Several years ago, there was a TV series on ABC called Men in Trees. While the show only lasted two seasons, it’s premise stuck with me for years to come. The gist of it was something like this: Woman gets dumped and escapes to small town in the middle of nowhere to start over again. I’ve often romanticized about the idea of going to some random town surrounded by nature and recharging my battery. Then again, that is exactly why I took off to Southeast Asia in the first place. But what about in the United States if we just need to get away for a weekend, a week or even a month? Do people really up and quit there jobs and start a new life where they don’t no a soul? While it seems as if this fad is happening more than not with the influx of millennials quitting their jobs to travel the world, unfortunately for most this is not an actual possibility.
So when life calls for a recharge, it might be time to escape to somewhere remote, off the grid, surrounded by nature and trees – the perfect setting to reconnect with yourself. Here are my picks for the top 10 small town escapes to recharge. Admittedly, several of the places on this list I discovered from movies – being the total movie buff that I am.
Amelia Island, Florida
Located just off the coast of northeast Florida, Amelia Island is filled with beautiful beaches, abundant native wildlife, and pristine waters. This barrier island was Florida’s first luxury tourist destination. Indulge in spa treatments at Amelia Island Plantation Resort, go for a bike ride through the historic Fernandina Beach district, go surfing, play a round of golf at one of the numerous clubs on the island or simply relax in an old-fashioned Adirondack chair watching the sunset with a glass of wine in hand. Oh, and it was also the filming location of childhood classic The New Adventures of Pippi Longstocking.
Mt. Hood, Oregon
Mt. Hood is the perfect destination for anyone who loves the great outdoors. From hiking and biking to wine and beer tasting, Mt. Hood is filled with activities to keep travelers plenty occupied. Check out my quick guide to Mt. Hood.
Whidbey Island, Washington
This completely scenic island first fell on my radar after the movie Double Jeopardy. It is insanely beautiful and the perfect Pacific Northwest city break. Whidbey Island is the largest of the islands composing Island County, Washington. Escape to Whidbey for wide-open beaches, scenic vistas, outdoor adventures, great art, food, and more.
Don’t expect luxury in Sitka. This is your back-to-nature escape. I actually first discovered this town after watching the movie The Proposal with Sandra Bullock and Ryan Reynolds. Located on Baranof Island and the southern half of Chichagof Island in the Alexander Archipelago of the Pacific Ocean, you can’t help but feel a sense of peace and serenity in Sitka.
The name may ring a bell from the 1980’s movie Mystic Pizza which was inspired by a real pizza joint of the same name. This colonial-era village has the nation’s largest maritime museum and is a great place in the Northeast where you can escape to recharge.
For Southern California residents, escaping to Catalina is an easy weekend getaway. But even if you don’t live locally, Catalina should still be on your radar – especially if you love scuba diving, hiking and all things outdoors.
Where would you want to escape to in the USA? Any small towns that should be on this list?