New Albany, Mississippi has been named “America’s Best Southern Small Town” by USA Today.
The small town was bestowed the honor after a four-week voting period by the public. New Albany was originally named one of 20 nominations selected by a panel of travel writers and experts.
“We’ve got a number of really high quality independent restaurants, the retail downtown is high end, Sugaree’s Bakery is based here which is quickly becoming a national brand,” said Sean Johnson, Director of Marketing and Tourism for the city of New Albany.
The town of just over 8,700 beat out Eureka Springs, Arkansas and Blowing Rock, North Carolina for the top spot.
Tim Kent is the city’s mayor and agreed with Johnson stating that the success was due to the areas downtown.
“I think a lot of it is its atmosphere. A lot of our down town buildings are full. We have a lot of thriving small businesses, said Kent” “I think it’s more the atmosphere of the store owners. We’ve got some boutiques and a lot of out-of-town shoppers.”
Kent added that one of the biggest reasons for the town’s success is its access to the Tanglefoot Trail. The 43.6 mile trails runs from New Albany to Houston, MS and is a haven for cyclist.
The top ten southern towns in America were:
1. New Albany, MS
2. Eureka Springs, Ark
3. Blowing Rock, N.C.
4. Travelers Rest, S.C.
5. Lexington, Va.
6. Madison, Ga.
7. Sanibel Island, Fla.
8. Lewisburg, W.V.
9. Wilson, Ark
10. Highlands, N.C.