By Stefanie Waldek

A quintessential small town just isn’t complete without a charming boulevard

Between the major cities on the coasts of the United States are hundreds of small towns where a good portion of the American population lives today. Established over the last two centuries as the country expanded west, the majority of these municipalities have one thing in common: a charming main street. Lined with shops, restaurants, and other small businesses, these broad boulevards— often with their vintage flair intact—are a quintessential hub of any small community. Sure, European towns might have main streets with fairytale-esque cobblestones and half-timbered façades, but nothing says Americana like a paved road flanked by old brick buildings and hand-lettered signs. Here, a look at 15 of the most beautiful main streets across the country.

Paducah, Kentucky

William Clark—half of the famous explorer duo Lewis and Clark—founded this town in 1827. General Ulysses S. Grant once occupied the city during the Civil War, establishing Paducah as a main supply center for the Union army. In 2013 the town was named a UNESCO Creative City of Crafts & Folk Art. While the main street is Broadway, you can find shops, galleries, breweries, and more across the entire historic district, which is managed by the town’s Main Street program.

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