This small town has almost too much charm to handle. Almost.

Magnolia Springs, AlabamaYou might have caught an episode of Bob Vila's HGTV show Restore America about the restoration of this Victorian house, showcasing polished beaded board, heart-pine floors, and a wraparound porch facing a canopy of oaks down the sleepy street beyond. It's both sophisticated and sentimental. Anglers will find a river just a block over, and you can spot soaring eagles and ospreys along the Hugh S. Branyon Backcountry Trail ( in Alabama's nearby Gulf State Park. Sample delicious dry-aged and wet-aged steaks, as well as the freshest catch from local waters at Jesse's Restaurant (, an easy saunter away. Quaint Fairhope sits about 25 minutes to the northwest for shopping, or find bustling Gulf Shores and Orange Beach about 30 minutes southeast. Bonus Points: Stand on the banks of the Magnolia River around 10:30 a.m. to watch the U.S. Postal Service make deliveries by boat. Rates from $199;
Alison Miksch

Magnolia Springs, Alabama, is tucked away on the Magnolia River in South Alabama. Even though it's known by some as a pass-through town on the way to Gulf Shores, Magnolia Springs has its own heart, with stories that date back to its settlement as a Spanish land grant in 1800. In April, The Daily Meal recognized Magnolia Springs as the prettiest town in Alabama in the article "The Prettiest Town in Every State." Here's why it's on our must-visit list:

1. Mail call. Magnolia Springs boasts the only river route for mail delivery in the United States. Bills and junk mail are so much more charming from a mailbox on the water.

2. Good neighbors. The deputy will do a courtesy residential security check when you go on vacation and mail you a recap when you get home. That's Southern hospitality.

3. Town meeting. Magnolia Springs has an active community association that's been around for over 100 years. They still meet once a month.

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4. Dine here. You can have a gourmet meal at the famous Jesse's Restaurant. Although Jesse's is technically a steak house, the seafood is fresh from Gulf waters down the road, and you can't go wrong with anything on the menu. We suggest making a reservation. Not only does Jesse's fill up fast, you can pick which room you'd like to sit in ahead of time.

5. Stay here. There's only one place to stay if you're visiting, and that's the Magnolia Springs Bed and Breakfast. Even if there were hundreds of hotel options, we'd still choose this Victorian home built in 1897. The B&B has five rooms, each with its own antique feel, and a great hall with 14 ½ foot ceilings.

6. Plan a wedding. St. Paul's Episcopal Church in Magnolia Springs is the perfect place for the little-white-church wedding of your dreams. The building, made from pine on its very land, is also on the National Register of Historic Places. Check out pictures here.