We visited one of the many gardens in Tongli, The Retreat and Reflection Garden. The garden and buildings were built in the late 1800's. The location is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. If you are lucky, and we were that day in October, there might be opera performed in the main square.
There are other water towns like Tongi, with cobblestone alleys, stone bridges and winding canals. Zhujiajiao is the water town closest to Shanghai, only about 45 minutes away. Some others are Zhouzhuang, Xitang and Nanxun.