1. It doesn’t cost your firstborn child to live here.
The land of fried okra and gravy dominates the rest of the country with its affordability. According to Forbes’ list for most affordable cities in the United States, the majority of the spots in the ranking are from the South. Only one city from the West — Colorado Springs — and one from the Northeast — Buffalo — make the cut while the entire West Coast sips their way off the list with their $8 cups of coffee. The South, however, claims three spots among the top five — Birmingham, Knoxville, and Oklahoma City — with our lower taxes, lower cost of housing, and less daily expenses. So while you’re living it up in that $3,500 one-bedroom apartment, we’re dishing out $1,100 for a three-bedroom house.
2. Our lives are your vacations.
Not only is our weather warmer, but we also wade through life at a pace most folks could only imagine on vacation. But, of course, how could we not slow our roll with the aroma of biscuits and gravy and fried chicken wafting through the thick air?
So sip that sweet tea a little slower, darlin’ — you’ll need it for the heat.
3. Our barbecue reigns supreme.
Whether it’s Memphis, North Carolina, or Texas barbecue that tickle your taste buds, your one-way ticket to Brisket Heaven is to baste the slow-cooked meat in saucy flavors of vinegar, mustard, tomato, and worcestershire while serving up a slice of warm cornbread and spooning some cold coleslaw on your plate.
Other regional ‘cue just can’t compete.
4. Our music is so much more than twang.
Tennessee is where W.C. Handy wrote the first commercially successful blues song, where Jimi Hendrix learned to play guitar with his teeth, and where the legends of Bessie Smith, B.B. King, and Aretha Franklin got their start. The Volunteer State also houses the largest vinyl pressing plant in the country, Jack White’s Third Man Records, and Grimey’s New & Preloved Music — a vinyl shop that helped grow and recognize independent record stores around the United States.
But “Music City” aside, it’s not just Tennessee that’s steeped in musical greatness. Georgia is home to some of the most influential rappers and hip hop artists in the country like Outkast, B.o.B., Childish Gambino, Ying Yang Twins, Future, Ludacris, and Gucci Mane. We can also thank the Peach State for Ray Charles, Otis Redding, James Brown, The Allman Brothers, R.E.M., The B-52’s, and Pylon. Then there’s Muscle Shoals in Alabama, which takes credit for the soulful “Muscle Shoals sound” that greatly contributed to music history, and, of course, N’awlins, which is the birthplace of jazz.
But, no, please — tell us more about how we’re only diamond studded cowboy boots tapping along to the twangy tunes of Country.
5. Two words: Waffle House.
Closing time in the South is never complete without choosing if you want your hashbrowns scattered, covered, smothered, chunked, diced, peppered, capped, or tapped. Or hell, all the way — because this is the South, and we don’t mess around with hashbrowns here, especially when alcohol is in the mix.
6. We’re kinder than kin.
New to the neighborhood? Enjoy a bag of boiled peanuts and a fresh pecan pie. Driving past a stranger on a dirt road? Here’s a friendly wave. Death in the family, divorce, or broken window? You won’t be able to close your fridge from all the comfort casseroles baked by neighbors. Buggy bump into another buggy at the grocery store? Better scratch off any plans you had Wednesday because Charlotte’s making Brunswick Stew and you’re now invited.
7. We have our own language.
8. Straight up, our food is the best in the world.
Okay, okay — maybe not in the world, but it comes pretty damn close. We have plates of cajun shrimp, fried green tomatoes, buttery cornbread, biscuits and gravy, fried chicken and waffles, Sweet Baby Ray’s ribs, and fried okra; bowls of creamy grits, dumplings, peach cobbler, mac n’ cheese, and Brunswick Stew; and glasses of Coca-Cola-soaked peanuts and syrupy, sweet iced tea.
So, are you fixin’ to come down here yet?