4 North Carolina Cities Make It on Southern Living’s Best Small Towns of the South List

Beaufort, North Carolina

Businesses on Front Street in downtown Beaufort, the third-oldest town in North Carolina. Image via Stephen B. Goodwin / Shutterstock

By Kimberly Lawson

March 10, 2023

The writers deemed these North Carolina towns “destination-worthy in their own right,” and we couldn’t agree more.

The vibrancy of North Carolina’s big cities is well-known. Even ChatGPT, the popular artificial intelligence-powered chatbot, agrees.

But the charm and spirit of North Carolina’s small towns can’t be overlooked. That’s why we were stoked to see four of the state’s small towns included on Southern Living magazine’s list of the best small towns across the South, which came out this week. The writers deemed these “destination-worthy in their own right.”

No. 45: Boone

The Southern Living writers noted that Boone, which is nestled in the Appalachian Mountains, is “known for its creative soul.” A college town, it’s one of our favorite places for chill vibes and beautiful scenery.

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No. 12: Hendersonville

This western North Carolina town gets recognition for being an “all-seasons mountain escape,” Southern Living writes. And it is. But the next time we’re up that way, we’ll be getting fancy at A Southern Cup Fine Teas.

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No. 11: Beaufort

Come to this coastal town for the “low-key allure,” as Southern Living notes, and stay for the local seafood and views and vibes that inspired inspired Nicholas Sparks’ “A Walk to Remember” and “The Choice.”

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No. 5: Blowing Rock

You know about the iconic 4,000-foot cliff—it’s the first photo that pops up on Google when searching this village on the Blue Ridge Parkway. But, as Southern Living points out, “Blowing Rock is no one-hit wonder.”

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Check out the full list of the best small towns in the South, according to Southern Living anyway, here.

READ MORE: Small Towns, Big Flavor: North Carolina’s Hidden Culinary Gems

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