Story by Tara Massouleh McCay | Southern Living

When you’re craving a high-energy getaway with lots to see and do, there’s no better place to visit than a Southern city. From North Carolina’s majestic mountains to Texas’s dizzying metros, this year’s reader-voted best cities represent every corner of the region and offer a little something for every type of traveler. Eat at a Michelin-starred restaurant or sit down to a plate of no-frills, slow-smoked barbecue. Go on a long hike in the woods or explore a contemporary art museum. Engage in a little retail therapy or buy tickets to a live show. When it comes to the South’s Best Cities, the options are endless.

While some of this year’s winners are familiar favorites, others are newcomers that have cracked the top 25 for the first time. While big cities are often accused of feeling a little stale, there’s no shortage of character, or what we like to call “that special something,” among these destinations. One thing they all have in common: a hearty helping of Southern hospitality. So what are you waiting for? Pack your bags, book that flight (or load up the car), and get going. These top-notch Southern cities are more than ready to welcome you in.

Coming in at #15, the only city from the state of Alabama to make the list was Birmingham!

“Founded on the backs of the steel and iron industry, Birmingham’s latest act sees the once forgotten downtown blossoming into a lively epicenter of community and culture. James Beard Award winners are a dime a dozen in this city, but what’s equally impressive is the diversity of cuisine found here. Spend an afternoon catching a minor league baseball game, see the city’s national championship-winning USFL team, or hit up one of more than 10 breweries located downtown. When you’re reading to escape the concrete jungle, Birmingham’s many nature preserves and state parks are just a short drive away.”

Check out the original article here for the full list of the South’s Best Cities.