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12 Charming American Destinations to Take You Back in Time

These charming American destinations will transport you to a different era!

Where will you be going on YOUR next vacation? If you’re feeling nostalgic, Must See Places has found the most incredible places in the US to make you feel like you’ve just stepped through a Norman Rockwell painting… and then some!

Or maybe you want to experience the elegant olden days of the Victorian era. Then again, you may wish to find that sense of nostalgia from a simpler time. And obviously, we’re also fans of the Wild West.

Across the country, countless spots retain their old-fashioned charm, from colonial villages to Hallmark Main Streets. We scoured the nation, and no matter your preference, here are 12 charming American destinations if you want to travel back in time.

Charming American Destination
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Old Cowtown Museum

Location: Wichita, Kansas
Price: $10 for ages 18 and up; $9 for seniors 62 and up
What to see: Explore 54 historical structures, some original while others re-created, and you’ll get a taste of small-town Kansas life in the 1800s. There’s also a farmstead and buffalo hunter and trader area to enjoy.

And to get a better understanding of things, you’ll be greeted by costumed interpreters to answer any questions you may have.

Greenfield Village

Location: Dearborn, Michigan
Price: $35 for ages 12 and up; $31.50 for seniors 62 and up
What to see: This charming American destination is the perfect place to see firsthand how famous past innovators, including the Wright Brothers and Henry Ford, lived and worked in their trade.

Historic districts re-create homes, government buildings, workshops, and much more. As a bonus, you can even hop on a Model T for a joy ride!

Roscoe Village

Location: St. Coshocton, Ohio
Price: Beginning at $10 for students; $13 for ages 13 and up; $12 for seniors 60 and up
What to see: On a living history tour of this charming American destination, you can experience 19th-century canal town life by strolling around with costumed interpreters.

Village highlights include hands-on crafts, canal tours, seasonal events, and, if you visit during the winter, Christmas candle lighting ceremonies.

Plimoth Patuxet

Location: Plymouth, Massachusetts
Price: Starting at $29 for ages 5 to 12; $46 for ages 13 and up; $41.40 for seniors 62 and up
What to see: Take a leisurely stroll around this charming American destination’s re-created English village, talking with costumed interpreters as they live the way Pilgrims did in the 17th century.

If you pay a bit more for tickets, you can even visit the Plimoth Grist Mill, built in 1636, to learn everything you could ever know about the process of corn grinding.

This Is The Place Heritage Park

Location: Salt Lake City, Utah
Price: Starting at $14.95 for ages 3 to 11; $18.95 for ages 12 and up; $16.95 for seniors 65 and up
What to see: Explore the sizeable historical village, dig for gems, and visit a Native American village or pioneer merchants. You can even hop on a horse or train ride because there are plenty of opportunities for all ages.

Special events at this charming American destination throughout the year include Liberty Days, Mountain Man Camp, and Pioneer Days.

Charming American Destination
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Williamsburg Historic Area

Location: Williamsburg, Virginia
Price: Starting at $28.99 for ages 6 to 12; $49.99 for ages 13 and up
What to do: Explore Williamsburg’s historic area on foot, chitchatting with costumed townsfolk and exploring colonial trade shops and homes.

If you wish to spring for a pricier ticket, you can take a tour of the Capitol and the massive Governor’s Palace while visiting this charming American destination.

Boot Hill Museum

Location: Dodge City, Kansas
Price: Beginning at $12 for ages 5 to 12; $18 for adults; $16 for seniors 65 and up
What to see: If you happen to be in the area, head over to Boot Hill Museum to check out a collection of over 60,000 Wild West artifacts, then step outside and take a stroll to explore the old General Store, Boot Hill Cemetery, and Long Branch Saloon.

As a bonus, when visiting this charming American destination, you’ll see gunfighters face off in the street twice daily throughout the summer.

Old Sturbridge Village

Location: Sturbridge, Massachusetts
Price: Starting at $12 for ages 4 to 17 and college students (if bought online; $3 more at the entrance); $27 for ages 18 and up; $25 for seniors 55 and older
What to see: You’re in for a real treat if you decide to visit this charming American destination. While here, you can explore a re-created rural New England village, interacting with costumed interpreters among historical structures.

You’ll also get to see a working farm with heritage-breed animals, as well as a working mill. Stagecoach and riverboat rides are even available for an extra fee.

Old Trail Town

Location: Cody, Wyoming
Price: $5 for kids ages 6 to 12; $10 for ages 13 and up; $9 for seniors over 65
What to see: Just outside Yellowstone National Park, you get to explore revived frontier-town structures, including a school, general store, post office, blacksmith shop, and saloon.

You can also check out the gravesites of well-known frontiersmen when visiting this charming American destination.

Bodie State Historic Park

Location: Bridgeport, California
Price: $5 for ages 4 to 17; $8 for ages 18 and up
What to see: This old California gold rush town is purposefully kept in a so-called “state of arrested decay” for explorers to enjoy. To maintain the site’s authenticity, though, you should know that there are no shops or food vendors except for a museum bookstore.

So you might want to pack a convenient picnic backpack. But if you ask us, that simply adds to the experience of this charming American destination. A stamp mill tour is also available for an extra fee.

Crested Butte

Location: Crested Butte, Colorado
Price: Differs, depending on what you wish to see and do
What to see: Let’s remember that mining is a big part of our nation’s history. Fortunately, you can still see remnants of this industry if you head to this charming American destination.

Located in the Rocky Mountains, it’s no wonder this old-time ski town has been saved by modernization. Elk Street, the central part of the village, is lined with mom-and-pop establishments in wooden structures.

In fact, there’s a policy in place banning chain stores and restaurants, according to the town council. It also doesn’t have any traffic lights, which apparently doesn’t matter because everyone gets around by riding a bike.

And even though this charming American destination is best known for its winter activities, you’ll want to take advantage of the Mountain Man Rendezvous in the summer. The event is a reenactment of the 1840s fur trade era.

Many set up old-fashioned tepees in the fields, dress in buckskin, and compete with period-aged weapons, from tomahawks to flintlock muskets. As a bonus, summertime is also when the town is overflowing with wildflowers.

Charming American Destination
Photo by Dennis MacDonald at Shutterstock

Fort Mackinac

Location: Mackinac Island, Michigan
Price: Starting at $9.75 for ages 5 to 12; $16.25 for ages 13 and up
What to see: Set in Lake Huron, Michigan’s Mackinac Island is an authentic town with an old-timey vibe. Once you arrive on the island by ferry, you can see some exquisite old cottages perched high up on the island’s East and West Bluffs centered by Fort Mackinac, constructed in 1715.

The fort itself is the oldest building on Mackinac Island. It features daily cannon and rifle firings, as well as special exhibits that will give you an overview of this strategically significant site.

Down the hill, the historical downtown area also seems suspended in time. You’re welcome to take a carriage ride because cars aren’t even allowed on the island!

What are YOUR thoughts on these charming American destinations? Have you ever been to any of them? Be sure to let us know in the comments.

And if you liked this article, we think you’ll love: 6 Adorable Small Towns on the Pacific Coast You MUST SEE

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