South's Best Neighborhoods: 12South, Nashville
Why We Love It: Nashville's favorite fashion and lifestyle destination fosters the kind of community vibe you won't find in a mall. Maybe it's all those historic foursquares and ice-cream socials.
Our Perfect Day: Start with a farm-egg omelet ($8) at The Frothy Monkey Coffeehouse (frothymonkey.com), one of a handful of 12South businesses operating in renovated 1920s bungalows. Then browse the perfectly broken-in vintage cowboy boots at Katy K's Ranch Dressing (katyk.com); artisan denim at Imogene + Willie (imogeneandwillie.com); and House of Harlow jewelry and Myne graphic-print dresses at MODA (modanashville.com). End with a worth-it dinner splurge on, say, rainbow trout stuffed with crabmeat and Benton's bacon ($25) at Fish & Co. (fishco-nashville.com).
Top Tastemakers: Imogene + Willie owners Carrie and Matt Eddmenson get kudos for their high-quality selvedge denim (often sketched, sewn, fitted, and finished on-site), but it's the couple's come-one, come-all events (courtyard concerts, ice-cream tastings) that make themthe de facto mayors of 12South.
Ideal Souvenir: Stackable, textured silver rings (from $32), hand-hammered by Nashville metalsmith Larry Wilkes. MODA is planning a trunk show of his work on July 12.
Everyone's Talking About: Urban Grub Fish Pit & Southern Cantina (urbangrub.net), just opened in April, with its three patios and inventive menu of dishes, such as lobster BLT flatbread ($11) and ancho chile-chocolate-cheesecake ($12).