Travel News

The 15 Best Small Towns to Visit in 2024

Laura Kiniry

Each year, we celebrate the many small towns that make up the heart of America. These are the types of places where communities come together to celebrate the reopening of a more than 200-year-old lighthouse, and to welcome a Major League Baseball event to a historic ballpark. The sort of spots where local citizens have come up with innovative ways to reimagine their town for a new generation, such as the opening of a live music hall inside a former church. From full-moon hikes among lunar-like landscapes to Friday night bluegrass jams, they’re the locales that truly embrace all that this country has to offer … and then some.

Much like last year, this year’s towns vary in size, but their populations are all fewer than 25,000 residents, according to the most recent U.S. Census Bureau estimates. They also boast vast cultural experiences, superb nature, and a plethora of activities and events, not to mention an anniversary or opening that makes 2024 an especially great year to visit. Glassboro, New Jersey, for example, is finally welcoming the public to its long-awaited Jean & Ric Edelman Fossil Park and Museum of Rowan University, while the small town of Beaufort, South Carolina, is commemorating 30 years since its starring role in the beloved, Academy Award-winning film, Forrest Gump.

From the 50th anniversary of Mammoth Site, the largest mammoth research facility on the planet, in Hot Springs, South Dakota, to a major mountain expansion in Aspen, Colorado, here are 15 towns that are encouraging us to get out there and explore.

Seaside Small Town: Scituate, Massachusetts (pop. 19,297)

Old Scituate Light
Ted Curtin

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