At TravelAwaits, we believe that the true heart and soul of a destination lies within its people. That’s why we turned to our readers to nominate and vote for the friendliest small towns in the United States. After careful consideration and passionate debate, we are thrilled to present our list of the 14 friendliest small towns in the U.S.
These charming communities have left an indelible mark on visitors with their warm hospitality, welcoming atmosphere, and genuine smiles. So, pack your bags and get ready to explore these delightful destinations where friendliness is not just a virtue but a way of life.
1. Concordia, Kansas (Winner)
Topping our list is Concordia, Kansas, a town that embodies midwestern hospitality at its finest. Known for its warm and friendly residents, Concordia welcomes visitors with open arms and makes them feel like part of the community from the moment they arrive. With its historic downtown, vibrant arts scene, and numerous parks, this small town offers a friendly and inviting atmosphere that leaves a lasting impression.
2. Winterset, Iowa
Nestled in the heart of Madison County, Iowa, Winterset exudes small-town charm and friendliness. Famous as the birthplace of John Wayne, this picturesque town welcomes visitors with a genuine smile and a warm, neighborly spirit. From exploring the famous covered bridges to strolling through the enchanting town square, you’ll find Winterset to be a delightful destination filled with friendly faces.
3. Hammondsport, New York
In the heart of Finger Lakes wine country, you’ll find Hammondsport, a small town that embraces visitors with open arms. Nestled at the southern end of Keuka Lake, Hammondsport boasts stunning natural beauty and a laid-back atmosphere. Whether you’re exploring the local wineries, indulging in gourmet cuisine, or simply taking in the views, the friendly locals of Hammondsport will make you feel right at home.
4. St. Augustine, Florida
As the oldest city in the United States, St. Augustine, Florida, has a rich history and a friendly spirit. Visitors to this charming coastal town are greeted with southern hospitality and a warm welcome. With its cobblestone streets, historic landmarks, and beautiful beaches, St. Augustine offers a perfect blend of history, culture, and friendly locals eager to share their stories and traditions.
5. Galena, Illinois
Nestled in the rolling hills of northwestern Illinois, Galena is a small town that captivates visitors with its timeless beauty and welcoming atmosphere. With its well-preserved 19th-century architecture, charming Main Street, and friendly shop owners, Galena offers a warm and inviting experience. Whether you’re browsing unique boutiques, exploring historic sites, or enjoying outdoor activities, the friendly locals of Galena will make your visit truly memorable.
6. Mackinac Island, Michigan
Known as the jewel of the Great Lakes, Mackinac Island, Michigan, is a delightful destination that transports visitors back in time. With no motorized vehicles allowed on the island, a friendly and relaxed atmosphere pervades. Whether you’re biking along scenic trails, savoring world-famous fudge, or exploring the historic Fort Mackinac, the welcoming islanders will make you feel like you’re part of their close-knit community.
7. Hermann, Missouri
Nestled along the Missouri River, Hermann exudes a friendly small-town charm that captivates visitors from the moment they arrive. Famous for its wineries and German heritage, this charming town welcomes guests with open arms and a genuine smile. Whether you’re indulging in wine tastings, attending vibrant festivals, or exploring historic landmarks, the warm and inviting locals of Hermann will ensure you have an unforgettable experience.
8. Cambria, California
Perched along the stunning Central California Coast, Cambria is a small town that radiates warmth and friendliness. Known for its breathtaking coastline, artistic community, and charming downtown, Cambria offers a laid-back and welcoming atmosphere. Whether you’re strolling along Moonstone Beach, browsing art galleries, or savoring local cuisine, the friendly locals of Cambria will make you feel right at home.
9. Rockland, Maine
Located on the picturesque coast of Maine, Rockland is a small town with a big heart. This vibrant seaside community welcomes visitors with its scenic beauty, thriving art scene, and genuine hospitality. Whether you’re exploring the charming downtown, indulging in fresh seafood, or visiting the renowned Farnsworth Art Museum, the friendly locals of Rockland will make you feel like a cherished guest.
10. Leavenworth, Washington
Nestled in the Cascade Mountains, Leavenworth is a small town that embraces its Bavarian-inspired charm and friendly atmosphere. Known for its festive spirit, delicious German cuisine, and stunning natural surroundings, Leavenworth offers a warm and welcoming experience. Whether you’re attending one of the town’s famous festivals, exploring nearby hiking trails, or simply enjoying the enchanting downtown, the friendly locals of Leavenworth will make your visit unforgettable.
11. Skagway, Alaska
In the heart of the Alaska wilderness, Skagway beckons visitors with its small-town charm and friendly demeanor. This historic Gold Rush town captures the imaginations of travelers with its rich history and stunning landscapes. Whether you’re riding the iconic White Pass & Yukon Route Railroad, immersing yourself in Klondike Gold Rush National Historical Park, or chatting with locals at Skagway saloons, the warm and welcoming residents will make you feel like a part of their adventurous community.
12. Astoria, Oregon
Tucked into the gorgeous inlet where the Columbia River meets the Pacific Ocean, Astoria offers a unique blend of natural beauty, maritime history, and friendly locals. Known for its iconic Astoria Column, charming waterfront, and lively arts scene, this small coastal town is a haven for visitors seeking a warm and inviting experience. Whether you’re exploring the historic landmarks, indulging in fresh seafood, or simply enjoying the stunning views, the friendly residents of Astoria will welcome you to it!
13. Bennington, Vermont
Surrounded by the rolling hills of Vermont, Bennington welcomes visitors with its quintessential New England charm and friendly demeanor. This historic town is home to captivating museums, picturesque covered bridges, and a vibrant arts community. Whether you’re exploring the scenic hiking trails, immersing yourself in the local history, or sampling the delicious farm-to-table cuisine, the warm and welcoming locals of Bennington will ensure your visit is filled with memorable experiences.
14. Waikoloa Village, Hawaii
Located on the beautiful Big Island of Hawaii, Waikoloa Village offers a friendly and laid-back tropical paradise. With its stunning beaches, world-class resorts, and rich cultural heritage, this small town captures the essence of the aloha spirit. Whether you’re snorkeling in pristine waters, attending a traditional luau, or exploring the nearby volcanoes, the friendly locals of Waikoloa Village will greet you with open arms and make your stay in paradise truly unforgettable.
The friendliest small towns in the U.S. featured on our list offer more than just picturesque landscapes and captivating attractions. They provide a genuine sense of community, where locals go out of their way to welcome visitors and create memorable experiences. Whether you’re seeking a relaxing coastal escape, an adventurous mountain getaway, or a cultural immersion, these small towns in the U.S. have something for everyone. From the warm hospitality of Concordia, Kansas, to the historic charm of St. Augustine, Florida, and the breathtaking beauty of Waikoloa Village, Hawaii, each destination on this list offers a unique and unforgettable experience.
Read more from our 2023 Best Of Travel Awards.