After Andrew Zimmern’s visit to Birmingham a couple weeks ago, thee rest of the country is learning what we already know: Birmingham is one of the best cities in the country. Alongside such beautiful cities as Denver, Raleigh, Athens and Minneapolis, CN Traveler mentioned Birmingham, Alabama as one of its 18 most underrated cities with special mention of Pepper Place.

Despite Jefferson County’s $4-billion bankruptcy filing in 2011, eager developers have poured money into Birmingham. The goal? Recapture a bit of that old Southern magic. Railroad Park, a 19-acre green space downtown (pictured), helped kickstart the revitalization (to the tune of $25 million). Regions Field, an 8,500-seat minor league baseball stadium, opened in the spring of 2013, then came the $7 million renovation of the century-old Lyric Theatre. And let’s not forget the Pepper Place Complex, seven buildings totaling 227,000 square feet that once housed the Dr. Pepper Syrup Plant and Bottling Company. Today it’s home to a design center, theater, restaurants, shops, galleries, and ’Bama’s largest farmers market.