When we asked readers to name their very favorite cities in the South, their choices ran the gamut from a sprawling metropolis with nearly 6 million people to smaller cities in the 60,000 population range. We love our Music City and the capital of Texas, which we want to “keep weird.” Readers picked a mountain gem beloved by the Vanderbilts and a waterfront city in North Carolina loaded with historic charm. But the top three? You won’t be surprised. They’re perennial favorites—and not just because of their legendary food and historic architecture. All three are garden-loving cities with gorgeous parks and overflowing window boxes and lacy ferns swaying in the breeze. All three are aging well. And all three have what can only be described as Southern mystique. Blame it on the live oaks and Spanish moss, the wrought iron balconies and hidden courtyards, the fountains splashing and music drifting and gas lights flickering. These cities have stories to tell. Wilmington, NC chosen #8 of the south’s best city’s 2019.