Places In North America That Give You A Little Taste Of Europe

Traveling to Europe and exploring all the countries and cultures is a nice idea in theory, but it’s not always easy, and it’s pretty expensive to take a trip across the Atlantic Ocean.

However, there are many places in North America that are richly infused with different European cultures and closely resemble cities from the continent.

Leavenworth, Washington

Inspired by the beautiful hills surrounding the city, certain parts of Leavenworth were redesigned in the 1960s to resemble a German village with touches of Bavarian culture. Tourists come for the rustic shops, cultural festivals, and scenic views of the Cascade mountains.

Swiss-style buildings which look like chalets, are lit up with colored lights at Christmastime
Photo Credit: Philip James Corwin / CORBIS / Corbis via Getty Images
Photo Credit: Philip James Corwin / CORBIS / Corbis via Getty Images

Quebec City, Canada

Quebec City was founded by a French explorer named Samuel de Champlain. Old Quebec, an area lined with European-style buildings and cobblestone roads, is a UNESCO-designated historic district, and the European vibes are only strengthened by the French speakers who live there.

17th century European-style buildings with cobble stones around them
Photo Credit: Wolfgang Kaehler / LightRocket via Getty Images
Photo Credit: Wolfgang Kaehler / LightRocket via Getty Images

Puebla, Mexico

About 75 miles out from Mexico City, Puebla is a city that features gorgeous Spanish architecture that was built by the colonists. The Capilla del Rosario (Rosary Chapel) and the Puebla Cathedral were both built in the New Spanish-baroque style.

A view of Cathedral of Puebla
Photo Credit: Earl Leaf / Michael Ochs Archives / Getty Images
Photo Credit: Earl Leaf / Michael Ochs Archives / Getty Images

Vail, Colorado

The Alps meet the Rocky Mountains in Vail, Colorado. This ski village up in the mountains, which was built in the 1960s, was designed to look similar to Zermatt, a Swiss ski resort.

A couple carries their skis through Vail Village
Photo Credit: Dean Conger / Corbis via Getty Images
Photo Credit: Dean Conger / Corbis via Getty Images

The French Quarter In New Orleans, Louisiana

The culture and cuisine in New Orleans were heavily influenced by its early French and Spanish settlers as well as their Creole descendants.

royal street showcases balconies and street structure similar to france/europe
Photo Credit: EMILY KASK / 30203169A / AFP via Getty Images
Photo Credit: EMILY KASK / 30203169A / AFP via Getty Images

Despite its name, the French Quarter has more Spanish colonial architecture because Spanish rulers in the late 1700s destroyed many of the French-style buildings.

Boston, Massachusetts

Boston’s Beacon Hill closely resembles some neighborhoods in old English cities with its bay windows, traditional lampposts, and cobblestone roads. The area was designed and built by British colonialists in the 1600s.

cobble stones and buildings on Beacon hill
Photo Credit: Carol M. Highsmith / Buyenlarge / Getty Images
Photo Credit: Carol M. Highsmith / Buyenlarge / Getty Images

Holland, Michigan

Holland, Michigan, is named for its rich Dutch culture formed by immigrants. With attractions like the Veldheer Tulip Farm and De Zwaan Windmill—the only working authentic Dutch windmill in the USA.

dancers and tulips in Holland, Michigan
Photo Credit: Getty Images
Photo Credit: Getty Images

San Juan, Puerto Rico

San Juan was founded by the Spanish in the 16th century and the architecture, which ranges from renaissance to gothic style, was heavily influenced by European design in the older parts of the city.

street with euro-style balconies and building with traditional spanish patterning
Photo Credit: Education Images / Universal Images Group via Getty Images
Photo Credit: Education Images / Universal Images Group via Getty Images

Montreal, Canada

Montreal is an excellent cultural center in the Canadian province of Quebec. Founded in the mid-1600s by settlers from France, the older parts of the city feature French architecture and cobblestone roads.

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Photo Credit: Thierry Tronnel / Corbis via Getty Images
Photo Credit: Thierry Tronnel / Corbis via Getty Images

Victoria, Canada

Victoria, located on Vancouver Island, is named after the British Queen Victoria, and it has also adopted some British architecture and culture. One of the best examples is the Fairmont Empress Hotel, which also offers a high-tea service.

BC parliament building
Photo Credit: Peter Bischoff / Getty Images
Photo Credit: Peter Bischoff / Getty Images

Frankenmuth, Michigan

Often referred to as “Little Bavaria,” Frankenmuth looks like something out of a classic fairytale with stores and inns housed in German-inspired buildings, and the restaurants serve traditional German foods.

barvarian architecture and festival around
Photo Credit: Getty Images
Photo Credit: Getty Images

Venice, California

The city was founded in 1905 by a millionaire who wanted to create his own version of the famous Italian city. Just like its namesake, Venice, California, features water canals intended for rowboats and bridges to cross them.

water canals in venice
Photo Credit: David McNew / Getty Images
Photo Credit: David McNew / Getty Images

Guanajuato, Mexico

Guanajuato is classified as a UNESCO Heritage Site and was founded by Spanish settlers in the early 1500s. The city initially prospered as a silver extraction hub, and the wealth from the industry allowed citizens to build extravagant baroque and neoclassical buildings.

buildings with spanish-style arches
Photo Credit: Mahaux Charles /AGF / Universal Images Group via Getty Images
Photo Credit: Mahaux Charles /AGF / Universal Images Group via Getty Images

Solvang, California

Located in Santa Barbara County, Solvang offers a little taste of Scandinavia. The town, which features Danish-style architecture, cuisine, and bakeries, was founded in the early 1900s by Danish settlers who moved out West.

buildings in Scandinavian style on roadside
Photo Credit: George Rose / Getty Images
Photo Credit: George Rose / Getty Images

Tarpon Springs, Florida

Tarpon Springs, located in the Tampa Bay area, gives the area a little bit of a Grecian flair. It’s actually nicknamed the “Greek Island of the US,” since Greek settlers immigrated over a century ago and heavily influenced the culture and design of the city.

sea sponges on a fishing boat in Tarpon Springs gulf coast Florida
Photo Credit: Braunger / ullstein bild via Getty Images
Photo Credit: Braunger / ullstein bild via Getty Images

Montpellier, Vermont

Montpellier boasts a combination of distinctly American architecture alongside buildings with significant European influences. Perhaps the best example is the Vermont State House, shown here, which features Greek revival and neoclassical elements.

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Photo Credit: John Greim / LightRocket via Getty Images
Photo Credit: John Greim / LightRocket via Getty Images

Helen, Georgia

In contrast to many of the other places in this article, Helen had almost no European influences until the ’60s, when businesses and city planners decided to recreate it to resemble a German Alpine village.

German alpine village theme in Helen
Photo Credit: Jeffrey Greenberg / Universal Images Group via Getty Images
Photo Credit: Jeffrey Greenberg / Universal Images Group via Getty Images

Queretaro, Mexico

Located about 130 miles from Mexico City, Queretaro is a UNESCO Heritage Site due to its Spanish colonial architecture built in the 17th and 18th centuries. From the museums to its impressive Roman-style aqueduct, it closely resembles old cities in Spain.

columns and arches on courtyard balcony
Photo Credit: Mahaux Charles / AGF / Universal Images Group via Getty Images
Photo Credit: Mahaux Charles / AGF / Universal Images Group via Getty Images

St. Augustine, Florida

Before Florida was property of the USA, it was a colonial territory that belonged to Spain, and the architecture of St. Augustine shows it. Founded in the mid-1500s, St. Augustine was originally an outpost for the Spanish New World empire.

Exterior view of the Lightner Museum which features spanish arches and towers
Photo Credit: Santi Visalli / Getty Images
Photo Credit: Santi Visalli / Getty Images

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

As one of the oldest cities in America, the older parts of Philadelphia were heavily influenced by British architecture. Pictured here is Elfreth’s Alley, one of the oldest residential streets in the country that reflects neighborhoods in English cities.

Elfreth's Alley with townhouses lining each side
Photo Credit: Joe Sohm / Visions of America / Universal Images Group via Getty Images
Photo Credit: Joe Sohm / Visions of America / Universal Images Group via Getty Images