7 American Cities That Look Like They Belong In Europe

No passport required.
10/31/2017 02:12 pm ET Updated Oct 31, 2017

Uh-oh. You’ve been bitten by the travel bug, and now your “~*Wanderlust*~” board is getting out of control. Morocco, Paris, Tulum, Greece, Mozambique — the world’s your oyster... well, if only money were no object and you had unlimited PTO. But chin up, starry-eyed traveler. These domestic cities will make you feel as if you’re abroad without the sky-high ticket price or the schlep. Here, seven of the prettiest and most European-looking cities in the U.S. (No passport required.) 

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1. Leavenworth, Washington

You don’t have to travel all the way to Germany for an authentic Oktoberfest. We hear this Bavarian-themed town, complete with timber-framed houses, snowcapped peaks and a Nutcracker museum (!), puts on the best bier-and-bratwurst celebration this side of the pond. 

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2. New Orleans, Louisiana 

One look at the French Quarter and Jackson Square and you’ll really believe you’re in some sort of warm (OK, humid) French or Spanish town. Founded in 1718 and named for the Duke of Orléans, NOLA’s rich history could rival many a European counterpart.  

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3. Charleston, South Carolina

Sure, it’s a Southern slice of heaven on earth. But its cobblestone streets, rainbow-colored homes and majestic Gothic Revival steeples and spires towering above the Sabal palms make this South Carolinian destination feel straight out of the French Riviera.

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4. Holland, Michigan

Could these be the famed tulip fields of the Netherlands? That was the goal of the Dutch emigrants who, in the 1800s, chose Michigan as their new home. The town is also host to America’s oldest working Dutch windmill, De Zwaan, and the Tulip Time Festival that garners over one million visitors each year. (And God forbid you forget to pack your wooden clogs.)

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5. St. Augustine, Florida 

Established in the mid-1500s by Spain (yep, it’s been around as long as some European cities), St. Augustine’s colonial homes and churches, brick streets and centuries-old stone fort would fit in just as well against a Mediterranean backdrop as they do in Florida.

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6. Venice, California 

Winding waterways, canal-traversing bridges and small rowboats: Nope, this isn’t Italy. California’s answer to the gondola-covered Italian city was literally meant to be the “Venice of America” when it was founded as a resort town by a tobacco millionaire in 1905.

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7. Boston, Masachussetts 

The American Revolution and the Boston Tea Party won out, but that doesn’t mean you can’t still soak in all the English vibes of this city steeped in history. Plus, it was named after the real town in England where its founders came from.

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