News Releases

Mar 7, 2023
Southern Living Announces Winners of 2023 South's Best Awards

Top Southern Small Towns, Cities, Barbecue Joints, Hotels and More Revealed

NBC TODAY's Hoda Kotb Appears as First-Ever Celebrity on South's Best Issue to Share Her Love of New Orleans

NEW YORK and BIRMINGHAM, Ala., March 7, 2023 /PRNewswire/ -- Dotdash Meredith's Southern Living announces the winners of its seventh annual South's Best Awards, recognizing readers' favorite Southern destinations and experiences. In-depth coverage of the winners appears in the April issue of Southern Living, on sale March 17 and on here.

This year's South's Best Awards survey results reveal the Top 50 Southern Small Towns, plus the best Cities, Hotels, State Parks, and BBQ Joints. The special double issue features Southern Living's first-ever celebrity cover for the South's Best issue with NBC TODAY co-anchor Hoda Kotb sharing her love for the city of New Orleans. Featured on the flip cover is St. Augustine, Florida, which was ranked the number one Small Town in the South.

"In a year when more people than ever are traveling and moving to the South, we wanted to put a spotlight on small towns in this year's South's Best Awards," said Sid Evans, Editor in Chief of Southern Living. "These are the hidden gems our readers picked for their character, charm, and unmistakable Southernness. We're also thrilled to have Hoda Kotb sharing her longtime connection to New Orleans as a cover story. This whole issue is about the places we love, and in Hoda's case, the city clearly loves her back."

Highlights of Southern Living's 2023 South's Best Awards survey results are as follows:

South's Best Small Towns – Top 10 of 50
1. St. Augustine, FL
2. Beaufort, SC
3. Gatlinburg, TN
4. Dahlonega, GA
5. Blowing Rock, NC
6. Fairhope, AL
7. Tybee Island, GA
8. Sanibel, FL
9. Folly Beach, SC
10. Fredericksburg, TX

South's Best Cities – Top 10 of 20
1. Charleston, SC
2. Savannah, GA
3. Asheville, NC
4. Atlanta, GA
5. Nashville, TN
6. New Orleans, LA
7. Greenville, SC
8. Chattanooga, TN
9. Alpharetta, GA
10. Austin, TX

TOP BBQ by State
Alabama - SAW's BBQ, Birmingham
Arkansas - Wright's Barbecue, Fayetteville
Florida - Tropical Smokehouse, West Palm Beach
Georgia - Fox Brother's Bar-B-Que, Atlanta
Kentucky - Moonlite Bar-B-Q Inn, Owensboro
Louisiana - The Joint, New Orleans
Mississippi - The Shed Barbeque & Blues Joint, Ocean Springs
North Carolina - Lexington Barbecue, Lexington
Oklahoma - Leo's BBQ, Oklahoma City
South Carolina - Rodney Scott's Whole Hog BBQ, Charleston
Tennessee - Peg Leg Porker, Nashville
Texas - Franklin Barbecue, Austin
Virginia - Pierce's Pitt Bar-B-Que, Williamsburg
West Virginia - Dem 2 Brothers and a Grill - Charleston

For more results from Southern Living South's Best 2023 survey, including the full lists in every category, visit For the complete survey methodology, click here.

Southern Living celebrates the essence of life in the South, covering the best in Southern food, homes, gardens and travel. Southern Living connects consumers to the region's rich culture through a robust multi-platform presence, including print, digital and social as well as its Biscuits & Jam podcast and licensing partnerships. Headquartered in Birmingham, Alabama, Southern Living is part of the Dotdash Meredith publishing family.


SOURCE Dotdash Meredith

For further information: Kelly Hires,