Revitalization—it’s a word used to describe what’s happening in nearly every American city right now, but in the South, our cities aren’t so much undergoing a revitalization as much as they are an awakening. Sure, we’re breathing new life into historic buildings and settling into homes that are in high rises and once-neglected neighborhoods. But from the Gulf coast to the Atlantic coast, a diverse mix of lifelong Southerners, millennials, newcomers, and transplants are launching start-ups, building new restaurants, creating new music, solving problems, and coloring the South as one of, if not the, most exciting regions of the country to live. And it's happening in ways we couldn’t have even imagined a decade ago.
9. Richmond, Virginia
Off-the-radar Richmond has the South paying attention. The beautifully restored Quirk Hotel, an unconventional music scene, and restaurants that are redefining Appalachian cooking have made us all take notice.