Courtesy of Lisa Creswell Busby

Our readers shared their favorite little-known restaurants, scenic spots, and more in the South.

ALABAMA

The Magnolia Rose Manor, Jemison, AL
“Pat makes homemade donuts daily, and Doris bakes chocolate ganache, cheesecakes, and a whiskey pie that would make you cry. They are wonderful hosts and often send generous tastes of things from the kitchen to the table to sample.” -Anna Veach, Selma, AL
212 Al. Highway 191, 205/688-2055

The Waysider, Tuscaloosa, AL
“It's the best Southern-style breakfast you can pay for, along with the best coffee in town. The not-so-secret rumor is that it was Bear Bryant's favorite coffee stop. I have been going for years and recognize the waitresses even still, and sometimes they'll remember me.” -Kat Causey, Germany
1512 Greensboro Ave., 205/345-8239

FLORIDA

Yardarm Restaurant, Homosassa, FL
“Relaxing place to eat or have a drink and enjoy the Florida sunshine! You can watch [monkeys on Monkey Island] while eating and… boating traffic [at marina next door].” -Sandy Benetiz, Chassahowitzka, FL
5297 S. Cherokee Way, 352/628-2526

GEORGIA

Apple Picking and Apple Festival, Ellijay, GA
“Every year, we make the 8-hour drive to the mountains, heading straight for Apple Alley in Ellijay, and then stay for the annual Apple Festival. Apple Ally is a long stretch of road with orchard after orchard. The scenery is gorgeous, hospitality is charming, and the variety of apples are to die for.” -Dawn Viola, Orlando, FL
georgiaapplefestival.org

Lucy’s Market, Atlanta, GA
“Lucy's is a produce stand selling fresh produce as well as an assortment of food from locally produced pimento cheese, soups, pound cake, fruit pies, fresh baked breads, pinestraw, firewood, boiled peanuts, and more.” -Hope Miller Goins, Atlanta, GA
4402 Roswell Road, lucysmarket.com

KENTUCKY

Stella’s Kentucky Deli, Lexington, KY
Recommended by Kelley Bozeman, Lexington, KY
43 Jefferson Street, 859/255-3354, stellaskentuckydeli.com

LOUISIANA

Joann Greenberg, Art Pottery, New Orleans, LA
"I'd have to stress Joann Greenburg's studio in New Orleans.  She's the last of the Newcomb College pottery students working professionally."  -Neysa & Gary Gardner, Hodgenville, KY.
joanngreenberg.com

MISSISSIPPI

Gold in the Hills Show, Vicksburg, MS
“[It’s] filled with secrets, songs, and celebrations and is in the Guinness Book of World Records as the longest running show.” - Amy Vaughn Melton
Vicksburg Theatre Guild, 601/636-0471, e-vtg.com  

Mustard Seed Antique Emporium, Oxford, MS
“It's a fabulous flea market-type store packed with treasures!” - Ellen Balducci, Oxford, MS
1737 University Avenue, 662/281-8004, doubledoorinn.com

Old Taylor Grocery, Taylor, MS
“Quaint, down-home, old restaurant. Beware on game weekends in Oxford ... gets packed FAST!” -Erin Hornsby, Nashville, TN
4-A CR 338, 662/236-1716, taylorgrocery.com

Strombolli’s, Starkville, MS
“Strombolli's defines ‘hole in the wall.’ This vintage restaurant is the BEST place in town for a tasty calzone or pizza.” -Amy Knight, Starkville, MS
408 University Dr., 662/615-4080

MISSOURI

Ralph Foster Museum, Point Lookout, MO
“The Ralph Foster Museum has everything from the truck used on the Beverly Hillbillies show to the Si Siman Music Room. Si Siman (my father) was a music entertainment, promoter, producer, music publishing legend… There is also a mill on campus, and you can buy their great pancake mix, cornmeal, all made right there at the mill.” -Jaynie Siman Chowning, Springfield, MO
College of the Ozarks, 417/334-6411, rfostermuseum.com

Rendezvous Café and Wine Bar, O'Fallon, MO
“This is my favorite ‘hole in the wall’ restaurant, tucked on the main stretch of Old Town O'Fallon.” -Meg Cloud, St. Peters, MO
217 South Main Street, 636/281-2233, rendezvouscafeandwinebar.com

NORTH CAROLINA

The Blvd at NoDa, Charlotte, NC
“Secret retail store.” - Jennifer Branham, Charlotte, NC
453 East 36th Street, 704/332-0142, blvdnoda.com

Jazz Night at The Double Door Inn, Charlotte, NC
“This Charlotte establishment has hosted a lot of rising stars and still opens its stage for folk and Americana bands traveling through. But my favorite is the weekly jazz night. On Tuesdays, Bill Hanna and his group take the stage and let drop-ins join them with their instruments. I've even seen a recent Grammy winner joined in for a few songs! Definitely one of Charlotte's best-kept secrets.” -Amanda Aileen Fisher, Charlotte, NC
1218 Charlottetowne Ave., 704/376-1446

Lark and Key Gallery, Charlotte, NC
“I collect ceramics, and they represent some wonderful national and regional artists. Lark and Key shows imaginative paintings, some of my favorites are by Duy Huynh, one of the owners.” - Terry Shipley, Charlotte, NC
128 E. Park Ave., 704/334-4616, larkandkey.com

SOUTH CAROLINA

Aura Lee’s Jewelry, Handbags & Accessories, Historic Summerville, SC
“Aura Lee’s offers unique accessories at reasonable prices.” - Sandy Wilder, Summerville, SC
140-C West Richardson Avenue, 843/871-4744, auralees.com

Chief Concierge Kevin McQuade, Holiday Inn, Charleston Historic District, Charleston, SC
“He singlehandedly made this charming city come alive for all of us, so much so that we have been coming back, year after year for seven years now.  Kevin has taken us on private tours of sumptuous gardens of Charleston, he recommended the utterly breathtaking Middleton Place for touring and for a delicious and once in a life time dinner; we were lead to tour Morris Lighthouse - which only can be visited at low tide because Kevin knew of one of our daughters loves of lighthouses.” -Deborah Gabrielson, North Hampton, NH
125 Calhoun Street, 843/805-7900, holidayinn.com  

Old Firehouse Restaurant, Hollywood, SC
“It's near Edisto and has different varieties of shrimp and grits that are to die for. Another dish that sticks in my mind is the fried green tomato wood fired pizza. I live on James Island, 40 minutes away, and think it's well worth the drive.” -Lauren Curler, Charleston, SC
6350 Highway 162, 843/889-9512, oldfirehouserestaurant.com

TENNESSEE

Blue Grass Grill, Chattanooga, TN
“Go there!” -Adrienne Royer, Alexandria, VA
55 East Main Street, 423/752-4020, bluegrassgrillchattanooga.com

Curbside Casseroles, Memphis, TN
“You can drive right up to the window in your big ole' SUV and place an order for freshly made casseroles and side dishes that your kids, husband, and mother in law will be begging you to serve. I like to… stock the freezer with every variety to cover those days when you are running late from work or need a dinner  to take to  a sick friend (or just a hungry friend) and especially for those just plain old ‘just don't feel like cooking’ days!  I really kinda hate to let the word out on this little gem!” -Maria Lingerfelt, Cordova, TN
5130 Wheelis Drive, 901/761-0287, curbsidecasseroles.com

Miel, Nashville, TN
“French/Southern dishes made with local produce and relatively short distance traveled meats/seafood” -Brooke Lovelace, Nashville, TN
343 53rd Ave. North, 615/298-3663

Muddy’s Bake Shop, Memphis, TN
“Muddy's Bake Shoppe-the BEST cupcakes around. The prozac cupcake—chocolate cake with chocolate frosting is the bomb!!!” -McKenzie Aiken Crisp, Owens Cross Roads, AL
5101 Sanderlin #114, 901/683-8844, muddysbakeshop.com

Square Beans Coffee, Collierville, TN
“Locally owned. Great coffee. Great food. Great music. Great local art on display. Simply GREAT.” -Emily Thomas, Collierville, TN
103 North Center St., 901/854-8855, squarebeans.com

Tinsley-Bible Drugs, Danridge, TN
“The Lunch counter in the drugstore is supervised by a charming southern lady, Mrs. Peggy Fain.  The luncheonette serves classic southern fare, breakfast and lunch, including chili, ‘Thunder N Lightnin’ (white bean soup and fried corn bread), and their famous Bible Burger, hand pattied and served with all the fixins. We go to Sevierville for a month every fall, and we visit Peggy and Dandridge at least once a week while we are there. -Mary Lou Galea, Seminole, FL
1224 Gay St., tinsleybible.com

TEXAS

La Mariposa Mexican Imports, Dallas, TX
“You can find fabulous Mexican clothing, jewelry, art, party accessories, and furniture!” -Camie Carlock, Dallas, TX
2813 N. Henderson Ave., 877/826-0069, 214/826-0069, lamariposaimports.com

VIRGINIA

Amelia's, Christiansburg, VA
“It is the best Italian restaurant in Christiansburg...” -Jeannine Cooper, Christianburg, VA
1130 Cambria St. Northeast, 540/381-7878

Breaks Park, VA/KY
“They had fabulous hiking that wasn't killer steep for us old folks, and we could easily choose the length of hiking we wanted.  The naturalist/ranger was quite helpful; the weather was perfect; the crowds were nonexistent.  Plus, the best was we could pay extra and take our dog…They advertise as the Grand Canyon of the South.  Even the drive there through coal towns and twisty mountain roads was beautiful.” - Rebecca Tuttle, Union Hall, VA (at Smith Mountain Lake)
breakspark.com

Silver Hearth Lodge, Bent Mountain, VA
“Silver Hearth Lodge is a 40-acre day lodge. This outdoor events venue is a cooperative for the outdoorsy types, the spiritually minded, or even for people who just like marvelous views; [it’s] a getaway for family and friends to celebrate weddings, corporate outings and family reunions.  The property is very bold, it’s exceedingly dramatic and it’s unique to all who grace her grounds like I first did back about a month ago.” -Dustin Griffin, Roanoke, VA
10231 Sugar Camp Creek Road, 540/929-4221, silverhearthlodge.com

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