Charlotte Lands on List of Top 10 Cities in the South of Southern Living

Four cities in North Carolina, including Charlotte, have created an annual list of Southern Living’s “South’s Best Cities.”

And that’s not all: the magazine rated everything From small towns to barbecue restaurants North Carolina has received 29 awards and is active throughout the South.

State-wide favorites mentioned include Lake Lure, Grandfather Mountain, Blue Ridge Parkway, and Biltmore Estate.

Pick up your driving gloves (is that okay?), Plan your route (gas is expensive, so plan carefully) and check out some of these road trippable winners.

[Related: Charlotte’s Classic Eats: Dine in a Victorian mansion at McNinch House in uptown Charlotte]


The best of South cities overall — Top 10:

  1. Charleston, South Carolina

  2. Savannah, Georgia

  3. Asheville, North Carolina

  4. Nashville, Tennessee

  5. New Orleans, Louisiana

  6. Austin, Texas

  7. Atlanta, Georgia

  8. Charlotte, North Carolina

  9. Birmingham, Alabama

  10. Richmond, Virginia

Greenville, South Carolina

So about Charlotte: “Visit Charlotte and you’ll find a fascinating city. Queen City is a destination for art. Something is always happening at the Blumental Performing Arts Center, Levine Center Forge Arts and Vislight Theater. It’s also a hub for nature, including Little Sugar Creek Greenway, Freedom Park, Danielstow Botanical Gardens, US National Whitewater Center, and Lake Norman. Charlotte has a lot to do and see. Plan your trip. Isn’t it time? ” — Southern Living


  • The best of South small town: Beaufort, South Carolina

  • Best Beach Town in the South: Hilton Head, South Carolina

  • Best Mountain Town in the South: Gatlinburg, Tennessee

  • Best College Town in the South: Athens, Georgia

  • Best Lake Town in the South: Lake Luer, North Carolina

Destination + resort

  • South’s Best Family Getaway Destination: Orlando, Florida

  • South’s Best Resort: Builtmore Estate (Asheville, NC)

  • The best of South scenic drive: Blue Ridge Parkway (NC / VA)

  • The Best of South State Park: Grandfather Mountain State Park (NC)

  • The best of South museum: US Space Rocket Center (Huntsville, Alabama)

Food + drink

  • South’s Best Bakery: Back in the Day Bakery (Savannah, Georgia)

  • The best brewery in the South: Palmetto Brewing (Charleston, South Carolina)

Local favorites

Barbecue joint

South’s Best BBQ Joints by State:

  • Alabama: Big Bob Gibson, Decatur

  • Arkansas: McClard, Hot Springs

  • Florida: Jenkins Quality, Jacksonville

  • Georgia: Wiley Championship, Savannah

  • Kentucky: Moonlite Bar-BQ-Inn, Owensboro

  • Louisiana: Joint, New Orleans

  • Maryland: Blue Pit, Baltimore

  • Mississippi: Ocean Springs Shed BBQ & Blues

  • Missouri: Pappy’s Smokehouse, St. Louis

  • North Carolina: Asheville, Baxton Hall

  • Oklahoma: Oklahoma Joes, Tulsa

  • South Carolina: Rodney Scott, Charleston

  • Tennessee: Pegregg Poker, Nashville

  • Texas: Franklin, Austin

  • Washington DC: Federalist Pig, Adams Morgan, DC

  • Virginia: Piercing Pit, Williamsburg

  • West Virginia: Rollin Smoke, Charleston

Check out the complete list of winners Southern Living South Best 2022 Survey.