The European Staycation

  • Globetrotting, USA

    Before you throw down thousands of dollars on a voyage through Europe, why not re-examine the exciting places you can visit at home. Americans who emigrated from elsewhere in the world paid homage to their heritage by naming American towns and cities after their origins. These places may not all be exotic, but they are at least exotically named, and many do have unique attractions for visitors. Plus, all are cheaper to visit than Europe and Asia. Ohio alone has half the European capitals within its borders.  Here’s our breakdown of how these American destinations stack up against their namesakes: Photo Credit: fdecomite
    Paris, France
  • Paris, France

    MAIN ATTRACTIONS: Paris is full of decadent architecture and historical landmarks. The Louvre, Versailles and of course the Eiffel Tower top the list. BIGGEST CULTURAL CONTRIBUTION: There are too many to list here. Every century, Paris seems to change the world. Paris has influenced the way we eat (Julia Child), dress (Chanel) and think (Sartre). PHRASE YOU NEED TO KNOW: “Combien coute l'eclair?” Translation: How much does the eclair cost? Photo Credit: Dimitry B
    Paris, Tennessee
  • Paris, Tennessee

    MAIN ATTRACTIONS: This town has an Eiffel Tower, too. But that pales in comparison to their real attraction: the World’s Largest Fish Fry event. This year, it took place for one week in late April and received close to 100,000 visitors. BIGGEST CULTURAL CONTRIBUTION: Kitty Litter and the son of Davy Crockett, who is buried in the town. PHRASE YOU NEED TO KNOW: “Like a hair on a biscuit” Translation: Unknown Note: There is also a Paris in Illinois, Texas and Tennessee (and probably more by the time this article is published). Photo Credit: ktylerconk
    Dublin, Ireland
  • Dublin, Ireland

    MAIN ATTRACTIONS: While there is a vast amount of architecture to take in (like the Mansion House) and historical walking tours of the city, the main attraction for most visitors is the pub scene. People fly in from around Europe to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day here. BIGGEST CULTURAL CONTRIBUTION: Guinness beer, which celebrated its 250th anniversary this year, and James Joyce, the author of such masterworks as Ulysses and The Dubliners. PHRASE YOU NEED TO KNOW: “Blow-in.” Translation: Foreigner Photo Credit: gpoo
    Dublin, Ohio
  • Dublin, Ohio

    MAIN ATTRACTIONS: The Muirfield Village Golf Course, which almost single-handedly transformed this area from a rural town to a bustling suburb, and the Olentangy Indian Caverns, which feature a museum of the tribes who lived on the land before and, obviously, a golf course. Also, like its namesake, there’s an annual St. Patrick’s Day event. BIGGEST CULTURAL CONTRIBUTION: Wendy’s was founded here. Remember that next time you devour a Frosty. PHRASE YOU NEED TO KNOW: “Go Bucks!” Translation: The Bucks are Ohio State football team and this should remind people that unlike our European neighbors, Americans will never truly accept soccer. Also, if you see people flailing their arms around, they aren’t calling for help, just spelling out Ohio. Again, it’s a football thing. Photo Credit: soundfromwayout
    Athens, Greece
  • Athens, Greece

    MAIN ATTRACTIONS: Walking through Athens is like visiting a holy land, full of ancient temples to a roster of deities now mostly forgotten. Of these buildings, the Parthenon and the Acropolis are obvious stand-outs. BIGGEST CULTURAL CONTRIBUTION: Democracy. Though My Big Fat Greek Wedding is a close runner-up. PHRASE YOU NEED TO KNOW: ”Agora” Translation: A local market. Photo Credit: karpidis
    Athens, Georgia
  • Athens, Georgia

    MAIN ATTRACTIONS: An oak tree that owns itself (the tree was willed land by its owner), and the only double-barreled cannon in the world (a relic of the civil war). BIGGEST CULTURAL CONTRIBUTION: Without a doubt, it’s R.E.M. PHRASE YOU NEED TO KNOW: “Don’t let the bear getcha” Translation: Don’t give up. Note: There’s also an Athens, Ohio, famous for being among the most haunted places on earth. Photo Credit: monkeymyshkin
    Venice, Italy
  • Venice, Italy

    MAIN ATTRACTIONS: Venice is the canal capital of the world. If you’re tired of highway traffic, come experience gondola congestion instead. Also, be sure to check out the Piazza San Marco, the city’s main square, and especially the Basilica there. BIGGEST CULTURAL CONTRIBUTION: While Venice may is not usually linked to any particular musical movements, several significant composers lived there, including Richard Wagner and Antonio Vivaldi, who was born there. PHRASES YOU NEED TO KNOW: “Bella Vita” and “Ciao” Translation: “The Beautiful life” and “Bye!” Photo Credit: soylentgreen23
    Venice, Florida
  • Venice, Florida

    MAIN ATTRACTIONS: The big past time in Venice is to go hunting for shark teeth. That’s why it’s been deemed the shark tooth capital of the world. BIGGEST CULTURAL CONTRIBUTION: Providing the playground of seniors everywhere. PHRASE(S) YOU NEED TO KNOW: “Early bird special.” Translation: Affordable food (which you can chew without teeth). Photo Credit: melanie lauren
    Moscow, Russia
  • Moscow, Russia

    MAIN ATTRACTIONS: It’s an expensive city to visit but well worth it to see the Kremlin and Red Square alone. The city also has more than 100 parks and gardens to explore. BIGGEST CULTURAL CONTRIBUTION: Moscow has served as a platform for Russia’s politics for years, and for that reason, its contributions to history are mixed. But if there’s any doubt about the city’s positive contributions, just remember that Dostoevsky was born here. PHRASE(S) YOU NEED TO KNOW: “Vodka.” No translation needed. Photo Credit: thisisbossi
    Moscow, Indiana
  • Moscow, Indiana

    MAIN ATTRACTIONS: Their only main attraction was a 19th century bridge (pictured here), which was destroyed by a tornado in 2008. BIGGEST CULTURAL CONTRIBUTION: Bridge appreciation is really all this town has. Even after their bridge was destroyed, they held a covered bridge festival in its honor, in hopes of raising money to repair it. PHRASES: Only a few thousand people live in this town and there’s no bridge. What is there to talk about? Photo Credit:
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