The city feels a new sense of enthusiasm as the accolades roll in.

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Who doesn’t love a compliment? Even when you know you’re wonderful, it just feels good to have an impartial party tell you so. That’s how Birmingham has been feeling the past few months as national websites and publications sing the praises of this Southern city. Here are 11 recent accolades we just had to share:

1. Travel media company and respected travel information source, Lonely Planet, has just released its “Best in the U.S.” list for 2016. Birmingham is among the top 10 places the editors recommend travelers to visit in the year ahead.

2. The recent rounds of recognition included food media giant Zagat naming Birmingham as “America’s #1 Next Hot Food City.”

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3. On the heels of the Zagat ranking came the Travel Channel’s choice of Birmingham as one of the “11 Next Great Destinations.” Birmingham was the only U.S. city selected and found itself in the company of Estonia, Cuba and The Philippines.

4. The reopening of the Lyric Theatre was recognized this month by Southern Living magazine, who called it one of the “50 Best Places in the South Now.” The Lyric reopened in January following an $11 million restoration.

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5. Preservation magazine also offered up a nice piece on the Lyric, noting, too, the historic Alabama Theatre just across the street and the Carver Theatre for the Performing Arts, all saved from the wrecking ball and lovingly restored.

6. With an eye on Southern culture, the very popular Garden & Gun magazine dedicated a five-page spread to Birmingham in its February/March edition. The introduction describes Birmingham as “…a city fueled by the heart, creativity, and optimistic spirit of its youth.”

7. Then enter Bon Appetit magazine with another article praising travels to Birmingham. The article mentions places such as The Tutwiler Hotel, the Market at Pepper Place, The Collins Bar and the Birmingham Museum of Art.

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8. In noting “16 intriguing things to see and do in the U.S. in 2016,” CNN International included the astounding Barber Vintage Motorsports Museum. With the largest motorcycle collection in the world, it is eye candy for those who don’t know a single thing about motorcycles and near heaven for racing enthusiasts.

9. Zagat returned for seconds in “Eight Must-Try Restaurants in Birmingham.” The food guide acknowledged local eateries such as Ovenbird, Chef Chris Hastings’ newest venture.

10. Dining and live music are widely considered to be Birmingham’s signature entertainment. The trendy British music and fashion magazine Clash took notice this month when they wrote, “Birmingham, Alabama, boasts a thriving music scene, one that seems to cough up oddball talent on a near weekly basis.”

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11. Number one on Southern Living’s list of “The South’s Most Iconic Music Venues and Festivals” is Birmingham’s Sloss Fest, a new music festival now headed into its second year.

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Photo via Andi Rice