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An overhead image of many dim sum dishes ranging from shrimp har gow to roast pork buns Shutterstock

20 U.S. Spots Where You Can Taste the World

Experience the flavors of the world without a passport

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For hundreds of years, immigrants and refugees to the United States from Bavaria to Bhutan have carved out their own spaces in some unlikely spots. And fortunately for us, this means that we can travel the world and immerse ourselves in other cultures — and their food — without a passport. Find out where to stay, what to see, and most importantly, where to eat, in 20 spots across the U.S. below.

While you’re planning your travel, book using your Marriott Bonvoy Boundless™ Card from Chase and earn up to 17x total points on hotels participating in Marriott Bonvoy™ and 2x points on other travel purchases.

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1. Poulsbo, Washington

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Get a taste of: Norway

“Little Norway,” an hour from Seattle on Liberty Bay, has a rich Nordic heritage — they say the Olympic Mountains to the west reminded Scandanavian immigrants of their beloved fjords, and that’s why they chose to settle there. Before you head out for the day, grab a coffee at Poulsbohemian Coffeehouse with views of the marina. And while you’re visiting the Landscape Masterpieces exhibition at the National Nordic Museum (open through mid-October), try Freya’s personal smörgåsbords, filled with juniper-smoked salmon and pickled vegetables, at the museum cafe. Finish the day at Skål Beer Hall for Scandinavian craft beer, mead, and aquavit cocktails. If you’re still hungry, they have a full Scandanavian-style menu with something for everyone, but if you want to go all out, order what they like to call their “Viking Feasts.” You can dine on a whole stuffed rabbit, pheasant, rainbow trout, or sockeye salmon for the full experience. 

Stay at: the Seattle Marriott Waterfront on Elliott Bay. Book with your Marriott Bonvoy Boundless™ Card from Chase and earn up to 17x total points on hotels participating in Marriott Bonvoy™. It’s a short walk from the world-famous Pike Place Market, and is the only downtown Seattle hotel offering views of Mt. Rainier and Elliott Bay from every guest room.

A view of a marina filled with sailboats. Behind it, a line of green trees and a large snow-capped mountain
A view of the Olympic Mountains from Poulsbo
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2. Japantown, San Francisco

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Japantown
San Francisco, CA 94115

Get a taste of: Japan

This six-block area of shops in the Western Addition neighborhood of San Francisco is the largest and oldest Japantown, or Nihonmachi, left in the U.S. It’s been the center of the Japanese community in the Bay Area since 1906, and continues to serve up all the Japanese food you can dream up. The malls near the pagoda in Peace Plaza are filled with stores where you can buy anything from a hand-painted teapot to manga, Japanese comics. If it’s a bit misty out and you’re in the mood for a more hearty meal, On the Bridge serves yoshoku, or western-style Japanese food, with dishes like hayashi rice and hamburger steak. You can also take advantage of San Francisco’s local produce at OzaOza, which specializes in kaiseki, a multi-course meal made of seasonal ingredients. And for a surprise, stop by Oma San Francisco Station for omakase served at a casual eight-seat sushi counter. 

Stay at: Courtyard San Francisco Downtown / Van Ness Ave. Built in 1908, the remodeled hotel has modern amenities paired with historic character.

A sushi chef in chef whites carefully places gold foil on top of thin slices of pink sushi
Omakase
Shutterstock

3. Chinatown-International District, Seattle

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Seattle Chinatown-International District
Seattle, WA

Get a taste of: China

The Chinatown-International District started out as a Chinatown in the 1800s, and since has become a space for other Asian cultures, too. Now it’s made up of three micro-neighborhoods: Chinatown, Japantown, and Little Saigon. The area has many festivals, like the Night Market Festival in September, which has become one of Seattle’s largest outdoor markets. More than 30 local food trucks gather, and shops selling anything from flowers to crafts fill Hing Hay Park while live music plays. On non-festival days, you can head to Harbor City Restaurant for some dim sum classics like har gow, barbecue pork buns, spareribs with black bean sauce, and sticky rice in lotus leaves and chow down at the park. Afterwards, spend the afternoon at the Wing Luke Museum of the Asian Pacific American Experience, which features local artists and showcases Pacific American immigrant and refugee stories.

Stay at: Moxy Seattle Downtown. It’s located in Seattle’s South Lake Union neighborhood which is known for its food trucks.

An overhead image of many dim sum dishes ranging from shrimp har gow to roast pork buns
Dim sum
Shutterstock

4. Little Saigon, San Jose

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Story Rd
San Jose, CA 95122

Get a taste of: Vietnam

After the fall of Saigon in 1975, Vietnamese refugees came to the United States and many resettled in California. Now San Jose has the greatest number of Vietnamese residents in any one city outside of Vietnam. Lion Plaza is in the center of it all, and on Tết, the Vietnamese Lunar New Year, there is a festival with dancers and firecrackers. To start your stay, stop by Bún Bò Huế An Nam for their soup specialties, bún bò huế, a spicy beef noodle soup, and phở bò made with your choice of beef, from filet mignon to brisket and tripe. Cao Nguyên Restaurant also serves traditional comfort food like cá kho tộ, caramelized fish in clay pot or canh chua, a sweet and sour soup. For a more casual stop, head to Huong Lan Sandwiches for a dozen different banh mis, filled with the traditional ham, pate, and headcheese to barbecue pork, fish cakes, or sardines. Before you go, stop by Eurasia Delight Market for Vietnamese snacks and seasonings to bring home, from French-style Maggi sauce to lemongrass beef jerky.

Stay at: The Westin San Jose in the historic Sainte Claire building. Use your Marriott Bonvoy Boundless™ Card from Chase during your trip and earn 2x points on travel purchases.

A close-up shot of a bowl of grilled pork, cilantro and carrots on top of vermicelli noodles
Vermicelli noodle bowls
Photo by Rex Roof

5. Solvang, California

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Get a taste of: Denmark

In 1911, Danish-Americans founded this charming California town and named it “sunny field,” or Solvang, in Danish. More than a century later, there are still glimpses of Denmark to be found around town. Look out for all four windmills and the replica of Copenhagen’s Little Mermaid statue at the corner of Mission Drive and Alisal Road. To begin your day, stop by the cornerstone neighborhood diner, Belgian Cafe. Its walls are lined with traditional blue plates and they serve waffles and crepes all day. Solvang Bakery, another local favorite, also fills their flaky waffles with raspberry jam and buttercream frosting if you want something a bit sweeter. After an afternoon visit to the Elverhøj Museum of History & Art their past exhibits have included Rembrandt etchings and Viking artifacts — grab an outdoor table at Copenhagen Sausage Garden for some soft pretzels and sausages (get the sampler, as there are more than a dozen links on the menu) and a beer or two.

 

Stay at: The Ritz-Carlton Bacara, Santa Barbara. With 78 acres, two beaches, three infinity pools and views of the Pacific, it’s an ideal getaway.

A street filled with buildings that have wood on the facades, in front of a large windmill painted red and white
Solvang, California
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6. Persian Square, Los Angeles

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1398-1384 Westwood Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90024

Get a taste of: Iran

Also known as Tehrangeles, Persian Square (at the intersection of Westwood Boulevard and Wilkins Avenue) was formed after the Iranian revolution in 1979. Now Los Angeles is considered to have the largest community of Persians outside of Iran. To get a taste of their food and culture, head to Shaherzad, one of the oldest restaurants on the strip, for kashke bademjan (eggplant dip) and filet mignon shish kebabs. For something a bit more casual, stop by Attari Sandwich Shop, which is famous for its tongue sandwich on a baguette with mustard, mayo, lettuce, tomatoes, Persian pickles, and a handful of sabzi (fresh herbs). To finish it all off with something sweet, stop by Saffron & Rose Ice Cream, where there’s a rotating menu of seasonal ice creams, like white rose and pistachio and saffron. Don’t forget to check out Ketabsara Persian Bookstore: it’s filled with modern and classic novels and poetry written in Farsi.

Stay at: the iconic Ritz-Carlton, Los Angeles. Lounge by the rooftop pool and sip cocktails into the evening with a who’s who of Los Angeles.

An ice cream cone filled with white ice cream with chunks of figs, garnished with half a fig
Fig ice cream from Saffron & Rose
Courtesy of Saffron & Rose Ice Cream

7. Fredericksburg, Texas

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Get a taste of: Germany

This Texas town, now celebrating its 175th anniversary, is filled with German influences — especially at its local restaurants. Although the area is known for its wineries, if you want to get into the German spirit, you can visit both of its breweries: Altstadt Brewery named the fourth best brewery in America, and the Fredericksburg Brewing Company, the oldest operating brewpub in Texas, to create your own Oktoberfest. For dinner, stop by the Ausländer Restaurant and Biergarten which specializes in Bavarian dishes like schnitzels, sausages, and rouladen (roast beef wrapped around pickles, onions, bacon, and mustard and smothered in gravy). 

Stay at: The St. Anthony, San Antonio, which has been designated a national historic site. Its Italian marble and corinthian columns recall old-world luxury. Book with your Marriott Bonvoy Boundless™ Card from Chase and earn a free night award every card anniversary (valued up to 35,000 points).

A platter of sausages, rye bread and mustard on a picnic table with two beers
Sausages at the Ausländer Restaurant and Biergarten
Courtesy of the Ausländer Restaurant and Biergarten

8. Lindsborg, Kansas

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Get a taste of: Sweden

Lindsborg is known as “Little Sweden, USA” for good reason. It was settled in the spring of 1869 by a group of Swedish immigrants from the Värmland province of Sweden, and the locals today have maintained its Swedish charm. Lindsborg is filled with dalas, traditional carved and painted horse figurines. It’s a must-visit destination in October for Svensk Hyllningsfest, where locals get dressed up in sverigedräkten, Swedish folk dress, and perform songs and dance. After the festivities, stop at the Crown and Rye for some värmlandskorv och kroppkaka, potato dumplings with braised cabbage. 

Stay at: Fairfield Inn & Suites McPherson. Make the most of your stay by making use of its fitness center, heated indoor pool, and back patio.

Lamb chops drizzled with a dark brown reduction lay across mashed potatoes
Lamb chops at the Crown and Rye
Courtesy of the Crown and Rye

9. Houston, Texas

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Get a taste of: Nigeria

Approximately 20,000 people of Nigerian descent live in Houston, which means there are some great Nigerian eats around town. For lunch, head to Aria Suya Kitchen for Nigerian fusion, like suya tacos with a side of jollof rice and sweet plantains, and compare the tacos to Sabo Sura Spot’s suya meat skewers. Save Taste of Nigeria for a sit-down-dinner; it’s best known for their wide selection of traditional soups; like ewedu made with jute leaves, and egusi, which is thickened with ground melon seeds. They’re served with your choice of swallows — starchy balls made from cassava, oatmeal, or eggplant, made to dip into stews.

Stay at: the boutique Magnolia Hotel Houston for some Texas hospitality. Its restaurant, Magnolia Lounge, has an award-winning bar and a billiards room. There are complimentary evening cookies available in the lobby as well as a rooftop plunge pool and 24-hour fitness center.

A row of beef skewers on a slate plate, with a side salad and a dipping sauce
Suya skewers
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10. Pilsen Historic District, Chicago

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Pilsen
Chicago, IL

Get a taste of: Mexico

The Pilsen Historic District was first settled by Irish and German immigrants in the mid-19th century, and more recently by Mexican immigrants in the 1950s. The buildings in the area were used as canvases for their mural artwork in the ‘60s, as local residents were inspired by the likes of Diego Rivera, making the district a great spot for an art walk. Begin the day at Panaderia Nuevo Leon, a traditional self-serve Mexican bakery. Fill up on some conchas and pack away some of their homemade flour tortillas to bring home. Pastries in-hand, check out one of the most famous murals outside Casa Aztlán and then stop by the National Museum of Mexican Art, which houses one of the largest collections of Mexican art in the country. Afterwards, order anything from tortas to tacos from the local favorite, Taqueria El Milagro — but make sure to try their version of atole champurrado, a warm chocolate drink thickened with cornmeal, which can be hard to find in the States. 

Stay at: the Sheraton Chicago Grand located in the River North district with views of the lake near Michigan Avenue, Millennium Park, Navy Pier, and the Magnificent Mile. Book with your Marriott Bonvoy Boundless™ Card from Chase and earn up to 17x total points on hotels participating in Marriott Bonvoy™.

Three tostadas are topped with a heaping pile of refried beans, pulled chicken tings, salsa, and sour cream
Chicken tinga tostadas
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11. Indianapolis, Indiana

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Get a taste of: Myanmar (Burma)

Perry Township is nicknamed “Chindianapolis,” thanks to the over 7,000 Chin refugees that live there. The Chin people, who have been persecuted for their religious beliefs, make up 83 percent of the Burmese refugees in Indiana. Those same refugees have since opened Burmese restaurants and shops, the most well-known being the Chin Brothers Restaurant & Grocery. Not only can you pick up Chin staples like dried shrimp powder or lahpet (pickled tea leaves) to bring home, they serve some of the most authentic Burmese dishes around, from vok ril, a pork blood sausage, to sabuti, a meat and white corn soup. Or, stop in early to try the pe pyot, a breakfast dish of sprouted yellow beans boiled with turmeric and fried onions. And for a change of scenery, head to Kimu Restaurant for Burmese tea leaf salad or shan noodles — rice noodles and chicken simmered in a tomato, fish sauce, and miso broth topped with peanuts.

Stay at: the Le Meridien Indianapolis for its stylish rooms and suites and the craft cocktails at its restaurant, Spoke & Steele.

A Burmese dish
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12. Holland, Michigan

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Get a taste of: Netherlands

Holland was founded in 1847 by immigrants from Rotterdam, Netherlands, and the locals have since maintained the spots that make Holland unlike anywhere else. The town is best known for The Veldheer Tulip Farm, which is filled with flowers in the spring. In the fall, you can pick up your own bulbs to plant, bringing some of Holland home with you. All summer long you can also spend the afternoon at the DeZwaan Windmill and its surrounding gardens, perfect for a photo op. Before you head out, grab some Dutch staples like danishes, sugar bread, or beef croquettes from deBoer Bakkerij & Dutch Brothers Restaurant. The deBoers have been baking in Michigan for more than 50 years since immigrating from the Netherlands in 1956. If you’re looking for some authentic Dutch gifts to take home, stop by the DeKlomp Wooden Shoe Factory, where you can chat with artisans as they create beautiful Dutch blue and white delftware pottery (the only authentically made in the U.S.) and traditional wooden clogs. Then stop by the local New Holland Brewing Co. for their famous Dragon’s Milk bourbon barrel-aged stouts.

Stay at: Courtyard Holland Downtown. It has a state-of-the-art lobby, fitness center, and indoor pool so you’ll feel refreshed and relaxed during your trip.

A field of pink, red and white tulips in front of a large wooden windmill
A windmill and a field of tulips in Holland
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13. Clarkston, Georgia

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Get a taste of: Bhutan / Nepal

Since 2007, over 60,000 Bhutanese refugees have settled in the U.S. and many of them have relocated to Clarkston, Georgia, now nicknamed the “Ellis Island of the South.” Approximately 60 percent of those refugees are Hindu, and 27 percent are Buddhist; among the many temples in the area is the nearby Drepung Loseling Monastery, where Buddhist monks lead meditations, and The Hindu Temple of Atlanta (aka BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir Atlanta), the largest temple of its kind outside of India. (As it’s a religious site, visit their website before you visit for some tips on clothing and etiquette.) Afterwards, grab a bite at Kathmandu Kitchen and Grill for chicken momos and wai wai sadheko — noodles with onion, green chili pepper, garlic, and ginger. Himalayan Spice is also a worthwhile option, serving up Nepalese specials like thukpa noodle soup and badam sadeko, a spicy peanut salad. 

Stay at: W Atlanta Midtown. The luxury hotel’s sleek rooms and suites and views of midtown, as well as its pool and spa make it the place to stay in Atlanta. Use your Marriott Bonvoy Boundless™ Card from Chase during your trip to earn 2X points on travel purchases.

An extremely large Hindu temple made from white marble with flags on its peaks
The Hindu Temple of Atlanta
Photo by Lee Coursey

14. Tarpon Springs, Florida

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Get a taste of: Greece

Tarpon Springs began in 1875 as a simple pioneer settlement, and Greek immigrants soon made it home, even bringing over the natural sponge diving trade, which at one time outnumbered Florida’s orange exports. Listen for people speaking Greek in the streets as you head to the sponge docks and wooden boats on Dodecanese Boulevard. Check out St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Cathedral, painted butter yellow and filled with colorful frescoes, then settle in for a meal of grilled octopus, saganaki (fried cheese), dolmades (stuffed grape leaves) and spanakopita at Mama Maria’s. 

Stay at: Fairfield Inn & Suites Holiday Tarpon Springs near the sponge docks. It has thoughtfully designed rooms, a pool, and exercise center.

A platter of fresh, fried calamari with lemon slices
Kalamari in Tarpon Springs
Courtesy of Tarpon Springs

15. Little Havana, Miami

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Little Havana
Miami, FL

Get a taste of: Cuba

In the 1960s, a large number of immigrants coming from Cuba settled in Riverside, which became known as Little Havana. Then in 1980, of the 125,000 refugees the Mariel Boatlift brought over to the United States, thousands ended up in Little Havana, cementing the neighborhood’s Cuban culture. There’s no better place in the U.S. for great Cuban food, so get ready for a day of eating: Pick up some guarapo (sugar cane juice) at Los Pinarenos Fruteria and Cuban-style burgers, made of a spiced beef patty between toasted Cuban bread and topped with shoestring fries, at El Rey De Las Fritas. Sanguich de Miami boasts a great cubano, but another great sandwich can be found at La Camaronera Seafood Joint & Fish Market, where the pan con minuta is made up of fried snapper on a lightly toasted Cuban roll. And don’t miss Versailles Restaurant for a sit-down-meal at the end of the day. Anything off the menu — from their stuffed green plantains to their ropa vieja — is a hit.

Stay at: The Ritz-Carlton Key Biscayne, Miami along the island beachfront. Its ocean views, Caribbean-inspired resort spa, and Lightkeepers restaurant featuring Florida-sourced seafood take luxury up a notch.

A woman holds up a cross-section of a cubano sandwich
A Cubano
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16. Little Ethiopia, Washington, D.C.

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Little Ethiopia, Washington, D.C. (U St NW &, 9th St NW
Washington, DC 20001

Get a taste of: Ethiopia

Little Ethiopia in D.C. has the largest number of Ethiopians outside of Ethiopia, and its main drag is down 9th Street and U. Spend your stay exploring the area’s more than two dozen shops and restaurants, but make sure to save some room for a meal at Chercher on 9th. It’s known for its kitfo, finely chopped sirloin (traditionally served raw, but can be cooked to your preference) seasoned with herbed butter sauce and mitmita spices and served with cheese; and its tibs made with beef, tilapia, or salmon. Don’t forget to order a glass of tej — an Ethiopian sweet honey wine that’s similar to mead — to go with it. After you’ve stopped into a few shops, head to Habesha Market & Carryout for some spices and injera (a sour fermented flatbread) to level up your pantry, as well as some of the best Ethiopian food in town for the journey back home. Stop by for breakfast and pick up some ful, smashed and spiced broad beans with tomatoes, jalapenos, and olive oil, or their deluxe veggie combo for lunch that’s filled to the brim with lentils, collard greens, and yemetad shiro stew.

Stay at: The St. Regis, Washington D.C. where world leaders, royalty, and Hollywood icons stay during their trips to the White House — which is just steps away. It’s filled with unparalleled luxury, and if you book with your Marriott Bonvoy Boundless™ Card from Chase, you can earn a free night award on every card anniversary (valued up to 35,000 points).

A large platter of different sauces and stews, served with injera
An Ethiopian dish
Shutterstock / Liz Clayman

17. Edison, New Jersey

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Get a taste of: India

Called “Little India,” Oak Tree Road in Edison, in Central New Jersey, is filled with Indian shops, markets and restaurants, and 30 percent of its residents are of Indian and Pakistani descent. To work up an appetite, take a stroll down the street and stop into whatever markets or clothing stores that pop out to you — there are dozens to choose from — then head to Swagath Gourmet for thalis, big serving platters filled with different South Indian bites. Mithaas, another local spot, is known for its Indian desserts, from cakes lined with orange blossoms and pomegranate seeds to jalebis (deep fried batter that’s soaked in syrup) to mango kulfi (a pop made with condensed milk and mango puree).

Stay at: Courtyard Edison Woodbridge which has a contemporary yet comfortable lobby, fitness center, and indoor pool.

Jalebis - squiggles of dough - frying in a large pan, soon to be soaked in syrup
Jalebi frying
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18. Arthur Avenue, New York

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Arthur Ave
Bronx, NY

Get a taste of: Italy

In the early 20th century when a wave of Italian immigrants came to New York, many settled in Belmont in the Bronx, where Little Italy is now located. Today, a new wave of Albanian and Mexican immigrants are keeping the original Italian stores and restaurants alive, just a short train ride from Manhattan. Start by sampling the wares at the local stores: You can see (and taste) the sausage chandelier at Calabria Pork Store, where all of their dried sausage hangs from the ceiling, and take home some fresh ravioli from Borgatti’s Ravioli & Egg Noodles, some cannoli or biscotti from Madonia Brothers Bakery, or fresh ricotta and mozzarella at Calandra’s Cheese. Once you’ve worked up an appetite, stop in Dominick’s Restaurant for a traditional meal filled with red sauce and red wine — and don’t forget to order the stuffed artichokes.

Stay at: The Algonquin Hotel Times Square in midtown. A New York City Historic Landmark, it’s filled with classic style. Iconic attractions are nearby like Times Square, Radio City Music Hall, and Central Park.

A long line of dried sausages hang from the ceiling above where a butcher stands by a cash register
An Italian market on Arthur Avenue
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19. Framingham, Massachusetts

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Get a taste of: Brazil

The first wave of Brazilian immigrants came to Framingham in 1980, due to economic hardships, and now it’s home to the largest Brazilian community in the U.S. Start your trip at Pão Brasil Bakery with coffee and any number of treats. They sell bread and cakes filled with coconut or guava, as well as traditional sweets like beijinhos and brigadeiros, little balls made from condensed milk and coconut or chocolate. Another favorite is the pão de queijo, a cheese bread baked with tapioca flour. After a few hours you’ll be hungry again — that’s when you’ll head to Framingham Station for some rodízio-style Brazilian barbecue, an all-you-can eat experience with all the skewered meats from beef to chicken. While you’re there, don’t miss Brazil’s national cocktail, the caipirinha. You can order the original or any of their flavored caipirinhas made with fruit like mango, passionfruit, or kiwi. 

Stay at: Boston Marriott Long Wharf on Boston harbor for its elegant rooms and access to all Boston has to offer. Book with your Marriott Bonvoy Boundless™ Card from Chase and earn up to 17x total points on hotels participating in Marriott Bonvoy™. 

A sliced steak on top of a wooden cutting board
Brazilian barbecue
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20. Scituate, Massachusetts

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Get a taste of: Ireland

Scituate isn’t just about the Irish eats, but about the experience. This little town and the Old Scituate Lighthouse overlooking the Atlantic will trick you into thinking you’re really in Ireland. The people will, too: Data from the 2010 US census found that this Massachusetts town is home to a higher concentration of people who trace their heritage to Ireland than any other place in the United States — almost 50 percent. Head to The Voyage for an all-day traditional Irish breakfast of eggs, rashers (Irish bacon), white and black pudding, Irish sausage, grilled tomato, beans, and toast, then finish the day with a pint at the Mill Wharf Pub, which boasts wood-clad walls and views of the lighthouse.

Stay at: The Westin Boston Seaport District just two blocks from the waterfront and steps from the most famous Boston attractions.

A white lighthouse overlooking the ocean next to a clapboard home, while the sun is setting
The Old Scituate Lighthouse
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1. Poulsbo, Washington

Poulsbo, WA 98370
A view of a marina filled with sailboats. Behind it, a line of green trees and a large snow-capped mountain
A view of the Olympic Mountains from Poulsbo
Shutterstock

Get a taste of: Norway

“Little Norway,” an hour from Seattle on Liberty Bay, has a rich Nordic heritage — they say the Olympic Mountains to the west reminded Scandanavian immigrants of their beloved fjords, and that’s why they chose to settle there. Before you head out for the day, grab a coffee at Poulsbohemian Coffeehouse with views of the marina. And while you’re visiting the Landscape Masterpieces exhibition at the National Nordic Museum (open through mid-October), try Freya’s personal smörgåsbords, filled with juniper-smoked salmon and pickled vegetables, at the museum cafe. Finish the day at Skål Beer Hall for Scandinavian craft beer, mead, and aquavit cocktails. If you’re still hungry, they have a full Scandanavian-style menu with something for everyone, but if you want to go all out, order what they like to call their “Viking Feasts.” You can dine on a whole stuffed rabbit, pheasant, rainbow trout, or sockeye salmon for the full experience. 

Stay at: the Seattle Marriott Waterfront on Elliott Bay. Book with your Marriott Bonvoy Boundless™ Card from Chase and earn up to 17x total points on hotels participating in Marriott Bonvoy™. It’s a short walk from the world-famous Pike Place Market, and is the only downtown Seattle hotel offering views of Mt. Rainier and Elliott Bay from every guest room.

2. Japantown, San Francisco

Japantown, San Francisco, CA 94115
A sushi chef in chef whites carefully places gold foil on top of thin slices of pink sushi
Omakase
Shutterstock

Get a taste of: Japan

This six-block area of shops in the Western Addition neighborhood of San Francisco is the largest and oldest Japantown, or Nihonmachi, left in the U.S. It’s been the center of the Japanese community in the Bay Area since 1906, and continues to serve up all the Japanese food you can dream up. The malls near the pagoda in Peace Plaza are filled with stores where you can buy anything from a hand-painted teapot to manga, Japanese comics. If it’s a bit misty out and you’re in the mood for a more hearty meal, On the Bridge serves yoshoku, or western-style Japanese food, with dishes like hayashi rice and hamburger steak. You can also take advantage of San Francisco’s local produce at OzaOza, which specializes in kaiseki, a multi-course meal made of seasonal ingredients. And for a surprise, stop by Oma San Francisco Station for omakase served at a casual eight-seat sushi counter. 

Stay at: Courtyard San Francisco Downtown / Van Ness Ave. Built in 1908, the remodeled hotel has modern amenities paired with historic character.

Japantown
San Francisco, CA 94115

3. Chinatown-International District, Seattle

Seattle Chinatown-International District, Seattle, WA
An overhead image of many dim sum dishes ranging from shrimp har gow to roast pork buns
Dim sum
Shutterstock

Get a taste of: China

The Chinatown-International District started out as a Chinatown in the 1800s, and since has become a space for other Asian cultures, too. Now it’s made up of three micro-neighborhoods: Chinatown, Japantown, and Little Saigon. The area has many festivals, like the Night Market Festival in September, which has become one of Seattle’s largest outdoor markets. More than 30 local food trucks gather, and shops selling anything from flowers to crafts fill Hing Hay Park while live music plays. On non-festival days, you can head to Harbor City Restaurant for some dim sum classics like har gow, barbecue pork buns, spareribs with black bean sauce, and sticky rice in lotus leaves and chow down at the park. Afterwards, spend the afternoon at the Wing Luke Museum of the Asian Pacific American Experience, which features local artists and showcases Pacific American immigrant and refugee stories.

Stay at: Moxy Seattle Downtown. It’s located in Seattle’s South Lake Union neighborhood which is known for its food trucks.

Seattle Chinatown-International District
Seattle, WA

4. Little Saigon, San Jose

Story Rd, San Jose, CA 95122
A close-up shot of a bowl of grilled pork, cilantro and carrots on top of vermicelli noodles
Vermicelli noodle bowls
Photo by Rex Roof

Get a taste of: Vietnam

After the fall of Saigon in 1975, Vietnamese refugees came to the United States and many resettled in California. Now San Jose has the greatest number of Vietnamese residents in any one city outside of Vietnam. Lion Plaza is in the center of it all, and on Tết, the Vietnamese Lunar New Year, there is a festival with dancers and firecrackers. To start your stay, stop by Bún Bò Huế An Nam for their soup specialties, bún bò huế, a spicy beef noodle soup, and phở bò made with your choice of beef, from filet mignon to brisket and tripe. Cao Nguyên Restaurant also serves traditional comfort food like cá kho tộ, caramelized fish in clay pot or canh chua, a sweet and sour soup. For a more casual stop, head to Huong Lan Sandwiches for a dozen different banh mis, filled with the traditional ham, pate, and headcheese to barbecue pork, fish cakes, or sardines. Before you go, stop by Eurasia Delight Market for Vietnamese snacks and seasonings to bring home, from French-style Maggi sauce to lemongrass beef jerky.

Stay at: The Westin San Jose in the historic Sainte Claire building. Use your Marriott Bonvoy Boundless™ Card from Chase during your trip and earn 2x points on travel purchases.

Story Rd
San Jose, CA 95122

5. Solvang, California

Solvang, CA 93463
A street filled with buildings that have wood on the facades, in front of a large windmill painted red and white
Solvang, California
Shutterstock

Get a taste of: Denmark

In 1911, Danish-Americans founded this charming California town and named it “sunny field,” or Solvang, in Danish. More than a century later, there are still glimpses of Denmark to be found around town. Look out for all four windmills and the replica of Copenhagen’s Little Mermaid statue at the corner of Mission Drive and Alisal Road. To begin your day, stop by the cornerstone neighborhood diner, Belgian Cafe. Its walls are lined with traditional blue plates and they serve waffles and crepes all day. Solvang Bakery, another local favorite, also fills their flaky waffles with raspberry jam and buttercream frosting if you want something a bit sweeter. After an afternoon visit to the Elverhøj Museum of History & Art their past exhibits have included Rembrandt etchings and Viking artifacts — grab an outdoor table at Copenhagen Sausage Garden for some soft pretzels and sausages (get the sampler, as there are more than a dozen links on the menu) and a beer or two.

 

Stay at: The Ritz-Carlton Bacara, Santa Barbara. With 78 acres, two beaches, three infinity pools and views of the Pacific, it’s an ideal getaway.

6. Persian Square, Los Angeles

1398-1384 Westwood Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90024
An ice cream cone filled with white ice cream with chunks of figs, garnished with half a fig
Fig ice cream from Saffron & Rose
Courtesy of Saffron & Rose Ice Cream

Get a taste of: Iran

Also known as Tehrangeles, Persian Square (at the intersection of Westwood Boulevard and Wilkins Avenue) was formed after the Iranian revolution in 1979. Now Los Angeles is considered to have the largest community of Persians outside of Iran. To get a taste of their food and culture, head to Shaherzad, one of the oldest restaurants on the strip, for kashke bademjan (eggplant dip) and filet mignon shish kebabs. For something a bit more casual, stop by Attari Sandwich Shop, which is famous for its tongue sandwich on a baguette with mustard, mayo, lettuce, tomatoes, Persian pickles, and a handful of sabzi (fresh herbs). To finish it all off with something sweet, stop by Saffron & Rose Ice Cream, where there’s a rotating menu of seasonal ice creams, like white rose and pistachio and saffron. Don’t forget to check out Ketabsara Persian Bookstore: it’s filled with modern and classic novels and poetry written in Farsi.

Stay at: the iconic Ritz-Carlton, Los Angeles. Lounge by the rooftop pool and sip cocktails into the evening with a who’s who of Los Angeles.

1398-1384 Westwood Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90024

7. Fredericksburg, Texas

Fredericksburg, TX 78624
A platter of sausages, rye bread and mustard on a picnic table with two beers
Sausages at the Ausländer Restaurant and Biergarten
Courtesy of the Ausländer Restaurant and Biergarten

Get a taste of: Germany

This Texas town, now celebrating its 175th anniversary, is filled with German influences — especially at its local restaurants. Although the area is known for its wineries, if you want to get into the German spirit, you can visit both of its breweries: Altstadt Brewery named the fourth best brewery in America, and the Fredericksburg Brewing Company, the oldest operating brewpub in Texas, to create your own Oktoberfest. For dinner, stop by the Ausländer Restaurant and Biergarten which specializes in Bavarian dishes like schnitzels, sausages, and rouladen (roast beef wrapped around pickles, onions, bacon, and mustard and smothered in gravy). 

Stay at: The St. Anthony, San Antonio, which has been designated a national historic site. Its Italian marble and corinthian columns recall old-world luxury. Book with your Marriott Bonvoy Boundless™ Card from Chase and earn a free night award every card anniversary (valued up to 35,000 points).

8. Lindsborg, Kansas

Lindsborg, KS 67456
Lamb chops drizzled with a dark brown reduction lay across mashed potatoes
Lamb chops at the Crown and Rye
Courtesy of the Crown and Rye

Get a taste of: Sweden

Lindsborg is known as “Little Sweden, USA” for good reason. It was settled in the spring of 1869 by a group of Swedish immigrants from the Värmland province of Sweden, and the locals today have maintained its Swedish charm. Lindsborg is filled with dalas, traditional carved and painted horse figurines. It’s a must-visit destination in October for Svensk Hyllningsfest, where locals get dressed up in sverigedräkten, Swedish folk dress, and perform songs and dance. After the festivities, stop at the Crown and Rye for some värmlandskorv och kroppkaka, potato dumplings with braised cabbage. 

Stay at: Fairfield Inn & Suites McPherson. Make the most of your stay by making use of its fitness center, heated indoor pool, and back patio.

9. Houston, Texas

Houston, TX
A row of beef skewers on a slate plate, with a side salad and a dipping sauce
Suya skewers
Shutterstock

Get a taste of: Nigeria

Approximately 20,000 people of Nigerian descent live in Houston, which means there are some great Nigerian eats around town. For lunch, head to Aria Suya Kitchen for Nigerian fusion, like suya tacos with a side of jollof rice and sweet plantains, and compare the tacos to Sabo Sura Spot’s suya meat skewers. Save Taste of Nigeria for a sit-down-dinner; it’s best known for their wide selection of traditional soups; like ewedu made with jute leaves, and egusi, which is thickened with ground melon seeds. They’re served with your choice of swallows — starchy balls made from cassava, oatmeal, or eggplant, made to dip into stews.

Stay at: the boutique Magnolia Hotel Houston for some Texas hospitality. Its restaurant, Magnolia Lounge, has an award-winning bar and a billiards room. There are complimentary evening cookies available in the lobby as well as a rooftop plunge pool and 24-hour fitness center.

10. Pilsen Historic District, Chicago

Pilsen, Chicago, IL
Three tostadas are topped with a heaping pile of refried beans, pulled chicken tings, salsa, and sour cream
Chicken tinga tostadas
Shutterstock

Get a taste of: Mexico

The Pilsen Historic District was first settled by Irish and German immigrants in the mid-19th century, and more recently by Mexican immigrants in the 1950s. The buildings in the area were used as canvases for their mural artwork in the ‘60s, as local residents were inspired by the likes of Diego Rivera, making the district a great spot for an art walk. Begin the day at Panaderia Nuevo Leon, a traditional self-serve Mexican bakery. Fill up on some conchas and pack away some of their homemade flour tortillas to bring home. Pastries in-hand, check out one of the most famous murals outside Casa Aztlán and then stop by the National Museum of Mexican Art, which houses one of the largest collections of Mexican art in the country. Afterwards, order anything from tortas to tacos from the local favorite, Taqueria El Milagro — but make sure to try their version of atole champurrado, a warm chocolate drink thickened with cornmeal, which can be hard to find in the States. 

Stay at: the Sheraton Chicago Grand located in the River North district with views of the lake near Michigan Avenue, Millennium Park, Navy Pier, and the Magnificent Mile. Book with your Marriott Bonvoy Boundless™ Card from Chase and earn up to 17x total points on hotels participating in Marriott Bonvoy™.

Pilsen
Chicago, IL

11. Indianapolis, Indiana

Indianapolis, IN
A Burmese dish
Shutterstock

Get a taste of: Myanmar (Burma)

Perry Township is nicknamed “Chindianapolis,” thanks to the over 7,000 Chin refugees that live there. The Chin people, who have been persecuted for their religious beliefs, make up 83 percent of the Burmese refugees in Indiana. Those same refugees have since opened Burmese restaurants and shops, the most well-known being the Chin Brothers Restaurant & Grocery. Not only can you pick up Chin staples like dried shrimp powder or lahpet (pickled tea leaves) to bring home, they serve some of the most authentic Burmese dishes around, from vok ril, a pork blood sausage, to sabuti, a meat and white corn soup. Or, stop in early to try the pe pyot, a breakfast dish of sprouted yellow beans boiled with turmeric and fried onions. And for a change of scenery, head to Kimu Restaurant for Burmese tea leaf salad or shan noodles — rice noodles and chicken simmered in a tomato, fish sauce, and miso broth topped with peanuts.

Stay at: the Le Meridien Indianapolis for its stylish rooms and suites and the craft cocktails at its restaurant, Spoke & Steele.

12. Holland, Michigan

Holland, MI 49423
A field of pink, red and white tulips in front of a large wooden windmill
A windmill and a field of tulips in Holland
Shutterstock

Get a taste of: Netherlands

Holland was founded in 1847 by immigrants from Rotterdam, Netherlands, and the locals have since maintained the spots that make Holland unlike anywhere else. The town is best known for The Veldheer Tulip Farm, which is filled with flowers in the spring. In the fall, you can pick up your own bulbs to plant, bringing some of Holland home with you. All summer long you can also spend the afternoon at the DeZwaan Windmill and its surrounding gardens, perfect for a photo op. Before you head out, grab some Dutch staples like danishes, sugar bread, or beef croquettes from deBoer Bakkerij & Dutch Brothers Restaurant. The deBoers have been baking in Michigan for more than 50 years since immigrating from the Netherlands in 1956. If you’re looking for some authentic Dutch gifts to take home, stop by the DeKlomp Wooden Shoe Factory, where you can chat with artisans as they create beautiful Dutch blue and white delftware pottery (the only authentically made in the U.S.) and traditional wooden clogs. Then stop by the local New Holland Brewing Co. for their famous Dragon’s Milk bourbon barrel-aged stouts.

Stay at: Courtyard Holland Downtown. It has a state-of-the-art lobby, fitness center, and indoor pool so you’ll feel refreshed and relaxed during your trip.

13. Clarkston, Georgia

Clarkston, GA 30021
An extremely large Hindu temple made from white marble with flags on its peaks
The Hindu Temple of Atlanta
Photo by Lee Coursey

Get a taste of: Bhutan / Nepal

Since 2007, over 60,000 Bhutanese refugees have settled in the U.S. and many of them have relocated to Clarkston, Georgia, now nicknamed the “Ellis Island of the South.” Approximately 60 percent of those refugees are Hindu, and 27 percent are Buddhist; among the many temples in the area is the nearby Drepung Loseling Monastery, where Buddhist monks lead meditations, and The Hindu Temple of Atlanta (aka BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir Atlanta), the largest temple of its kind outside of India. (As it’s a religious site, visit their website before you visit for some tips on clothing and etiquette.) Afterwards, grab a bite at Kathmandu Kitchen and Grill for chicken momos and wai wai sadheko — noodles with onion, green chili pepper, garlic, and ginger. Himalayan Spice is also a worthwhile option, serving up Nepalese specials like thukpa noodle soup and badam sadeko, a spicy peanut salad. 

Stay at: W Atlanta Midtown. The luxury hotel’s sleek rooms and suites and views of midtown, as well as its pool and spa make it the place to stay in Atlanta. Use your Marriott Bonvoy Boundless™ Card from Chase during your trip to earn 2X points on travel purchases.

14. Tarpon Springs, Florida

Tarpon Springs, FL
A platter of fresh, fried calamari with lemon slices
Kalamari in Tarpon Springs
Courtesy of Tarpon Springs

Get a taste of: Greece

Tarpon Springs began in 1875 as a simple pioneer settlement, and Greek immigrants soon made it home, even bringing over the natural sponge diving trade, which at one time outnumbered Florida’s orange exports. Listen for people speaking Greek in the streets as you head to the sponge docks and wooden boats on Dodecanese Boulevard. Check out St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Cathedral, painted butter yellow and filled with colorful frescoes, then settle in for a meal of grilled octopus, saganaki (fried cheese), dolmades (stuffed grape leaves) and spanakopita at Mama Maria’s. 

Stay at: Fairfield Inn & Suites Holiday Tarpon Springs near the sponge docks. It has thoughtfully designed rooms, a pool, and exercise center.

15. Little Havana, Miami

Little Havana, Miami, FL
A woman holds up a cross-section of a cubano sandwich
A Cubano
Shutterstock

Get a taste of: Cuba

In the 1960s, a large number of immigrants coming from Cuba settled in Riverside, which became known as Little Havana. Then in 1980, of the 125,000 refugees the Mariel Boatlift brought over to the United States, thousands ended up in Little Havana, cementing the neighborhood’s Cuban culture. There’s no better place in the U.S. for great Cuban food, so get ready for a day of eating: Pick up some guarapo (sugar cane juice) at Los Pinarenos Fruteria and Cuban-style burgers, made of a spiced beef patty between toasted Cuban bread and topped with shoestring fries, at El Rey De Las Fritas. Sanguich de Miami boasts a great cubano, but another great sandwich can be found at La Camaronera Seafood Joint & Fish Market, where the pan con minuta is made up of fried snapper on a lightly toasted Cuban roll. And don’t miss Versailles Restaurant for a sit-down-meal at the end of the day. Anything off the menu — from their stuffed green plantains to their ropa vieja — is a hit.

Stay at: The Ritz-Carlton Key Biscayne, Miami along the island beachfront. Its ocean views, Caribbean-inspired resort spa, and Lightkeepers restaurant featuring Florida-sourced seafood take luxury up a notch.

Little Havana
Miami, FL

16. Little Ethiopia, Washington, D.C.

Little Ethiopia, Washington, D.C. (U St NW &, 9th St NW, Washington, DC 20001
A large platter of different sauces and stews, served with injera
An Ethiopian dish
Shutterstock / Liz Clayman

Get a taste of: Ethiopia

Little Ethiopia in D.C. has the largest number of Ethiopians outside of Ethiopia, and its main drag is down 9th Street and U. Spend your stay exploring the area’s more than two dozen shops and restaurants, but make sure to save some room for a meal at Chercher on 9th. It’s known for its kitfo, finely chopped sirloin (traditionally served raw, but can be cooked to your preference) seasoned with herbed butter sauce and mitmita spices and served with cheese; and its tibs made with beef, tilapia, or salmon. Don’t forget to order a glass of tej — an Ethiopian sweet honey wine that’s similar to mead — to go with it. After you’ve stopped into a few shops, head to Habesha Market & Carryout for some spices and injera (a sour fermented flatbread) to level up your pantry, as well as some of the best Ethiopian food in town for the journey back home. Stop by for breakfast and pick up some ful, smashed and spiced broad beans with tomatoes, jalapenos, and olive oil, or their deluxe veggie combo for lunch that’s filled to the brim with lentils, collard greens, and yemetad shiro stew.

Stay at: The St. Regis, Washington D.C. where world leaders, royalty, and Hollywood icons stay during their trips to the White House — which is just steps away. It’s filled with unparalleled luxury, and if you book with your Marriott Bonvoy Boundless™ Card from Chase, you can earn a free night award on every card anniversary (valued up to 35,000 points).

Little Ethiopia, Washington, D.C. (U St NW &, 9th St NW
Washington, DC 20001

17. Edison, New Jersey

Edison, NJ
Jalebis - squiggles of dough - frying in a large pan, soon to be soaked in syrup
Jalebi frying
Shutterstock

Get a taste of: India

Called “Little India,” Oak Tree Road in Edison, in Central New Jersey, is filled with Indian shops, markets and restaurants, and 30 percent of its residents are of Indian and Pakistani descent. To work up an appetite, take a stroll down the street and stop into whatever markets or clothing stores that pop out to you — there are dozens to choose from — then head to Swagath Gourmet for thalis, big serving platters filled with different South Indian bites. Mithaas, another local spot, is known for its Indian desserts, from cakes lined with orange blossoms and pomegranate seeds to jalebis (deep fried batter that’s soaked in syrup) to mango kulfi (a pop made with condensed milk and mango puree).

Stay at: Courtyard Edison Woodbridge which has a contemporary yet comfortable lobby, fitness center, and indoor pool.

18. Arthur Avenue, New York

Arthur Ave, Bronx, NY
A long line of dried sausages hang from the ceiling above where a butcher stands by a cash register
An Italian market on Arthur Avenue
Shutterstock

Get a taste of: Italy

In the early 20th century when a wave of Italian immigrants came to New York, many settled in Belmont in the Bronx, where Little Italy is now located. Today, a new wave of Albanian and Mexican immigrants are keeping the original Italian stores and restaurants alive, just a short train ride from Manhattan. Start by sampling the wares at the local stores: You can see (and taste) the sausage chandelier at Calabria Pork Store, where all of their dried sausage hangs from the ceiling, and take home some fresh ravioli from Borgatti’s Ravioli & Egg Noodles, some cannoli or biscotti from Madonia Brothers Bakery, or fresh ricotta and mozzarella at Calandra’s Cheese. Once you’ve worked up an appetite, stop in Dominick’s Restaurant for a traditional meal filled with red sauce and red wine — and don’t forget to order the stuffed artichokes.

Stay at: The Algonquin Hotel Times Square in midtown. A New York City Historic Landmark, it’s filled with classic style. Iconic attractions are nearby like Times Square, Radio City Music Hall, and Central Park.

Arthur Ave
Bronx, NY

19. Framingham, Massachusetts

Framingham, MA
A sliced steak on top of a wooden cutting board
Brazilian barbecue
Shutterstock

Get a taste of: Brazil

The first wave of Brazilian immigrants came to Framingham in 1980, due to economic hardships, and now it’s home to the largest Brazilian community in the U.S. Start your trip at Pão Brasil Bakery with coffee and any number of treats. They sell bread and cakes filled with coconut or guava, as well as traditional sweets like beijinhos and brigadeiros, little balls made from condensed milk and coconut or chocolate. Another favorite is the pão de queijo, a cheese bread baked with tapioca flour. After a few hours you’ll be hungry again — that’s when you’ll head to Framingham Station for some rodízio-style Brazilian barbecue, an all-you-can eat experience with all the skewered meats from beef to chicken. While you’re there, don’t miss Brazil’s national cocktail, the caipirinha. You can order the original or any of their flavored caipirinhas made with fruit like mango, passionfruit, or kiwi. 

Stay at: Boston Marriott Long Wharf on Boston harbor for its elegant rooms and access to all Boston has to offer. Book with your Marriott Bonvoy Boundless™ Card from Chase and earn up to 17x total points on hotels participating in Marriott Bonvoy™. 

20. Scituate, Massachusetts

Scituate, MA
A white lighthouse overlooking the ocean next to a clapboard home, while the sun is setting
The Old Scituate Lighthouse
Shutterstock

Get a taste of: Ireland

Scituate isn’t just about the Irish eats, but about the experience. This little town and the Old Scituate Lighthouse overlooking the Atlantic will trick you into thinking you’re really in Ireland. The people will, too: Data from the 2010 US census found that this Massachusetts town is home to a higher concentration of people who trace their heritage to Ireland than any other place in the United States — almost 50 percent. Head to The Voyage for an all-day traditional Irish breakfast of eggs, rashers (Irish bacon), white and black pudding, Irish sausage, grilled tomato, beans, and toast, then finish the day with a pint at the Mill Wharf Pub, which boasts wood-clad walls and views of the lighthouse.

Stay at: The Westin Boston Seaport District just two blocks from the waterfront and steps from the most famous Boston attractions.