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4 Hip Southern Cities to Consider for Vacation Properties in 2020

Many vacation homes are nestled in remote locations in the mountains or by the beach. These peaceful spots attract travelers seeking rest and relaxation.

Of course, natural beauty and access to outdoor sports and opportunities is a big perk for any vacation or investment property. But if you focus exclusively on more remote locations for your vacation properties, you’ll miss out on the appeal of some of the most exciting and popular travel destinations in the U.S.

If you focus exclusively on remote locations for your vacation properties, you’ll miss out on the appeal of some of the most exciting and popular travel destinations in the U.S. Click To Tweet

Smaller Southern cities offer amenities such as arts and fine dining, world-class entertainment and education, beautiful architecture, and the unique character that only comes with decades of history. Plus, these Southern locations allow you (and your potential renters) to escape the harsh winters common in the North.

Each of the following cities represents a great spot for a vacation home investment, and each is just a short drive from a regional airport.

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Asheville, North Carolina

This city nestled in the Blue Ridge Mountains boasts an eclectic, artsy culture, as well as natural and historic features that attract tourists from far and wide.

Natural Beauty

From Asheville, it’s just a short drive to the scenic Blue Ridge Parkway. This stretch of road winds through the highest peaks of the Blue Ridge Mountains and offers spectacular views, plenty of paved overlooks, and excellent hiking opportunities. Access to the parkway and overlooks is completely free of charge.

Historic Character

Asheville became a destination for visitors searching for a mountain escape in the late 1800s, and its population had climbed to nearly 30,000 seasonal residents by 1890. Around this time, George W. Vanderbilt began to build his grand estate on 120,000 acres in Asheville. The regal home, a 250-room French Renaissance chateau modeled after European palaces, is a major tourist attraction today.

Rich Architecture

Downtown Asheville features a beautiful collection of buildings with elegant 1920s-style architecture. Many other U.S. cities engaged in urban renewal projects after the Great Depression that destroyed such architecture, but buildings in Asheville survived as a result of the city’s commitment to save money and repay its debt.

Culture

The city of Asheville is known for its eclectic culture. It’s home to hundreds of fine artists, performing arts venues, mountain crafters, folk artists, hip arts neighborhoods, and art galleries. It also has a vibrant music scene that’s “proudly rooted in old time mountain music” but embraces the full spectrum of innovative musicians.

Access and Infrastructure

Asheville Regional Airport is located just 9 miles from downtown Asheville and hosts major airlines such as Delta, United, and American Airlines.

Free download: Should You Rent Out Your Vacation Home? 4 Key Things to Understand First

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Charleston, South Carolina

The city of Charleston, renowned for its romantic beauty and historic architecture, is also a well-connected cultural center.

Natural Beauty

Charleston is located near the confluence of three rivers as they empty into the Atlantic. Within a short distance of the city, visitors can participate in watersports, charter tours, fishing expeditions, eco tours, and more. Folly Beach, with its lighthouse views, 1,054-foot pier, and wildlife habitats, is less than 30 minutes away from the city by car, and visitors can explore plenty of small beach towns nearby. Plus, Myrtle Beach and Hilton Head are just a few hours’ drive away.

Historic Character

Downtown Charleston has been called “a living museum,” allowing visitors a glimpse into more than 300 years of history. Cobblestone streets and historic landmarks abound in downtown Charleston. Visitors can explore museums and expertly preserved antebellum mansions to get a sense of how people lived in the 19th century.

Culture

Visitors to Charleston can tour the city’s many premier museums and galleries, or take in a show at one of its historic theaters. The city also offers plenty of fine dining and shopping options.

Access and Infrastructure

Charleston International Airport features daily non-stop flights to 26 cities in the U.S. and the UK, and quick connections to international hubs in Atlanta and Charlotte. The renovated and expanded Charleston International Airport (CHS) is just a 20 minute drive from downtown.

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Image credit: M01229 on Flickr

Charlottesville, Virginia

Another city near the Blue Ridge Mountains, Charlottesville is home to the consistently top-ranked University of Virginia, historic Monitcello, and a thriving cultural scene.

Natural Beauty

Shenandoah National Park is just a short drive away from the city of Charlottesville. The park features plenty of amazing hiking opportunities that lead to beautiful overlooks and waterfalls. Even if you’re not a hiking fan, you can take in the views from your car along Skyline Drive or other beautiful country roads, many of which wind through local farms, orchards, and vineyards that welcome visitors.

Historic Character

The city’s biggest claim to fame is perhaps Thomas Jefferson’s beloved mountaintop home of Monticello. The home is an architectural masterpiece and is the only home in America recognized by the United Nations as a World Heritage Site. Charlottesville is also home to historic residences of James Monroe and James Madison, as well as Jefferson’s Academical Village, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Entertainment and Culture

Charlottesville may be smaller than other cities listed here, but it boasts a vibrant culture. In particular, Charlottesville prides itself on its reputation as a musical incubator. Big name acts frequently perform in the city, and a variety of venues of all sizes make music accessible for everyone. Visitors can also enjoy a variety of galleries and performances. The city is also known for hosting the annual Virginia Film Festival. Visitors can enjoy plenty of unique, locally owned-restaurants.

Access and Infrastructure

The Charlottesville Albemarle Airport, located 8 miles north of the city, offers one-stop international and domestic destinations, as well as daily non-stop flights around the U.S. The airport is served by Delta Connection, United Express, American Eagle and US Airways Express.

Don’t miss: Should You Rent Out Your Vacation Home? 4 Key Things to Understand First

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Savannah, Georgia

Savannah is just a short distance from the Atlantic coast on the banks of the beautiful Savannah River.

Natural Beauty

Tybee Island, Savannah’s beach, is just a 20-minute drive from downtown. It features sandy beaches, a popular pier, and plenty of charming cottages and inns. Nature enthusiasts in the Savannah area can explore salt marshes, barrier islands and swamps along the river. Opportunities abound for watersports and boating.

Historic Character

The city of Savannah is known for manicured parks, gardens, fountains, and antebellum architecture. The city is made up of 22 historic squares dotting the city, shaded by oak trees covered with Spanish moss. The gorgeous Gothic-Revival Cathedral of Saint John the Baptist is the landmark of the historic district.

Entertainment and Culture

Savannah is full of museums, galleries, historic theatres, and music and film venues throughout its many distinct neighborhoods. Visitors enjoy a multitude of options for fine dining and Southern cuisine. Plus, Savannah is consistently named one of the “world’s friendliest cities” by Condé Nast Traveler readers.

Access and Infrastructure

Located 15 miles from downtown, the Savannah Airport offers regular flights to more than 30 non-stop destinations. Airlines include Delta, United, American, and more.

Explore Upper East River

If you’re interested in investing in a Southern vacation property, you should definitely check out the Upper East River development, located right on the Savannah river.

Upper East River is part of the walkable, 54-acre, live-work-play neighborhood Eastern Wharf. The luxury properties of Upper East River will all be built in a style that reflects the beautiful historic architecture of Savannah, while also boasting all the benefits of new, luxury construction.

The community will feature abundant greenspace, wonderfully curated shops and restaurants, and more.

Click here to learn more about Upper East River.

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