Barbecue. State fairs. Apple pie. Drive-in theaters. Are there any other cultural symbols that more accurately depict U.S. culture? Okay, maybe a Big Mac or an iPhone. But in terms of the classic American experience, we like to think back to the days before dollar menus replaced lunch boxes and our photos needed an Instagram filter to achieve a dreamy vintage look.
Likewise, when we think about the classic American town, our minds tend to drift towards the image of a small community with down-home charm and old-fashioned grandeur.
Believe it or not, there are still a number of classic American towns that have maintained their authenticity over the years. Here are a few to consider if you’re looking to travel back in time and explore this particular brand of small-town U.S.A.
Beaufort, South Carolina
Situated on Port Royal Island in the heart of South Carolina Lowcountry, Beaufort is noted for its gorgeous scenery (think stunning coastal views and moss-draped live oak trees) and preservation of its antebellum architecture. While visiting the area’s many historic attractions, be sure to check out the Civil War era homes in the eastern part of town.
Bedford has an important place in American history – George Washington passed through the area to quell the famous Whiskey Rebellion in 1794. Today, the central Pennsylvania town is known for its beautiful countryside, charming downtown, family-friendly atmosphere, and slower pace of life.
Situated on Estero Bay on the central California coast, the tiny surfer town of Cayucos has remained surprisingly immune to over-development despite its desirable location. A stroll about town reveals a white sand beach as well as a number of fine restaurants, antique shops, candy and ice cream stores, and even an old-fashioned saloon.
Most homes are older and will need a rigorous structural inspection. Look for the issues common with older homes – termites, foundation issues, and asbestos.
Look out for train tracks and keep your distance. In small towns, trains run constantly. The noise may eventually drive you crazy if it’s in your back yard.
Small-town markets are typically slow. Work with an agent who knows the area and can give you a realistic idea of what it will look like to sell in the future.