The whole “Go big, or go home” deal is probably more of a misnomer than most people might think, as when it comes to “big” vacations, some of the most memorable, life-transforming and rewarding spots to visit are frequently found within the least expensive city limits, ever. Turns out, it’s not so much to do with the magnitude of the urban landscape as it is regarding the Entertainment Aspect Per Foot (EAPF,) that tremendously varies, from town to town. And who knows why? Regardless, there are just some towns to avoid, with a cool number of others to make sure you include on any worthwhile bucket list in the making.

Cayucos, CA (population 3,000)l
Somewhere at a veritable midpoint between San Fran and LA, Cayucos’ mellow beachy feel offers an oasis of sorts from the burgeoning buildup constantly threatening the longevity of the West Coast. For the best waves, and a rewarding array of consummate dining of some seriously happy food to perfectly wrap up the day’s burn. Only insiders have known how to find this amazing destination with its all-intended request of a detour. Find it, and you’ll find “ahhh.”

Lexington, VA (population (6,687)
Come here to experience the meeting place of the highest Norman Rockwell ideals, set amid a backdrop of Blue Ridge and Allegheny mountain splendor. A romantic return to a simpler time, with the very best elements that yesteryear had to offer. Enjoy a true outdoor cinematic experience you’ve only heard about, at Hull’s Drive-In Theatre. Opened for business in 1950, thanks to local heartfelt support, this tradition continues. Shop and dine in the most charming, personally rewarding venues with all the modern conveniences. Try the signature dish of the Red Hen, where Pork Belly with Garlic Scapes reveals an evolved modernization to complete the moving forward with grace muscle.

Tubac, AZ (population 1,900)
Here, just 25 miles north of the Mexican border, get ready to discover a most amazing, best-kept secret, previously known only to the rarest of artists and philosophers, this highly elevated little town has been home to Spanish missionaries and maverick cowboys, all cohabitating in a sophisticated land of art gallery after gallery, framed by the most inspiringly beautiful sunsets over majestic Arizona mountain views. And with veritably no traffic, there are no traffic problems There is an uncanny ambience that visitors encounter here, where a town obviously steeped in the charm of Western culture can, at the very same time, be so rife with sophistication. For “just another old historic town, it’s a surprisingly hip spot on the map, replete with a 4000 sq. ft. Center for the Arts, and a totally charming Tubac Country Inn, with exceptional amenities and views.

Wallace, ID (population 1,000)
With a super small population, there is not a single building in this former mining town that is not listed on the National Register of Historic Places. There is just something about this place that is intriguing and a true example of the “less is more” concept. Most of the businesses are restored (and run) by individuals formerly employed in high-tone, top earning careers, so there’s nothing resembling backwards thinking here–just a backwards step into a simple secret with special serenity and beauty. A cyclist’s mecca, with around 87 miles of awesome trails.