We totally get it. Between work and school and family, it's hard to find the time to set sail across the Atlantic to see the wonders of Europe. But did you know that you don't even have to leave the United States to see Europe?
Imagine your dream European destination, and then take a look at our list below to make your dream come true. We have put together a list of wonderful cities you can visit within the states that will make you feel like you've crossed international lines.
Dreaming Of France? Try New Orleans, LA
Picture yourself sitting in a Parisian open-air café, sipping coffee, eating freshly-made beignets, and people watching. Who says you need to head to France for that vision?
Take a trip on down to N'awlins! The city was founded by the French in 1718, and their influence has saturated the city ever since. Check out the famous Café du Monde and explore the streets of the French Quarter, where colorful buildings with ironwork balconies visually transport visitors to Paris.
Dreaming Of A Multi-Country Tour? Try Disney World, FL
Disney World isn't just for Fantastyland. In Epcot's World Showcase, you can walk through five European countries (Norway, Germany, Italy, France, and England). These pavilions house scaled-down versions of some of Europe's most famous landmarks, in addition to stores and restaurants selling authentic crafts, food, and drink.
Where else can you wash down fish & chips with a schöfferhoffer, and snack on traditional Norwegian pastries for dessert? To add even more to the air of authenticity, all the employees in these pavilions are natives of the represented countries!
Dreaming Of Hogwarts? Try Cambridge, MA
We here at TravelPirates love Cambridge, but we swear we're not biased. Walking through the streets of Boston's neighbor to the north can feel like both a trip back through time and a trip to Europe.
A visit to Harvard University could easily be mistaken for an afternoon in Oxford (or Hogwarts), from distinguished buildings and courtyards to students rowing racing shells down the river. If you're lucky, you can even catch Harvard's quidditch team playing a match.
Dreaming Of Denmark? Try Solvang, CA
This California city was founded in 1911 by immigrants from Denmark—the name is Danish for "sunny field." It was converted to its current storybook form starting in the mid-20th century, and has since become a significant tourist attraction.
The Danish royal family has even paid a few visits! Sights include several windmills, a replica of Copenhagen's famous Little Mermaid statue and a museum dedicated to fairytale writer Hans Christian Andersen. Visit in September to experience traditional dancing and food at the "Danish Days" festival.
Dreaming Of The Alps? Try Leavenworth, WA
No, that's not a picture of Germany, although we understand why you might be fooled. Leavenworth's Bavarian charm was actually inspired by none other than the previous entry on this list, Solvang.
With its snowy mountain backdrop and fairytale main street, the town is a perfect setting for celebrating holidays—from Christmas to an authentic Oktoberfest. It is also home to the Leavenworth Nutcracker Museum, which has a collection of over 6,000 nutcrackers!
Dreaming Of Spain? Try St. Augustine, FL
Founded in 1565, St. Augustine is the oldest European settlement in the continental United States. The architecture of the city heavily reflects its Spanish origins, and it's easy to forget that you're not walking the streets of Barcelona.
Ironically, in this monument to the Old World, legends say that you can drink from Fountain of Youth—the fabled spring that brought so many Europeans to America in the first place.
Dreaming Of Jane Austen Mansions? Try Hudson Valley, NY
It turns out you don't have to head all the way across the pond—or even turn on BBC—to see how the aristocracy lived. New York's Hudson Valley was once the place that Manhattan's upper crust built summer mansions. While (for the most part) no one lives in these massive manors today, they are almost all open for touring.
You can visit the Vanderbilt Mansion (pictured below), the Franklin D. Roosevelt estate, the Boscobel House and many more. It's very easy to imagine that you're wandering through the idyllic hills of England's Lake District.
Dreaming Of Greek Ruins? Try Nashville, TN
Pirates, we swear that this picture was not taken in Greece. What you are looking at is the Nashville Parthenon, constructed back in 1897. It's in much better condition than the original in Athens.
The builders created the famous temple as it would have looked back in ancient Greece, complete with a gilded statue of the goddess Athena. The building is often used as an art museum and a theater—especially for Greek dramas.