Southern Living- The South’s Best Small Towns

 The anatomy of a perfect Southern small town doesn’t come in just one idyllic shape or size, nor does it ever look or act in quite the same way. Some show their personality by way of tiny historic downtowns, while others spread out their charm across sprawling parks and rivers. However, what all of the South’s most treasured small towns do have in common is that each possesses a strong sense of place and presence, no matter how little square footage they actually hold.

The heart of the South can be found in these picturesque locales if only you’re paying close enough attention to what the storied streets, friendly locals, and lovable quirks are telling you. Add each of these winners to your dream travel itinerary, and you’ll be eating beignets, dancing to bluegrass music, and exploring some truly magnificent scenery in no time. How’s that for your bucket list? These are the South’s Best Small Towns 2021.

New Bern, NC: Any place that can make it through two hurricanes hitting closely together—in this case, Hurricane Florence in 2018 and Hurricane Dorian just about a year later—surely deserves our respect. But there are tons of other reasons to give props to New Bern. Situated where the Neuse and Trent Rivers converge, this waterfront getaway is best recognized for its two most legendary landmarks: Tryon Palace and gardens (North Carolina’s first permanent capitol) and Bradham’s Drug Store (the birthplace of the soda pop giant Pepsi-Cola).