Austin, TX | Ann Arbor, MI | Flagstaff, AZ | Knoxville, TN
Provo-Orem, UT | Tuscaloosa, AL
Median Home Price: $156,250
Your Hangout: 4th & 23rd bar
The Scene: Some 22,000 students from the University of Alabama flood the city during the school year, but it's the small-town charm you feel most on the streets. Paddle the Sipsey River's blackwater marshes for a taste of the area's homegrown outdoor vibe.
OPTIONS: Tuscaloosa is bass fishing territory. For a fishing outing head to the Sipsey or Lake Lurleen right outside of town. Biker's head up Oak Mountain for 17 miles (27 kilometers) of trails.
OUTFITTER: Once an ancient settlement of the Mississippian people, Moundville Archeological Park (+1 205 371 2234) maintains the huge mounds that were one the Indian nobility's palaces. Hike the area with a park guide for a glimpse of an ancient kingdom.
GOOD EATS: On the southside of town lies a shack. Inside you'll find a roasting pit, a wood fire and a crowd of southerners baying for Dreamland Barbecue's (+1 205 758 8135) one entrée: the pit barbecued ribs, an Alabama must.
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