Best Southern Small Town

Natchitoches, La. Named Best Southern Small Town!

Abingdon, Va.; Bardstown, Ky.; Dahlonega, Ga. and Natchez, Miss. also winners
While cities like Charleston, Memphis and Atlanta make excellent destinations, there’s something simply charming about the South’s smaller towns and villages.

For the last four weeks USA TODAY 10Best readers have been voting daily for their favorite Southern small towns in the 10Best Readers’ Choice awards, and now the results are in!
It was a very close race between the top two finishers, but in the end, Natchitoches, La. (population 18,275) took home top honors. “Nack-a-Tish,” B&B Capital of Louisiana and quaint setting for the ensemble-cast classic, Steel Magnolias, is the oldest town in the state of Louisiana.

Runner up for Best Southern Small Town is Abingdon, Va. (population 8,206), located in the Blue Ridge Mountains and home to the Barter Theatre and Virginia Creeper Trail.

The top 10 winners in the category Best Southern Small Town are as follows:

  1. Natchitoches, La.
  2. Abingdon, Va.
  3. Bardstown, Ky.
  4. Dahlonega, Ga.
  5. Natchez, Miss.
  6. Eureka Springs, Ark.
  7. Beaufort, S.C.
  8. Berkeley Springs
  9. Floyd, Va.
  10. Fredericksburg, Texas

A panel of experts picked the initial 20 nominees, and the top 10 winners were determined by popular vote. Experts Larry Bleiberg (, Tanner Latham ( and Lacy Morris (10Best Editor) were chosen based on their extensive knowledge of travel in the American South.

Additional nominees for Best Southern Small Town included Apalachicola, Fla.; Destin, Fla.; Leiper’s Fork, Tenn.; Marfa, Texas; Middleburg, Va.; Monroeville, Ala.; Mooresville, Ala.; Sanibel, Fla.; Tybee Island, Ga. and Wimberley, Texas.

10Best and USA TODAY extend their congratulations to all the winners. The contest was promoted on 10Best and USA TODAY.