A little bit hip and a little bit homey, these up-and-coming towns guarantee a fun detour on your next road trip. You'll be browsing the local real estate pages before you know it.
Nearest City: New York, 71 miles
A resort town since the Gilded Age, Milford is popular with newcomers interested in its Victorian houses. Sean Strub (a direct-mail and publishing entrepreneur who moved here in 1997) and retired executive Richard Snyder spearheaded the town beautification effort, launched Milford Magazine, and in 2001 bought the 1880s-era Hotel Fauchère. Five years and $6.5 million later, it reopened with heated slate bathroom floors, Frette sheets, and a price point that's ritzy for such a small town, not to mention Budget Travel (401 Broad St., 570/409-1212, hotelfauchere.com, from $275). The 70,000-acre Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area is nearby (nps.gov/dewa); buy picnic supplies at Fretta's (223 Broad St., 570/296-7863). Kitchen and bath designer Derek Roberts moved to Milford in 1991. "My mountain bike is well used," he says. "After work, I like to go swimming in a waterfall." He has become such a civic booster that he began organizing Fluviarchy dance parties--named for the network of waterfalls--at The Emerson House (call the Fauchère for info). "Find me for free-drink tickets," he says.