Longing to sample the sights, sounds, and tastes of Europe, but your budget says Norwell, not Norway? Here are some places that offer an international ambience, minus the jet lag.
Greater Montréal Convention and Tourism Bureau
Surround yourself with French-speaking people, eat moules-frites, see glorious cathedrals, and enjoy the vibrant night life of Vieux-Montréal. This chic international destination in Québec is just six hours or less by car from Boston.
2. TARPON SPRINGS, FLA.
St. Petersburg/Clearwater Area
Convention and Visitors Bureau
Greek immigrants developed the region’s sponge-fishing industry in the 1800s; now the sponge docks are lined with Greek restaurants and gift shops selling natural sponges. Catch a sponge-diving demo, and watch the commercial sponge boats come and go, just as they did centuries ago.
3. SOLVANG, CALIF.
Solvang Conference & Visitors Bureau
Founded by Danish-Americans, Solvang offers bakeries, a Julefest, even a copy of Copenhagen’s “Little Mermaid” statue. The “Danish Capital of America” is about 125 miles north of Los Angeles.
4. FREDERICKSBURG, TEXAS
Fredericksburg Convention & Visitor Bureau
Named after Prince Frederick of Prussia, this charming town in the Texas Hill Country was settled by German pioneers. Walk off the effects of the local biergartens with a brisk, German-style group walk, called Volkssporting.
5. HOLLAND, MICH.
Holland Area Convention & Visitors Bureau
If the name didn’t tip you off, the authentic Dutch windmill and wooden-shoe factory surely would. This Western Michigan city was settled by Dutch immigrants, who arrived from Rotterdam in the mid-1800s. Explore Dutch culture, and celebrate the “Tulip Time” festival in May.
DIANE BAIR & PAMELA WRIGHT