The Most Charming Main Street in Every State

Deadwood, South Dakota


Cheapism is editorially independent. We may earn a commission if you buy through links on our site.
Deadwood, South Dakota

The Main Attraction

Whether it's called Main, Broadway, Commercial, First, Market, or something else, every city and town in America has a main drag, the beating heart of the community. Take a stroll down the most attractive Main Street (or whatever the name) in each state.

Related: Best Main Street Shopping Districts in All 50 States

Fairhope, Alabama

Fairhope, Alabama

In you're Fairhope, skip Main Street and head to the charming downtown district — the axis of action lies along Fairhope Avenue and North and South Section Streets. The editors at Southern Living say the chill vibe of this Mobile Bay town "lowers your blood pressure — and that may be the only reason you need to go."

Don't Miss: Page and Palette, serving bookworms from near and far since 1968.

Related: 18 of the Coolest Bookstores in America

McCarthy, Alaska
Melissa Kopka/istockphoto

McCarthy, Alaska

The main drag of this speck-on-the-map former copper mining village may not be very long, but it makes up for that in Alaskan charm. Nestled within the Wrangell-St. Elias National Park and Preserve, this town caters to outdoor adventurers and history buffs (believe it or not, McCarthy was once Alaska's largest town).

Don't Miss: Ma Johnson's Historic Hotel for a night in a restored rooming house.

Related: Historic Hotels in Every State

Bisbee, Arizona

Bisbee, Arizona

Copper was once king in Bisbee, too, but today this town southwest of Tucson is best known for its artsy downtown. Main Street isn't the main attraction; it's more of a feeder road from Arizona State Route 80 into Old Bisbee's meandering core of Howell Avenue, Brewery Avenue, and Opera Drive, where you'll find restaurants, shops, and bars. 

Don't Miss: The Copper Queen Hotel, built in 1902 and touted as the longest continually operating hotel in the state.

Related: 30 Unexpectedly Awesome Places to Retire Across America

Eureka Springs, Arkansas

Eureka Springs, Arkansas

Nestled in the Ozark Mountains, this town has long been a traveler favorite for its access to the outdoors as well as its hot springs. The entire town, which is known for its exceptional Victorian architecture, is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. On Main Street, you'll find the historic Grand Central Hotel, as well as shops and restaurants — with even more in store on adjacent Spring and Center streets.

Don't Miss: Blue Spring Heritage Center, where you'll see the one of the state's biggest springs, pumping 38 million gallons of water a day into the nearby White River.

Related: 12 Small Towns Known for Being LGBTQ-Friendly

Solvang, California

Solvang, California

This cute-as-a-button town in Santa Barbara County was founded by Danish immigrants in the early 1900s. You won't find Main Street here, but Copenhagen Drive downtown is a good street to start on if you feel like exploring. Solvang is also a great base for exploring the wineries of the Santa Ynez Valley (just like in the film "Sideways").

Don't Miss: The Little Mermaid statue, a half-scale replica of the one in Copenhagen.

Related: 18 Places to 'Travel Abroad' Without Leaving the Country

Telluride, Colorado

Telluride, Colorado

Majestic Trico Peak looms in the distance over downtown Telluride's main drag, Colorado Avenue. The street is always buzzing with activity thanks in part to the many annual events that draw people from the world over, including the Telluride Film Festival and the Jazz Festival, not to mention ample areas for mountain biking, hiking, and snow sports.

Don't Miss: The Sheridan Opera House, which opened in 1913 when Telluride was a booming mining town, and still hosts live performances and events such as the annual film festival.

Related: 50 Best Small Towns to Visit in Winter

Mystic, Connecticut
Photo Italia LLC/istockphoto

Mystic, Connecticut

The Mystic River bisects Main Street into east and west in this coastal town. West Main Street is the place for shopping, especially clothing and jewelry, with bars and restaurants around the corner on Water Street. 

Don't Miss: Mystic Pizza, the eponymous setting for the book and the hit 1988 film it inspired, has been in business since 1973.

For more great travel guides and vacation tips, please sign up for our free newsletters.

New Castle, Delaware

New Castle, Delaware

Fodor's calls this town a "mini Williamsburg without the frills" for its 17th-century Dutch colonial architecture. Delaware Street, which leads up from the Delaware River, is a great main street for strolling and taking in the sights, as is the adjacent Strand.

Don't Miss: The historic Court House, part of the First State National Historical Park, served as the seat of colonial government until 1777.

Related: 57 Iconic U.S. Restaurants to Try Before You Die

Naples, Florida

Naples, Florida

Upscale Fifth Avenue South in historic Old Naples is chockablock with chic boutiques, upscale restaurants, posh bars, and bespoke art galleries — and it's the spot in town for watching the Beautiful People stroll past. 

Don't Miss: Christmas on Fifth, when the palm trees lining the thoroughfare are dripping with holiday lights and a pop-up market lures shoppers.

Related: Best Cities for Single Seniors

Dahlonega Georgia
Dahlonega Georgia by Jimmy Smith (CC BY-NC-ND)

Dahlonega, Georgia

Site of the nation's first gold rush in 1828, this town nestled in the mountains of northern Georgia is beloved by visitors for its quaint downtown, which Main Street meanders through. The focal point is Dahlonega's Public Square. In addition to shops and restaurants, you'll find the Dahlonega Gold Museum, which is housed in the historic former county courthouse. 

Don't Miss: The Holly Theater, a restored 1948 movie house that is now host to theatrical and musical events all year.

Related: Off-the-Radar Mountain Towns Across America

Lahaina, Hawaii
Lahaina, Hawaii by Jasperdo (CC BY-NC-ND)
Ketchum, Idaho
Galena, Illinois

Galena, Illinois

Galena is a must for anyone interested in 19th-century American history, and its Main Street has been named one of America's best by Fodor's Travel. You'll find more than 100 stores, galleries, and restaurants along the Helluva Half Mile.

Don't Miss: President Ulysses S. Grant's home, where you can gawk at the period architecture from Grant's era that makes this town so picturesque.

Related: 15 Weekend Getaways for Amazing Antiquing

Carmel - Perpetual Reader
Carmel - Perpetual Reader by Serge Melki (CC BY)

Carmel, Indiana

Just north of Indianapolis, the town of Carmel boasts a Main Street named one of the nation's best by Country Living. A portion of the street lies within Old Town's Arts and Design District (Range Line Road is its other axis downtown; just look for the decorative archways), where you'll find a series of whimsical life-sized statues of anonymous citizens scattered about the district, as well as shops, bars, and restaurants.

Don't Miss: There are a number of fun festivals in Carmel throughout the year, but one of the coolest is Artomobila Weekend, scheduled for the last Saturday of August, when the downtown becomes an open parking lot for collectible and classic cars.

Related: 21 Great Car Museums and Car Shows Worth the Drive

Main Street in downtown Ames
Main Street in downtown Ames by Raivena (CC BY)

Ames, Iowa

Ames is a quintessential Midwestern college town with just the sort of Main Street you'd expect, with low-slung buildings housing fun boutiques, bustling bars and restaurants, as well as local businesses. It's a quick stroll as Main Streets go, leaving plenty of time for a game at Iowa State University.

Don't Miss: Grab a bicycle, head to nearby Madrid, and hit the High Trestle Trail, a paved 25-mile hike-and-bike trail.

Related: 20 College Towns That Parents Won't Want to Leave

Eat Fish Love
Eat Fish Love by Patrick Emerson (CC BY-ND)

Lawrence, Kansas

Downtown's Massachusetts Street — Mass Street to locals and students — is the main drag in Lawrence, home to the University of Kansas. It's also on the National Register of Historic Places for its range of buildings that date from the mid-1800s to the middle of the 20th century.

Don't Miss: If you love music, the mid-century Granada Theater is the place to be. 

Related: 50 Under-the-Radar Restaurants With Amazing Homemade Pie

Paducah, Kentucky

Paducah, Kentucky

This historic town lies at the confluence of the Tennessee and Ohio rivers, and Broadway is the main artery downtown. Architectural Digest calls it one of the 30 most beautiful Main Streets in America for its 18th-century structures, its role in the Civil War, and the eclectic mix of arts and commerce.

Don't Miss: Paducah's National Quilt Museum is a must for quilters or anyone who appreciates arts and crafts.

Front Street
Front Street by Randy Heinitz (CC BY)

Natchitoches, Louisiana

Front Street is the main drag in the state's oldest city, and Natchitoches still retains some of its French Colonial heritage. Foodies in search of Cajun and Creole cuisine will do well to stop here, as will history buffs.

Don't Miss: Fans of the 1980s all-star movie "Steel Magnolias" will go ga-ga for Natchitoches, where it was filmed. The Chamber of Commerce has mapped out the sights for free.

Related: Famous Movie Homes That Will Bring Back Memories

Front Street
Front Street by Corey Templeton (CC BY-NC-ND)

Bath, Maine

This town on Maine's coast is precisely "what you would imagine a cozy New England town to be," according to Amanda Eisenberg at Reader's Digest. Front Street, which leads up from the Kennebec River, is the town's main drag, and where you'll find the best that Bath has to offer. The area also is worth exploring for its 18th- and 19th-century commercial and residential architecture.

Don't Miss: The Maine Maritime Museum, where you can discover the state's rich history of shipbuilding, fishing, and whaling, and take a ride on a restored 1906 schooner.

Related: 40 Under-the-Radar Boating Destinations Across the Country

Annapolis, Maryland

Annapolis, Maryland

Brick-lined Main Street in this Chesapeake Bay town (home to the U.S. Naval Academy) oozes historic charm, from the waters of Spa Creek in Annapolis Bay up to Church Circle and historic St. Anne's Parish. 

Don't Miss: Once you've strolled the length of Main, end your excursion at the Reynolds Tavern across the circle from St. Anne's. The tavern has been in business since the mid-1700s.

Related: Historic American Towns Where You'll Travel Back in Time

Main Street Homes
Main Street Homes by Jimmy Emerson, DVM (CC BY-NC-ND)

Nantucket, Massachusetts

Cobblestoned Main Street is a tourist mecca in the summertime for its proximity to the picturesque harbor and its cute shops and restaurants. But the real attraction of this Main Street lies farther down in the residential district, where you can see exemplary examples of Federal, Greek Revival, and Colonial architecture.

Don't Miss: Ditch the town and hit the beach. Catch a wave at Surfside Beach.

Related: These Island Vacations Don't Require a Passport

Traverse City, Michigan

Traverse City, Michigan

Architectural Digest also named this northern Michigan town to its list of most beautiful Main Streets. Here, it's Front Street where the action lies, especially between Park and Union. 

Don't Miss: Clinch Park, which overlooks Grand Traverse Bay a few blocks away.

Related: 20 Prime Places to See Beautiful Cherry Blossoms

Stillwater, Minnesota

Stillwater, Minnesota

St. Croix Trail becomes Main Street in the heart of this town on the banks of the St. Croix River. Antiques buffs will find reasons to linger here, as will any visitor with a hearty appetite for good food and drink.

Don't Miss: Head to the Lowell Park Gazebo a few blocks away for a riverfront view of the historic Stillwater Lift Bridge.

Related: 19 Destinations Where Houseboat Rentals Beat the Beach

Oxford, Mississippi

Oxford, Mississippi

Instead of Main Street, Oxford has Courthouse Square, which lies not far from the University of Mississippi campus. You'll find local businesses, merchants, and Southern hospitality in the stores surrounding and radiating outward from the Square.

Don't Miss: A staple of town literary life since 1979, Square Books brags of offering 10,000 square feet of books, with two smaller stores nearby.

Related: The Best Small Towns to Visit Across America

Fall in Old Town
Fall in Old Town by Heath Cajandig (CC BY)

St. Charles, Missouri

Neighboring St. Louis may get all the attention with its Gateway Arch, but brick-lined Main Street in Old St. Charles has the historic charm that its sister city bulldozed long ago. The historic district on the banks of the Missouri River looks much the way it did 200 years ago when St. Charles was considered the edge of the frontier, right down to the gas street lamps.

Don't Miss: Nearby Frenchtown, the city's up-and-coming arts district.

Related: The 40 Best Places in America to Travel Back in Time

Livingston, Montana
Lincoln, Nebraska

Lincoln, Nebraska

P Street is the center of the action in downtown Lincoln, though you'll find attractions on the adjacent streets as well as the nearby Haymarket District, all of which gets an added dose of energy from the nearby University of Nebraska campus.

Don't Miss: Catch a glimpse of the state Capitol building to the south of P Street where it intersects with Centennial Mall North.

Related: 51 Free Walking Tours Across America

Virginia City, Nevada

Virginia City, Nevada

"Old West" is the predominant theme in this former mining town, and C Street is the primary artery (head north and eventually you'll hit Reno). Stroll along the wood-plank sidewalks as you gawk at the historic opera house, school, and other Victorian structures before slipping into one of the old-time saloons to sip some suds and get out of the heat.

Don't Miss: Climb aboard the Virginia and Truckee Railroad train for a 35-minute round trip from the station on F Street to Gold Hill.

Related: Spooky Ghost Towns Across America

Concord, New Hampshire

Concord, New Hampshire

The golden dome of the state Capitol building and surrounding grounds are the main attraction on Main Street. Opened in 1819, it is the oldest statehouse building in the United States still being used for legislative purposes. If history and state politics aren't your cup of tea, you'll also find some swell shops and restaurants.

Don't Miss: A few blocks off Main on Court Street, you'll find a majestic Greek Revival mansion that Mary Baker Eddy, founder of the Christian Science faith, lived in from 1889 to 1892.

Related: 20 Things You Never Knew About New England

Maplewood Avenue
Maplewood Avenue by The Local -- Maplewood, Millburn and South Orange (CC BY-ND)

Maplewood, New Jersey

If Brooklyn were a suburb, The New York Times once opined, it would be Maplewood. Just steps from the train station, Maplewood Avenue bustles with shoppers running their daily errands, families dining together at a restaurant, youngsters practicing karate, grown-ups sipping wine at an art gallery opening.

Don't Miss: Browse for a new read at Words, Maplewood's premier bookseller.

Santa Fe, New Mexico

Santa Fe, New Mexico

Historic Santa Fe Plaza has been the soul of the city since its founding in the early 1600s, and it's a great place to begin a day-long exploration of downtown. Time it right and hit one of the many festivals that take place in the plaza throughout the year, such as the Traditional Spanish Market or the Santa Fe Indian Market.

Don't Miss: Sheridan Street and Lincoln Avenue, a stone's throw from the Plaza, where you'll find art galleries and museums.

Route 66: Then and Now

Lower Main Street Historic District
Lower Main Street Historic District by chrisrun (CC BY-SA)

Beacon, New York

This town perched above the Hudson River may be best known for the Dia Beacon contemporary art museum near the riverfront, but the town's Main Street is well worth a few hours as well. You'll find art galleries, farm-to-table restaurants, and shops. Best of all, it's an easy train ride on Metro-North from New York City. 

Don't Miss: Cross the Fishkill River and go for a hike in the hills of the Hudson River Valley. You'll find a trail access point on Wolcott Avenue near Bob Mountain Grocery.

Related: 22 Small Towns with Vibrant Art Scenes

View from Courthouse, Sylva, NC
Flickr Commons

Sylva, North Carolina

Start your visit by climbing the 107 steps up to the Jackson County Courthouse, then take in the view of West Main Street, stretching out below you. This small mountain town southwest of Asheville was one of the primary filming locations for "Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri."

Don't Miss: Craft beer, which is big in North Carolina. In Sylva, beer lovers head to Balsam Falls Brewing Co. on Main (and there are more brewers within a short walk).

Related: 50 Movie and TV Locations Worthy of a Road Trip

Fargo, North Dakota

Fargo, North Dakota

Broadway is Fargo's main drag through the downtown district, and the crown jewel is the Fargo Theater, restored to its original 1926 glory. It's worth a glimpse, even if you're not planning on seeing a show, as you stroll along and check out Broadway's other attractions.

Don't Miss: Record buffs will want to detour a few blocks off Broadway to Vinyl Giant on North Second Street.

Related: Where to Shop Small Businesses in All 50 States

Hudson, Ohio
Hudson, Ohio by Doug Kerr (CC BY-SA)
Norman, Oklahoma

Norman, Oklahoma

Norman is home to the University of Oklahoma, and its Main Street is college-town perfect for an afternoon of eating, drinking, and window shopping. East Main is where most of the action lies, though you'll find a smattering of shops on West Main, too.

Don't Miss: James Garner Plaza, a life-size sculpture of the actor and Norman native, who starred in TV's "Maverick" and "Rockford Files."

Related: The Oldest Building in Major Cities Across America

Hotel Oregon in the Downtown Historic District
Hotel Oregon in the Downtown Historic District by M.O. Stevens (CC BY)

McMinnville, Oregon

Tucked into the Willamette Valley, McMinnville is a feast for the senses. Whether it's a good night's sleep at the Hotel Oregon, tasting local wines and craft brews, or tucking into a farm-to-table meal, Northeast Third Street is where the action is.

Don't Miss: From May to October, Thursday afternoons are reserved for the weekly Farmers Market, where you can sample some of Oregon's agricultural bounty. 

Related: Not Just Napa: 30 American Wineries With Good, Cheap Wine

Gettysburg, Pennsylvania

Gettysburg, Pennsylvania

Although best known for the famous Civil War battle that took place here in 1863, there's more to Gettysburg than that. Instead of a Main Street, the main action takes place around Lincoln Square and the roads that lead to it: Lincoln Highway, Carlisle Street, and Baltimore Street. 

Don't Miss: Abraham Lincoln isn't the only president associated with Gettysburg. Dwight Eisenhower, who owned a farm in the area, retired to Pennsylvania in 1961. You can visit his former home today.

Related: 31 Historic Places Across America That You Can Tour Virtually

Newport, Rhode Island
Daniel Hanscom/istockphoto

Newport, Rhode Island

Facing Newport Harbor, Thames Street is this tony town's commercial thoroughfare, where shops and restaurants await. This being Newport, seafood is definitely one of the main attractions, but you'll find antiques, fashion, art, and more along Thames.

Don't Miss: Whitehorse House Museum, where you can discover the rich history of 18th-century furniture-making and the decorative arts in Rhode Island.

Related: 20 Beach Vacation Spots Where Time Stands Still

Columbia, South Carolina

Columbia, South Carolina

The best stretch of Columbia's Main Street runs from the state Capitol building, past the Columbia Museum of Art, to Blandings Street. And every Saturday from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., it's the scene of the Soda City Market, where you'll find local vendors, growers, and artisans selling their wares.

Don't Miss: The Capitol building, completed in 1875, is well worth a visit, even if it's just to stroll among the monuments of the statehouse grounds.


Deadwood, South Dakota
Franklin, Tennessee

Franklin, Tennessee

Tennessee boasts a number of beautiful downtowns, but Franklin's Main Street is perhaps the finest. "America's favorite Main Street" boasts a mix of chic galleries and relaxed restaurants in addition to other local businesses tucked into the rows of 19th-century structures that make Franklin a history buff's dream.

Don't Miss: Be sure to stick around after dark to see the marquee of the Depression-era Franklin Theater light up in blazing red neon.

Related: 33 Destinations for a Quiet Weekend Getaway

Fort Worth, Texas
Arpad Benedek/istockphoto

Fort Worth, Texas

Everything is bigger in Texas, including Main Street, which runs through the heart of downtown. This brick-lined thoroughfare isn't quaint; it's bustling. Although Main stretches for miles, you'll find an eye-popping range of urban architecture between the Beaux Arts Tarrant County Courthouse and the Brutalist Fort Worth Water Gardens on the far side of the convention center.

Don't Miss: Leonard's Department Store Museum, housed in what was once the local retailer's flagship downtown store.

Related: 50 Tourist Traps That Locals Still Love

Park City, Utah

Park City, Utah

Film fans know Park City as the home of the Sundance Film Festival, but there's more than movies in this mountain town near Salt Lake City. Main Street "bleeds with mountain town charm," according to Country Living thanks to regular events like Park Silly Sunday Market and its picturesque alpine location.

Don't Miss: The Egyptian Theater, where you can catch classic films, live performances, and Sundance screenings.


Stowe, Vermont

Stowe, Vermont

Main Street is about as quintessentially New England as it gets, and it's on Fodor's cute list ("instant Christmas card scene," is how they describe the place). While away a few hours at Shaw's General Store and the other attractions along Main, then hit the nearby mountains for some hiking, biking, or skiing. 

Don't Miss: Vermont is where snowboarding came into its own in the late 1970s, so it's fitting that Stowe is home to the Vermont Ski and Snowboard Museum. It's housed in a public meeting house built in 1818.

Related: From Santa Claus to Mistletoe: 20 Towns With Festive Names

Staunton, Virginia

Staunton, Virginia

Few other Main Streets get the kind of love from travel writers as Staunton does, and little wonder. Beverly Street's Victorian architecture is second to none for a town of its size (or any size, really), but don't let that deter you from all the great local stores, eateries, and historic sites along the way. 

Don't Miss: Shutterbugs and history buffs alike will want to check out the Camera Heritage Museum, whose collection contains more than 6,000 cameras and photo-related equipment and images.

Related: Circus World and Other Weird Museums Across America and Beyond

Walla Walla, Washington

Walla Walla, Washington

If Washington wine is what you seek, Walla Walla's Main Street is where to start your next vineyard vacation. You could easily spend a day doing nothing but wandering from one tasting room to the next (there are a couple dozen), savoring all that Washington's winemakers have to offer. Of course, there's shopping and dining, too.

Don't Miss: If wine isn't your thing, Walla Walla is also known for its breweries, cideries, and distilleries, some of which are just blocks off of Main Street.

Related: 26 Summer Tourist Spots to Avoid and Where to Go Instead

Lewisburg, West Virginia
Cedarburg, Mural
Cedarburg, Mural by Elvis Kennedy (CC BY-NC-ND)

Cedarburg, Wisconsin

Just north of Milwaukee, you'll find this charming town and its main drag, Washington Avenue. Come for the shopping and dining (as well as local winery tasting rooms), but time your visit for one of the many festivals throughout the year if you can.

Don't Miss: The Depression-era Rivoli Theater has been lovingly restored, and its glossy black glass facade is worth the visit alone (though a movie would be fun, too).

Sheridan, Wyoming
Sheridan, Wyoming by Jasperdo (CC BY-NC-ND)

Sheridan, Wyoming

If you're cruising down U.S. Route 87 in Wyoming, be sure to slow down when it turns into Main Street, otherwise you'll miss out on a great Western downtown. Sunset magazine names this street one of the best Mains in the West for its period architecture and frontier vibe.

Don't Miss: The WYO Performing Arts & Education Center, a former art deco Vaudeville palace that was restored in the late 1980s and today keeps residents entertained with touring performances, live music, and community events.

Related: These Hole-in-the-Wall Bars Have Survived the Decades