Elizabeth Hutchison

My Town: Susan Hable's Athens, Georgia

By Elizabeth HutchisonBelow the LineAugust 18, 2015

Susan Hable Smith, the Texas-born artist and designer behind textile company Hable Construction, and her husband, Pete, and their two children swapped a Big Apple apartment for a Victorian cottage in an historic Athens, Georgia, neighborhood in 2009, and they haven’t looked back since. “We have no real reason for being in Athens,” Hable says. “We were just trying to find a great place to raise our children.” The couple considered various cities in Texas, but Athens’ college-town brand of Southern hospitality proved too appealing.

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Secret Smokies: An Insider's Guide to Quiet, Back-Road Spots

By Elizabeth HutchisonBelow the LineJuly 31, 2015

It used to be said that a squirrel could go from the Atlantic Ocean to the Mississippi River without ever touching the ground. Today, the Great Smoky Mountains National Park is one of the few places in the country left with forests that dense. Chartered in 1934, the park, which straddles the North Carolina-Tennessee border, covers roughly 522,419 acres and attracts nearly ten million visitors each year. That’s two times as many as the Grand Canyon. So it can get plenty crowded, as anyone who’s ever sat in a 20-car-deep traffic jam on the Cades Cove Loop can attest. But even in the high-summer months, there are still places where you can enjoy the scenery in relative solitude. We talked to the folks at the National Park Service to point us in the right direction—away from where everyone else is.

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A Music Festival Like No Other

By Elizabeth HutchisonSouthern SoundsJuly 24, 2015

More of an old-fashioned backyard barbecue or laid-back house party than a sprawling, sweaty Coachella-style rager, Wildwood Revival (August 29-30), offers a boutique music festival experience. “It’s a festival for people who don’t like festivals,” says founder Libby Rose. “It’s an anti-festival.”

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Five Southern Tree House Getaways

By Elizabeth HutchisonBelow the LineJuly 17, 2015

There’s something magical about spending the night high up in the treetops. This summer tap into your inner twelve-year-old and indulge latent Swiss Family Robinson fantasies at one of these five arboreal retreats that range from rustic riverside hideouts to refined mountain top escapes.

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Inside Look: Lexington's Chic New Entertaining Space

By Elizabeth HutchisonBelow the LineJuly 10, 2015

In the South there are few things we like better than a party—any kind, any reason, any place. But in truth, having a stylish space to host it doesn’t hurt. Which is something Kentucky native Cooper Vaughan and his wife Mandy, both of whom trained at Blackberry Farm, understood when they began assembling a crack design team to help them transform a burned-out industrial warehouse on the edge of Jefferson Street—Lexington’s emerging restaurant district—into the Apiary, a sophisticated home base for their popular catering company and a first-class event venue.

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Hitting the Sweet Spot: Vintage Southern Summer Treats

By Elizabeth HutchisonGood EatsJuly 2, 2015

Even when you’re well past the days of three-month-long school breaks, there’s something about summer that makes you want to indulge like a kid. And while endless hours by the swimming pool may have given way to nine-to-five careers, you can still relish the simple joy of a red-white-and-blue firecracker pop on a hot July afternoon. Across the South, there are those timeless family-run institutions that make you forget you ever learned what a calorie was. If you’re traveling this summer, check out five of our favorite nostalgic sweet spots:

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Back-Road Trip: The Mississippi Delta's Blues Highway

By Elizabeth HutchisonBelow the LineJune 12, 2015

Blues greats Robert Johnson, Muddy Waters, Son House, and B. B. King all grew up within whistling distance of U.S. Highway 61, the storied stretch of blacktop that cuts through the heart of the Mississippi Delta and decades ago delivered the musicians north—onto the national stage and into music history. There are miles of flat, fertile farmland, and stick-to-your-ribs soul food, some of the best music in the country, and an innate hospitality and friendliness, but also poverty and the painful legacy of the Jim Crow South. Above all, though, there’s an authenticity and soulfulness here that must be experienced firsthand. There’s nowhere else quite like it.

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My Town: Greg Best's Atlanta, GA

By Elizabeth HutchisonBelow the LineMay 29, 2015

One of this year’s Made in the South Awards judges, Greg Best moved from Las Vegas to Atlanta in 2002 to help open a Georgia outpost of the Emeril Lagasse Delmonico Steakhouse empire. The restaurant ultimately failed, but Best, who went on to open Holeman & Finch Public House, found a home in Atlanta. “I couldn't help but feel like this entire city was fixing to pop,” Best says. “Everything seemed like an opportunity.” And after six years at Holeman & Finch, where he helped define the city’s current cocktail culture, Best and his business partner Regan Smith are set to open an as-yet-unnamed project at Atlanta’s Krog Street Market. Considering his career, it’s no surprise that Best’s perfect day includes plenty of eating and drinking. (Sounds like a good day to us.)

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A Master Class in Floral Design

By Elizabeth HutchisonBelow the LineMay 14, 2015

Maybe you’re a spring bride and want to do your own flowers for your big day. Or perhaps you’re thinking about ditching a corporate gig and making a career in the floral business. Or maybe you just like puttering in the garden shed. Whatever your motivation, floral designers Heather Barrie of Gathering Floral + Event Design and Anne Dabney of Stems can help.

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First Look: Inside a Historic Beaufort, SC, Inn

By Elizabeth HutchisonBelow the LineMay 12, 2015

Amy and Frank Lesesne didn’t set out to be innkeepers. But they did want live in Beaufort, South Carolina. The couple fell in love with the Lowcountry hamlet after a brief visit, and vowed to return when their kids were grown. They didn’t last that long though, and two years ago, after Frank sold his business, they uprooted their life in Atlanta and set a course for the coast. The hospitality business, and by extension Anchorage 1770 (to open in June), seemed a logical step toward making a life in Beaufort.

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