Get a taste of luxury at these 5 toney towns a few hours away

Get a taste of luxury at these 5 toney towns a few hours away
From the sprawling oaks of Savannah to the literary polish of Oxford, the South is full of toney towns. Photo via Visit Savannah

In case you didn’t know (it took me multiple trips to Google to find out) a “toney town” is a high-end town. Not a big city like Nashville or Atlanta, but a place just small enough to capture that hometown feel with a posh touch. Read on to learn more about a few nearby that are perfect for your next getaway.

1. Fairhope, Alabama

Kicking things off is Alabama’s own town of Fairhope, an epitome of toney towns if there ever was. Close to the beach, Fairhope offers a laid-back vibe with just a touch of posh. Check out some of the best things to do on your next trip to Alabama’s cutest toney town:

  • Get outside with a visit to the Municipal Pier
  • Learn about local ecology at Weeks Bay Reserve
  • Check out local culture at Eastern Shore Art Center

One of Fairhope’s best restaurants is Southern Roots, a fine-dining establishment inside the iconic Grand Hotel that serves up mouthwatering dishes like Basil Crusted Grouper and gourmet gumbo.

  • Location: One Grand Boulevard, Point Clear, AL 36564
  • Hours: Wednesday-Sunday, 6PM-9PM
  • Website | Contact

2. Seaside, Florida

This iconic beach town is probably a familiar site for many Alabamians. Seaside is well-known for its classic 30A appeal, with idyllic beach-scapes and lovely waterfront homes. But did you know that it was founded by Birmingham-native Richard Davis, who’s grandfather purchased 80 acres of beach in the latter half of the 20th century. Now, the world’s first New Urbanist town is home to a thriving community with luxe shops, restaurants and the perfect seafront view. For your agenda:

  • Take a walk on the beach
  • Explore the adorable shops along Central Square
  • Enjoy some of the gourmet food trucks

Dinner is always great, but dining at the beach makes it so much better. For your Seaside evening meal, try out Bud & Alley’s Waterfront Restaurant. With a menu full of fresh seafood, it’s the ideal dinner with a view.

  • Location: 2236 East County Road 30-A, Seaside, Florida
  • Website | Facebook | Instagram | Contact

3. Franklin, Tennessee

Just outside Nashville, Tennessee, you’ll find Franklin, a cozy town with a shiny finish. With a history dating back to the Civil War, Franklin combines the historic with modern. Here are just a few things you should do on your visit:

  • Stroll around Downtown Franklin
  • Booze through an afternoon at Liepers Fork Distillery
  • Tour Carnton for some Civil War history lessons

Like most toney towns, Franklin’s attractions require a good pair of walking shoes. So after you’ve worked up a good appetite, head over to Merridee’s Breadbasket in Historic Downtown Franklin to fill you up.

  • Location: 110 Fourth Avenue South, Franklin, Tennesee 37064
  • Hours: Monday-Thursday 7AM – 5PM, Friday-Saturday 7AM-8PM
  • Website | Facebook | Instagram | Contact

4. Oxford, Mississippi

Oxford Mississippi
Oxford in springtime is stunning. Photo via Visit Oxford

One of the most literary of the South’s toney towns, Oxford, Mississippi, is a cute and quaint college town known for its rich history and high-end edge. Oxford is home to tons of pretty spots to enjoy the view, be it of the Square or Ole Miss campus. Check out a few things to do on your next visit:

  • Grab a new read and some ice cream at Square Books
  • Catch a ride on a double-decker bus for a tour
  • Visit The Library for a drink

One must-visit restaurant in Oxford is City Grocery. Here you can feast on shrimp and grits, braised short rib and oyster casino pan roast.

5. Savannah, Georgia

Savannah, Georgia is a true toney town. Iconically covered in Spanish moss and home to as many ghosts as people, this port town is high-end South. The town has a host of ghosts, legendary maritime history and classic Southern  hospitality.

  • Take a ghost tour
  • Revamp your wardrobe with a trip to a variety of shops
  • Walk along the waterfront and take in the view

Bring your best dress and treat yourself to dinner in Savannah at Belford’s Savannah Seafood and Steaks. This historic restaurant serves seafood favorites like calamari and currently offers a charcuterie board worthy of your wildest dreams.

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Claire Hancock
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