Two Middle Tennessee Cities Make Southern Living’s ‘Friendliest Cites in the South’

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photo by Jim Wood

The South is typically known for its hospitality and a random “hello” from a stranger. Southern Living just released its list of “15 Friendliest Cities in the South.”

The list looked at cities in the South with a population of over 40,000. There was also an online survey conducted by third-party agency Proof Insights among Southern Living consumers, asking them to name the friendliest people and places in the South. The survey was fielded from July 12 to August 23, 2023, and had over 20,000 respondents.

Two Middle Tennessee cities appeared on the list this year- Nashville and Franklin.

In talking about Franklin, which appeared at number eight on the list, Southern Living shared, “Once a quiet suburb just south of Nashville, everyone (or so it seems) has been let in on the secret that is Franklin. Its 16-block downtown is jam-packed with restored Victorian-era buildings now housing chic modern businesses like singer-songwriter Holly Williams’s White Mercantile. And Franklin isn’t just friendly to two-legged visitors. As the pilot location for the Mars PetCare Better Cities for Pets program, more than 90 local businesses follow a “pet code of conduct” that welcomes dogs inside. Pet-friendly patios are popular across town, too.”

The second city on the list was Nashville, which ranked fifth. Southern Living shared, “Our readers sang the praises of the Music City, citing that though the destination has seen an influx of tourists in recent years (hello, bachelorette parties!), locals don’t seem to suffer any tourist fatigue. Said one reader: ‘We spent three days in Nashville doing the typical tourist things. There wasn’t one place that we went that the hospitality wasn’t friendly. Everyone wanted to know where we were from. It’s nice to walk into a store and be greeted.’ Plus, there’s no easier place to make a friend than on the dance floor of a true Nashville honky tonk.”

Read about the other cities on the list here. 

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