Harbour Island in the Bahamas has always been on my hit list. And this feels like the year to make it happen. No doubt I’ll ask my friend and owner of Southern Soul Barbeque Griffin Bufkin for a cheat sheet of must-dos. According to Bufkin, who has been visiting the island regularly for sixteen years, December is delightful with cooler temps, good fishing, and Junkanoo in full swing.
—David DiBenedetto, editor in chief
Sweet Home Atlanta
I loved living in Atlanta from 2004 to 2012, but I haven’t been back for a good long visit in a while. This spring, my husband and I plan to head there to see our dear friends and cram in as much good eating and drinking as possible. I’m eager to try new (to me) spots like Twisted Soul and Redbird, and revisit old favorites such as Brick Store Pub, Miller Union, and Muss & Turner’s. And grab an old-fashioned and executive chef Sam Davis’s Creole take on shrimp and grits at the Garden & Gun Club, of course.
—Amanda Heckert, executive editor
I turn forty this year…at the very END of this year…and I’ve already flagged my birthday escape. I’d love to bring my family to the Lodge on Little St. Simons Island, a remote eco-retreat accessible by boat, and mark a new decade by ditching screens, stargazing, shell hunting, and soaking up the serenity that is the Georgia coast in winter.
—Elizabeth Florio, digital editor
An Epic Tennessee Music Venue
This year I’d like to finally see a concert at the Caverns in Grundy County, Tennessee, which hosts shows underground in an actual cave. It won G&G’s Favorite Southern Music Venue bracket last year, and I’ve long wanted to experience its otherworldly acoustics for myself. In May the venue is hosting a music festival, Ride the Tide, with some great performers, including Lucero, North Mississippi Allstars, and Ruthie Foster.
—Dave Mezz, deputy editor
I love visiting Richmond—next to Asheville and Charleston, it’s one of my favorite creative Southern cities. As a painter, I find so much inspiration in RVA’s museums (like the VMFA and the Institute for Contemporary Art at VCU) or just walking within the historic neighborhoods like the Fan. This time around, I really want to check out the National (and maybe see the upcoming Andrew Bird show!) and Studio Two Three, a community-run print and visual arts studio and shop that just expanded into a new space.
—Gabriela Gomez-Misserian, digital producer
The Hills Are Alive
Having visited the quaint villages and fields of Switzerland once before, I cannot wait to experience the jaw-dropping views of the country once again. Lucerne is surrounded by the impressive mountain peaks of the Alps and offers journeys on foot and cog railways, plus beautiful boats and scenic drives that will be accompanied by lots of local chocolates and cheese.
—Caroline Renee Henderson, editorial intern
Big Birthday Bash
This spring, I’m traveling to Italy with my family to celebrate a milestone birthday for my mom. (Don’t worry, Mom, I won’t say how old you are.) While the Italian food within walking distance from my house in Charleston is fabulous—I’m looking at you, Melfi’s, Renzo, and Le Farfalle—I’m so excited for all the pizza, pasta, and of course, wine, awaiting me there.
—Caroline Sanders Clements, associate editor
I’ve got two places on my shortlist: First, Montana for fly fishing and hiking. The ideal time is late summer for a reprieve from the Lowcountry humidity. Second, the Western coast of France, specifically Cap Ferret, a casual area where you can bike from town to town, scale giant sand dunes, eat local oysters, drink rosé, and surf.
—Margaret Houston Dominick, photo editor
We’re looking forward to a trip out to Central Coast California this year, near Big Sur. Even though we live close to the beach in Charleston, the towering, craggy ocean cliffs are such a stark contrast to our sand dunes in the Lowcountry. The hikes along the coastline are breathtaking and you never know what wildlife you might see—last time we spotted sea otters and a few migrating humpbacks.
—Emily Daily, newsletter editor
Black Belt Journey
I am dreaming of a road trip through Alabama and Mississippi with a focus on three things: art, gardens, and food. My inspiration, and hopefully my guide: chef Scott Peacock, with whom I’ve wanted to take a biscuit-making class ever since we published this piece. Flour-y fingers crossed, this is the year.
—CJ Lotz, senior editor
I lived in St. Petersburg, Florida, many years ago, and can’t wait to see how it’s changed. Looking forward to visiting the new-to-me breweries around Central Avenue, taking a run along the St. Pete waterfront, and heading to the beach at Pass-a-Grille for a fried grouper sandwich or four.
—Chris Kraft, head of digital
Texas Two Step
Two of my closest friends recently moved to Texas, and while I’m sad, I love any excuse to travel. This March, I’ll be going to Austin, then road-tripping to Dallas. I’m a big foodie, so I’m most excited for the (very different) food scenes in each city. Plus, I’ll take any excuse to break out the cowboy boots.
—Ally Sloway, social media editor