With legendary hospitality, mouth-watering food, picturesque landscapes, and a fascinating history, America’s South makes an appealing travel destination. But where should you go? Tick the following Southern cities off your bucket list this year.
Charleston, South Carolina: Rated the Best in the South
Image via Flickr by michaezulauf
Southern Living recently named Charleston the South’s best city, and who are we to argue? South Carolina’s largest and oldest city has plenty to endear it to visitors, including its historic attractions, acclaimed restaurants, and welcoming locals. Charleston is known as the Holy City, so make sure you stop by one of its beautiful churches. The Roman Catholic Cathedral of St. John the Baptist and St. Matthew’s German Evangelical Lutheran Church are particularly impressive. The city’s also proud of its local seafood, used to great effect in tasty local specialties like gumbo, she-crab soup, and shrimp and grits.
Magnolia, Texas: A City on the Move
Named for the magnolia trees that flourish here, Magnolia is a friendly city in the Houston-The Woodlands-Sugar Land metro area. There have been big changes in the city since its council introduced its 20-year Magnolia on the Move plan. As part of this plan, downtown features like Magnolia Town Center and Unity Park are being revitalized for residents and tourists. Magnolia is blessed with many sunny days, perfect for enjoying local recreational facilities like cycling trails, golf courses, and camping grounds. If you don’t want to rough it, you’ll also find hotels in Magnolia close to the city’s attractions.
New Orleans, Louisiana: Experience Creole and Cajun Culture
New Orleans’ Cajun and Creole culture flavors its famous food and music. It’s no coincidence Louisiana’s largest city is home to five restaurants on Open Table’s 2018 list of the South’s best eateries. Local hotspots like Mr. B’s Bistro, Muriel’s, and Restaurant R’evolution serve Cajun and Creole food the way it’s meant to be. New Orleans is also considered the birthplace of jazz, although today it’s a melting pot of music. Bourbon Street in the French Quarter is always buzzing with hot musical talent. Stay a while and you might just see the next Louis Armstrong or Frank Ocean.
El Dorado, Arkansas: Arkansas’ Original Boomtown Growing Once Again
El Dorado is known as Arkansas’ Original Boomtown, but that nickname holds true today. In September 2017, El Dorado unveiled the first stage of its $100 million Murphy Arts District. This development will include a 2000-seat music hall, an outdoor amphitheater, a cabaret lounge, a farm-to-table restaurant, and two acres of play space for young visitors. These new features will enhance the appeal of El Dorado, long considered a desirable vacation destination for its beautiful buildings, charming boutique stores, and fantastic restaurants. Historic Newton House, the South Arkansas Arboretum State Park, and Mystic Creek Golf Club are key tourist draw cards.
While northern cities like New York and Seattle move at a fast pace, a Southern visit is one to be savored. Take your time getting to know each city on this list to really appreciate all they offer.