7 Fake European Towns That Won’t Break the Bank

So you want to go to Europe but don’t quite have the time or money to make it over? Believe it or not, you’re in luck! Hundreds of places around the world have been inspired by the architecture and culture of major European cities. Some have even gone so far as to replicate the original.

If authenticity doesn’t matter to you as much as budget, you may just find the European escape of your dreams right in your own backyard. Here are 7 of our favorite Fake European Towns That Won’t Break the Bank:

1. Solvang, California

Nicknamed the “Danish Capital of America,” this Santa Barbara-area town was founded in 1911 by a group of Danes who wanted to establish a Danish colony outside of the cold Midwest. The town features Danish bakeries, shops and restaurants, and a replica of the famous Little Mermaid Statue in Copenhagen.

Trover photo by The Snowmads

 

2. Thames Valley Khao Yai in Ban Mu Si, Thailand

This unique hotel in the lush Khao Yai region of Thailand was designed to resemble an English countryside village along the River Thames corridor, complete with tea rooms and traditional English pubs.

Trover photo by Nita Gulati

 

3. Frankenmuth, Michigan

Nicknamed “Little Bavaria,” this Michigan town is home to many Bavarian-themed shops and restaurants, as well as Bronner’s Christmas Wonderland, a 7-acre store billed as the “World’s Largest Christmas Store.”

Trover photo by Marisa Heilman

 

4. Leavenworth, Washington

This formerly sleepy railroad town in central Washington was transformed into a mock Bavarian village in 1962 and is now home to a popular Oktoberfest celebration and the Leavenworth Nutcracker Museum, which houses more than 5,000 nutcrackers!

Trover photo by Michelle Finseth

 

5. Québec City, Québec

Okay, Québec City is not exactly a fake European city. But it is heavily influenced by its French heritage. Besides hearing Canadian French spoken around every corner, you can expect to see romantic architecture, sidewalk cafes, and traditional French bakeries all over this beautiful and historic city.

 

6. Helen, Georgia

Modeled to look like a Bavarian alpine village, this small town of 500 keeps it “authentic” with street performers, Oktoberfest celebrations, and a Denny’s that is actually designed to fit the Bavarian architectural style!

Trover photo by Michael Schuier

 

7. Las Vegas, Nevada

Of course, if you’re looking to get the most European flair from a non-European city, there’s no better place than Las Vegas. Where else in the world can you visit the top of the Eiffel Tower and ride in a Venetian gondola within the same hour? Well, maybe in Europe if you hurry. But Vegas is definitely the next best thing.

Trover photo by Lauréanne Pelletier

Trover photo by Adrian Roberts

 

Fake European towns won’t satisfy all of your cravings for a classic European adventure, but they will provide a taste of Europe and will keep your wallet happy at the same time. To see more fake European towns around the world, check out the full list here, and don’t forget to share your own European discoveries (real or otherwise) on Trover this summer!

 

17 Spots to Hit on the Ultimate California Road Trip

As the most populous state in the U.S., California offers visitors a lot more than just Disneyland and the Hollywood sign. Many of California’s most incredible spots fall along its 800+ mile long coast, facing the majestic Pacific Ocean. Luckily for us, much of this coastline is hugged closely by the fabled California State Route 1, also known as the Pacific Coast Highway, creating a superb setting for the Ultimate California Road Trip.

While there are hundreds of sites you could see and dozens of routes you can take on your own California Road Trip, here are 17 of our favorite California Road Trip destinations to see this summer along California’s beautiful coast:

1. McWay Falls at the Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park near Monterey, California

Trover photo by Alex Sam

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10 Best Aquariums in America

Kids or no kids, aquariums are pretty awesome places to hang out. There’s just something about submerging yourself into a world of sharks, jellies, and tropical fish (from behind safe walls of glass, of course) that really excites the little kid in all of us.

With so many great aquariums in the U.S. and so much to admire and learn about, narrowing your focus can be a challenge. To help guide your search, we’ve assembled a list of the 10 best aquariums in America. Let’s dive in:

 

1. The Georgia Aquarium in Atlanta, Georgia

Trover photo by travelbug

 

2. The Monterey Bay Aquarium in Monterey, California

Trover photo by Kate R

 

Which is perhaps best known for its brilliant collection of jellyfish:

Trover photo by YoungAdventuress

 

3. Shedd Aquarium in Chicago, Illinois

 

4. Scott Aquarium at the Henry Doorly Zoo and Aquarium in Omaha, Nebraska

Trover photo by Erik Rowley

 

5. The National Aquarium in Baltimore, Maryland

Trover photo by Nick Pagano

 

6. The Tennessee Aquarium in Chattanooga, Tennessee

Trover photo by Intrepidor

 

7. Mystic Aquarium in Mystic, Connecticut

Trover photo by Benny Goh

 

8. Ripley’s Aquarium in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina

Trover photo by Jaisen Mohamed

 

9. The New England Aquarium in Boston, Massachusetts

Trover photo by Tati

 

10. The Seattle Aquarium in Seattle, Washington

Trover photo by Jon Battle

 

How’s that for some underwater inspiration? Thankfully, these 10 best aquariums make up only a small portion of the incredible public and private aquariums all across the United States. Check out an even bigger list of American aquarium eye candy here, and don’t forget to share your own aqua-discoveries on Trover!

7 Photos to Celebrate America the Beautiful

Happy Independence Day, America! To celebrate the 239th anniversary of the signing of the Declaration of Independence, here are a few photos of America the Beautiful to stir up your national pride or inspire a visit to the States if July 4th is not a national holiday where you live:

1. Monument Valley Navajo Tribal Park in Arizona

Trover photo by Claudia Matteau

 

2. Reflection Lake at Mt. Rainier National Park in Washington

Trover photo by Mark Rentz

 

3. Bay Bridge seen from the Embarcadero in San Francisco, California

Trover photo by Kristin Repsher

 

4. Niagara Falls in Niagara Falls, New York

 

5. Maroon Bells in the Elk Mountains of Colorado

Trover photo by Jen – Nealys On Wheels

 

6. Delicate Arch in Arches National Park in Utah

Trover photo by max seigal

 

7. Haystack Rock in Cannon Beach, Oregon

Trover photo by Quintin Doroquez

 

Want to feel even more patriotic? Check out the full list of photos celebrating America the Beautiful here, and don’t forget to share your own photos of America the Beautiful on Trover!