and antique shops. My favorite? Found - an eclectic collection of art and artifacts from around the world.
The owners are professors at Goshen College and travel the world, bringing back artifacts to share with their small town customers. Um, hello dream job? There are tons of little restaurants and delis - we loved our sandwiches and locally-packaged iced tea at Mattern's Butcher Shop. This town is definitely worth a half-day trip when you're in the neighborhood of South Bend or southern Michigan!
This is by no means an exhaustive list, so tell me - what are your favorite small towns? Or are you a strictly city-gal or guy?