To get a real feel for the diversity and quirkiness of America, visit its small towns where fascinating history, regional cuisine and great scenery are just some of the attractions
Winning tip: Helper, Utah
Helper is an old mining town 100 miles or so from Salt Lake City. It had been in decline for years but a steady flow of artists who cant afford SLC prices are moving in. The old, run-down cinema still displays a poster of the last film shown in the 1960s. Its rich history of immigration and mining, plus its Butch Cassidy links, is reflected in the fascinating contents of its antique shops. The residents were pleased and perplexed to have an English couple turn up in town. We heard stories of the towns past from a retired actor carrying his three white poodles who had moved in a decade ago from LA. He told of the huge increase in the towns population when miners came down from the mountains at the weekends, the bars and bordellos doing great business. The town is a sort of living museum and anyone interested in American culture would delight in spending time here, chatting with real characters full of stories and legends. Go before this place disappears. Its authentic and unforgettable.