Little Travel

14 May

chinatown.jpgSummer’s just around the corner, and for many of us, that means getting out the map and figuring out where the family should go for a week or two. It can be a challenge getting a consensus on where and what everyone wants to do and see. This year, I decided that my family should experience a different culture with excellent cuisines and Old World Customs – all without leaving the continental United States. What, you say? It’s easier than you might imagine.


Here is my list of “little’s”- or cities that have wonderfully ethnic neighborhoods that offer a glimpse into the past as well as excellent dining and shopping. You will also find a great Best Western nearby that will welcome you and your family at the end of the day.

Little Italy, Boston. Not surprisingly, there are several Little Italy’s around the U.S. You just need to pick which city interests you the most. Boston’s North End has a wonderful Little Italy with charming streets, fantastic Italian restaurants and is packed with history. Step into Paul Revere’s well-preserved home and the famous Old North Church and walk off lunch along the 2.5 mile Freedom Trail. New York and San Francisco also have wonderful Little Italy neighborhoods. Pick one and go!

Chinatown, San Francisco. Ok, maybe it’s not so little, but it has to be on your list. San Francisco has the largest Chinatown outside of Asia and is the largest one in North America. Walking through the streets of Chinatown is a must. Yes, it’s crowded and noisy, but it is so much more. Take some time to wander into the fish and meat markets, see the exotic fruits and vegetables and sit down to a dim sum lunch. It’s a great experience.

Amana Colonies, Iowa; Little Switzerland, Colorado. If you’re interested in vacationing in places with a little slower pace and population, then put these “littles” on your list. The Amana Colonies is home to a large German population that still carries on traditions of their ancestors. You can wander from colony to colony and enjoy some of the best German food in restaurants that have been in the family for years. It is also home to the makers of Amana appliances. Or, head out to southern Colorado to the beautiful Rocky Mountains to a slice of Switzerland located in Ouray, Colorado. The views are breathtaking as the town is surrounded on three sides with 13,000 foot snow-capped peaks. Enjoy rugged jeep tours, a day hike or just kick back and relax in the fresh, mountain air.

Little Travel


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