, 2022-11-23 09:03:02,
There’s a reason why so many classic films—like Steel Magnolias, The Notebook, and Forrest Gump—take place in small Southern towns. These quaint destinations are oozing with charm, from the lively music scene to the slower pace of life, hearty comfort food, and of course, the legendary hospitality.
While the hustle and bustle of major cities like Nashville and New Orleans can be exciting, you can’t beat the appeal of meandering quiet sidewalks and meeting the warm and welcoming locals in a cozier community. And these storybook towns often have no shortage of things to do—many are loaded with rich history, vibrant arts and culture scenes, and incredible dining options.
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The Best Small Towns in the South
1. Tarpon Springs, Florida
Right along the Gulf of Mexico shores just an hour’s drive northwest of Tampa lies this adorable waterfront town—which, according to Kathryn Anderson, founder of the travel blog Coffee & Mascara, feels like a slice of Greece.
“With a population of just over 25,000 people, many of whom are of Greek descent, this charming town will transport you to the Greek islands,” she says. “Authentic Greek music pours out onto the streets from the stores as the vendors are trying to pull you in to shop. Others are encouraging you to enter their restaurants for a meal, claiming to have the best Greek food in town.”
While all the authentic Greek fare is tasty, Anderson strongly recommends hitting up Dimitri’s On The Water for the flaming Saganaki and fresh grilled octopus.
“The main strip is lined with fishing and sponge dock boats, and you can even go on a boat tour to learn all about natural sponges and how they are harvested,” adds Anderson. “These eco-friendly alternatives to synthetic sponges are far better for both mother nature and your home. Several shops are dedicated to selling a wide variety of sea sponges so be sure to grab a few as souvenirs.”
Laura Olds, co-founder and full-time travel blogger at A Piece of Travel, says between the Greek flags hanging from store shops and boats, and the locals often speaking Greek to one another, you may just forget…
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