With everyone and their mama booking stays in our picturesque historic neighborhoods and making reservations at our buzzed-about new restaurants, sticking close to home has never sounded so good. Southern cities are making a name for themselves as vibrant hubs of incredible regional cuisine, culture, music, and design; and we’re ready to brag on our Southern gems a little bit.
Not only are some fresh newcomers stepping onto the scene, but some longtime favorites are back and better than ever—a testament to their lasting power and effervescent draw. Travelers are flocking to the South in search of our signature food, drink, and scenery; and all we can think is, who can blame them?
In these Southern cities, you’ll be hard-pressed to find a meal you don’t love or a historic square that doesn’t permeate charm and tradition. Experience firsthand the classic and debonair flair of Savannah and Charleston; the young and industrial spirit of Nashville and San Antonio; or the quirky and laidback attitude of Asheville and Chattanooga. Take a stroll through cobblestone streets that might feel European, but definitely smell of the smoky aroma of barbecue or the sweet scent of blooming magnolias. Sit a spell on a sunny day along the river with an iced tea or at the brewery with a cold one. Odds are, you’ll run into a few old friends, and make a few new. These cities are the blood running through the veins to the heart of the South. From a glance, it might seem too good to be true; but trust us when we say that each more than lives up to the hype.
Southerners have hometown pride stronger and truer than the tides, and we have the pleasure of feeling that pride for the whole region. These are the South’s best cities for 2018—did your hometown make the cut?
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Published by Southern Living on March 22, 2018.