The South's Most Charming Streets
Belgravia Court: Louisville, KY
In the heart of Old Louisville, Belgravia Court is a pedestrian-only, residential strip surrounded mostly by Victorian architecture. The neighborhood counts its many charms as being home to the largest contiguous collection of Victorian mansions in the country. Although at one point the highest of Louisville society lived here, in the 20th century the area suffered a decline. Now it's enjoying a resurgence with young professionals and college students moving in. Nearby the Frederick Olmsted–designed Central Park is surrounded by quaint inns, where you can spend your afternoons strolling the picturesque, tree-lined streets.
Broad Street: Rome, GA
One of the best examples of revitalization in the South. Millions of dollars have been pumped into this picturesque street, now booming with locally owned shops and restaurants. One of the icons along Broad is found at the Municipal Building, where two bronze statues gifted by an Italian governor in 1929, stand.
Bull Street: Savannah, GA
Bull oozes Southern charm with its cobblestone sidewalks, Spanish Moss, trimmed flowerbeds, antiques shops, and row houses. It’s one of those postcard-perfect strips with plenty to do, yet not as much traffic as other bigger avenues. Prime spots include: Alex Raskin Antiques, shopSCAD, the 1818 Savannah Theatre, Forsyth Park, and Book Lady, a relatively hidden bookshop open for almost 40 years.
Church Street: Charleston, SC
South from the bustle of King Street lies this tranquil stretch of cobblestone street lined with classic Lowcountry homes, manicured window boxes and hidden gardens. There aren’t many commercial stops along this route, but the gourmet sandwicherie Goat Sheep Cow offers the perfect snack to snag before strolling down Church and toward White Point Garden, at the end of the street, where you can enjoy your picnic on the water.
Craven Street: Beaufort, SC
In the 1800s plantation owners chose Craven as the prime location to build their summer homes due to the fact that the intercoastal breeze flows through even on the hottest summer day. Here, you’ll scope out some gorgeous porches and, at the end, the classic “This View Brought to you by Beaufort, SC” sign, as well as the historic, three-story mansion known as The Castle.
Front Street: Natchitoches, LA
Running parallel to the Natchez River, this pictorial little main street is where many of the scenes of Steel Magnolia were taped. A house, now known as The Steel Magnolias Bed & Breakfast is the setting for most where of the action that took place at the intersection of Front (which turns into Jefferson) and Poete Street. Also on Front is the Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame, along with a handful of darling boutiques.
Highland Avenue: Birmingham, AL
Highland Avenue stretches from Five Points through the Highlands neighborhood, but the best areas are between Frank Stitt’s Bottega restaurant and the Highland Park Golf Course. There are a couple main draws here: Three hilly parks where big, shady trees provide shelter for families and young professionals, and neighborhood watering hole Rojo, which has live music and stand-up comedy on weekends.
Main Street: Floyd, VA
Floyd’s Main Street is the definition of "bluegrass mountain town": pickin' jam sessions on street corners, a historic country store with square dancing on the weekends, crafts shops, and a farmers market on the weekend. Plus, some of the nicest people you'll ever meet in the Blue Ridge Mountains.
Main Street: Jonesborough, TN
Main Street is what you think about when you think about All-American charm—not only for its classic name, but also its quaint vibe lined with trees that turn the perfect shade of green in summer, golden in fall, and twinkling with lights over the holidays. The steepled buildings are a nod to 1779, when the town was founded, making it one of the oldest in the state. And the flags erected point to the local's immense American pride. jonesboroughtn.org
Monument Avenue: Richmond, VA
Monument is one of the most impressive roads in the country. It’s one of the earliest examples of proper city planning in the U.S. For another, the fourth largest 10k in the country takes places here with more than 36,000 runners. The best of the lot spans from Birch Street to Roseneath Avenue where you can see seven landmarks—most are for Confederate leaders, but in recent decades the homage has expanded to include people like tennis star and Richmond native Arthur Ashe.
Spring Street: Eureka Springs, AR
Eureka Springs is known for many things: its Ozark Mountain landscape, its haunted history, its quirky art scene, and Spring Street represents all of it to a T. Winding down the hilly strip are renowned art galleries, locally-minded restaurants, and a trail leading to The Crescent Hotel, said to be haunted by more than five ghosts.
Thames Street: Baltimore, MD
This is around where the dreamy Baltimore scenes from Sleepless in Seattle begin, in the Fell’s Point historic neighborhood, which dates back to 1763. Running parallel to the Patapsco River, Thames counts among its waterfront establishments Barcocina, The Waterfront Hotel and V-NO Wine Bar (just off Thames on Ann Street), where you can watch the boats go by.
Washington Street: Lewisburg, WV
Back-to-the-landers settled in this central West Virginia town in the 60s and 70s looking to escape the big cities and adopt a slower pace of life. Now its quaint main street is home to dozens of art galleries, organic-minded restaurants and two hometown institutions: the 1834 General Lewis Inn and, nearby, Carnegie Hall (one of four Andrew Carnegie performance centers remaining in the country).