America's getaways are truly diverse!
Discover memorable towns throughout the United States featured in our unique travel guidebooks. We spent years criss-crossing the country, seeking independent towns far from America's big cities in the best scenic locales where recreation is abundant, people are friendly, and visitor-serving facilities are special.
Whether you're seeking a sylvan mountain setting, pounding ocean waves, or a deep-blue lake that never ends, there is a great town that can delight you. The cultural diversity of America's great towns will astonish you, as most of these communities foster independent, one-of-a-kind businesses reflective of each town's unique personality. Distinctive food types and entertainment venues showcase the diverse civic personalities that collectively celebrate America.
While the 100 great towns were selected and personally visited for the second national guidebook revision (2009), we continually revisit towns and update our recommendations of attractions, restaurants, and lodgings on a town-by-town basis to get our latest information to our readers in a more timely manner. Our most recent paperback books and eBooks cover Carmel, Monterey and Pacific Grove, California; Mendocino, California; Branson, Missouri; New Braunfels, Texas; Ashland, Oregon; and Durango, Colorado.
Think you are good at identifying our great towns from photos? Try your luck at our Name That Great Town Game.
Why do we call Branson “Fun City, U.S.A.”? Branson is the ultimate vacation destination for people of all ages and all interests. Its attractions are as unique as you can find anywhere in America. Branson hosts an impressive theater strip with all genres of music, dance, and more. A major amusement park built into wooded landscapes provides a naturalized venue for rides, music, a cave, and working artisans. Lake Taneycomo provides all sorts of water recreation. Other unusual attractions offer rides, hangs, swings, or daredevil stunts. Whether it’s ziplines or coasters, or museums of all types related to history, natural science, or one-of-a-kind experiences (like a replica of the Titanic), diversions of all sorts abound. As a bonus, food and lodging prices are among the lowest of any major destination in the USA. Learn more >
With incomparable beauty, the Monterey Peninsula is the only place in America where three great towns adjoin. A hike/bike path connects Monterey and Pacific Grove with flowery seascapes to within a block of famed historic Cannery Row; and the Seventeen Mile Drive is one of America’s most picturesque scenic roads. Everyone should take time to stroll among storybook cottages in downtown Carmel, and marvel at how roads always yield rights of way to noble trees. Kayaking, hiking, fishing, boating and other sports are delightful in world-class land-and-sea settings from the Peninsula through Big Sur bounding the region on the south. Lush landscapes and romantic settings have spawned sybaritic spas and romantic retreats, wineries and affiliated tasting rooms, and gourmet food. Weather is hospitable most of the year. Learn more >
Mendocino is the most romantic seaside village in America. It celebrates a dreamy appeal located on an isolated verdant promontory overlooking a wildly beautiful coastline. The whole village seems to be of weathered whitewashed wooden buildings and tidy manicured gardens associated with unique shops, galleries and gourmet restaurants. Charming bed-and-breakfast inns romance guests here to browse artistic keepsakes throughout the village; to explore headlands and redwood forests by canoe, bicycle, foot or car; or to seek tranquility in secluded coves and inspiring overlooks. Learn more >