Five US cities perfect for European vacation

TNS
Holland, Michigan has authentic Dutch windmills, beaches, food and art — giving the perfect balance of a European, beach and small-town feel.
TNS Holland, Michigan has authentic Dutch windmills, beaches, food and art — giving the perfect balance of a European, beach and small-town feel.

A trip across the pond has many amazing things to offer, like landmarks, history, food, art and museums -- the experience alone can benefit the entire family. However, the No. 1 reason people don't go on vacation is the cost.

Being strapped for cash shouldn't deny you the luxuries of experiencing European culture. Whether you need a passport or have to update one, can't find the time to take off more than a week from work, or the cost isn't appealing, you can still visit European-inspired sights right here in the United States.

Here are five cities that have a European feel without the long flight.

New Orleans

Highly influenced by French and Spanish ways of life, New Orleans is a melting pot of cultures with a rich history. It was settled by the French and turned over to the Spaniards to settle a war debt. Spain ruled from 1763-1803. The city has boisterous music, authentic cuisine, art and museums to explore.

Tarpon Springs, Florida

Tarpon Springs has the look and feel of Greece; according to Tarpon Arts, it has the highest concentration of Greek Americans in the country. These residents contribute their culture, food, clothing, experiences and more to the city.

Montpelier, Vermont

Montpelier is the smallest state capital in the U.S., with a population of just more than 7,000 people. The connection between America and France is on display, giving the quaint town the feel of a French countryside village with shops, green hills, farmers markets, European architecture and more.

Holland, Michigan

When given a name like Holland, you have to live up to your namesake. That is exactly what this little city in Michigan does. It's dressed with cobblestone streets much like the ones in Europe and nostalgic countryside architecture. The city has authentic Dutch windmills, beaches, food and art -- giving the perfect balance of a European, beach and small-town feel.

Solvang, California

After being settled by the Spanish, a small population of Danish people came to Solvang for new beginnings. The city which is not far from Santa Barbra, has transformed into a Danish haven. Nestled in the Santa Ynez Valley, Solvang is happily cultured in its European roots and proudly brings its residents and visitors authentic bakeries, eateries, museums, art and more.

Experiencing European culture doesn't have to break the bank. Until you can accumulate the necessary funds to afford a trip overseas, taking a small vacation in the U.S. is the perfect substitute.

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