The South's Best Neighborhoods 2020

What makes a great neighborhood?

Sometimes it’s hard to define, but we can all sense it when we see it. All of them share a great sense of place, with a commitment to preservation that leads them to reimagine, rather than destroy, historic structures. They’re walkable and welcoming. They’d rather eat, drink, and shop local and value originality and individuality over mass-produced-so-it’s-cheaper. Many of them have a distinctive claim to fame. In Austin’s South Congress, it’s music. Atlanta’s Inman Park, like Birmingham’s Forest Park, have beautifully preserved historic homes with the kind of porches that invite tea pitchers and bar carts. Our readers’ number-one pick, the Starland Historic District in Savannah, has all the calling cards of a dream neighborhood, from historic architecture to great dining and happening nightspots. It makes a statement, even in a city like Savannah, with its supercharged wow factor. If you think you’ve moved for the last time, visit Starland with caution. You’ll be tempted to pull up stakes.