When you're craving a high-energy getaway with lots to see and do, there's no better place to visit than a Southern city. From North Carolina's majestic mountains to Texas's dizzying metros, this year's reader-voted best cities represent every corner of the region and offer a little something for every type of traveler. Eat at a Michelin-starred restaurant or sit down to a plate of no-frills, slow-smoked barbecue. Go on a long hike in the woods or explore a contemporary art museum. Engage in a little retail therapy or buy tickets to a live show. When it comes to the South's Best Cities, the options are endless.

While some of this year's winners are familiar favorites, others are newcomers that have cracked the top 25 for the first time. While big cities are often accused of feeling a little stale, there's no shortage of character, or what we like to call "that special something," among these destinations. One thing they all have in common: a hearty helping of Southern hospitality. So what are you waiting for? Pack your bags, book that flight (or load up the car), and get going. These top-notch Southern cities are more than ready to welcome you in.

Southern LivingWith many of the same draws (horse racing and great bourbon to name a few) as its more well-known sister city Louisville, Lexington's distinctive set of charms can't be denied. Deep in the heart of horse country, you'll get your fair share of bucolic valley views in Lexington, but you'll also get to enjoy a vibrant downtown where historic buildings have been repurposed as hip hotels, modern eateries, and interesting shops.

Click here for the full list from Southern Living.