12 places in North America to visit if you want to feel like you're in Europe

12 places in North America to visit if you want to feel like you're in Europe
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  • Holland, Michigan, and Vail, Colorado, were modeled after specific places in Europe.

  • Quebec City, Canada, and New Orleans, Louisiana, were influenced by European settlers.

  • Spanish architecture can be found in San Juan, Puerto Rico.

Solvang, California, was founded by Danish-American settlers.

Solvang, California
Solvang, California, resembles Denmark in many ways.delray77 / iStock

You don't have to travel to Europe for a taste of Scandinavia.

Situated in California's Santa Ynez Valley, Solvang (Danish for "sunny fields") was founded by Danish-American settlers from the Midwest in the early 1900s.

The town boasts Danish flair in the form of architecture (including replicas of Copenhagen's Little Mermaid statue and Round Tower), bakeries and restaurants, and cultural museums.

Quebec City, Canada, has scenic cobblestone streets.

quebec city
Quebec City, Canada, might remind you of France.Shutterstock/Rob Crandall

Founded in the 17th century by French explorer Samuel de Champlain, Quebec City is the capital of the eponymous Canadian province.

Old Quebec, the city's UNESCO-designated historic district, is notable for its scenic cobblestone streets and alleys. The fact that the locals speak French also adds to the European ambiance.

Finally, Quebec's National Assembly in Upper Town is home to the Parliament Building, an imposing structure, that, according to the Encyclopedia Britannica, was influenced by the Louvre Museum in Paris.

In Holland, Michigan, there's a tulip farm and a Dutch theme park.

Holland Michigan
You'll get a taste of Holland in Holland, Michigan.Craig Sterken/Shutterstock

If you have tulip fever, the aptly named city of Holland, Michigan, is known for its rich Dutch heritage.

Thanks to attractions like the Veldheer Tulip Farm and the DeZwaan Windmill, the only working, authentic Dutch windmill in the US, you can pretend you're abroad from the comfort of the Great Lakes State.

Holland is also home to Nelis' Dutch Village, a historic theme park founded by Dutch immigrants in the 1950s.

Leavenworth, Washington, is the Pacific Northwest's take on a Bavarian village.

Leavenworth, Washington
After being remodeled, Leavenworth, Washington resembles some parts of Germany.iStock

In the 1960s, inspired by the hills surrounding the town, Leavenworth, Washington, was remodeled to resemble a German village.

More than a gimmick to attract tourists, the town's Bavarian upgrade included architectural updates such as painted wood storefronts as well as a schedule of year-round programs.

Come for events like the Christmas Lighting Festival and the Autumn Leaf Festival and stay for the rustic shops and gorgeous views of the Cascade Mountains.

Puebla, Mexico, is significant for its Spanish Colonial architecture.

Bell's Church in Puebla, Mexico.
Bell's Church in Puebla, Mexico, gives visitors a taste of Spanish architecture.Shutterstock

Located about 75 miles from Mexico City, Puebla is known for its Spanish Colonial buildings, including the New Spanish Baroque style Capilla del Rosario (Rosary Chapel) and the Puebla Cathedral, in which designs were sent from Spain and Sevillian architect, Gerónimo Balbas, built the altars for.

Puebla, whose historic center has been designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site, also has a whole museum dedicated to Baroque art and architecture.

Vail, Colorado, was partially modeled after a Swiss ski resort.

Vail Colorado
Vail, Colorado, was built to look Swiss.Andriy Blokhin/Shutterstock

Partially modeled after Zermatt, a Swiss ski resort, Vail is nestled in the Colorado Rockies.

Although it's famous for its slopes, this high-altitude destination also features pedestrian villages lined with shops and restaurants that were built in the 1960s with inspiration from European alpine architecture.

The architecture in New Orleans, Louisiana, was influenced by French and Spanish settlers.

New Orleans French Quarter
The French Quarter was actually inspired heavily by Spanish culture.Jorg Hackemann / Shutterstock

In culture and cuisine, New Orleans has been influenced by French and Spanish settlers, as well as by the Creole descendants of colonists.

With architecture spanning from Spanish Colonial buildings to Creole townhouses, walking through New Orleans feels like stepping into the past.

The French Quarter, despite its name, was more heavily influenced by the Spanish than by the French. That's because, from 1763 to 1803, France gave up control of Louisiana to Spain.

Much of the original French architecture was destroyed by fires during Spanish rule leading to a rebuilding effort by the Spanish.

Victoria, Canada, has a British vibe.

victoria canada
The British Columbia Parliament Buildings in Victoria look like they could be in the UK.Santi Visalli / Contributor/ Getty

Victoria, built on the traditional territory of the Lekwungen People, takes its name from the titular 19th-century monarch, so it's no surprise that the city has a decidedly British vibe.

Some great examples include the Edwardian-style Fairmont Empress Hotel, which offers daily tea service, to the British Columbia Parliament Buildings designed by British architect, Francis Rattenbury.

For added sophistication, you can visit Craigdarroch Castle, a mansion designed by Scottish industrialist and immigrant Robert Dunsmuir in the late 1800s.

Architecture in San Juan, Puerto Rico, spans from Renaissance to Gothic.

old san juan puerto rico
Old San Juan is vibrant and colorful.Rachel Wang/Shutterstock

Founded by the Spanish in the 16th century, San Juan was influenced by European design.

In Old San Juan, the Puerto Rican capital's historic district, architecture spans in style from Gothic to Renaissance to Baroque.

Some noteworthy buildings and sites include the Gothic and Renaissance Revival style La Catedral de San Juan Bautista and the architecturally diverse Cementerio de Santa María Magdalena de Pazzis.

Tarpon Springs, Florida, brings a slice of Greek life to the Tampa Bay area.

tarpon springs
Boats line the shore in Tarpon Springs, Florida.Education Images / Getty

If you can't make it to the Greek isles, a trip to Tarpon Springs, Florida, could be the next best thing.

Nicknamed the "Greek Island" of the US, the city is known for its Greek heritage that dates back over a century.

Beyond demographics, Tarpon Springs' docks, used in the sponging industry, are lined with boats that would be right at home in the Mediterranean.

Several neighborhoods in Boston, Massachusetts, bring to mind European locales.

beacon hill boston massachusetts night
Beacon Hill in Boston, in some ways, resembles neighborhoods in the UK.Jon Bilous/Shutterstock

Beacon Hill's Federal-style architecture and cobblestone streets are a blast from the city's British past, while the North End, with its pizza shops and festive parades, may help transport you to Italy.

There are elaborate Baroque and neoclassical buildings in Guanajuato, Mexico.

Guanajuato Mexico
The colorful buildings in Guanajuato, Mexico, look they could be in Spain.Bill Perry/Shutterstock

Guanajuato, Mexico, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, was founded by the Spanish in the early 16th century.

The city prospered as a silver extraction hub, a lucrative industry that allowed for the construction of elaborate Baroque and neoclassical buildings.

Distinguished for its ornate, Baroque churches, such as La Valenciana and La Compañía, Guanajuato's colorful houses are just as eye-catching.

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