10 places in America that seem like they're elsewhere
In most towns and cities, the surroundings can offer a good indication of what country a person is in, but there are some places where aesthetics and locations just don't match up.
Here are 10 places in continental U.S. that seem like they're somewhere else.
Number 10 – Solvang, California. This little town may be near Los Angeles geographically, but in terms of style and mood, it feels much closer to Europe. Its streets are lined with traditional Danish architecture, and the air is filled with the smell of Danish pastries.
Number 9 – St. Augustine, Florida. The Spanish controlled this city for over 250 years, and in that time they went all out with its architecture. Many of the structures built under the country's rule still stand today, including a massive stone fort.
Number 8 – Alpine Helen, Georgia. The town, with its distinct Bavarian flair, offers some of the best German food and festivities this side of Munich. The locale is particularly popular during Oktoberfest and the Christmas season.
Number 7 – Lindsborg, Kansas. Those seeking a Swedish experience beyond visiting their local IKEA can head here. Founded in 1869, Lindsborg offers a steady supply of Scandinavian foods, crafts, and festival fun.
Number 6 – New Glarus, Wisconsin. Packed with museums, restaurants, and shops that celebrate its founders' Swiss heritage, this charming village is often referred to as 'Little Switzerland.' Among its notable special events is Polkafest, which promises not only dancing, but beer, bacon, and cheese.
Number 5 – Great Sand Dunes National Park, Colorado. This state is known to be a particularly verdant one, so suddenly ending up amidst miles of sand-covered land may prove a bit disorienting. Though the park can look a lot like the Sahara Desert, it is, in fact, nestled in the Sangre de Cristo Mountains.
Number 4 – Skagit Valley Tulip Fields, Washington. Wander onto this land in the spring when the flowers are in full bloom, and you'll swear you are in the Netherlands. Skagit even has windmills, adding to the Dutch-like ambiance.
Number 3 – Chinatown, New York City. Many U.S. cities have an area dedicated to Chinese culture, but the Big Apple houses one of the country's largest and oldest Chinatowns. In addition to the usual foods and wares, visitors can check out many of China's traditional medicines and remedies.
Number 2 – French Quarter, New Orleans, Louisiana. France laid claim to the land in the early 1700s, and the country's influence can be felt in the architecture and local cuisine to this day. Highlights include the French Market and the famous Café du Monde restaurant, home of the beignet.
Number 1 – Miami, Florida. The prevalence of Latin culture in the city is quite pronounced, and both Spanish and Portuguese are spoken regularly. Some call Miami "the capital of Latin America," while others quip that it's, "Brazil's fastest growing city."