Accolades stack up for Stuart, named among ‘South’s Best Small Towns’ by Southern Living

Sailfish fountain in Stuart

STUART – “Happiest.” “Most Charming.” “Most Beautiful.” It’s a good thing the City of Stuart stays true to its humble roots, otherwise this steady stream of compliments could really go to its head.

The latest adjectives of adoration officially awarded to Stuart-which was based on a rigorous process designed to reach objective conclusions-comes from Southern Living. The 56-year-old publication just designated the riverside Martin County city “one of the South’s Best Small Towns.”

This Southern Living Best of program celebrates the spectacular sights, inspiring destinations, and cultural institutions defining the best of southern states. The south’s best small towns are known for having a strong sense of place, outstanding hospitality and an exceptional charm that keep people coming back.

“Stuart is known for its feeling of community, unique businesses, and commitment to its residents and visitors alike,” says David Dyess, Stuart city manager. “We are proud to be listed amongst such unique destinations as Williamsburg, Virginia, Beaufort, North Carolina, and the other vibrant small towns selected.”

To create the South’s Best list, Southern Living invited its readers to participate in a proprietary survey through Southern Living magazine, email invitations, newsletters, social media, and A third-party research firm-maintained, monitored, and kept the survey website secure, collected and tabulated the responses.

“A big thank you to all of the readers out there who voted for Stuart, the individuals that appreciate our local businesses, the charm of our area, and all that makes Stuart unique,” says Nerissa Okiye, with the Martin County Office of Tourism and Marketing. “We think it is pretty special too!”

A collection of previous accolades awarded the City of Stuart include:

  • Smithsonian Magazine: Stuart #3 – “Must Visit Small Town”
  • House Beautiful: Stuart #9 – “America’s Most Beautiful Small Town”
  • Travel and Leisure and Smart Assets: Stuart #5 – “Best Place to Retire”
  • Boston Globe: Stuart among “The under-the-radar, unsung beach town of Florida”
  • Southern Living: Stuart #4 – “America’s Beach Towns for Retirement”
  • Men’s Health: Stuart #4 – 58 “Charming American Towns You Haven’t Heard of But Should Visit ASAP”
  • Southern Living: Stuart #11 – “The 15 Best Places to Visit in Florida”
  • Fishing Booker: Stuart #2 – “7 Best Winter Fishing Destinations in the US”
  • Discover Boating: Stuart #8 – “10 Best Boating Destinations in Florida”
  • Stuart Winner of the 20202 APA Great Places in Florida Award
  • Esquire: “Charming American Towns”
  • Travel Awaits: Florida’s Charming Small Towns
  • USA Today: 10 Best Boat Tours, Schooner Lily, Stuart #6
  • MSN: Stuart among “Florida’ Most Beautiful Small Towns and Cities”
  • Wallet Hub: Stuart among Best Beach Towns to Live


March 16, 2022

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