These days I live in the Twin Cities, which has a population of 3.2 million when you include suburbs. I know that rush hour starts at 3:00 pm, I know which neighborhoods to avoid at night, and I know which bars serve delicious $12 cocktails.
And though I love me a San Joaquin South Side as much as the next person, I’ll probably always be a country girl at heart. Few things make me happier than a sunny corner booth in a cheap diner or jumping off a rickety dock into a lake. I know a lot of people think small towns and rural America are boring and/or full of rednecks, but I disagree.
4 Reasons You Should Try Small Town Travel
You will immediately feel one million times calmer
You will see the stars at night and hear the birds in the morning. You won’t sit in traffic. You can wear those Adidas sandals from 1999 and no one will judge you. The air will smell like lake/grass/skunk and you will love it.
There might not be wifi and for this you will thank the stars above (the ones that you can see because there’s no light pollution.)
Everything costs one dollar
Okay, not one dollar but in my hometown you can order a round of drinks and a bag of peanuts for $9. At the golf course, the most expensive steak dinner on the menu is $15. Motel rooms are $45.
The people are insanely nice
Want to chat with your waitress for 15 minutes about the weather? It’s happening. Want to know where there’s a good swimming beach? The guy at the gas station will probably tell you five fantastic swimming beaches. Strangers will help you when they see you struggling with, well, anything.
You’re supporting an economy that needs it
Many rural communities are struggling financially. There are very few high paying jobs in small towns, so many young people move to the city and the little towns are slowly drained of their most promising citizens. When you visit small towns and shop at small, independent businesses, you’re supporting the entire community.
Ideas for a small town travel
Canoe around a lake
Paw through awesome, not-picked-over, totally under-priced thrift and antique stores
Ride your bike on a gravel road
Buy produce from a roadside stand
Go to a county fair
Sit on a porch and drink something cold
Cook something over a fire
Attend a local theater production or high school sport event
Spot wildlife, nudge your friend and yell ‘looooook!”
Read a book on a dock
Enjoy a diner breakfast with pancakes and bottomless coffee
Listen to loon calls
Two words: tire swing
Partake in local delicacies: walleye fingers? butter cake?
Do you live in a small town? Would you ever vacation in one?