Special Report

40 Charming Small Towns to Visit This Fall

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6. Lewes, Delaware

Located where the Delaware Bay and Atlantic Ocean meet at Cape Henlopen, Lewes promises sun, sand, and the sea. But beyond beach season visitors will still enjoy this quaint town and surrounding nature. At just a half-square mile, the town is easy to explore, with its historic homes, restaurants, and shops. Visitors can also check out the area with a water taxi ride or spend time at Cape Henlopen State Park.

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7. Clayton, Georgia

Sitting amid the North Georgia Mountains, Clayton offers unique activities along with shopping, and delicious Southern food. Among the top attractions are Warwoman Dell, a wooded hiking area with two waterfalls; Black Rock Mountain State Park, the highest state park in Georgia; the Kudzu Factory, with dinosaurs, a witch, and other sculptures made from kudzu (perennial vines) and rebar; and Georgia Mountain Market, an indoor flea market spanning 45,000 square feet. There are also more scenic falls and parks to explore in the surrounding area, as well as vineyards and even the Goats On The Roof theme park, where you can feed goats, mine for gems, or enjoy boiled peanuts, homemade fudge, and nitro ice cream.

8. Nashville, Indiana

This may not be the Nashville you are thinking of, but this Indiana town offers charm and great shopping. Established as an artists colony over 100 years ago, Nashville features country-cottage-style architecture, evident in its many shops. You’ll still find artists’ studios, along with jewelry, clothing, antiques, and more. Foodies can shop for homemade fudge, pies, ice cream, popcorn, nuts, and other local treats. Beyond the town, there is natural beauty to check out, especially at Brown County State Park, where visitors can mountain bike, camp, hike, fish, and horseback ride. The area is also known as a wedding destination, with several picturesque wedding chapels and outdoor gazebos.

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9. Middlesboro, Kentucky

Spelled both Middlesboro and Middlesborough, this town is located on the Kentucky side of the Cumberland Gap, inside the remains of an ancient meteorite crater. The area offers many outdoor activities from hiking, kayaking, and horseback riding to fishing, golfing, and ATVing.

Visitors are encouraged to also check out Cumberland Gap National Historic Park, known as the “first great gateway to the West.”

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10. Camden, Maine

This coastal Maine town and its surrounding hills, “where the mountains meet the sea,” promise shopping, art galleries, bed and breakfasts, and great New England food. Outdoor lovers will find hiking, mountain biking, and sailing, and can visit Camden Hills State Park, comprised of 5,700 acres of wooded hills and an 800-foot summit with views of Penobscot Bay. They can also check out the area with a scenic tour, offered by air, rail, or boat. Another area highlight are the many nearby lighthouses. Maine has an impressive 68 of them in all — 18 within a 40-mile radius of Camden.