I grew up with Southern Living magazine on the coffee table, so I’ve always been a fan of it. When I picked up an issue recently for the first time in years, I found something new to love about my old favorite: an insider’s guide to exploring my state. I was surprised but pleased. What a bonus!
One of the things I’ve always loved about Southern Living magazine is its personal feel. Maybe it’s because I’m from the South, but the way the stories are written and showcased make me feel like I’m stepping into the kitchen, home or garden of a grandparent, relative or family friend. The sentiment I get when flipping through the magazine is comfortable and feels like home. What a better way for the magazine to expound upon this nostalgic feeling than to add personalized, state-specific guides for readers.
Since I live in Nashville, my version was called “Tennessee Living,” and it opened with a lovely vista of a horse farm that runs along a scenic route, not that far from my house. I’ve noticed this farm before while driving down this road, but I was moving too fast to see it like this. On the next page, I found details on five great day trips for spring, most of which were just a two-hour drive away. Turning the page to an article titled “My Secret to Perfect Ribs,” I read about a Memphis restaurant I remember well from my college days, Rendezvous Charcoal Ribs, and got co-owner Nick Vergos’ secrets on how to cook the tastiest barbecue around. When I got to the end of the guide, I had to laugh when I saw the “Worth the Trip” headline above an article about a vineyard on the outskirts of Nashville that I’ve been meaning to visit since last summer. “This is a sign,” I said to myself. The 75-acre vineyard offers picnic dinners, free wine tastings and jazz concerts on the weekends–a perfect outing for a spring or summer evening.
We read so many stories in magazines about posh beaches and exotic getaways that it’s easy to forget about the treasures in our own backyard. Thank you Southern Living magazine for reminding me of what I’ve got right here at home!