Best of the South Travel Awards
There's no richer, more soulful place than the South. And we can prove it. From boutique hotels to the best hamburger you've ever eaten, here are our favorite new sights, sounds, and flavors across the region.
Best New Hotels
Best New Restaurants
The Modern Speakeasy: These low-light and cozy quarters create a Prohibition-era vibe of incognito, while the meticulous bartenders remain entirely conspicuous in their reverence for a well-made drink.
- The Gibson, Washington, D.C.
- The Patterson House, Nashville, TN
- B Bar, Miami Beach, FL
Best Legal Moonshine
Moonshine, the fiery Southern Spirit, has gone legit. Here are five of our favorites to come out of the woodwork.
- Prichard’s Lincoln County Lightning
- Buffalo Trace White Dog Mash #1
- Platte Valley Corn Whiskey
- Virginia Lightning
- Junior Johnson’s Midnight Moon
Best Late-Night Burger
Holeman and Finch Public HouseFrom the robust patties to the bread-and-butter pickles, Atlanta's Holeman and Finch Public House shares what makes their burgers the best.
Best Food Trucks
Serving everything from empanadas to fish tacos and frozen pops, these 10 trucks are slinging some of the best chow in the South.
- Big Truck Tacos, Oklahoma City, OK
- El Ultimo Tacos, Houston, TX
- GastroPod Mobile Gourmet, Miami, FL
- Harvest Moon Grille, Charlotte, NC
- King of Pops, Atlanta, GA
- Los Dos Hermanos, Birmingham, AL
- Mas Tacos Por Favor, Nashville, TN
- Mmmpanadas, Austin, TX
- Only Burger, Durham, NC
- Pi on the Spot, St. Louis, MO
New Kings of Southern Rock
The Avett Brothers
They’re the best thing to happen to Southern rock since “Free Bird.” This string-happy trio (brothers Scott and Seth Avett, and Bob Crawford), former indie rockers who found their niche in punk-inflected American folk rock (that’s right), know their way around a song.
Best New Music Festivals
Here are a few of the hottest new spots on the circuit.
- The Hangout Beach Music & Arts Festival
- Bayou Country Superfest
- The Blackwater Music Festival
- Next Big Nashville
Best New Southern Musicians
Be sure to download these Southern standouts to your iPod.
- Randy Montana
- Sarah Jarosz
- The Secret Sisters
- Truth & Salvage Co.
Best New Arts Venue
Ohr-O'Keefe Museum of Art
This Mississippi art museum became a symbol of renewal during the rebuilding of Biloxi after Hurricane Katrina.
Best New Author
Author of Mattaponi Queen, which won the Bakeless Prize in Fiction, Belle shares her thoughts on the unique sense of discovery inherent in Southern travel.
5 of our favorite booksellers from around the region:
- Alabama Booksmith, Birmingham, AL
- Malaprop's, Asheville, NC
- Lemuria Books, Jackson, MS
- Faulkner House Books, New Orleans, LA
- Sundog Books, Seaside, FL
Best New Designer
Discover Southern designer Lucinda Robinson and her lovely line of dresses, Lucinda Eden.
Best Blue Jeans
Southern-designed and Southern-made jeans are the new denim must-have. Here are our picks for the leaders of the pack.
- Imogene + Willie
- Baldwin Denim
- Raleigh Denim
- Levi's Workwear by Billy Reid
Max & CompanyShop-owner Phoebe Howard creates a new take on Southern classics in Charlotte, North Carolina.
Best New Shopping Street
From home accents to jewelry, Warehouse Row houses some of the most unique boutique stores that Chattanooga has to offer.
Best Winter Adventure
Cross-Country Ski in Canaan Valley, West Virginia
Cross-country skiing may seem so…Nordic…but the South has its own hub of skinny-ski activity.
Best Spring Adventure
Hike the Revamped Roan Mountain, North Carolina/Tennessee
Roan Mountain is a collection of rare mile-high bald knobs hugging the North Carolina/Tennessee border with 360-degree views worthy of a Julie Andrews solo.
Best Summer Adventure
Go Cascading in Shenandoah National Park, Virginia
Get up-close and personal with some of the most beautiful and secluded waterfalls in Virginia.
Best Fall Adventure
Explore the New River Gorge, West Virginia
Ziplines, hiking trails, white water, and breathtaking fall color; the New River Gorge in West Virginia is the ideal Southern autumn adventure.