Dream Towns, Fantasy and Real

When I visit my doctor once a year for a check-up and whine about that 15 lbs I can never seem to lose, he always goes into this big spiel about how I should buy one of those exercise stepper thingies, forgetting we’ve had this talk before.  He pulls out the step he has tucked under the examining table just for these such moments and he demonstrates, stepping up and down, up and down, all the while explaining it’s a great way to get exercise each day because you can do it “while you watch TV.”

I interrupt his demonstration to remind him, “I never watch TV.”  He stops and stares at me with this blank expression, like no one has ever before uttered those words in Exam Room B.  Crickets.  I break the silence saying, “There’s just never anything on that I like.”  He’s got nothing and we progress on with our yearly visit.

On those very rare occasions when I do watch a few minutes of TV, it’s usually PBS.  So, when Maree shared the beautiful photos of her sister, Kae’s backyard, and said they had decorated it like “Stars Hollow in the Gilmore Girls,” I was sadly clueless. I had heard of the show, but had never seen it.  Now, I wish I had.  Wonder if it’s still on.

After seeing Kae’s backyard, I couldn’t wait to Google “Stars Hollow.”  Seriously.  I could hardly finish writing yesterday’s post so I could find out about this wonderful place.  I kept thinking, “There’s a little town (real or not, I didn’t care) that has a resemblance in some way to Kae’s lovely backyard with the beautiful gazebo?”  Point me in the right direction…I’m own my way!


As I was driving into Atlanta to meet a friend for lunch today, I was once again obsessing thinking about Stars Hollow. There’s the gazebo!  We actually have a gazebo in my not-so-small town.  And come to think of it, we had one in the town where I grew up.

Photo from Warner Brothers Studio Tour Site

On the way to my luncheon date, I thought about how completely I can get lost in the fantasy of a quaint “dream” town.

Stars HollowStars Hollow set, Photo from Warner Brother Studio Tour Site


Doesn’t even matter if it’s real because anytime I want, I can close my eyes and I’m there.

Lorelai’s houe in the Gilmore Girls, photo from Wikipedia

I’m strolling the sidewalks, stopping occasionally to greet friends and neighbors, patting their cute doggies on their sweet, furry heads.  Or, maybe I’m shopping for antiques, pretty lace linens and home made soaps in the cozy shops like these in Coupeville, Washington, a real town in the movie, Practical Magic.

Photo from movie

I’ll tuck my day’s shopping into the wicker basket on my pink bike…yes, pink bike! Work with me here–it’s my fantasy. 😉


And then I’ll head back home to my storybook cottage.

Hansel Cottage in Carmel, Photo scanned from the book, Cottages by the Sea

Or, maybe I’ll be living in a little English cottage like the one in the movie, The Holiday


Or, a beautiful old Victorian like this one nestled along side the water in the movie, Practical Magic.


I’ll read books, sip lemonade and take naps in the swing on the screened-in porch.


When I get sick from drinking too much lemonade, I’ll visit Doc Martin in Fern Cottage.  That’s his tiny office there on the hillside.

Picture from Wikipedia


Doc Martin lives in the quaint fishing village of Port Issac (Cornwall, United Kingdom.)   He’ll fix me right up in his no-nonsense, get-down-to-business, sort of way.  Have you seen the show?  Don’t think it’s airing right now, but not sure.

Picture from Wikipedia

When it’s vacation time, I’ll head for Seaside, Florida, another town that’s real,

Photo from Zimbio

…but always looks like a fantasy place in magazines.

Photo from Zimbio

Or, maybe I’ll vacation in Savannah and visit Wormsloe, where after a dreamy ride down Oak Avenue,


I’ll head over to the Isle of Hope another real, and enchanting place.


Where is your favorite dream town?  Any movie towns or TV towns you wish you could visit in real life?  Any real towns you would love to pack up and move to?  Please share in a comment the real, fantasy, or movie/TV town you would love to live in!

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  1. Puttin' On The GRITS says

    I am completely in love with Senoia, Georgia. That's not too far from you, I think. I visited about a year ago to see the Southern Living Idea House. It was decorated for Christmas. We popped into a little antique store on the main street and overheard someone ask about the "holiday home tour". We ended up going on the home tour that night as well after spending a little time sitting hot chocolate in the corner coffee shop. We saw the house that was in Fried Green Tomatoes and finished the night at their Irish Pub. It started to snow as we were walking to the car after dinner. Such a magical town!

    Serenbe is also an amazing little place. The Farmhouse restaurant is something out of a movie.

  2. Susan (Between Naps on the Porch) says

    Senoia is a cute little town. I've only been there once…for the Southern Living Idea House. This year's Idea House is supposed to be there, too…can't wait to see it. So glad you mentioned Serenbe. I've seen a few pics in magazines but haven't visited. That's going on my list of places to go this year. Thanks!

  3. Carmel by-the-sea in a heartbeat. I did fall in love with Stars Hollow…but it snows there.


  4. The French Hutch says

    Susan, we go down to destination 30-A, Seaside often. We love the quaint village feeling where your transportation is a bike. It's like living in the 50's. I enjoyed your fantasy, I understand because I have my own. Some of these house are my favorites too. Love this post! I'll send you a postcard next time time I'm in Seaside, the real one……
    Have a great weekend.

    The French Hutch

  5. Renee from Where the Grass is Greener says

    I'm in love with Rockport, MA. And, believe it or not, I once owned a pink bike…it even had a pink seat! No, not when I was a toddler; this bike went with me to college!

  6. I'm an "across the pond" dreamer. Having traveled quite a bit outside the country, my dream place is a countryside villa in the hills just outside Rome, Italy. Country and quaint enough, but close enough to the Eternal City. Ahhh……

  7. Kristin Haley says

    Definitely Rosemary Beach…a nice bike ride ( my bike is big bird yellow 😉 from Seaside. It looks like you've stepped into a quaint beachside town in Europe. Sighhhhhhhhhh

  8. I've been to Port Isaac many times, it is a very pretty place. I'm thinking I might need to check out 'Stars Hollow' too after reading this post!

  9. On the fim side, I've always been in love with Miss Honey's cottage in the film Matilda. Not the big house, but the cottage she lives in because her aunt has kicked her out of her house.

    In real life one of the prettiest villages I've ever spent time in was a tiny place in Cornwall called Mousehole ("mow-sul"). Cornwall is stunning. I would love to see the Angela Landsbuy version of the Shellseekers again just to see some of the Cornwall scenery once more.

  10. Susan,
    My favorite place is the Old Village in Mt. Pleasant, SC. It sits on the Charleston Harbor. It is very quaint. There is even a drug store with an old time soda fountain. I used to teach school there. The children still walk or ride their bicycles to school. It always reminded me of Mayberry. You'd love it.

  11. carrahararis says

    Any medium size village in France. I would love to rent a house for the summer and visit all the little specialty food shops and the little cafes that serve such marvelous food.

  12. curlyrose49 says

    I watched Gilmore Girls and loved the little town. I don't really know which town I would love to live in but it would be nice. My new town(city?) is to big for me. My daughter lives in a small town and loves it in Hollister,Ca where her and her family moved for her husbands work. I am off to visit in a week and enjoy the small town there. Will be checking in on my visit to seee where you take me next.

  13. All episodes of Doc Martin are on instant Netflix. Love that show, that character and that village. Beautiful scenery!

  14. Wow this post has me thinking I am living in the wrong town! All so beautiful.

  15. Hi, I'm Linda says

    All the places you mentioned look great. I've been to Wormsloe (all three of my kids went to school in Savannah); I visited Seaside Florida and fell in love with Stars Hollow when I watched Gilmore Girls on DVD. I didn't turn in when it was on TV and absolutely fell in love with the show while watching it later – the inn, the cafe and everything about Stars Hollow was quaint. My fictional place was the town of Cabot Cove, Maine featured in "Murder She Wrote". I was ready to uproot my family and move to that town until I found out that it didn't exist except in TVland. Love your blog!!!!!

    • Linda, Cabot Cove DOES exist! But, it’s not in Maine. It’s in California and it’s a small, quaint lovely town called Mendocino. It’s on a bluff on the Pacific Ocean, just about 9 miles South from Fort Bragg. And, yes, just like you, I wanted to move there everytime I watched Murder She Wrote (loved that show, btw). We were vacationing in Northern California and decided to spend the night there at the Mendocino Hill House. When we arrived late that afternoon, the sign at the place read “Cabot Cove Hill House”. Wow! What a surprise. We were told that they were filming that week and the townspeople knew not to bother the actors or crew while filming. But we did meet actor Ken Howard and the fellow that played the doctor. While most of the actors/crew stayed at the Hill House, Angela Lansbury always stayed at a nearby B&B. The town is filled with lots of small Victorian houses. It’s where everyone picks up their mail at the post office, then goes across the street to a wonderful bakery to buy their coffee, donuts or pastry. Also, when entering this bakery, by the door is a wall rack holding personal coffee mugs, each one owned by someone. As neighbors entered, they’d grab their own mug to get their coffee, then pastry, pay, then sit down with a neighbor friend. It was all so dreamy that people lived like this. You can walk everywhere in that town, go fishing or hike in the surrounding mountains or visit a winery. I felt so at home there I never wanted to leave. Lots of quaint shops and eateries and always that breathtaking ocean right there. Sometimes the ocean waves’ spray can be seen coming over the bluff. Awesome sight! Also, artists tend to hang out there. Google it or go on Bing or MapQuest to view it. Yes, we were told by everyone there that that was the Cabot Cove and that when they filmed, the crew would go around the town changing any sign that said Mendocino to Cabot Cove. We witnessed that as we walked around. This place is a must see.

  16. DearHelenHartman says

    One of the joys I've had in my 17 years of writing is that early on I started creating ideal southern small towns that became like characters in my books. I LOVED Stars Hollow and love the real small towns of Versailles and Middletown Kentucky, Corydon, Indiana.

  17. Forever Christmas 1904 says

    Oh, Susan! I so love following your posts! I woke up with a headache and took some sinus medication and decided to relax until it subsided, read your post and feel so much better! We got over a foot of snow overnight, and your dreamy towns are just what my head/heart/eyes needed! I love "Gilmore Girls" and, just so you know, you can probably watch them on Netflix, or purchase them on DVD-(they sell the series.) When I saw the last house photo you posted, it took my breath away-that would be my dream house! Big, beautiful, Victorian! Thank you again for starting my day on such a high note! Hope you enjoy your day as well!

  18. Check out Fairhope, Alabama! It's a bit like Carmel, but it's on the Gulf coast. It's full of charming cottages, with Live Oaks, Spanish moss, and water views. Charming shops and restaurants and lots of great places to walk make it one of my dream towns.
    P.S.- I moved here from Atlanta!

  19. Susan (Between Naps on the Porch) says

    Renee, I love it! 🙂 Ohhhh, my bucket list is growing! I love all the descriptions and would love to see all these places!

  20. I would have to say the cutest "fantasy town" would have to be Rosebud is the movie "Funny Farm". The town and the residents (along with the gazeebo!) make it look like the perfect place to live!

  21. Happy Birthday Mom!



  22. Susan (Between Naps on the Porch) says

    Thanks, Chip! ♥

  23. Kathy @ Creative Home Expressions says

    I don't know if I'd want to move there, but I wanted to go to Cornwall after watching Doc Martin, Susan! I do love my Britcoms and actually loved the Village of Dibley in The Vicar of Dibley {I've got the DVD set on most of "my shows"}. I love the idea of being within walking distance of everything.

  24. Thanks to my daughter, I was a big fan of Gilmore Girls. Both of us refer to the show and Star's Hollow all the time whenever we find ourselves in a situation or place that reminds us of that charming small town way of life. Pretty much we have turned Gilmore Girls and Stars Hollow into adjectives! I don't watch sitcoms very often but this was the exception. Thanks for this post!

    Robin Flies South

  25. Happy Cottage Quilter says

    ha, ha, you made me laugh, because I don't watch TV either. Just PBS once in a while. I love beautiful old homes like the last one you posted. Eufaula Alabama has many antebellum homes that are open for tours.


    Jocelyn @

  26. Happy Birthday, Susan!
    I am torn between two dream spots – both islands and as far from each other as you can get. The enchanging island of Maui with it's timelessness (we loved it so much we named our exotic looking little cat Maui) and Martha's Vineyard off Cape Cod – full of rich American tradition and family history. Two very different lifestyles – two much loved places in my heart.

  27. I have so many dream towns..hard to pick one. Most recently loved the town of Banff (Canada) and Couer d' Alene, Idaho..but the one most recent, would be the town of Camden, Maine..such a quaint seaside town. Thank you for showing your favorites! Love them too!

  28. Aiken S.C. is a pretty little town. Lots of beautiful trees, wonderful old homes, and lots of horses. Lovely…..downtown, shops, antiques, great places to eat.

  29. Tammy @ A Walk in the Countryside says

    Susan, I love Seaside and have always wanted to visit. I remember clipping pictures of it many, many years ago to keep in my "One Day" file.

  30. If you haven't read the Mitford Series of books by Jan Karon, you need to. She created a little town that people are constantly searching for!

  31. Michele @ The Nest at Finch Rest says

    Well you pretty much hit up all sorts of dreamy places – real or not- in this post. I would say a quaint little cottage in Ireland would be my true dream….

    BTW I finally met another person who doesn't watch television. I never ever do and never know what people are talking about. I haven't in 30 years, neither does my husband.

    So a few weeks ago I told him we need to get a flat screen b/c I am changing up the den he looked at me as though I was completely insane.

    Perhaps I am. But it is nice when the nieces or nephew visit at least. And would fit better and look oh-so-nice. Even if only just to dust the top of once a week, haha.

    Love this post, Susan.

  32. Michele @ The Nest at Finch Rest says

    BTW- it is snowing like mad but one of these days I will send you a pic of our quaint little historic downtown here in my little city….we have a gazebo.

    : – )

  33. Small Town Girl says

    Susan, I got to visit Bar Harbor, Maine one year in the fall. Gazebo in the middle of the small town, trees changing beautiful hues and sweet shops and cafes completed the perfect town for me! You should check it out whether online or in real life!!!

    • As a Mainer, I will say that Bar Harbor, Southwest Harbor, and Camden are the “dream” small towns – in the summer and early Fall… after that, they are dead.. dry…. nothing is open.. nothing is available…. they are strictly tourist driven towns.

  34. Susan, you have touched on a few places I have visited. Practical Magic was on the t.v. last week (yes, I do watch 🙂 but I had no idea it was filmed in Coupeville where we have stayed a few times.
    We also visited Doc Martin's area when staying with a friend year before last, who has a cottage in Cornwall right on the beach of Polkerris.
    Seaside is one of my favourite ocean spots, I say with a blush, that I ride the carousel there.
    As for magical mythical towns, I have always wanted to live in Mayberry and be part of that community. I also have a yen to visit Hogwarts with Harry Potter too!! 🙂
    Thank you for this post, it jogged quite a few memories for me.

  35. Jo's This and That says

    Happy Birthday! Love your post!I would love to live in Asheville, North Carolina and have a Bed And Breakfast.
    Thanks for answering my note but it not that they cannot see my new post on my page, it is my post will not pop up for my followers in their list of post.Still looking for an answer.Have a great weekend! I too was born on the 13th.of Aug.Joann

  36. Susan, just read that it was your birthday.
    HAPPY BIRTHDAY SUSAN, enjoy your day, hope you are doing something special!!

  37. Love this post, so many awesome little places. Have a great birthday Susan!
    Hugs, Lisa

  38. Happy Birthday Susan.

  39. Heaven's Walk says

    I just wanted to crawl right into your dream photos, Susan! *sigh*…..! Thanks for the dreamy moment today! lol!

    xxo laurie

  40. I adore Nantucket!!

  41. These are all fabulous places! I could live in any one of them. I do love the house on Practical Magic.
    Doc Martin, one of my favorite shows.

  42. I just wanted to let you know how much I love your blog. Your tablescapes are awesome, the pictures are fantastic. I don't think I can decide on the perfect place to be. We spent five years in our RV just wandering the country and seeing so many beautiful and quaint little places. Thanks goodness I have pictures or I wouldn't be able to remember everything.

  43. Grace InAZ says

    I am so with you in your dreaming! Love those cottages by the water!
    Hugs, GraceinAZ

  44. I would love to live in Kennebunkport, Maine. My daughter and I go there on vacation every summer and just love the seaside homes, beautiful beaches and shops. My second choice would be Woodstock, Vermont.

  45. Susan BetweenNapsOnThePorch says

    Emily, that sounds wonderful! Yes, send me a postcard! 🙂

  46. Newburyport MA is another beautiful New England town. Not too small. But,I've found, most of these places require a sizable amount of money to live the way I dream of living. All those quaint little (sometimes big) houses by the water cost a fortune. Oh well, it is a dream, right?

  47. Our little hometown is pretty cute too. Well except the ugly glass govt, building. But if you stand in front of it and look at the square and the other 3 streets …it's pretty charming:) (Gotta find magic where I can…lol)

  48. I grew up on Long Island,NY so I maybe a little biased here…there are three towns that stand out in my mind…Port Jefferson Village, Sayville, and Sag Harbor. Not to mention Southampton and all the little villages along the south and north shores of L.I.!
    Love your blog!

  49. Susan BetweenNapsOnThePorch says

    Awww, thanks, Ellen! Wow, how wonderful to get to do that for 5 years! Yes, thank goodness for pictures. I'm the same way, memory wise. 🙂

  50. Susan BetweenNapsOnThePorch says

    Thanks, Linda! 🙂

  51. Susan BetweenNapsOnThePorch says

    Thanks, Lisa!

  52. Susan BetweenNapsOnThePorch says

    Thanks, Meg! Will be celebrating with friends this weekend. 🙂

  53. Susan BetweenNapsOnThePorch says

    Michele, I should do a "gazebo" post. Wouldn't that be fun. Post pics of gazebos in the downtown squares of all the little towns. 🙂

  54. *Chic Provence* says

    Love Seaside, Savannah, and Doc Martin's house!! I love the show, and miss it so much… I think it's done, over and finished… 🙁 hope I'm wrong, but last episode there was a baby, and I've seen nothing since!

    Great post!



  55. Susan BetweenNapsOnThePorch says

    Kit, I'm afraid it may be, too. It was such an unusual show…love the Doc Martin character.

  56. My Cherie Amour says

    It is nice to know that people dream of Savannnah. I have lived here, in Savannah, all of my life, and sometimes I take her beauty for granted. Thanks for reminding me how blessed I am to reside here. Come visit anytime, after all, Savannah is the "Hostess City of the South". 🙂

  57. I also don't watch much tv, so the quaint town I want to live in Mitford in the Jan Karon books. I can just see it in my imagination.

  58. I've been to Seaside and Savannah and they are both gorgeous towns. I'd pick up and move to either in a heartbeat…. but I think my preference would be Seaside. It's simply beautiful there.

  59. Well, Cooperstown,NY (about an hour from me) is a wonderful and historical town. It is WAY more than the Baseball Hall of Fame! But my fictional towns? St. Mary Mead (Miss Marple's village) and my favorite "quirky" towns would be Cicely, Alaska from Northern Exposure. Love Doc Martin and they are making more according to my m-in-l in England. I don't know when we will get them. here. We watched "The Gilmore Girls" every week. I think my husband liked it more than I did…yes a GREAT town.

  60. I'm completely in love with the little town of Mitford snuggled in the mountains of North Carolina. Of course, it's a dream town created by the fabulous author Jan Karon with her stories of Father Tim in the Mitford Series books. I live in a quaint little village of Van Wyck, SC. It's full of old homes and some fantastic old churches. But best of all, it's full of the wonderful people I know and love.

  61. Susan BetweenNapsOnThePorch says

    Tracy…sounds wonderful!

  62. Susan BetweenNapsOnThePorch says

    I've never seen that…will have to look for it. I love cottages! What a cute name for a town…Mousehole. Love that!

  63. Susan BetweenNapsOnThePorch says

    Glenda, I just downloaded the first book in that series to Audible. Can't wait to read it! I'm so glad you and a few others mentioned it. I hadn't heard of the series but it sounds like something I will enjoy listening to when I'm out walking each day.

  64. I'm a Texas girl, so I have a few Texas towns that I fantasize about living a leisurely-paced, down-home lifestyle in: Fredericksburg, Tx. and Marble Falls, Tx. I love the Hill Country and everytime we visit I get wistful about packing up the kids and the dogs and getting back to the 'basics of life' as dear ol' Waylon Jennings used to sing about…

  65. The tv show, Royal pains takes place where I live. They film a lot of it here too.

    You must watch Masterpiece Classics, Downton Abbey. Watch Season 1 first. The second season started last week. I think you will like it, so many of us do!

  66. And Happy Birthday, dear Susan! I wish you a wonderful year!

  67. Susan BetweenNapsOnThePorch says

    Thanks, Kathleen! ♥
    I've seen a few minutes of Masterpiece Classics, Downtown Abbey since it comes on PBS. It always looks so interesting. I wish I had seen it from the beginning.

  68. Love your blog and today's ponderings. Stars Hollow and Gilmore Girls is a favorite. You should get the series on DVD. Totally worth it!

  69. Everyone in Atlanta needs to go to both Senoia and Serenbe — cute cute places.

  70. Susan, if you ever find yourself with down time a Netflix fix of The Gilmore Girls is your best friend. I was smitten years after it went off the air. I bought the box series as a special treat

  71. Susan BetweenNapsOnThePorch says

    Thanks, Gayla…I just may have to try that!

  72. White Door Cream Puff says

    if you get the "soapnet" channel, they play gilmore-girls every weekend 🙂 It is such a cute show 🙂 happy w-end ox

  73. Susan I am pretty sure you covered my list to a T!
    I loved Gilmore girls whatching with my girls was good times!(target has great deals on seasons)
    I live in California and not all that far from Carmel so when I saw those little cottages I was shocked in to saying out loud,Who is this women !
    You did not miss one of my favorites! All though a sweet friend moved to Gig Harbor Washington and it looks post card perfect! I Will visit!
    Happy Birthday to a kindred spirit 🙂

  74. if i could i would live in Stars Hollow…

  75. {oc cottage} says

    you are so hilarious! Carmel-by-the-Sea is amazing…although you have to be as rich as Clint to live there! Washington Depot, Ct. is the real Stars Hollow…I ADORE the fake cottage in The Holiday…I watch it again and again just to see the cottage! Ballykissangel is another fake town I love…but I don't have a passport, so I can't go to the real town of Avoca, Ireland. GREAT POST! Truly!!!! Just think of how many people you had "imagining" all day long! ;}

    m ^..^

  76. And in addition to Miss Honey's cottage, I love the house in The Ghost and Mrs. Muir.

  77. Susan BetweenNapsOnThePorch says

    I saw that just a few months ago…it was a cute cottage…even in black and white.

  78. Susan BetweenNapsOnThePorch says

    Love that show, Kathy!:)

  79. Oh Susan….we fantasized for years about living in Kiawah Island, SC. Last year we bit the bullet and bought our dream house there….ahhhhh

    Come for a visit sometime…beautiful homes, natural landscape by the ocean, championship golf… ahhhh…nothin could be finer…

  80. Susan BetweenNapsOnThePorch says

    Hi Mary Lou, I love Kiawah…it is beautiful there. I flew into Kiawah with a friend on his King Air many years ago for a weekend Sunday School retreat. We had a fun weekend and Kiawah is beautiful! I remember seeing an article in a magazine of a beautifully decorated home there on Kiawah. I think I saved that magazine, although I can't remember now which one it was. Wish I could remember if it was Southern Homes or Southern Accents, or what magazine I saw it in. Do you remember seeing that article? It was a wonderful home and I think the couple had been visiting Kiawah for a while and decided to move there for good. I think they built the home…didn't buy an existing one.

  81. Has anyone out there ever been to Micanopy Florida?



  82. Lassiegirl says

    The house and town that Julia Roberts flees to in the movie, Sleeping with the Enemy, has a nice breezy, old fashioned feel to it.

  83. Peggy Beaman says

    We live in Roswell, Georgia, just around the corner from Canton Street. We lovingly call it Roshollow : )

  84. I love gilmore girls & stars hollow & coupeville!! I just recently moved from Alabama to Oregon & love my new small town! There is a new show I have been watching on hulu.com called "Hart of Dixie" that takes place in the fictional town of Bluebell, Alabama.. they have a cute gazebo & quirky events just like stars hollow but southern, very cute fictional town & I can relate a lot to the show b/c I was also a yankee that moved to AL.

  85. I love stars hollow & coupeville! I am loving living in my new small town in Oregon, after moving from Alabama.. but there is a new show on T.V. that you can also watch on hulu.com called "Hart of Dixie" that takes place in the fictional town of Bluebell, Alabama — very cute w/ gazebo and quirky events, just like Stars Hollow but Southern, very cute!

  86. I love gilmore girls & stars hollow & coupeville!! I just recently moved from Alabama to Oregon & love my new small town! There is a new show I have been watching on hulu.com called "Hart of Dixie" that takes place in the fictional town of Bluebell, Alabama.. they have a cute gazebo & quirky events just like stars hollow but southern, very cute fictional town & I can relate a lot to the show b/c I was also a yankee that moved to AL.

  87. Susan BetweenNapsOnThePorch says

    Oh, Brooke, thanks for sharing that. I will look it up online. It sounds really cute. So hard to find shows that aren't filled with violence these days. I miss the good ole days when shows were fun and left you uplifted and in a good mood.

  88. Kristy McEneaney says

    Just found this site today and I must say I am in love with it, I have told my husband over and over I want to live somewhere like Stars Hollow. I live about 45 mins from Jefferson, TX its a beautiful town that never let anything new come in. We visit it several times a year they have a wonderful bar-b-q place and a great place that makes homemade pies and ice cream. Only down fall is its just to hot here you can’t enjoy it in the summer time.

  89. Bluebell from hart of Dixie and the town from sweet home Alabama

  90. Betty Vann says

    Check out Ligioner PA. It has a gazebo. Beautiful little town in the fall. I also love the cottage from the movie The Holiday.

  91. This is my first visit to your site and I must tell you that I truly enjoyed reading this post. I thought I was the only one in the world that fell in love with quaint little towns that we briefly visit during a movie or show.
    I have always said that my favorite vacation is when I get lost in my own imagination, so here’s my vision:
    I live in a town, similar to the ones mentioned above. This town is a combination of places I’ve read about in a book or seen in a movie. It has to be a small town and all the historical businesses and homes have been taken care of through the years. (Basically, your Norman Rockwell look and feel) It has to exist in a location where we get snow. I live in Alabama (Roll Tide) and my family and I dream of snow………………….constantly. (haha)
    I live in a perfect little cottage, (it has to be a cottage or it wouldn’t be make-believe) where I sip on the perfect mug of coffee, wearing the perfect pair of broken-in sweatpants, reading a perfect little novel.
    I own a cozy, little bookstore in town (of course) like the one Meg Ryan owns in “You’ve Got Mail”. I never worry about going out of business because I have an endless amount of money…………….let’s remember, we are in my imagination. And my family and I live happily ever after! The End.
    Realistically, I live near Helena, Alabama. It is a neat, little town that seems to strive for that “Mayberry” feel.
    Maybe you’ve heard of it.
    Take care and thank you for such an enjoyable site and for sharing your gifts with others.

    • Becky, can I move there, too? I LOVE your vision! Yes, definitely has to be a cottage. We can be neighbors! 🙂 That sounds like the place I dream of in my heart, too. I spent an hour or so last night on the computer just Googling for “cottages” in North Georgia and “best places/small towns to live in.” Love the movie, You’ve Got Mail. I’m planning on doing a post about her cute apartment sometime. Thanks for sharing your perfect dream town. I’m so there! 🙂

      • I just found this post and I love it! I have been spending several weeks searching for the best small towns in America. I thought I was the only one, but I am happy to know that I am in good company. Currently, I live in Phoenix, AZ and I cannot take the sprawling city too much longer! I would love to move to a charming small town and hopefully sooner than later. Maybe I will spend some time this summer traveling and visiting some of the small towns that have been mentioned in this blog. Many thanks!

        • Thanks, Lauren…I dream of the same thing! I’m totally ready to get away from the Metro Atlanta traffic. Let me know if you find that special town…would love to hear about it! XO

        • I’m doing the same search now. I was wondering what towns you found that were the best. You could help save me weeks of looking 🙂

  92. Hi Susan-
    I am in love with your work. I get so excited when I find your lasted posts in my inbox, as I know I’m in for such a treat. I love watching movies that incorporate a cozy town or charming home, probably more than the movie itself. I was wondering if you know anything about the home or town in Meryl Streep/ Alec Baldwin movie, “Its Complicated”?

    • Thanks, Trish! Appreciate that so much! I don’t know a lot about the town but I read it was filmed in Thousand Oaks, CA. I created a little “movie house post” a while back about the movie and shared a few more details about the house/location in that post, as well as the address of the house in the movie. If you put the address into Google, I bet you’ll find lots more info about the location since that movie was popular. 🙂 Here’s the post about it: https://betweennapsontheporch.net/its-complicated-a-movie-house-tour/ Hope that helps.

  93. I would want to live in Bluebell, Alabama from the Hart of Dixie show. Its just seems so perfect! 😉

  94. Jill Brewster says

    The real town of Nevada City, California. It was the town filmed in the 2007 Hallmark movie…..The Christmas Card with Ed Asner. I lived there in early to mid 60’s and loved wandering the surrounding hills taking in all the beautiful homes with their gingerbread trim and ornate fencing. Nevada City is filled with beautifully restored Victorian homes from the 1800’s with the discovery of gold at Sutter’s Mill that began the largest gold rush ever in the lower 48. If you ever get the chance to visit be prepared to fall in love.

  95. Beth Sowell says

    Check out the small town of Bemus Point, NY! It’s freaking adorable!

  96. Here’s links to a blogthat has pictures of the real town tused for Gilmore Girls’ Star Hollow at the beginning.


    And more info about subsequent filming.


  97. I’m from Miami, FL but I’ve had a strange obsession with small towns since I can remember.
    Sweet Home Alabama is my favorite movie and that little town was adorable. Stars Hollow made me want to jump into my TV. Bluebell is the town in Hart of Dixie, it has truly captured my heart. Sequoia, Oklahoma in Where the Heart Is was also one of my favorites.
    I hear Fairhope, AL and Hendersonville, NC are very similar to these picture perfect towns.

    • Shay, I think I do too…have an obsession with them. They are always portrayed in such a wonderful way online. I’m so ready to move away from metro Atlanta…dream of living in a smaller town. Hendersonville is a nice little place, I’ve been through there when we were visiting Davidson for a class reunion. Now I want to look up the other places you mentioned! 🙂

  98. OK, I know I’m a couple years late to the party but I just read this post. Gilmor Girls was the best tv show ever. The timing was perfect while my youngest daughter was close to Rory’s age. In fact, my daughter’s uncle’s name is Rory. Anyway, we live in Hudson, Ohio. There’s even a beautiful
    Prep school here…Western Reserve Academy. My daughter has moved on and now lives in NYC but I’m still here in Stars Hollow…with her dad. I work on Main Street. It’s a perfect little world except we miss our Rory and our son too who now lives in DC.

  99. Lyn Williams says

    Susan, my feelings exactly!!! I’m looking into Port Townsend, Washington. My friend moved there and sends me pictures of her steepled church, sail boats docked in all colors, snow capped mountains, and her lilacs in bloom. It is a small victorian town/island. Also loved Balboa Island, Ca. I used to drive there and find a cottage I loved and park in front and eat my lunch. Then walk the sidewalks and look at them all. Picket fences, huge roses, friendly people. The cottage houses are stacked side by side, too close for comfort, but still idyllic. Loved joining you on your fantasy; and yes; dreams do come true! Hope you find yours and me too.

  100. I love, love Cornwall and have visited several times: Mousehole; Sennen Cove; Clovelly; Marazion; Tintagel (we keep in touch with friends there); and Port Isaac where a man we met on a early cliff walk opened his restaurant early to prepare our breakfast! Mont Ste. Michel is a favorite in France; Zermatt in Switzerland; Bruges in Belgium; Fussen, Germany; Bergen, Norway; Peebles, Scotland; Queenstown, New Zealand; Treasure Island, Fiji; Hilo on the Big Island of Hawaii; Anacortes, Washington; Mackinac Island, Michigan; Ocracoke Island, North Carolina; and few beat Santa Fe and Taos, New Mexico. We lived a few miles from Seaside, Florida, but also visited Mexico Beach and Apalachicola. There are SO MANY magical places! I have visited all of the above and hope to see many more before I retire my carryon . . .

  101. Orchid Girl says

    Oh my gosh!! I LOVE how you think Susan 🙂 I am totally enamored by cottages, but I know that my fantasies here on earth are nothing compared to my realities in Heaven † where a mansion is being readied for me ♥ Here’s a great cottage or two that I came across today on Small House Swoon. They are both just adorable:



    • Those adorable, I love them! Thanks for sharing those links! So amazing that even though they are pretty small, they don’t look small inside. So cute!

  102. Orchid Girl says

    My favorite little dream town is Cambria by the sea (8 miles south of Hearst Castle) in northern California. Off of Highway 1 is a turnoff for Moonstone Beach (Moonstone Beach Drive) where there are restaurants and quaint little bed and breakfasts that sit directly across the street from the beach (it’s a rocky beach, not for sunbathing). Across Highway 1 is the town itself, which is full of quaint antique shops, wonderful little restaurants and coffee houses. The best time to go is anytime but winter. The town pretty much closes up at that time of year. I have always stayed at the White Water Inn on Moonstone Beach ~ Here is a beautiful pic of the Cambria – Moonstone Beach Boardwalk ♥


  103. Oh the places I’ve visited this morning! They all sound amazing. My favourite cottage, even though fictional, is from The Holiday. I don’t know how many times I have watched this movie, and I fall in love with this little cottage all over again. Was so disappointed when I found out it was just a movie set they built! One day I will go to the British Isles and find all sorts of little cottages to take my breath away. But here in Canada & the US, I find any little towns that have big or small homes, with lovely verandas or porches, are perfect!

  104. I was born and raised in Northern Michigan, and I must say the city I grew up in and all surrounding cities are beyond dreamy. There is an entire quaint little village inside of Petoskey called Bay View that is one of the closest I’ve ever seen to a secluded, victorian small town type. They are not ‘as’ delightful in the winter (they do try and light up the town with rope lights), but they make amazing Summer & Fall homes.

    Petoskey, Charlevoix, Bay Harbor, Harbor Springs, Boyne City, & Traverse City – all in Michigan, all within an hour and a half of each other.

  105. Rhona GLASSBURN says

    I love stars hollow and bluebell alabama my goal is to retire on the treasure coast. I love merrit island

  106. Julie Terry says

    I just found your blog and got swooped up in the discussion. Have you checked out Dahlonega GA? We recently moved here and even have a guest cottage you could stay in. I’m a cottage/small town soul. Keep looking and get out of that insane traffic.

    • Dahlonega is a wonderful place! I’ve been there a few times with friends for the winery tours or to have brunch at Wolf Mountain Vineyards. You’re so right, that would be a wonderful town to live in! I can’t wait until the weather warms up, North Georgia is such a beautiful place to visit and hike.

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