There’s no need to travel to Europe for a fairytale town; the United States is home to some pretty amazing ones, too! From picturesque coastal towns to charming small villages in the heart of the country, these enchanting places are worth exploring.
Even though the first place that comes to mind when we think of fairytale settings is usually Europe, you don’t actually have to cross the Atlantic to get to feel like you were transported to the times of princesses and knights.
The United States is home to plenty of destinations that look just as magical, be it because they are home to real-life castles or because their architecture may just remind you of a movie set in the heart of the Bavarian Alps.
Below is a list of a few destinations in the United States so beautiful that you’ll feel as though you traveled into the pages of a storybook.
Fairytale Towns in the United States
Located in the alluring Big Sur region of California, Carmel-by-the-Sea is a quaint town known for its cobblestone alleys, flower-draped cottages, and charming boutique shops covered in greenery.
Reminiscent of a town in Europe, Carmel-by-the-Sea has a magical atmosphere and visual eye candy everywhere you look.
Add to the mix the fact that it’s located on the coast and you may very well feel like you landed at a scene from the Little Mermaid!
Oak Bluffs, Massachusetts
As one of the most famous destinations in the Martha’s Vineyard region in Massachusetts, Oak Bluffs is famed for its gingerbread-style houses that date back to the 19th century.
All over town, you’ll find over 300 cottages, all of which come in vibrant colors and are decorated to look, like, well, a gingerbread house! Hansel and Gretel, anyone?!
Plus, Oak Bluffs is home to the oldest functioning carousel in the United States – the Flying Horses Carousel. It has been running since 1876 and will make you feel as though you’re at a vintage carnival!
Solvang is commonly nicknamed “a little slice of Denmark” due to its Danish roots, which you can find hints of every single step you take across its beautiful cobblestone streets.
During your visit, you’ll feel as though you traveled overseas and into a quaint European town, all while getting to stroll through streets lined by rural Danish-style chalets and windmills.
As if that weren’t reason enough to convince you to book a trip to Solvang, the town is dotted with plenty of bakeries that sell traditional Danish treats. Make sure not to miss out on trying a Danish kindle or a fresh bear claw!
Moreover, Solvang is also a great start off point to explore California’s wine country, with plenty of vineyards spread all around its outskirts and tasting rooms located all around the town.
Made to look like a traditional village in Bavaria to celebrate its German roots, Leavenworth is a town in the state of Washington where colorful half-timbered houses and medieval-looking buildings reign supreme.
Leavenworth is gorgeous pretty much year-round, but it’s usually best visited during December when it gets blanketed in snow. During this time of the year, the town is known to celebrate Christmas big-time, with Christmas markets popping up in its downtown and thousands of twinkling lights leveling up the scene.
October is also a wonderful time to visit if you want to experience an authentic Oktoberfest but don’t necessarily want to fly across the Atlantic!
Cape May, New Jersey
Cape May in New Jersey is one of the oldest coastal resorts in the United States.
Even though it’s definitely more modern these days than it was when it was founded back in the 17th century, it still retains its old-world charm and historic houses, especially around the colorful Victorian district.
As an added bonus, Cape May offers some of the most beautiful ocean vistas in the country. The port lies exactly where the Delaware Bay and the Atlantic Ocean meet, making it a great spot for glorious views (if you get lucky, you may even get to spot migrating whales between March and December!)
When it comes to fairytale-like towns that brim with lively colors, Holland in Michigan definitely takes the cake.
This charming village features gorgeous Dutch architecture that comes in pretty much every shade of the rainbow. Walking amid its picturesque streets any time of the year is absolute eye candy, and the spectacular views of Lake Michigan only add to its fairytale-like charm.
Visiting Holland during the spring is an absolute treat because over 4 million tulips blossom all over the town and create a scene that looks straight out of a Van Gogh painting. If you can make it, we also recommend visiting during the town’s annual Tulip Time Festival.
Boldt Castle, New York
While not exactly a town, Boldt Castle is a mansion that looks exactly like a castle you’d expect to find in any fairytale!
The castle is located on Heart Island on the Saint Lawrence River in the alluring Thousand Islands region. It was originally built by New York City magnate George C. Boldt for his wife, who unfortunately passed away before construction was finished (not all fairytales have a happy ending, after all!).
For over 70 years, the castle remained unfinished and was abandoned, but it was only a few decades ago that it was opened to the public for visitors to tour its grounds.
These days, you can take a boat over from the town of Alexandria Bay to the island and explore the castle, set a picnic up on the grounds around it, or join its Fairytale Princesses & Pirates tour for extra fun.
Have you visited any of these fairytale towns? Which one was your favorite? Let me know all about your experience there in the comment section below!