Now that summer is here, many are excited to visit beautiful places. Those who seek picturesque spots will undoubtedly be charmed by America’s small towns. The small towns often have beautiful and historical architecture, are filled with quaint streets, and are embedded in scenic beauty.
With so many beautiful small towns in the USA that all have their own unique charm, we wanted to find out which ones are the most picturesque.
Our team did a study to find the 120 most picturesque small towns in America that are an absolute must-see and that one shouldn’t miss out on this summer.
For this study, our team compared 500 small towns. To determine which are the most picturesque, we looked at the following categories: search trends, popularity with photographers, and popularity for photography with the general public.
- Fredericksburg, Texas, is the most picturesque small town in America
- Cedarburg, Wisconsin, ranked as the second most picturesque small town in the United States
- The third spot goes to Orange Beach, Alabama
- Texas has 15 of the most picturesque small towns in America
- 10 of the most picturesque small towns can be found in New York
- Georgia has 7 of the most picturesque small towns
Find the 120 most picturesque small towns in America on the map below. Each marker represents one small town, and you can tap/hover over each marker to see the name of the small town and its rank.
Table of full ranking (120 small towns)
Scroll the table to see the data for all 120 small towns.
|Rank||Town||State||General public index||Photographers index||Search trends index|
|6||Isle of Palms||South Carolina||0.37||8.55||0.01|
|15||Red Bank||New Jersey||4.65||0.17||0.01|
|20||Cape May||New Jersey||3.34||0.22||0.16|
|22||Lake George||New York||1.55||2.07||0.16|
|44||Saratoga Springs||New York||1.75||0.11||0.16|
|48||Spring Lake||New Jersey||1.34||0.68||0.01|
|73||Blowing Rock||North Carolina||1.17||0.13||0.01|
|79||Cold Spring||New York||1.16||0.06||0.01|
|86||Sea Bright||New Jersey||1.00||0.20||0.01|
|93||Lake Placid||New York||0.91||0.28||0.01|
|102||Travelers Rest||South Carolina||0.74||0.44||0.01|
|103||Folly Beach||South Carolina||1.07||0.01||0.02|
|115||Bryson City||North Carolina||0.32||0.11||0.61|
25 Most Picturesque Small Towns in America
The 25 most picturesque small towns in the USA are listed below with a short summary for each town.
1. Fredericksburg, Texas
Fredericksburg, Texas, located in the Texas Hill Country, is a paradise for those that want to admire stunning historic architecture and mesmerizing nature. The small town’s German heritage, German architectural style, and beautiful vineyards are some of the reasons why this is the most picturesque small town in America. Furthermore, one should not miss the nearby Enchanted Rock, which is a beautiful granite mountain from where great views of the surrounding natural landscapes can be enjoyed.
2. Cedarburg, Wisconsin
With a beautiful preserved historic downtown where a lot of charming buildings can be seen, the town of Cedarburg makes for the second most picturesque town in America. From gorgeous wineries to stunning nature to historic sights, the beauty of the town will surprise you. One of the town’s stunning highlights that one shouldn’t miss out on is The Covered Bridge.
3. Orange Beach, Alabama
Known for its gorgeous beaches and clear waters, Orange Beach, Alabama, is one of the most picturesque small towns in America. This town on the Gulf Coast of the state of Alabama has a lot to offer for those that love beautiful places. From going for a relaxing stroll on the town’s boardwalk to seeing Orange Beach from the water while doing a cruise to getting beautiful views of the water while hanging out at the beach, the beauty of the town will surprise you. In addition to that, Orange Beach is home to fun attractions and incredible dining options, making it a wonderful place for a getaway.
4. Portsmouth, New Hampshire
From elegant historic houses to pretty boutique shops to beautiful parks, you can find it in the picturesque town of Portsmouth, New Hampshire. There’s a lot to discover in the town including the Strawbery Banke Museum, an outdoor history museum with historic houses. This, combined with the many spots from where you can enjoy views of the Piscataqua River make the town a must-visit if you like exploring photogenic destinations.
5. Madison, Georgia
Madison, located in the heart of Georgia, is home to charming restaurants, picturesque quaint streets, and great parks. From pretty antebellum houses to gorgeous gardens, you can find beautiful places in the historic downtown area of the town. The impressive buildings that you can find in Madison, including the Morgan County Courthouse, make the town a must-visit for those that like seeing beautiful architecture.
6. Isle of Palms, South Carolina
From gorgeous wide sandy beaches to clear waters to pretty waterfront houses, Isle of Palms, SC, is a town with many beautiful spots. In addition to that, the town’s Tom Fazio-designed golf courses, water activities, restaurants with a view, and luxurious beachfront hotels make Isle of Palms perfect for a getaway.
7. Augusta, Kentucky
With its diverse architectural styles, Augusta, KY, is a wonderful town for those that love seeing beautiful and impressive architecture. The picturesque town has a lovely ambiance and one can enjoy beautiful views of the Ohio River from the town. Combine this with the many boutique shops and the Baker-Bird Winery, and the town is a must-visit if you like traveling to pretty places.
8. Westport, Connecticut
The lovely waterfront town of Westport, on the Gold Coast of Connecticut, makes for a perfect getaway. Because of its waterfront, gorgeous buildings with stunning architecture, and historic landmarks, it’s one of the most picturesque towns in the country. When visiting the town in spring, one can also see beautiful cherry blossom trees that add to the beauty of the town.
9. Beacon, New York
Beacon, NY, can be found along the Hudson River. With beautiful nature, great water elements, and picturesque shops, this photogenic town makes for an incredible getaway. Especially during fall, you’ll be charmed by the town’s beauty because of the beautiful fall foliage in Beacon.
10. Westfield, New Jersey
With many historic buildings, beautiful parks, and a picturesque downtown area, Westfield, New Jersey, is definitely worth a visit for those that love beautiful small towns. From having breakfast at Vicki’s Diner, which is a gorgeous retro-style diner, to shopping at the pretty boutique shops, there are lots of great activities in Westfield for those that want to have fun and see beautiful spots in the town. Some photogenic sights are the Watchung Reservation and the Miller-Cory House Museum.
11. Beaufort, South Carolina
Beaufort, SC, is a charming town that was founded in 1711 and is located on Port Royal Island on America’s Atlantic coast. Not only is the town rich in quaint streets and beautiful historic buildings, several of which are designated a National Historic Landmark, but there is also a lot of beautiful nature in Beaufort. From Lowcountry landscapes to pristine beaches to parks, there is a lot of natural beauty to discover in Beaufort, SC.
12. Easton, Pennsylvania
With its charming historic downtown, beautifully detailed architecture, and historic landmarks, Easton, PA, is a gorgeous town to explore in the United States. The river views from the town also add to the beauty of Easton and a photogenic highlight that one shouldn’t miss out on is the Northampton Street Bridge.
13. Ocean City, Maryland
Ocean City, Maryland, is a very picturesque small town with its iconic boardwalk and beautiful sandy beaches. The town has a lovely beach town atmosphere. This combined with Ocean City’s colorful rides and attractions makes the town amazing for a getaway.
14. Seaside, Florida
Located on the Gulf of Mexico, Seaside, FL, is a picturesque town with white-sand beaches and a beautiful coastline. With many great examples of New Urbanism design, cobblestone streets, and pastel houses, the town has something to offer for everyone’s liking.
15. Red Bank, New Jersey
Red Bank, New Jersey, is a lovely town that is located on the Navesink River. Whether you like beautiful nature, historic sights, or viewpoints, you’ll find it here. The Count Basie Theatre, established in the year 1926, is one of the most beautiful historic buildings in the town, in part because the building has a beautifully decorated ceiling. Other notable places in the town are the Red Bank Marina and the Red Bank Armory Ice Complex.
16. Gloucester, Massachusetts
Gloucester, Massachusetts, is a charming town in New England. Not only does the town have a lovely historic seaport and a beautiful lighthouse, but Gloucester is also home to many amazing viewpoints and colorful houses. This combined with the perfect ambiance of Gloucester makes this picturesque town a great getaway.
17. Astoria, Oregon
With beautiful coastal views and Victorian-style homes, Astoria, Oregon, is one of the country’s most picturesque towns. Some of the photogenic landmarks that can be found in Astoria are The Astoria Column and the Astoria–Megler Bridge. Furthermore, the town has a rich maritime history making it not only a beautiful place to visit but also a very interesting one.
18. Greenport, New York
Greenport, NY, a charming town with a great maritime atmosphere, is home to stunning historic buildings, including old lighthouses. Other beautiful places in the town are the 1920s Antique Carousel and scenic vineyards. Greenport is also great for relaxing in parks, shopping at boutique shops, and enjoying views while having delicious food at a restaurant.
19. Nacogdoches, Texas
Nacogdoches, the oldest town in Texas, is a beautiful place with a picturesque downtown area, historic buildings, and stunning nature. Some of the most photogenic spots are the campus of Stephen F. Austin State University, and the town’s many parks and gardens. In addition to that, the many local specialty shops and antique stores add to the town’s charm.
20. Cape May, New Jersey
Cape May is a beautiful seashore town that is located on the Cape May Peninsula. This town is known for its grand and colorful Victorian houses, such as the George Allen House and the Pink Cottage. Other photogenic places in Cape May include the stunning promenade, pristine beaches, and the historic 1859 Cape May Lighthouse.
21. Hudson, New York
Hudson, New York, is a charming town that is packed with historic architecture, mesmerizing nature, and historic landmarks. The Hudson Athens Lighthouse, constructed in 1874 and located in the Hudson River, is one of the most photogenic landmarks. Other interesting places in Hudson are the FASNY Museum of Firefighting and the Hudson Hall.
22. Lake George, New York
The picturesque small town of Lake George, NY, is located at the southernmost point of Lake George. The town offers amazing views of the lake and great views of the Adirondack Mountains. Furthermore, the town is home to historic landmarks, picturesque colorful houses, and beautiful nature.
23. Aiken, South Carolina
Aiken, South Carolina, founded in the year 1835, is a wonderful town that is rich in historic sights. The town is known for its horse racing. One of the most beautiful places in Aiken is the Historic Horse District, a district filled with picturesque buildings and scenic nature. From seeing nature at the Hopelands Gardens to discovering works of art at the Aiken Center for the Arts to having fun playing golf at the beautiful golf clubs in the town, there’s a lot to do in Aiken.
24. Sedona, Arizona
Sedona, AZ, is a beautiful town with stunning desert landscapes. The town is known for its numerous incredible red rock formations. Furthermore, many outdoor activities can be done in Sedona, there are lots of spas in the town, and the town has a flourishing art scene. So whether you want to hike and see nature, visit art galleries, or have a spa day, you can do that here.
25. Oxford, Mississippi
Oxford is a beautiful college town in Mississippi that was founded in the year 1837. The town is home to the University of Mississippi and numerous 19th-century buildings with beautiful architectural styles, such as The Lyceum and Rowan Oak. Oxford is also packed with great local restaurants, boutique shops, and interesting museums.
We’ve gathered a list of 500 popular small towns in the USA and we conducted an analysis of these towns by looking at the following categories: search trends, popularity with photographers, and popularity for photography with the general public.
- We analyzed search data for each small town by looking at search data over the last 12 months for a variety of search queries related to photography, such as the name of the small town + “photography”, the name of the small town + “photo”, and the name of the small town + “photo shoot”.
- To determine the popularity of each small town with photographers, we looked at the number of posts for each small town on the website Flickr, a popular photo-sharing platform for photographers.
- To determine the popularity of the towns for photography with the general public, we looked at the number of posts on Instagram that were posted with a hashtag with the name of the small town and its state. In addition to that, we looked at other hashtag data related to each small town.
For each of these factors, a standardized value was calculated, which was then used in a weighted formula to determine the overall picturesque score for each small town. The following weights were used:
- Search trends: 0.2
- Popularity with photographers: 0.3
- Popularity of the towns for photography with the general public: 0.5