The American South offers diverse and scenic landscapes with everything from pristine white sand beaches edged by clear blue waters to forested mountains and sparkling lakes. There’s plenty of small-town charms, places where residents enjoy sipping sweet tea on front porches, mouthwatering comfort foods, country music, the blues, and plenty of friendly faces.
Whether you’re planning a Southern trip to tour some of the Birmingham homes for sale while enjoying some of the sights, a vacation filled with outdoor adventure, or an escape to relax and refresh, this is how you can plan that perfect getaway.
When planning your getaway to the South, you’ll want to think about the best time to go. The region is known for its hot, humid summers and cool winters. Summer can be great for those who plan to spend most of their time by a lake or the sea, but it also means big crowds. In some places, winter means snow, although in most temperatures rarely drop below freezing but it could be too chilly to comfortably enjoy outdoor activities.
The milder seasons of spring and fall can be ideal. Spring often means pleasant weather although you might experience some rain showers, and in some areas, spring break crowds, so do your research if you hope to avoid them. In Autumn, the weather is likely to be crisp and cool or comfortably warm in places further South. There will be fewer crowds and fabulous leaf-peeping, especially in mountainous areas like the Appalachians.
While many things are similar throughout the region, each destination tends to offer something unique of its own, so you’ll want to get to know the top places to visit whether you’re planning on choosing one and sticking around or you want to explore several. You’ve got a long list of options, but a quick look at some of the most popular include:
Asheville, North Carolina. An increasingly popular hip mountain town, Asheville is surrounded by striking natural beauty while offering a thriving art scene with lots of studios and galleries, along with a wealth of craft breweries and top-notch cuisine. It’s also home to one of the country’s few true “castles,” Biltmore Estate.
Charleston, South Carolina. Charleston has a gorgeous historic district that can be explored on a romantic carriage ride. There are countless outstanding eateries, many of which serve the best fried green tomatoes in the South, a renowned market with hundreds of handmade items created by local artisans, and plenty of recreational activities from golfing to stand-up paddleboarding and kayaking.
Savannah, Georgia. Known for its cobbled streets and trees draped in Spanish moss, River Street is the place to be here for great shopping, dining, or bar-hopping as well as enjoying street performers. Plus Tybee Island beaches are just minutes away.
Nashville or Memphis, Tennessee. Both Tennessee cities are among the best for music enthusiasts, with Nashville renowned for its country tunes while offering just about every other genre too. Memphis is home to Elvis Presley’s Graceland and Sun Studio where he first recorded, as well as Beale Street, famous for its blues clubs.
New Orleans, Louisiana. Look forward to mouthwatering Cajun cuisine, outstanding Jazz, grand historic mansions, and lively festivals with a visit to the Big Easy.
Once you’ve decided where and when to go, choose the attractions you want to experience most. Do some research to be sure they’re available and whether or not you need to book tickets in advance. While you can leave plenty of room for impromptu fun, you don’t want to end up disappointed having not been able to take that swamp tour in Louisiana you had your heart set on.
If you’re planning a summer trip, you’ll definitely want to book accommodation ahead of time, although any time of the year it’s a good idea in order to secure the kind of stay you’re looking for. If you’ll be in one spot, you might want to stay at a resort where you’ll have plenty to do right on-site. Or, maybe you want to save some money on dining out by booking a vacation rental with a full kitchen. If you’ll be hopping from city to city, a hotel might be your better bet, but it all depends on your particular preferences and budget.