3 dreamy home communities in the South

As the cooler temperatures settle in, we’re already dreaming of tropical vacations and lake views. Whether you’re like us, dreaming of warmer weather, or you’re in the market for a vacation home, here are three incredibly quiet second home communities throughout the South. From outdoor adventures to quiet evenings spent by the fire pit, there’s a community for every lifestyle on this list!

Splinter Creek | Taylor, MS

Located in the northern Mississippi foothills, Splinter Creek is a second home community that blends stunning nature with the conveniences of modern living. Surrounded by natural streams, ravines and trees, Splinter Creek’s 33 home sites offer privacy combined with waterfront living – all while keeping sustainability in mind.

Splinter Creek home design puts nature first, and it often becomes part of the landscape. This ensures that the structures built on the property are environmentally sensitive and sustainable, while encouraging owners to “build lean” and preserve the landscape and native plants.

A man wearing a white robe stands in the entrance of the house, overlooking the lake.
Splinter Creek is a second home community in Taylor, MS, that keeps nature and sustainability at the forefront of every home’s design.

Set on between 2 and 25 acres, each home site has its own distinct character. Through collaboration between the Splinter Creek team and the architects and builders that the individual owners bring to the table, there is a creative design process. Nestled under mature oaks and pine trees, the ready-to-build homes are primed for sustainable and environmentally friendly development for residents. With 650 acres and only 33 home sites on one of three spring-fed lakes, the majority of Splinter Creek’s land will be undeveloped.

With its beaches and coves, lakeside living is the main reason most owners choose Splinter Creek for their investment. The lakes are used for swimming and small electric boating – and each is professionally managed by American Sport Fish, one of the largest freshwater fish producers in the South. In the lakes you will find a variety of fish species, including Coppernose Bluegill, Shellcracker, and Tiger Bass.

The property is also home to over 10 miles of scenic hiking trails. Whether you’re an avid hiker or looking to enjoy a more relaxed hike, there’s a trail for every skill level. Not only is this a great way to enjoy the outdoors, keep your eyes open during your trip, as Splinter Creek is home to nearly 350 species of wildlife!

Patio at Splinter Creek home overlooking the lake.
Each home at Splinter Creek is lakefront and lightly built on the surrounding land.

When it comes to the Splinter Creek home building process, residents have two options. First, they can purchase a lot and hire an architect or contractor of their choice. Or homeowners can purchase a lot and use the basic Splinter Creek model home plan. No matter which design option you choose, the nature-inspired architecture remains contemporary and simple, inside and out.

While life within Splinter Creek is undoubtedly luxurious and tranquil, homeowners still enjoy their proximity to major cities and local attractions. Less than one hour from Memphis and 15 minutes from Oxford, the location is the perfect combination of privacy and convenience. Not to mention, you’re close to local Oxford favorites like the Ole Miss campus, Square Books, Oil Shed, Saint Leo, Taylor’s GRIT, and Lost Dog Coffee, to name a few.

A living room with a wood-beamed ceiling and floor-to-ceiling windows.
The floor plans at Splinter Creek are open and airy, allowing natural light to flow into the homes.

Alice Beach, Florida

Located on 30A, a scenic highway that runs along a private stretch of Northwest Florida’s coast, Alys Beach is a place where beauty is abundant, and elegance remains effortless. With a variety of unique property opportunities – from elevated condominiums to brownstone-like townhomes and a new concept on the north side of the property – now is a great time to consider property on Alys Beach.

Alys Beach’s thoughtful approach to “new urbanism” – originally developed by DPZ CoDesign and now shepherded by city architects Marieanne Khoury-Vogt and Erik Vogt – results in a community plan executed at the highest level of design. Pedestrians are at the forefront of life at Alice Beach, where owners can enjoy dining, shopping, grocery and green spaces on foot. The city’s clean white buildings contrast with the blue sky, bay waters and landscape, embodying the best of indoor and outdoor living.

People walk near white houses in Alice Beach, Florida.
The stark white exterior of this Alys Beach home stands out beautifully against the clear Florida sky. Photo: Brian Johnson Studio

Featuring elements of Bermudian architecture and the charm of courtyard living, Alys Beach has many real estate opportunities. With a phased release approach to development, opportunities to create custom and semi-custom homes continue to emerge, as well as plenty of options for those looking for a turnkey experience.

The latest version, Phase 4, takes shape amid rural beauty at the northern end of the estate, close to the nature reserve and wetland park. The Silva amenities are located at the center of these Phase 4 homes, which include a lush event garden, a swimming pool and a covered terrace with a bar and café.

In addition to its beautiful architecture and landscaping, Alys Beach has a wide range of amenities for homeowners to enjoy. Exclusive to property owners and vacation rental guests, the ZUMA Wellness Center offers cutting-edge fitness classes as well as tranquil outdoor space, treatment and strength training rooms, and a stunning indoor and outdoor pool.

The Caliza Pool & Restaurant, another amenity exclusive to property owners and charter guests, includes a 100-foot lap pool, a furnished porch and rooftop terrace, a 75-foot pool and a family pool. Homeowners may also choose to spend their time at the Beach Club, an exclusive owner’s retreat located directly on the bay. Whether you’re enjoying a cocktail on the Sunset Terrace or playing a game in the lounge, the Beach Club embodies what it means to be a homeowner in Alys Beach.

Woman practicing yoga in an indoor fitness studio.
Homeowners are encouraged to take advantage of the ZUMA Wellness Center, which offers numerous fitness training opportunities, state-of-the-art facilities and treatment rooms for a comprehensive health experience.

In addition to the special amenities homeowners enjoy at Alys Beach, there are a variety of other activities and places to enjoy. The community spaces feel lively and balanced with quiet pedestrian paths. The city center has boomed over the past several years and includes a carefully curated list of shops and restaurants.

Now, as it enters its 20th anniversary, the master-planned vision for New Urbanism is coming to life and continues to evolve with discernment and diligent attention to detail.

An aerial view of the pool area at Alice Beach, Florida.
The Beach Club at Alys Beach is exclusively owned by the homeowner and offers multiple pools, an outdoor terrace, and more.

Russell Lands on Lake Martin | Alexander City, AL

The Heritage, Russell Lands’ newest neighborhood in Lake Martin, is a stunning example of luxury lakeside living. The 1,500-acre community is located along a beautifully wooded waterfront and includes 12 miles of pristine beach. The overwhelming response to two waterfront property releases in the neighborhood to date has led to additional phases currently in development.

In addition to the peace, quiet and luxurious living that people have learned at Russell Lands, there are some new additions to look forward to. The resident-owned Benjamin Lake Club is exclusive to The Heritage homeowners and offers a saltwater pool, tennis courts, pickleball, fire pits and more. The two-story club was designed by renowned architecture firm Cooper Carey and is expected to open in the summer of 2025.

Members are now enjoying the state-of-the-art course at the private Wicker Point Golf Club, which opened earlier this fall! Located in the heart of The Heritage, Wicker Point Golf Club features the only Bill Coore and Ben Crenshaw designed golf course in Alabama, an 18-hole course offering pine trees, streams and lake views.

The exterior of the house overlooks Lake Martin.
Russell Lands offers beautiful homes on Lake Martin, including their newest development called The Heritage.

When golfers finish their rounds, they are invited to enjoy the beautifully appointed clubhouse at Wicker Point Golf Club. Designed by Birmingham-based architect Hank Long of Henry Sprott Long & Associates, the clubhouse features a beautiful wraparound terrace offering sweeping views of the golf course and Lake Martin.

The Russell Lands community offers homeowners and guests a variety of on-site dining, entertainment and shopping. For a casual meal with the family, Kowaliga Restaurant serves delicious food alongside beautiful views. At the newest addition, Fanny Goldmine Diner, guests will enjoy burgers stuffed with fresh toppings. After lunch, spend the day strolling through Russell Crossroads and local favorites such as Katherine Market, the Company Store and the Stables.

An aerial view of Russell Lands Heritage at Lake Martin
The Heritage is waterfront living at its best, featuring 12 miles of pristine beach.

When it comes to home plans in Lake Martin, Russell Lands ensures a gold standard in design. Homes at The Heritage range from approximately 3,000 to 5,000 square feet and up, and typically offer at least four bedrooms, four full bathrooms, and at least one half bathroom. When you’re ready to build, you’re invited to work with one of Russell Lands’ certified builders or designers to create the home of your dreams. (To view a sample of heritage designs, click here.)

Each home at Lake Martin also takes full advantage of the natural surroundings, offering a wealth of outdoor activities. With more than 40,000 acres of water for fishing and boating, Lake Martin is home to a full boat dealership and four waterfront Russell Marine locations – each offering boats and water accessories for sale as well as rental opportunities.

Family around a fire pit on the beach at Lake Martin.
Imagine having this view in your backyard…

The Lake Martin community is also home to the Russell Forest, which hosts more than 100 miles of hiking, biking, and equestrian trails. Not only is this area a beautiful outdoor playground, it also serves as a classroom for Russell Lands nature and wildlife educator Marian Golden, who teaches homeowners and visitors about local plants and animals through presentations and guided tours.

To learn more about The Heritage or to schedule a tour, contact a Russell Lands sales representative at (256) 215-7011 or email them today.

This article is sponsored by Splinter Creek, Russell Landes, and Alice Beach.

All photographs provided unless otherwise noted.

Brianna Goebel
About the author

Brianna Goebel

Brianna is the Associate Editor and Director of Sponsored Content at StyleBlueprint. She is a big fan of iced coffee and spends her free time reading all things true crime.

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