The South's Best Museums 2017
With 19 museums and galleries, a zoo, and more, the Smithsonian has something for everyone. Newly opened: the National Museum of African American History & Culture.
Asheville, North Carolina
The former chateau-style mansion, formal gardens, and working estate that once was home to George and Edith Vanderbilt now welcomes more than 1 million visitors each year.
3. Colonial Williamsburg
Williamsburg has an impressive historic district billed as “the world’s largest living history museum.” Meet interpreters and crafts people in period costume and watch 18th Century America come to life.
4. Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum
A $100 million expansion doubled its size to 350,000 square feet. The museum is anchored by the permanent exhibition Sing Me Back Home: A Journey Through Country Music.
5. The National WWII Museum
New Orleans, Louisiana
One of the most interesting facets of this amazing museum is its oral history program, working to capture the personal stories of the Greatest Generation.
6. High Museum of Art
Permanent collections of this Southeastern treasure include American, European, and Modern/Contemporary Art, African Art, Photography, and more.
The South's Best Winners 2017
We poured through your more than 22,000 online votes to bring you the best-of-the-best Southern spots. Check out our roundup of the best restaurant, hotel, island, inn, resort, barbecue, bar, shop, museum, brewery, city, and tailgate in the South. Each of these Southern gems is absolutely worth the trip – from the picturesque views of the Outer Banks to the juicy pulled pork of Southern Soul Barbecue. Sip on a cold brew at Wicked Weed Brewery, have a nightcap at Callaghan's, or find your next heirloom at The Paris Market & Brocante. Take a vacation to Asheville to stay at the extravagant Inn on Biltmore Estate, or enjoy the picturesque history of Savannah at the charming Foley House Inn. If you're in town (or, making the trip!), stop in at one of these local favorites chosen by our readers.
SOUTH’S BEST BAR
Callaghan’s Irish Social Club; Mobile, AL
SOUTH’S BEST BARBECUE
Southern Soul Barbeque; St. Simons Island, GA
SOUTH’S BEST BREWERY
Wicked Weed Brewing; Asheville, NC
SOUTH’S BEST CITY
SOUTH’S BEST HOTEL
The Inn on Biltmore Estate; Asheville, NC
SOUTH’S BEST INN
Foley House Inn; Savannah, GA
SOUTH’S BEST ISLAND
Outer Banks, NC
SOUTH’S BEST MUSEUM
Smithsonian; Washington, D.C.
SOUTH’S BEST RESORT
Gaylord Opryland Resort & Convention Center; Nashville, TN
SOUTH’S BEST RESTAURANT
Commander’s Palace; New Orleans, LA
SOUTH’S BEST SHOP
The Paris Market and Brocante; Savannah, GA
SOUTH’S BEST SMALL TOWN
7. Kennedy Space Center
You can still witness liftoff at the Florida facility named for a President who convinced us we could beat the Russians to the moon in the 1960s.
8. Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art
This striking museum exhibits works from Colonial America to today and includes such masterworks as Andy Warhol’s Coca-Cola and Norman Rockwell’s Rosie the Riveter.
Thomas Jefferson’s astounding home and gardens reflect his skills as an architect and gardener, not to mention his boundless curiosity.
10. Rothko Chapel
Part art museum—with 14 murals by artist Mark Rothko—part spiritual space, and part cultural center, the chapel is open to people of all faiths, 365 days a year, and promotes mutual understanding and human rights.