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Thread: Cyburbia's Best Small Towns: State by State - Nominations (Southeast)

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    Cyburbian Cardinal's avatar
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    Cyburbia's Best Small Towns: State by State - Nominations (Southeast)

    Many web sites and magazines do an annual "best of" feature, so why not Cyburbia? My thought is to come up with a list of our favorite small towns. One for each state. The only criteria is population, and I will arbitrarily define a small city as under 25,000. As for the rest, maybe you like it for its layout, its amenities, its downtown, or whatever.

    This is a call for nominations. Since there are a lot of states I will break it up into regions. The next is the southeast: South Carolina, Alabama, Mississippi, Georgia and Florida. I will put all of the nominations together in a survey later.

    My nominations:

    Mississippi - Natchez

    South Carolina - Beaufort

    Florida - St. Augustine
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  2. #2
    Cyburbian beach_bum's avatar
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    That's a big area!

    Mt. Dora, FL

    Carrboro, NC

    ...more later!
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    Cyburbian TexanOkie's avatar
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    Vicksburg, MS - Classic southern town on a bluff overlooking one of the widest points of the Mississippi River.

  4. #4
    Cyburbian biscuit's avatar
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    South Carolina - Aiken
    South Carolina - Beaufort
    South Carolina - Newberry

    Georgia - Nothing great has ever come from Georgia. Okay, I admit Dahlonega is nice. But it's not as nice as Helen.
    Last edited by biscuit; 23 Jun 2010 at 4:38 PM.

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    Cyburbian Tide's avatar
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    I see NC is Appalachian States so will post there right after this.

    Cheraw, SC

    Newberry, SC

    Beaufort, SC (I will second that)

    McClellanville, SC
    @GigCityPlanner

  6. #6
    Quote Originally posted by TexanOkie View post
    Vicksburg, MS - Classic southern town on a bluff overlooking one of the widest points of the Mississippi River.
    Vicksburg has gone down hill rapidly. There are still echos of what was, and still have the Battlefield. However the nice antebellum houses are not in good areas anymore.

    If you are going to nominate Natchez, which I second, I would nominate Port Gibson.
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  7. #7
    Cyburbian beach_bum's avatar
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    Ok, better! Some FL nominations...

    Deland, FL

    Fernandina Beach, FL

    Destin, FL
    "Never invest in any idea you can't illustrate with a crayon." ~Peter Lynch

  8. #8
    Cyburbian Zoning Goddess's avatar
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    I'll go with St Augustine because of the historic issues.

  9. #9
    Cyburbian Richmond Jake's avatar
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    Hilton Head SC.
    Annoyingly insensitive

  10. #10
    Cyburbian Tide's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by RichmondJake View post
    Hilton Head SC.
    I don't know what Cardinal's next cutoff will be but Hilton Head is not a small city. Year round population around 75k and seasonally goes over 200k. I suppose the next Cyburbia's Middle sized cities 25k - 100k or so will definitely have HHI in it.
    @GigCityPlanner

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    Oxford MS
    Jonesborough TN

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    Cyburbian Bubba's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by biscuit View post
    }Georgia - Nothing great has ever come from Georgia. Okay, I admit Dahlonega is nice. But it's not as nice as Helen.
    Them's fighting words, Skippy. And don't get me started on Helen...

    For Georgia, I'd nominate Washington.



    Port Gibson, MS is interesting...good historic district but not much else...not too sure I'd include it in a "best" list.
    I found you a new motto from a sign hanging on their wall…"Drink coffee: do stupid things faster and with more energy"

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    Cyburbian TexanOkie's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Whose Yur Planner View post
    Vicksburg has gone down hill rapidly. There are still echos of what was, and still have the Battlefield. However the nice antebellum houses are not in good areas anymore.
    That's sad. I have not been there since 1999.

  14. #14
    Cyburbian illinoisplanner's avatar
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    Florida:
    Punta Gorda, a charming small town along Southwest Florida's beautiful Gulf Coast. Situated near the mouth of the Peace River, this is the county seat of Charlotte County and has plenty of nice hotels, beautiful homes, and plenty of big trees. Includes the touristy Fisherman's Village and riverfront hotels, but once you're outta these areas, you feel like you're in an ordinary southern town, rich with history and character. Also, plenty of opportunities for recreation, like golf, boating, and fishing. Not a beachfront town, but close to the beaches of the Fort Myers and Sarasota areas. Was devastated by Hurricane Charley and again by Wilma. I was able to see it before Charley and after Charley, but haven't been back since Wilma. While some of the damage was pretty devastating, it seemed at the time like the town was on its way to recovery.
    "Life's a journey, not a destination"
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    Cyburbian
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    Quote Originally posted by beach_bum View post
    Ok, better! Some FL nominations...

    Deland, FL

    Fernandina Beach, FL

    Destin, FL
    I second Fernandina.

  16. #16

    Mississippi and Louisiana

    Ocean Springs, MS - Very attractive main street and walkable community in the midst of a network of nondescript municipalities.

    Bay St. Louis, MS - Nearly obliterated by Hurricane Katrina, but it is starting to come back from what I hear, and I could tell it was a great little town ever when I saw it just 6 months after the storm.

    Ponchatoula, LA - Great main street town with year-round strawberry theme. Probably a distant bedroom community for New Orleanians. Not too far from another revitalized downtown in Hammond (though I suspect Hammond may be too large to fit on this list).

    Starkville, MS - Clearly committed to urbanizing its small downtown core, which is now pretty fully revitalized. Mostly a college town, though not quite the quintessential one like Oxford.

    Breaux Bridge, LA - Only visited it briefly, but I remember it seeming like the closest you can get to a bona fide Cajun town.

    Cleveland, MS - Though not exactly vibrant, it is probably the closest to an active, well-kept downtown amidst the widespread poverty and depopulation of the Delta region. Having Delta State University nearby surely helps. It appears in much better shape than the high-profile blues town of Clarksdale. However, both of these communities can only fit on this list (fewer than 25,000) because they have lost so many people over the years.

    Covington, LA - a bedroom community for wealthy New Orleanians, it has a solid downtown surrounded by forested neighborhoods, and before long will probably be too populated to fit on this list.

    Canton, MS - the equivalent of Covington for folks in Jackson, though it is about 10 years behind in revitalization. The site of many movies filmed in small-town south, most notably "A Time to Kill".

    I have never visited either, but I hear that both Natchitoches and New Iberia, LA are distinctive communities.

  17. #17
    Cyburbian Plus JNA's avatar
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    Monroeville, Alabama - Harper Lee's hometown.
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  18. #18
    Cyburbian
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    Social Circle, GA (who could ask for a friedlier name and prettier little town? And it is not Madison!)
    Eufaula, Al (historic beauty)
    Knoxville, TN (fun city and beautiful mountain views)

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    Cyburbian Zoning Goddess's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by shell_waster View post
    Social Circle, GA (who could ask for a friedlier name and prettier little town? And it is not Madison!)
    Eufaula, Al (historic beauty)
    Knoxville, TN (fun city and beautiful mountain views)
    RJ and I took our first "anniversary" trip to Eufaula. It has a lovely historic district and I dragged him all over the old cemetery there (which I have some thing about cemeteries...) but it has a kinda crappy south end. Nonetheless, he keeps saying "I could live in Eufaula" but I think, they don't even have a Target! (But it really was a cute and incredible historic place when you got to the old area...)

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    Cyburbian Bubba's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by shell_waster View post
    Knoxville, TN (fun city and beautiful mountain views)
    Err...third largest city in the state with a population somewhere north of 180,000...not a "small town".
    I found you a new motto from a sign hanging on their wall…"Drink coffee: do stupid things faster and with more energy"

  21. #21
    For Alabama, I nominate Guntersville (pop 7,395). It's nestled in the scenic mountains of North Alabama and sits on a fairly large lake, Lake Guntersville. The combination of lake and mountains make for a surprisingly scenic town. It's kind of a local tourist destination as well. I like it.

  22. #22
    Cyburbian jdplanner's avatar
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    South Carolina:

    -Greenwood - (Just because of all the effort they did to totally revitalize their downtown area)

    -Aiken - (Beautiful downtown .....everywhere else....mehhh)

    -North Augusta - (Great terminating vistas that enclose their downtown approaching the Savannah River)

    -Beaufort

  23. #23
    Cyburbian
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    Quote Originally posted by Jazzman View post
    For Alabama, I nominate Guntersville (pop 7,395). It's nestled in the scenic mountains of North Alabama and sits on a fairly large lake, Lake Guntersville. The combination of lake and mountains make for a surprisingly scenic town. It's kind of a local tourist destination as well. I like it.
    It's funny you mentioned Lake G'ville. I once watched a recent news story about Scotsboro, Alabama just up the lake from G'ville and remember hearing it referred to as "Meth Mountain." Evidently the locals have nothing better to do than make meth.

  24. #24
    Quote Originally posted by shell_waster View post
    It's funny you mentioned Lake G'ville. I once watched a recent news story about Scotsboro, Alabama just up the lake from G'ville and remember hearing it referred to as "Meth Mountain." Evidently the locals have nothing better to do than make meth.

    Marshall County (where Guntersville is located) is meth central........Jackson County (where Scottsboro is located) has attracted a strong presence from the ruthless Mexican gang MS-13, due to the meth labs. I'm not saying the area is perfect, and though I'm sure there's meth in Guntersville, overall I'd say G'ville is a bright spot in what is otherwise a really, really dirt poor, redneck part of the state. I agree, the mountains of North Alabama can be downright scary though. That's part of the reason why G'ville surprised me.

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    Super Moderator kjel's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by jdplanner View post
    South Carolina:

    -Greenwood - (Just because of all the effort they did to totally revitalize their downtown area)

    -Aiken - (Beautiful downtown .....everywhere else....mehhh)

    -North Augusta - (Great terminating vistas that enclose their downtown approaching the Savannah River)

    -Beaufort
    I second Greenwood. I graduated from Lander and worked as an intern at the city and county back in 2005-2006. Population 22K they've worked hard at revitalizing on a shoestring budget and Greenwood has a thriving Main Street district, restored the Federal Building to house the Arts Council and Visitors Bureau, renovated the community theater, and undertaken extensive streetscaping and pedestrian improvements.
    "He defended the cause of the poor and needy, and so all went well. Is that not what it means to know me?" Jeremiah 22:16

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