In this post, I will consider Delaware, Maryland and Virginia as the mid-Atlantic states. All have an ocean-side which capitalizes on the popularity of beaches in today’s culture. Yet, there are other regions which focus on other tourist considerations, as well as the ubiquitous history which abounds in eastern part of the US. Here are my choices for the best small towns in this area. Look for my photo album which will follow shortly.
1. Dover, Delaware – The capital of one of America’s smallest states is a charming place. Its village green, designed by William Penn, is still the center of the old part of the town which preserves many stately residences and much history.
2. New Castle, Delaware – Another town whose Federal and Colonial architecture has been lovingly preserved is New Castle, where William Penn first landed in America. Stroll the Heritage Trail to relive the town’s colorful early history.
3. Annapolis, Maryland – The state’s adorable coastal capital was once the capital of the United States. It has remained fairly small and compact besides the proximity to Baltimore. A walking tour of the town is delightful. Also in town is the United States Naval Academy which draws tourists from all over the country.
4. Ocean City, Maryland – This classic eastern beach resort contains the typical amenities found in similar places — great beaches, a busy boardwalk, and opportunities for all types of water recreation.
5. Alexandria, Virginia – The charming old-town of this Washington, DC bedroom community has much to offer the visitor. Besides its location, only a few miles from our nation’s capital, the town itself is delightful to explore, along with nearby Mount Vernon.
6. Charlottesville, Virginia – Home to Thomas Jefferson’s famous estate, Monticello, as well as the beautiful campus of the University of Virginia, this community is nestled picturequely in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains.
7. Williamsburg, Virginia – Besides the famous open-air museum, which is probably the finest venue of this type in all of North America, the town also offers other treats. It is the home of the United States’ second oldest colleges, William & Mary. It is also connected, via the Colonial Parkway, to Jamestown and to Yorktown (see below).
8. Chincoteague Island, Virginia – Famous for horses, this windswept island offers a wild and untamed landscape a short distance from the hustle and bustle of Virginia’s Hampton Roads area.
9. Yorktown, Virginia – Famous as the last battlefield of the Revolutionary War, this was also the location of General Cornwallis’ surrender to George Washington, launching a new, independent United States. The Yorktown Victory Center recalls this pivotal time in American history and also preserves much of the ambience of this town as it was in the late 18th century.
10. Jamestown, Virginia – The site of the first permanent colony in the New World is still being excavated, but nearby restoration efforts have produced a living model of this town which featured Captain John Smith, John Alden, and Pocahontas.