The Best Places to Live in the South

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If you are thinking of moving to the South, there are many cities to choose from, including cities on the beach, in the mountains or close to rivers and lakes, some with big-city appeal and others with the slower pace of country living.

Aerial view of a bridge over Ashley River, Charleston, South Carolina.
Aerial view of a bridge over Ashley River, Charleston, South Carolina. (Image: Jupiterimages/Photos.com/Getty Images)

Charleston, S.C.

Charleston, S.C., offers a great deal of charm with its historic downtown and beautiful beaches. You get the conveniences of big-city life but can relax on the beach. The average cost of a home in Charleston is $206,500, and the medical care is first rate with some of the top physicians located in the area. The quality of life for families, singles and the retired is superb with plenty of scenic areas to walk and jog, fish, sail and simply lounge around.

Several higher educational institutions are located in Charleston: the Citadel, the College of Charleston, Charleston Southern, the Medical University of South Carolina (MUSC) and the Charleston School of Law.

Charleston was rated No. 27 by Forbes Magazine for the best places for business and careers.

Beautiful Charleston, S.C.
Beautiful Charleston, S.C.

Savannah, Ga.

Savannah, Ga., like Charleston, is rich with history, charm and beaches. River Street is a popular spot to dine, shop and watch the ships sail into port. Tybee Island is just a few miles east and is popular for its gorgeous scenic views, recreation and dining.

Speaking of dining, Paula Deen's restaurant is nestled in downtown Savannah, called The Lady & Sons, serving the best country dishes with a Savannah flair (seafood twist). There also are Uncle Bubba's Oyster House and the Pirate House if you are looking for great places to eat.

Other than great dining options, Savannah also has a rich culture with more than 45 historical museums and sites, from Fort Pulaski to the Savannah History Museum.

The average cost of a home in Savannah is rather low at $139,000. You can, however, find some multimillion-dollar homes in the area.

There are also a number of higher education institutions. Savannah is home to: South University-Savannah, Savannah College of Art and Design, Armstrong Atlantic State University and Savannah Technical College.

Forbes Magazine rated Savannah No. 57 for the best places for business and careers.

Aerial view of Cathedral of St. John the Baptist, Savannah, Georgia.
Aerial view of Cathedral of St. John the Baptist, Savannah, Georgia. (Image: Thinkstock/Comstock/Getty Images)

Atlanta

If you are looking for big-city life in the South, Atlanta is the place. With its sports franchises, great shopping and economic opportunities, Atlanta has a lot to offer. There are numerous districts and neighborhoods throughout Atlanta. It is a large melting pot in the South with varying cultures and lifestyles. You can find high-end shopping and fine dining to bargain deals. Your educational experience can also be rich in Atlanta. It is home to Emory University, Georgia State University, Spelman College and Morehouse College, just to name a few.

The average cost of a home in Atlanta is $262,327. Of course, you can find multimillion-dollar homes in Atlanta as well with the vast number of celebrities and successful business owners living there.

You will have the opportunity to watch sports teams from the Atlanta Falcons to the Atlanta Braves.

Forbes Magazine gave Atlanta a high rating for job growth and ranked it at No. 24 for the best places for business and careers.

Big-city life in Atlanta
Big-city life in Atlanta (Image: Jupiterimages/Photos.com/Getty Images)

New Orleans

Since Hurricane Katrina hit in 2005, New Orleans has been working on rebuilding the city to attract folks back to the area. The French Quarter has been rebuilt with the efforts of its residents and business owners. The culture in New Orleans is like no other in the country with its jazz and Creole ancestry.

New Orleans' low cost of living makes it an attractive option for those looking for a great place to move. There is still plenty of room for rebuilding homes and businesses. The average cost of a home is $181,900.

For higher education, New Orleans is home to Tulane University, University of New Orleans, Xavier University and Loyola University.

Forbes Magazine rated New Orleans at No.148 for best places for business and careers.

The New Orleans French Quarter has been built up since Hurricane Katrina.
The New Orleans French Quarter has been built up since Hurricane Katrina. (Image: Medioimages/Photodisc/Photodisc/Getty Images)

Nashville, Tenn.

If you are looking for mountains and country living in the South, Nashville is the place. The music scene in Nashville is spectacular, with Music Row being the center of the recording industry. There are several festivals throughout the year for everyone to enjoy. You can watch a Tennessee Titans football game or go to a concert.

There is plenty of dining to enjoy in Nashville, from the Loveless Cafe to the SoBro Grill at the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum.

The average cost of a home in Nashville is $186,959. The cost of living is relatively low and, like Florida, there is no state income tax to pay. It is a great city to raise a family, live alone or maybe retire. Nashville is also known for its warm hospitality and laid-back atmosphere. Many celebrities call Nashville home and walk the streets freely.

For higher education, Nashville is home to Vanderbilt University, Tennessee State University and Belmont University, just to name a few.

The economy is doing well in Nashville, and while music is big business, there are many careers and jobs available in other fields such as insurance, banking, advertising, and medical. Forbes Magazine rated Nashville No. 25 for best places for business and careers.

Forbes Magazine rated Nashville No. 25 for best places for business and careers.
Forbes Magazine rated Nashville No. 25 for best places for business and careers. (Image: Jeff Gentner/Getty Images News/Getty Images)

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