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Hot Cakes de Manzana con Papa

With summer on the horizon, most of us are consulting our calendars to plan the perfect last-minute summer getaway. While many people save this time of year for big bucket list trips and popular destinations, stifling crowds can certainly put a damper on that much-anticipated vacation. Instead, look to locales that are a bit off the beaten path and won’t draw in nearly as many visitors this season. Equally as charming and transportive yet a bit more unassuming, the best small towns in the USA bring the same appeal as any major city.

White Rock, New Mexico

White Rock, New Mexico:

Named the Happiest Small Town in America by The Travel, White Rock is an uber-small town (with a population under 8,000) with a big dose of history. Bandelier National Monument not only serves as a breathtaking park with countless hiking trails but also gives history buffs something to remember—it’s filled with petroglyphs and remnants from Ancient Pueblan times. Plus, White Rock Overlook Park boasts some of the most stunning sunset views around.

Leland, Michigan

Leland, Michigan:

Is there anything that beats drinking wine on the water? This small lake town in Northwest Michigan brings the best of coastal charm to locals and visitors. You’ll be surprised to discover award-winning wineries and vineyards like Aurora Cellars and Verterra Winery right down the road, while those who are looking for a more lakey feel can head to Fishtown. This waterfront area is home to fisheries, restaurants, a family-run lodge, and plenty of boats to charter out on the water.

Crystal River, Florida

Crystal River, Florida:

Located on the west coast of Florida, this riverside town is all about the manatees. A big draw, this small town is one of the only places in the world where you can swim with the underwater creatures in their natural habitat. Plus, the area is renowned for its springs, most notably Three Sisters Springs, with crystal clear waters (see how this town got its name?) and plenty of swimming and kayaking to be had.

Amanda Mactas // timeout.com

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