8 of the Friendliest Towns in the Mid-Atlantic

8 of the Friendliest Towns in the Mid-Atlantic

Welcome to the enchanting domain of the Mid-Atlantic, where a tapestry of inviting towns beckons with open arms, vibrant cultures, and a blend of tourist allure. Step into a world where warmth and hospitality reign supreme and the intimate charm of each destination creates an experience unlike any other. From historic gems to coastal havens, these hidden treasures offer a slice of genuine hospitality that leaves visitors feeling cherished and welcomed. Prepare to embark on a transformative journey through the heart of the Mid-Atlantic, all while forging connections with the friendly locals who breathe life into these remarkable destinations.

Berlin, Maryland

Weekend beach crowds at Assateague State Park, Berlin, Maryland
Assateague State Park, Berlin, Maryland. Image credit Brian Doty via Shutterstock

Embraced by Maryland’s Eastern Shore, Berlin enchants visitors with its postcard-perfect scenery and warm-hearted locals. Take a leisurely stroll along the tree-lined streets, where the historic buildings whisper stories of a bygone era. Explore the inviting shops, brimming with friendly shopkeepers eager to share their local recommendations. When hunger strikes, enjoy the culinary delight of mouth-watering crab cakes at The Atlantic Hotel, a beloved local haunt that has perfected this Chesapeake Bay delicacy. As you explore the town’s charming nooks and crannies, it becomes abundantly clear why Berlin was chosen as the backdrop for the beloved movie “Runaway Bride,” starring Julia Roberts and Richard Gere, showcasing its undeniable charm to the world.

Lititz, Pennsylvania

Sturgis Pretzel House on Main Street in Lititz, Pennsylvania. Founded in 1861, this is the oldest commercial pretzel bakery in the US
Sturgis Pretzel House on Main Street in Lititz. Image credit Alizada Studios via

Found in the heart of picturesque Lancaster County, Lititz is a small town that mesmerizes with a rich tapestry of history and hospitality. Plunge yourself in the town’s pretzel heritage as you step into the legendary Julius Sturgis Pretzel Bakery, proudly bearing the title of the oldest operating pretzel bakery in the nation. Delight in delectable pretzel creations, their warm aroma filling the air and evoking a sense of nostalgic comfort. Experience the warm atmosphere of Lititz as it comes alive during the annual Pretzel Fest, a joyous celebration where locals and visitors unite to revel in pretzel-inspired treats, lively music, and the town’s inviting essence. 

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Shepherdstown, West Virginia

People enjoying open air (outdoor party) Oktoberfest.
People enjoying Oktoberfest in Shepherdstown. Image credit Evgenia Parajanian via Shutterstock

Perched gracefully on the banks of the serene Potomac River, Shepherdstown gracefully combines the charm of a small town with a genuine sense of hospitality. Delve into the town’s rich history as you wander among well-preserved buildings, each one a testament to Shepherdstown’s storied past. Delight in the lively arts scene and appreciate performances at the Contemporary American Theater Festival, where the talent of the actors resonates with the town’s friendly ambiance. And for an unforgettable experience, mark your calendar for the Shepherdstown Street Fest, a delightful celebration that fills the air with live music, showcases the work of local artisans, and entices you to savor the flavors of delicious cuisine, all while reflecting the town’s warm and welcoming atmosphere.  

Lewes, Delaware

View of downtown Lewes Delaware from bridge with canal
Downtown Lewes, Delaware canal.

Located along the coast of Delaware, Lewes warmly welcomes visitors with its friendly seaside charm. Discover the town’s fascinating history as you wander through the quaint streets of its historic district, where beautifully preserved buildings dating back to the 18th century stand as a testament to Lewes’ rich heritage. Explore the hidden gems of the enchanting emporiums and art galleries that grace the streets, offering one-of-a-kind items and showcasing the local craftsmanship that adds to the town’s allure. Indulge in the tantalizing flavors of fresh seafood at one of the inviting waterfront restaurants, where friendly locals eagerly share intriguing stories and offer recommendations on the best dishes to try. And if you happen to visit during the summer months, you are in for a treat as the Lewes Maritime Festival comes alive, celebrating the town’s deep-rooted maritime legacy. Try out the alluring boat tours that reveal the coastal beauty, delight in live music that sets the rhythm of the festivities, and savor the delectable seafood tastings that showcase the culinary delights of the sea. Lewes offers an inviting and unforgettable experience for those seeking a coastal getaway infused with warmth, history, and the amiable environment of its friendly locals. 

Staunton, Virginia

Downtown Historic Staunton, birthplace of President Woodrow Wilson
Downtown Historic Staunton. Image credit MargJohnsonVA via Shutterstock

Radiating warmth and hospitality, Staunton finds its place in the picturesque Shenandoah Valley. Delve into the town’s vibrant arts scene by visiting the Blackfriars Playhouse, the world’s only re-creation of Shakespeare’s indoor theater. Discover friendly local eateries, such as the iconic Wright’s Dairy Rite — serving up heavenly burgers and milkshakes since 1952. Staunton is also home to the Heifetz International Music Institute, where talented young musicians captivate audiences during their annual summer festival. Experience the town’s inviting atmosphere at the Staunton Farmers’ Market, where you can sample locally-grown produce and artisanal products while engaging in friendly conversations.

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Saint Michaels, Maryland

Walking bridge in the harbor of St. Michael's, Maryland.
 Walking bridge in the harbor of Saint Michaels, Maryland.

Situated on Maryland’s Eastern Shore, Saint Michaels welcomes visitors with its small-town charm and scenic waterfront views. Lose yourself in the enchanting atmosphere as you embark on a leisurely stroll along the streets adorned with boutiques, art galleries, and friendly shops that invite exploration. Sample the delectable offerings of fresh seafood at one of the waterfront restaurants, where friendly locals eagerly share tales of the Chesapeake Bay’s rich maritime history. Engage yourself in the seafaring traditions of the region at the Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum, where you can not only learn but also experience the past by taking a ride on a historic skipjack. And if you are seeking an unforgettable experience that encapsulates the friendliness and camaraderie of Saint Michaels, do not miss the annual Saint Michaels Community Crab Claw Race — a whimsical event that delights both locals and visitors as they cheer on their favorite racing crabs, creating a lively and joyous atmosphere.

Rehoboth Beach, Delaware

Summer at Rehoboth Beach
Summer at Rehoboth Beach.

Welcome to Rehoboth Beach, affectionately known as the “Nation’s Summer Capital,” where warm, sandy shores and a friendly atmosphere await. Settle into a leisurely rhythm as you stroll along the mile-long boardwalk, lined with charming shops, bustling restaurants, and inviting ice cream parlors that attract, with tempting treats. Join the locals in savoring delicious seafood dishes at popular eateries like The Blue Hen and Henlopen City Oyster House, where a convivial ambiance permeates the air. Get lost in the vibrant arts scene by attending the annual Rehoboth Beach Jazz Festival, where world-class musicians infuse the town with a lively rhythm. Or unveil your creative side at the Rehoboth Art League’s annual Outdoor Fine Art Show, where talented local artists showcase their extraordinary work, enhancing the senses and celebrating the town’s artistic and welcoming aura.

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Lewisburg, West Virginia

Exterior of Greenbrier County Courthouse in Lewisburg, West Virginia.
Greenbrier County Courthouse in Lewisburg, West Virginia. Image credit Joseph Sohm via

Resting harmoniously within the undulating landscape of West Virginia’s rolling hills, Lewisburg beckons visitors with its friendly locals and vibrant cultural scene. Explore the charming downtown area, where every corner reveals a treasure trove of exclusive shops, art galleries, and cozy cafes that invite you to linger and discover hidden gems. Treat your taste buds to the distinctive flavors of farm-to-table cuisine at Stardust Café, a beloved restaurant renowned for its warm hospitality and culinary delights. Experience the town’s lively culture during the Lewisburg Chocolate Festival — an event that draws chocolate enthusiasts from far and wide to satisfy cravings for a variety of sweet treats while live music fills the air and friendly conversations flow. For a glimpse into the town’s exciting history, visit the Greenbrier Historical Society and North House Museum, where friendly docents eagerly share stories of the region’s past, embracing you in the rich tapestry of Lewisburg’s heritage.

The Mid-Atlantic region boasts an array of friendly towns that embody warmth, hospitality, and a vibrant cultural spirit. From the coastal charm of Rehoboth Beach and Saint Michaels to the historical allure of Berlin and Lititz, these towns offer welcoming atmospheres and engaging experiences. Whether you are savoring fresh seafood at waterfront restaurants, browsing through boutiques and galleries, or soaking in lively festivals, each town encompasses the essence of friendliness in its own distinctive way. So, embark on a journey to the Mid-Atlantic’s friendliest towns and create lasting memories while experiencing the genuine warmth of these fascinating destinations.

  • June 25, 2023