Dusk view of the city skyline and Bridge of Lions in St. Augustine, Florida, USA.

8 Delightful Towns to Visit in the Southern United States

Although Savannah, Georgia, is arguably the most delightful place to visit in the Southern United States — followed closely by New Orleans — there are other delightful towns with eye-catching attractions and heart-melting charm that are just as swoon-worthy. Many of these towns score big on history, culture, architecture, and outdoor opportunities. From Natchez, Mississippi, to Eureka Springs, Arkansas, discover below 8 delightful towns to visit in the Southern United States.

Natchez, Mississippi

Natchez, USA: Historic Main Street with Convention Center, 19th-century buildings, parked cars, and Christmas decorations in Adams County, Mississippi.

Natchez, USA: Historic Main Street in Adams County, Mississippi. Editorial credit: Nina Alizada / Shutterstock.com

Natchez is a cute Mississippi River town known for its eye-catching antebellum homes and rich history. It was founded in 1716, 16 years before the birth of George Washington — and hence — is the oldest continuous settlement on the Ole Man River. A visitor’s first port of call should be at the Natchez Under-the-Hill, a 75-acre historic district listed on the U.S. National Register of Historic Places that once had a scandalous reputation as one of the rowdiest ports on the Mississippi. The bridge connecting Natchez and Louisiana is mainly a beautiful sight to behold. Although it is a small stretch, one will enjoy exploring the locally owned shops here, including Silver Street Gallery & Gifts, which has lots of unusual and unique items, some humorous, others practical. When the sun begins to set, work your way to The Camp Restaurant, where a plate of grilled catfish — and lovely views of the river — will crown a fun-filled day. Outdoor venues here are numerous and include Bluff Park, which is right on the edge of town. It is known for heart-melting views and stunning sunsets.

Middleburg, Virginia

Middleburg, Virginia, in Loudoun County, on the Fourth of July.

Middleburg, Virginia, in Loudoun County, on the Fourth of July.

A visit here, especially from the nation’s capital, often feels surreal, like entering into a completely different world. It is a tiny town, just home to about 700 residents, yet it is the undisputed Horse and Hunt Capital of the nation. Middleburg is framed by the Blue Ridge Mountains and has a rustic allure that is hard to get off the mind. Museum of Hounds & Hunting of North America celebrates the area’s unique heritage of hunting with hounds and should be among the first items on an itinerary. Alternatively, the National Sporting Library and Museum features beautiful artistic works and rare book collections, including detailed historical writings. Pick a gift or a souvenir at the Brick and Morta Mercantile, and when hunger pangs begin to set in, dash to Knead Wine, known for some of the best pizzas in the state. In the afternoon, sip your way through the area, especially at spots such as Greenhill Winery, Cana Vineyards, and Boxwood Winery. If anything, you are in an AVA-designated region.

Oxford, Mississippi

People gathered on the University of Mississippi campus in Oxford, MS.

The University of Mississippi campus in Oxford, MS. Editorial credit: Ken Wolter / Shutterstock.com

Oxford is a stunning and buzzy college town (it hosts The University of Mississippi) — that continues to cement its reputation as the cultural mecca of the South. It may have missed you, but this delightful town is the go-to spot for literature, fine arts, music, and food. Speaking of food, Snackbar is all about cocktails and oysters, while Ajax, another excellent option, serves what may be the best catfish in the world. William Faulkner penned two masterpieces here: “As I Lay Dying” and “Sanctuary.” Rowan Oak, the novelist’s home for 30 years, will thrill any book lover. Avid shoppers will want to traipse through Neilson's, the South's oldest department store — while history lovers will enjoy some pensive moments at Oxford’s Confederate Cemetery, where Confederate soldiers who died after the Battle of Shiloh are buried.

St Augustine, Florida

Aerial view of downtown St. Augustine, Florida, USA.

Aerial view of downtown St. Augustine, Florida, USA.

St Augustine has a bewitching, old-town feel that is hard to find anywhere else in the South. Any list will not be worth the paper it’s written on if it omits the nation's oldest continuously occupied city. Brace yourself for Gilded Age relics such as the Oldest House Museum Complex, a multi-faceted mosaic that includes an ornamental garden, Florida's Oldest House, a changing exhibition gallery, two museums, and a museum store. Also, the Oldest Wooden Schoolhouse on St. George Street could be the oldest wooden school building in the United States. Work your way to The Castillo, the oldest masonry fort in the continental United States — and imagine trying to attack it with the technology of the time. St. Augustine Lighthouse & Maritime Museum is not just a beautiful story, but it also offers views of the city that are hard to beat. Do not miss San Sebastian Winery, known for flavored red wines and fantastic roof-top views.

Dahlonega, Georgia

Seasonal harvest-themed outdoor decorations at a gift shop in downtown Dahlonega, Georgia.

ift shop in downtown Dahlonega, Georgia. Editorial credit: Jen Wolf / Shutterstock.com

If a town can be described as warm and personable, it will be Dahlonega, Georgia. This delightful town features the austere grandeur of the Blue Ridge Mountains and is a frequent mention in the rankings of the South’s Best Cities. Sections of “A Taste of Christmas,” directed by the University of Southern California's film school graduate Damian Romay, were shot in Dahlonega. If you know a thing about Christmas movies, directors do not just pick any town they come across. Attractions one will want to explore here include The Dahlonega Gold Museum, housed in one of Georgia's oldest standing courthouse buildings. Lumpkin County Courthouse was built in 1836 and is today the oldest public building in North Georgia. The University of North Georgia’s Dahlonega Campus is not just stunning; it is one of only six senior military colleges in the United States. When hunger pangs begin to set in, a Muffaletta Burger at the Bourbon Street Grille will be a good idea. Alternatively, the nearby Wolf Mountain Vineyards is a recipient of more than 200 medals in major U.S. wine-tasting competitions.

Fredericksburg, Texas

Main Street, also known as The Magic Mile, in Fredericksburg, Texas, USA, bustling with retail stores and pedestrians.

Main Street in Fredericksburg, Texas, USA. Editorial credit: travelview / Shutterstock.com

Fredericksburg is a big name in vacation circles, not some nondescript town waiting to be discovered. It was founded in the years before the Civil War by German immigrants and is the place to be, especially for vacationers who want to sample a bit of German culture and heritage. At Altstadt Brewery, for example, one will appreciate why Germans are often regarded as excellent beer producers. Still, a hearty breakfast at the Old German Bakery & Restaurant should come first, especially if you have a thing for delicious German pancakes. Fredericksburg is the Wine Capital of Texas — and the contest is not even close. If you doubt this aspect of Fredericksburg, spend some two hours at Grape Creek Vineyards and request to sit on the patio with a glass of Cabernet Blanc. The Museum of the Pacific War provides the most comprehensive account of World War II in the Asiatic-Pacific theater — and will be a crime to miss.

Spartanburg, South Carolina

Aerial view of Main Street in downtown Spartanburg, South Carolina, USA.

Aerial view of Main Street in downtown Spartanburg, South Carolina, USA.

Spartanburg was once known as the "Hub City" because of how railroad lines radiated from the city, forming a shape resembling a wheel hub. Today, however, this delightful South Carolina charmer is packed with outdoor adventure sites, delicious restaurants serving melt-in-the-mouth cuisine, and year-round events that cover the broadest spectrum of interests. Still, the academic air here is hard to miss, especially since Spartanburg hosts — not one — but seven colleges and universities with a collective enrolment that dances around 15,000. If you have a thing for roasted brussel sprouts, work your way to Cribb's Kitchen On Main. On the flip side, if you want to catch a show that will leave you either laughing or crying, Chapman Cultural Center is the place to be. Away from red bricks and busy streets, a first-time visitor will want to explore the beautiful 10-acre Hatcher Garden, a stunning oasis that will make your heart purr with ecstasy.

Eureka Spring, Arkansas

Historic downtown Eureka Springs, Arkansas, USA, showcasing boutique shops and renowned buildings.

Historic downtown Eureka Springs, Arkansas, USA. Editorial credit: Rachael Martin / Shutterstock.com

The word “Eureka” means “I have found it,” and is typically associated with the moment a falling apple hit Isaac Newton’s head, prompting him to scream “Eureka!” Although you will not discover a hitherto unknown law of physics, a visit to this Arkansas gem will reveal one of the most delightful towns in the world. Eureka Springs is encircled by the spellbinding beauty of the Ozarks Mountains and features a storybook appearance hard to find elsewhere. The iconic Palace Bath House, the last of the original Eureka Springs bathhouses still in operation today — is particularly a big draw. The same holds for the nearby 1886 Crescent Hotel & Spa, billed as "America's most haunted hotel." If you want to hit up the trails at Black Bass Lake City Park — have a good camera. The views here are delicious. But before all these, a yummy and filling breakfast at Mud Street Cafe will turn out to be beneficial.

Charming Southern Locales with Rich Histories

With a scenery that is just as inviting as the people, the Southern United States beckons for adventure. It is a trip that will feature some grilled catfish, a hotel billed as America’s most haunted, the Old-world charm of the nation's oldest continuously occupied city, and the Wine Capital of Texas. Pack your bag, stuff a pair of flip-flops, and explore delightful towns in the Southern United States such as Eureka Springs, Arkansas; St. Augustine, Florida, and Fredericksburg, Texas.

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