Looking for places in the South USA that look like Europe? There are many towns and attractions in the southern United States that will make you feel like you are in Europe.
If there are two things I love, it is Europe and the Southern USA! So why not blend both?
You can find historic castles that remind you of France, Bavarian-inspired towns in the mountains of Georgia such as Helen, and coastal towns in Florida in the Panhandle that will make you feel like you are on the Mediterranean Sea in Greece.
Some of my personal top favorite spots include:
- The Ringling Museum in Florida
- Helen, a Bavarian town in Georgia
- The Biltmore, a gorgeous estate in North Carolina
- Tarpon Springs, a small town in Florida with Greek Influence
If you are missing Europe or simply want a taste of European culture while you are in the south, you won’t be at a loss for places to visit, no matter what part of the south you are in. Let’s get started and we will show you all of the exciting places you can visit during your visit!
15 places in the South USA that look like Europe
Alys Beach Florida
Alys Beach Florida is one of the top places in the south USA that look like Europe. The stone walkways, white-washed buildings, and waterfront will remind you of Mykonos. Referred to as Mykonos’s twin, Aly Beach has a lot to offer you while you are in for a visit.
You can bike the twenty-acre nature preserve and take in the beautiful views from the wooden boardwalk, enjoy a cocktail at Neat, enjoy coastal cuisine with southern flair, and shop at some of the cutest little boutiques in the area.
What really places Alys Beach among the top places in America that look like Europe is the remarkable architecture. Beautiful and luxurious, Alys Beach is one beachside town that you won’t want to miss while you are in the Florida panhandle.
Plus, while you are on the panhandle, you can check out the best USA Gulf Coast Beaches which is something we really recommend you do while you are in the area.
A little piece of Europe in Texas? Absolutely! Fredericksburg, Texas easily makes its way onto this list of places in the south USA that look like Europe. German influences are strong in this Texas town!
You can learn about the German heritage of the town at the Pioneer Museum, explore the Marktplatz, and visit Vereins Kirche which is a replica of the 19th-century German church that stood in the city.
Some other things to do in Fredericksburg include the National Museum of the Pacific War, Historic Fort Martin Scott, the Das Peach House General Store, Old Tunnel State Park, Fredericksburg Brewing Company, and the Elk Store Winery and Distillery.
Whether you are interested in checking out the local brews, foodie destinations, the architecture, or the history, this lovely Texas town has you covered.
This is one of my favorite places in the entire USA!!! I love it so freaking much!
Savannah, Georgia is a well-preserved town along the Savannah River that is often compared to Charleston, South Carolina due to their similar architecture, cobblestones, and historic significance.
With the European influence, historical significance, and all of the amazing things to do in Savannah, Georgia, it is easy to see why this southern town is among the most visited places in Georgia and one of my all-time favorites!
Here you will find 18th and 19th-century townhouses, oak-lined streets, and many European characteristics that will remind you of places like Edinburgh and Bath. If you have been looking for European towns in the USA, you have found one with Savannah!
Like most places in the south USA that look like Europe, you can find many places in Savannah to have a taste of European flavors, including delicious Greek food at Troy Mediterranean Cuisine, Italian food at La Scala Ristorante, French food at Cafe M, English treats at The Little Crown, and much more!
Charleston is arguably the most popular city among these places in the south USA that look like Europe. The town was named after King Charles II of England and it has countless similarities to many European cities.
I love doing a dual-trip with Charleston AND Savannah as they are only a few hours away from each other.
In Charleston, you will find charming cobblestone streets, grand churches, colorful townhomes, and more, all of which provoke thoughts of Europe (especially France and Spain.) As the oldest and the largest city in South Carolina, you can find yourself wanting to explore this dreamy coastal town for days.
Some of the top things to do in Charleston include visiting Rainbow Row, Fort Sumter National Monument, Charleston City Market, Magnolia Plantation and Gardens, and walking through Joe Riley Waterfront Park. Be sure to include Charleston on your bucket list as it is one of the top European towns in the southern USA!
New Orleans was settled by the French in 1718 after the Spanish took control of it, the French again had a brief hold on the area before the United States bought it with the Louisiana Purchase. As such, the French and Spanish. influence in New Orleans is quite obvious.
Like most places in the south USA that look like Europe, New Orleans has done a fantastic job of keeping the culture from the past alive. If you want to see the part of New Orleans that has held onto the European culture the most, head to Vieux Carré.
Vieux Carré (pronounced “voo car-ray”) is the historic heart of the city. Here you can enjoy the colorful buildings with cast iron balconies, listen to jazz music, eat at Cajun restaurants, pop into rambunctious bars, and more. This is where you will find some of the most popular things to do in New Orleans.
European-style cities in America are generally popular among American tourists and international tourists alike. As such, you will need to plan your visit carefully. The busiest time of the year is February to June as this is when the weather is nicest and there are many events like Mardi Gras, Jazz Fest, and more.
The Ringling Museum Florida
You can’t speak of places in the South USA that look like Europe without talking about the Ringling Museum. This museum was built with Italian influences in terms of architecture.
This is honestly one of my top favorite spots to take people in Florida. I have gone tons of times and it is magical each and every time.
Established by the Ringling Brothers, John Ringling hired an architect for the museum in 1925. On site, you will find the Ca’ d’Zan which is Venetian for House of John. There is also a Rose Garden, Dwarf Garden, Circus Museum, Tibbals Learning Center, an Art Library, and other interesting features like the historic Wisconsin Railroad Car.
This museum is very popular among locals and visitors as the pink exterior and immaculately contrived interior have named it one of the best European places in the south to visit.
While you are at the museum, you can enjoy the exhibitions, explore the galleries, learn about the Ringling brothers, walk the gardens, and more. If you are interested in a discounted admission price, visit after 5 p.m., or you can visit on Mondays where the Museum of Art, Glass Pavillion, and the Bayfront Gardens are all free to enjoy.
Georgetown Washington DC
Places in the south USA that look like Europe draw quite a bit of attention for sure. Georgetown in Washington DC is no exception with its traditional taverns, cobblestone streets, Federal-style architecture, waterfront seafood joints, live music lounges, and historical significance.
In Georgetown, there is an incredible bike path along the C & O Canal where you can enjoy the fresh air and take in the sight of the historic buildings in the neighborhood. Most of the settlers in Georgetown were Scottish and as such, you can see their influence in the area.
There are loads of exciting things to do in Georgetown like visit the Blues Alley Jazz Club, learn about the history of the area by visiting historical sites like Dumbarton House and Old Stone House, have fun at The Escape Room DC, and more.
Plus, you will be close to many government buildings and points of interest as well as there are loads of things to do in Washington DC for visitors who love learning about history and government.
The city of Tarpon Springs Florida is among the most stunning places in the south USA that look like Europe. Heavily influenced by Greek culture, food, and architecture, Tarpon Springs is a little slice of Greek paradise in the southern US.
Some of the top things to do in Tarpon Springs include visiting the Spongeorama Sponge Factory, grabbing a treat at Hellas Restaurant & Bakery, catching a sunset at Sunset Beach, enjoying the ornate Saint Nicholas Greek Orthodox Cathedral, and stopping by the Tarpon Springs Sponge Docks.
The white buildings with blue accents, Greek flags, and the sponge history here in Tarpon Springs are really the largest draws for visitors. The sponge industry here was established by Greek sponge divers. Once they discovered them there in the early 1900’s the industry quickly took off!
Hands down, we think the coolest thing to do in Tarpon Springs is to visit the sponge docks where you can buy all-natural sea sponges, take photos of the docked sponge boats, and eat Greek fare. This attraction on its own is enough to propel Tarpon Springs onto the list of southern destinations that feel like Europe!
The mountain town of Helen, Georgia is among the coziest places in the south USA that look like Europe. Influenced by German design and culture, this Bavarian-themed town in the Georgia mountains is a sight to behold!
There are loads of things to do in Helen; you can find everything from an exhilarating mountain coaster, zip-lining, and river tubing to wineries, waterfalls, and shopping opportunities. Plus, an abundance of European restaurants!
The restaurants in Helen are mostly American and German, however, you can truly find everything you could hope for in this small Georgia town. So, whether you are hoping for southern dishes, German staples, Czech fare, Mexican cuisine, NYC-style pizza, or perhaps some Thai food, you can find it in Helen.
Vizcaya Museum is a stunning display of European influence in Florida that we absolutely love! Of all of the places in the South USA that look like Europe, this may be the place with the most Italian influence.
The museum and its gardens were formerly an estate of businessman James Deering of the Deering McCormick/International Harvester fortune. The former estate is on the Biscayne Bay in the Coconut Grove neighborhood in Miami.
The history of this museum is filled with creativity and innovation. The unique cultural treasures here are something that visitors to Miami shouldn’t skip out on. While you are visiting, you can explore the main house as well as the remarkable gardens.
If taking beautiful photos is important to you while you are traveling, you will definitely want to consider visiting this stunning Miami attraction. The Italian architecture, plant life, and gardens will take your breath away!
Saint Augustine is on the east coast of Florida which is saturated with Spanish influence. Among the top places in the south USA that look like Europe, St. Augustine is the oldest city in the United States and one of our favorites on the east coast of Florida!
St. Augustine is one of the prettiest cities in the South and that is mainly thanks to the Spanish colonial architecture that is prevalent throughout the city, especially in the historic district. Some examples of this style of architecture can be seen at the Lightner Museum, Flagler University, and Castillo De San Marco.
While you are in St. Augustine, we recommend you check out the St. Augustine Lighthouse and Maritime Museum, the Old Jail Museum, and Ponce de Leon’s Fountain of Youth Archeological Park.
Of course, with all of the international influence in town, you can guarantee a lot of international restaurants. Columbia Restaurant is a long-standing Spanish eatery in town, there is also Prohibition Kitchen which is a gourmet pub, and The Conch House Restaurant is a great place to get Caribbean-inspired meals.
Referred to as the Irish Capital of Texas, Dublin is one of the places in the south USA that look like Europe. Dublin is one of the cutest small towns in Texas, with a population of less than four thousand, this small town about eight miles from Fort Worth is known for having the world’s oldest Dr. Pepper bottling plant.
While visiting Dublin, there are many museums that you can check out to learn about the area, Irish influence, and the industries that have shaped the town the most. Some of the museums to visit include the Dublin Historical Museum and the Dublin Rodeo Heritage Museum.
While you are wandering around downtown, you can take photos with the photo-worthy neon signs and murals, pop into Doc’s soda shop to enjoy the old-school diner vibes, and shop in the cute little shops and boutiques there. The Veldhuizen Cheese Shop is also something you should consider checking out during your visit!
Old Town Alexandria Virginia
Old Town Alexandria is among the top places in the south USA that look like Europe. This Virginia neighborhood is a busy and historical district along the Potomac River. The European features here can be seen in the cobblestone streets, taverns, restaurants, boutiques, and architecture.
If seeing the European culture in the southern USA is something that is important to you while traveling through the south, don’t skip over Old Town Alexandria. There are loads of things to do in Alexandria Virginia, especially in Old Town that you are sure to love!
You can walk on Main Street, check out Gadsby’s Tavern where George Washington famously stayed, visit the Old Town Alexandria Waterfront, check out the Torpedo Factory Art Center, feel like you stepped back in time at the Stabler-Leadbeater Apothecary Museum, and learn the history of the area at the Carlyle House Historic Park.
The Biltmore Estate is a massive private home in Asheville with heavy European influence. It is the largest home in America and is still privately owned by the ancestors of the original residents.
The home first started being built by George Vanderbilt, yes, those Vanderbilt’s, in 1889. It took six years for the luxurious home to be completed. In 1895 the Vanderbilt family was able to move in, and on Christmas Eve the house was opened for visitors of the family.
With more than 250 rooms and an exterior that was designed to look like a classic French Renaissance Chateau, the Biltmore is one of the best places in the south USA that look like Europe. So, be sure to include this marvelous state on your bucket list for the south!
When you are planning on visiting the Biltmore, there are a few things that you should know as the estate is massive and there are other attractions on-site as well like the Main Dairy, Horse Barn, hiking trails, and immaculate gardens. Preparing before your visit will allow you to get the most out of your visit.
After a trip to Germany, Rex Martin and his wife Carolina started the construction of the Kentucky Castle in the 1960’s as they were so inspired by the architecture in Europe. The castle went on to become one of the most famous and highly visited castles in the south.
Easily one of the best places in the south USA that look like Europe, this castle is just outside of Lexington, Kentucky in the town of Versailles. Surprisingly, the construction of this castle was halted after a few years due to the owners going through a divorce. While they put it up for sale, it remained on the market for thirty years, relegating it to a roadside attraction
Now, this 100-acre estate has been purchased and was turned into an attraction that offers boutique hotel accommodations, a farm-to-table restaurant, and an event center for both public and private gatherings.
Clearly a stunning example of the most remarkable places in America that look like Europe, this Kentucky Castle is well worth a visit, even if you are just road-tripping through Lexington and making a point to drive through Versailles to catch a glimpse of this beauty.
With a variety of European influences and different states that you can visit to see these influences for yourself, you should be able to find what you are looking for no matter what part of the south you are visiting.
Now that we have shown you the best, which of these incredible destinations will you be adding to your southern bucket list?