There's something wonderful about spending 36 hours in a small town.
Somehow, even just an hour from home, time slows down, pulses slow, tension melts and the phone seems to stop buzzing. You suddenly have an hour to while away in a cafe. The idea of a hike morphs from horrifying to enticing. There's somewhere to park.
It's not news that we have less vacation time than ever or that the vacation days we do have are going unclaimed -- to the tune of 226 million days in 2011, according to CNN Money.
But even if you can't squeeze in a big trip abroad, almost anyone can make the time to visit a local small town -- and escape for just a few hours.
Here are just a few wonderful small towns that offer a chance to disconnect this winter.