Bath, Maine, looks like what you would imagine a cozy New England town to be. Gardens, brick buildings, and church spires dot the main street, along with a variety of businesses and outdoor spaces. The buildings are a mix of Italianate, Romanesque Revival, Gothic Revival, late Federal and Greek Revival style, with some notable buildings like the Sagadahoc County Courthouse, an Empire-style building designed by Francis Fassett in 1869. A walking tour of the city is available, a good way to keep your spirits high during your trip.
Franklin, TennesseeJames R. Martin/Shutterstock
Not without rustic charm, Franklin looks to distinguish itself from its neighbor Nashville. The city has a blend of historic preservation and modern sophistication, with a mix of antique shops, gift and bookstores, fashion-forward boutiques, art galleries, and restored homes that line Main Street. The city offers free rides in a charming green and red trolley to explore the district, built in the 19th century. Some of the oldest buildings include the public square and courthouse, and the architectural styles differ as downtown expanded its reach. The Downtown Local Historic District is also listed in the National Register of Historic Places.
Staunton, Virginiacourtesy woods pierce/Staunton CVB
One of the oldest towns west of the Blue Ridge Mountains, Staunton remained nearly unscathed by the Civil War. Now, Staunton has six historic districts listed on the National Register of Historic Places, and its Main Street, with an eclectic mix of architectural styles designed by TJ Collins from 1891 to 1911, showcases the compactness of the 19th century. Collins designed or remodeled about 200 buildings in Staunton, many of which are still in use. Visitors can check out the American Shakespeare Center, home of the world’s only authentic recreation of the Blackfriars Theater, step back in time at the Frontier Culture Museum, an outdoor living history museum illustrating the daily lives of Shenandoah Valley’s earliest settlers, and discover the life and legacy of President Woodrow Wilson at his library and museum.