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These 10 Cities Were Just Named Best In The Southern U.S.

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If an international trip isn’t in the cards for you this spring, then exploring one of the great cities of the United States is a great way to scratch your traveling itch with fewer air miles required.

At this time of year, many cities in the southern U.S. are perfect to explore thanks to pleasant temperatures, cheaper prices, friendly folks, and a wealth of festivals and events.

the french quarter of downtown charleston south carolina at night with light trails

And if you are going to head south, then you might as well pick one of the top-rated destinations.

Readers of Southern Living Magazine just voted these 10 cities as the best in the South as part of the annual South’s Best Awards. Let’s take a look:

  • 10. Orlando, Florida
  • 9. Raleigh, North Carolina
  • 8. Austin, Texas
  • 7. Atlanta, Georgia

6. Greenville, South Carolina

Falls Park on the Reedy in greenville south carolina

Perhaps traditionally a lesser-known destination for travelers, Greenville attracted an impressive 7 million people from June 2022 to June 2023, with plans for bigger and better things this year.

Greenville is great for foodies with more than 100 downtown dining options and features amazing attractions such as the BMW Performance Center where you can fly around a racetrack at breakneck speeds.

Greenville’s Falls Park on the Reedy was also recently named one of the top free attractions in the U.S.

5. Asheville, North Carolina

Asheville, North Carolina

In recent years, Asheville has come out of the shadows from being an underrated destination and turned into one of America’s most trendy getaways.

The city is a great place to spend an evening, thanks to its large number of independent breweries, but the real charm is exploring the great outdoors that surrounds it.

The Blue Ridge Parkway and Appalachian Trail are both within easy driving distance.

Asheville is also a city of culture, and this year, its Black Cultural Heritage Trail will be on display throughout the city.

4. New Orleans, Louisiana

a streetcar moves along in downtown new orleans at dusk with a pink sky

It’s hard not to have a good time in New Orleans – the city is full of amazing nightlife venues with live music on almost every corner.

It also has some impressive history, and it’s easy to get around on the city’s streetcars for just $1.25 per ride.

The food in New Orleans is hard to beat, but it’s not just gumbo and po’ boys that will have you salivating in the city this year as on June 12 it will host the Pastry World Cup for the very first time.

This year’s theme is the cheesecake – a staple of American desserts.

3. Nashville, Tennessee

view of downtown nashville in early morning with the moon in view

Music lovers will already be well familiar with Nashville and everything it has to offer, but if not, it’s about time you got yourself there, especially as it could be more affordable than ever right now.

According to data from Kayak, it will be up to 28% cheaper to fly into Nashville this year compared to 2023.

Just watch out where you fly from, as the route from Raleigh to Nashville is one of the most turbulent in the U.S.

2. Savannah, Georgia

oak tree lined road at wormsloe plantation in savannah georgia

One of the South’s trendiest cities, Savannah, is a place where luxury meets soul and is also a growing hub for digital nomads.

This year is a great time to visit Savannah if you enjoy spoiling yourself, thanks to the opening of Hotel Bardo, a new luxury boutique hotel in the city’s historic district.

A host of incredible restaurants have also recently opened in Savannah to add to its culinary prowess including Late Air and Saint Bibiana.

And if you have been enjoying the recent TV series Masters Of The Air, Savannah is the perfect place for you thanks to the National Museum of the Mighty Eighth Air Force, which is located just a few miles from downtown.

1. Charleston, South Carolina 

pineapple fountain at waterfront park in charleston south carolina

For an impressive eight years in a row, Charleston has taken the crown as the South’s best city in these annual awards.

This historic and beautiful city is perfect for a long weekend of fine dining, sightseeing, and cruising one on of its many ferries and boat tours.

Another reason to consider Charleston is that flight connectivity with the city is improving all the time.

Spirit Airlines is adding new daily flights to the city from Boston and New York La Guardia in April, and budget airline Breeze Airways is expanding its twice-weekly nonstop flights from Los Angeles to four times a week starting in June.

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