Design People & Places

America’s 50 Favorite Streets

Every state in the union has a unique culture that is reflected in the streets of its communities. The homes and businesses that line these avenues tell a story about the fabric of our country, how it was built, and the people who have shaped it. From large metropolitan thoroughfares to small town main streets, every state has a beloved boulevard.

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Court Street in Florence, Alabama via Jimmy Emerson, DVM

A timeless example of the American main street, this revitalized historic shopping and entertainment district in downtown Florence is also home to the popular First Fridays arts and music street fair.

Creek Street in Ketchikan, Alaska

Flickr via Bernard Spragg

Once an infamous red light district, the historic Creek Street is a boardwalk built on wood pilings over the Ketchikan Creek. No longer a seedy haunt, it is now home to a unique mix of restaurants, shops, and a museum that tells the story of its sordid past.

Related: 18 American Towns Every Old-House Lover Needs to See

Congress Street in Tucson, Arizona

Flickr via On Congress

Congress Street is the cultural hub of Tucson. Home to restaurants, theaters, and shops, the street is dotted with historic buildings such as Hotel Congress, which was once the hideout of Depression-era gangster John Dillinger.

Related: Step Inside 12 Hotels That Take You Back in Time

Dickson Street in Fayetteville, Arkansas

Flickr via MRHSfan

This colorful street is full of galleries, boutiques and music venues, including George’s Majestic Lounge, the oldest club in Arkansas. The street is also the headquarters of the annual Bikes, Blues & Barbecue rally, one of the largest motorcycle meet-ups the nation.

Related: 18 Small Towns with Strange Claims to Fame

Lombard Street in San Francisco, California

This iconic winding road, known for its eight hairpin turns down a steep slope, attracts millions of tourists each year. The well-known street has also catapulted several houses to fame, all of which stand along Lombard.

Related: 18 Victorian Homes We Love

Larimer Square in Denver, Colorado

Flickr via Geoff Livingston

As the oldest street in Denver, Larimer Square has seen decades of change—from its frontier town beginnings, to its decline after the 1893 Silver Crash, to the bustling commercial hub it is today.

Related: Would You Recognize These 9 Iconic Streets Way Back When?

Chapel Street in New Haven, Connecticut

Flickr via Malcom K

Strolling down Chapel Street is a great way to get a scenic view of the historic Yale Campus and the surrounding 19th-century architecture. And for those who don’t prefer sight-seeing, there’s always the charming restaurants and shops on this college town street.

Second Street in Lewes, Delaware

Flickr via Mike Mahaffie

Lewes claims to be “The First Town in The First State,” and historic Second Street is an essential part of the town’s cultural fabric. The street is lined with antique shops, boutiques, and gift shops that are second to none.

Related: 10 U.S. Towns That Are Older Than America

Ocean Drive in Miami, Florida

Known for its Art Deco hotels and historic buildings, Ocean Drive is a scenic thoroughfare in Miami Beach. The street is also home to the Casa Casuarina, the famous residence of fashion designer Gianni Versace.

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Peachtree Street in Atlanta, Georgia

Not to be confused with Atlanta’s 71 other streets named after Georgia’s unofficial state tree, Peachtree Street is home to prominent landmarks and historic architecture. Another claim to fame? Margaret Mitchell wrote “Gone With the Wind” in this very spot.

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Kahala Avenue in Honolulu, Hawaii via Matt Sims

This prestigious waterfront street is lined with mansions and stunning ocean views on the southern part of the island. The street has recently seen some rebirth after a controversial Japanese billionaire sold several of his properties, many of which had fallen to ruin.

Related: Island Living: 20 Tropical B&Bs That Are Only an Airplane Away

Eighth Street in Boise, Idaho

Flickr via Ken Wilcox

This thriving restaurant district in downtown Boise has benefitted from several city improvements since the 1980s, including wider sidewalks, and is home to a robust weekend farmer’s market.

Related: Pedestrians Only: 20 Car-Free Places in America

Michigan Ave in Chicago, Illinois

This famed street is home to such iconic Chicago spots as the Art Institute of Chicago, Millennium Park, the Chicago Water Tower, and Magnificent Mile shopping district. Originating on the shores of Lake Michigan in the north, the 12-mile street runs downtown and extends into the South Side neighborhood.

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Washington Street in Indianapolis, Indiana

Wikimedia Commons via Peetlesnumber1

Washington Street is an east–west thoroughfare in Indianapolis that passes local landmarks such as the Indianapolis Zoo and White River State Park. The street runs over the White River, and also under the glass-domed Indianapolis Artsgarden.

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Snake Alley in Burlington, Iowa

Flickr via Loco Steve

This winding street challenges San Francisco’s Lombard Street for the title of “crookedest street in the world.” Built in 1894 to emulate the vineyard paths of Europe, the brick pavers were laid at an angle to give horses better footing as they descended the steep hill.

Related: Take a Peek Inside 11 Charming Carriage Houses

Massachusetts Street in Lawrence, Kansas

Flickr via Patrick Emerson

Named by settlers from New England and known to locals as “Mass Street,” this street is home to many buildings listed on the National Register of Historic Places, as well as new shops, restaurants, and music venues that make it one of the most popular tourist attractions in Kansas.

Related: 15 Places Every American Should Visit at Least Once

Fourth Street in Louisville, Kentucky

Flickr via frankieleon

This downtown entertainment corridor has seen decades of transformation and revitalization. Stretching seven blocks south from the Ohio River, the street features new commercial developments alongside historic hotels and a library with grounds designed by famed landscape architect Frederick Law Olmsted.

Related: 17 Log Cabins We Love

Bourbon Street in New Orleans, Louisiana

This famous street in New Orleans’ French Quarter dates back to 1798 and is known for frenetic nightlife, strip clubs, music venues—and, of course, the annual Mardi Gras celebration.

Related: 12 Destinations You Should Actually Visit During the Off-Season

Congress Street in Portland, Maine

Flickr via Corey Templeton

Originally serving as an access road for 18th-century farmers, Congress Street continues to be Portland’s main street. Decades of development initiatives have resulted in a mix of historic structures and architecturally-diverse buildings from in the Federal, International, and Postmodern styles.

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North Charles Street in Baltimore, Maryland

Wikimedia Commons via Frederic C. Chalfant

Splitting the east and west parts of Baltimore, Charles Street is a National Scenic Byway. The 12-mile road runs through Baltimore’s Inner Harbor neighborhood, and showcases 19th-century buildings untouched by the Great Fire of 1904.

Related: After Disaster: 8 U.S. Cities That Went from Ruin to Rebirth

Acorn Street in Boston, Massachusetts

This cobblestone street in the picturesque Boston neighborhood of Beacon Hill is said to be one of the most photographed streets in the country. Now one of the most elite addresses in the city, Acorn Street hearkens back to Boston’s working-class colonial days.

Related: The 19 Most Photographed Homes in America

Woodward Ave in Detroit, Michigan

Flickr via Joy VanBuhler

Woodward Avenue runs north from the Detroit river through the heart of downtown. Several important landmarks are located on the street, including Hart Plaza, the Guardian Building, and The Spirit of Detroit statue. The road turns into state highway M-1, and reflects Detroit’s automotive industry and cruising culture.

Related: 15 Classic Roadside Motels You Can Visit Along America’s Highways

Nicollet Mall in Minneapolis, Minnesota

Flickr via jpellgen

This twelve-block pedestrian shopping and dining district is a cultural hub of Minneapolis. Since the completion of a recent $50-million renovation, the area boasts more green space and greater walkability to the surrounding area.

Related: 20 Places with (Almost) Zero Crime

Main Street in Tupelo, Mississippi

Wikimedia Commons via Thomas R Machnitzki

Known as the birthplace of Elvis Presley, the small town of Tupelo has put a great deal of effort into revitalizing its main downtown street, resulting in a charming crop of local businesses that see a boost in business around the Tupelo Elvis Festival, which brings thousands of visitors every year.

Related: 14 Surprising Small Towns the Stars Call Home

The Paseo in Kansas City, Missouri

Wikimedia Commons via Charvex

Designed by a German landscape architect in the early 1900s, The Paseo is a 10-mile boulevard lined with parkland. Built for “pleasure drives” inside the city, the street shows off the bluffs and natural contours of Kansas City, and several Beaux-Arts-style structures provide extra scenic beauty.

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Last Chance Gulch in Helena, Montana

Flickr via Jimmy Emerson, DVM

When the city of Helena was founded during the gold rush of the 1860s, this thoroughfare was created to provide access to a gold mining gulch. Today the road is home to a commercial district lined with shops, galleries, and restaurants that are rich with history.

O Street in Lincoln, Nebraska

Flickr via Karin Dalziel

Once a wagon trail in a frontier town, this very long street has a very short name. At 59 miles long, O Street claims to being the longest straight Main Street in the world.

The Strip in Las Vegas, Nevada

This 4.2 mile stretch of “Sin City” is densely packed with hotels, casinos, and entertainment venues. Known for its extravagance, over-the-top architecture, and bright lights, the Las Vegas strip is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the United States.

Related: 15 Places Every American Should Visit at Least Once

Commercial Alley in Portsmouth, New Hampshire

This quaint, brick paved alley may look like something out of a storybook but it is home to local merchants and charming plantings.

Related: 7 Fictional Towns You Can Visit in Real Life

Park Place in Atlantic City, New Jersey

Flickr via Karen Jacot

The coveted Park Place of the Monopoly Board game is a real street, and it’s located in Atlantic City. The street abuts a park and casino and, just like its board game counterpart, connects to Boardwalk Street.

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Canyon Road in Santa Fe, New Mexico

This half-mile stretch of road, nestled in the foothills of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains, boasts more than a hundred galleries, boutiques, restaurants, and adobe-style architecture.

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Broadway in New York, New York

One of New York City’s most famous streets, Broadway runs from the southern tip of Manhattan northward to the Bronx and continues for miles outside of the city. The most famous stretch of road is located in the eponymous theater district that includes the iconic Times Square.

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Fayetteville Street in Raleigh, North Carolina

This street in Raleigh’s downtown central business district was converted to a pedestrian mall in 1977, and then converted back to a vehicular street in 2006 as part of a revitalization effort that has created a booming commercial area full of shops and restaurants.

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Broadway North in Fargo, North Dakota

This stretch of downtown Fargo is beloved for its many local shops and restaurants, as well as for the artful sidewalks and intersections, which are dotted with mosaics and granite designs.

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Vine Street in Cincinnati, Ohio

Flickr via OverTheRhine

Dividing the east and west sides of the city, Vine Street bisects downtown Cincinnati and the neighboring Over-the-Rhine neighborhood. Notable attractions along the way include the Cincinnati Zoo, Fountain Square, and the University of Cincinnati.

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Cheyenne Avenue in Tulsa, Oklahoma

Wikimedia Commons via W. R. Oswald

Now part of the hip Tulsa Arts District, Cheyenne Avenue was once an industrial area that served the nearby railroad. Over the past few decades the area has morphed into a vibrant mix of bars, restaurants, museums and art establishments.

Related: Living Remotely: 12 Stunning Homes in the Middle of Nowhere

Northwest 23rd Avenue in Portland, Oregon

Flickr via Adam Jones

This street lined with Victorian and Craftsman-style storefronts has been a popular shopping destination for years. Now, national retail chains and local businesses mix to create an eclectic commercial area in Portland’s thriving Northwest District.

Related: 8 of the Great Independent American Hardware Stores

Market Street in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Flickr via Robert Moran

Market Street, originally known as High Street, is one of the most famous roads in the country for its role in American history: It was here that Thomas Jefferson wrote the Declaration of Independence, and Benjamin Franklin conducted his famous kite-flying experiment.

Related: 21 Crazy But True Facts About the White House

Bellevue Avenue in Newport, Rhode Island

Flickr via Rowyn Adriano

This elite street is home to enormous vacation homes for the wealthiest American families of the 20th century. Many of these Gilded-Age mansions, such as the Vanderbilt summer home known as “The Breakers” are now open to the public for tours.

Related: America’s 50 Most Exclusive Neighborhoods

East Bay Street in Charleston, South Carolina

Wikimedia Commons

The most famous fixtures of this Charleston street are the colorful Georgian row houses known as Rainbow Row. The houses constitute the largest surviving example of this style of 18th-century architecture in America. According to local folklore they were painted different colors to help drunk sailors and illiterate slaves tell the buildings apart.

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Main Street in Sturgis, South Dakota

Main Street is best known as the site of the massive Sturgis Motorcycle Rally, an annual occurrence since 1938, as well as The Sturgis Motorcycle Museum & Hall of Fame. The street has a new look after a recent streetscape project cleaned up its sidewalks, roads, and landscaping.

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Beale Street in Memphis, Tennessee

Known as the “Home of the Blues,” Beale Street has been at the epicenter of the evolution of blues music in America. Today the street gives a warm welcome to tourists under the glow of neon signage.

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Sixth Street in Austin, Texas

This bustling nightlife district, also known as Dirty Sixth, is filled with bars and music venues. The street is transformed into a pedestrian-only road on weekends, is the site of various music and film festivals such as South by Southwest.

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Main Street in Salt Lake City, Utah

Main Street connects the city’s downtown business district with Temple Square, the headquarters of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, which welcomes millions of visitors every year.

Related: The 20 Friendliest Cities in America

Church Street in Burlington, Vermont

This historic street is home to many points of local interest, including City Hall, an arts center located in a former firehouse, more than 100 places to shop and dine, and a variety of festivals such as the South End Art Hop.

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Beverley Street in Staunton, Virginia

Wikimedia Commons via Famartin

The buildings along Beverly Street offer an eclectic mix of architecture styles from the 19th and 20th centuries that tell a story of the town’s growth. Although the area experienced a period of decline in the 1990s, it has since been revitalized with new shops, restaurants, art galleries, and a Shakespearean playhouse.

Related: The Best Tiny Towns in Every State

University Way in Seattle, Washington

Wikimedia Commons via Joe Mabel

Known locally as “The Ave” this commercial district’s proximity to the University of Washington campus makes it a favorite with students who are attracted to its offbeat shops and eateries. The street is also known for its counterculture, and has a significant youth homeless population.

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Capitol Street in Charleston, West Virginia

Flickr via Richie Diesterheft

This destination in the heart of the Downtown Charleston Historic District, known for its shops and restaurants, is one of the most popular parts of the city, spanning several blocks from the Kanawha River.

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Brady Street in Milwaukee, Wisconsin

Flickr via Carol Ann

Brady Street has earned a reputation as one of Milwaukee’s most energetic and diverse neighborhoods. Unsurprisingly, this strip of the Beer Capital of the World is filled with popular bars.

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Ivinson Street in Laramie, Wyoming

Stretching the length of downtown Laramie, Ivinson street is home to a number of cultural institutions including the Laramie Plains Museum, the University of Wyoming campus, and a commercial district.

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