10 North American Places You'd Swear Were in Europe

10 North American Places You'd Swear Were in Europe

You don't need to go overseas for a little Old World charm.

By Karen Gardiner

Love travel but hate that pesky jet lag? Seek out the next best thing to a European jaunt by visiting one of these remarkably similar North American destinations. You might just be fooled into thinking you were actually on the continent!

1. New Orleans, LA

Founded by France then ceded to Spain, the opposing influences of the two European countries are still very much in evidence in NOLA's Vieux Carre (or, "French Quarter"). Paris' Place des Voges provided inspiration for Jackson Square, while the same area's arches and courtyards point to its Spanish history.

2. Charleston, SC

There's more than just southern charm on offer in this city: There's also a touch of royalty in the city named for King Charles II. Given the difference in climate, however, Charleston will likely put you more in mind of a southern European town than England.

3. Victoria, BC

Named for Queen Victoria, this Canadian city offers English charm via its stately Victorian architecture and elegant gardens. Visit Butchart Gardens for its floral displays and tasty afternoon tea service.

4. Quebec City, QC

The language, cobblestoned streets and cuisine all add up to a distinctly French feeling of joie de vivre, but it's the castle-like Chateâu Frontenac that really puts the icing on the gâteau.

5. Howe Sound, BC

Head for the glacial beauty of Canada's Howe Sound, close to Vancouver, ride the Sea to Sky gondola, and you might just be able to convince yourself you're gazing out across a Norwegian fjord.

6. Helen, GA

Though it's less Alps and more Appalachian, Helen is a replica Bavarian Alpine town that makes for an oddball day trip from Atlanta.

7. Leavenworth, WA

Not to be outdone, the West Coast has its own version of a Bavarian village. Leavenworth's snowy Cascade Mountain backdrop, and its opportunities for hiking and climbing, certainly help to convince.

8. Lindsborg, KS

Traditional, colorful Swedish Dala horses abound in Lindsborg, a nod to the Swedish settlers who founded the city in 1869. For the full Swedish experience in the heart of Kansas, time your visit to coincide with the biennial Svensk Hyllningsfest.

9. San Juan, PR

The enduring legacy of colonialism lingers throughout North America, perhaps nowhere as significantly as the colorful, cobblestoned streets of Old San Juan, founded by Spanish colonists in the 16th century.

10. San Francisco, CA

Though Spanish in name and history, there is an unmistakably French influence in certain parts of San Francisco, specifically the Beaux-Arts style Palace of Fine Arts and the Legion of Honor.

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