If you’re looking for a place to get away, grab some much-needed rest and relaxation from the daily grind and have some fun while you’re at it, the South is home to some of the best places to do just that. Whether you’re sequestered away in the midst of natural beauty or staying in the middle of all the action in a busy city, there’s something in the South for every pace, taste and budget.
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Charleston, South Carolina
The picturesque South Carolina town of Charleston has long been a tourist favorite, whether it’s just for a quick weekend getaway or a full summer vacation. In the historic district, there are tons of quaint shops to visit and delicious restaurants to try out, as well as the city’s famous market which features hundreds of handmade goods from local artisans. You can also learn all about the city’s rich history by taking a walking tour, a carriage tour or even a boat tour. And, if you’re feeling adventurous, check out a ghost tour after dark. Military buffs will want to visit Fort Sumter, Patriots Point and The Citadel, while recreation enthusiasts will enjoy the ample opportunities for golfing, kayaking and stand-up paddleboarding.
Another Southern city that looks as though it stepped right off of a postcard is beautiful Savannah, Georgia. This historic city is known for its cobblestone streets, giant Spanish moss and quaint manicured squares like one you see in the hit movie, Forrest Gump. But, exploring the city’s natural beauty and architecture is just the beginning. There are also hundreds of amazing restaurants to try here including three Paula Deen establishments, lots of quaint shops and boutiques, and city tours that you can take on foot, by trolley or aboard a real old-fashioned riverboat. And if you have an itch to see the ocean while you’re there, beautiful Tybee Island is just a few minutes down the road.
The city of Nashville, Tennessee, also known as “Music City,” is home of the country music industry, so fans will love taking a getaway here where they can get up close with some of their favorite artists. Besides plenty of live music spots all over the city, music fans can also visit the famous Grand Ol’ Opry, the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum, and the famed Bluebird Café where many country music artists and legendary songs got their start. But, there’s plenty more to do here besides music, including visit the estate of a former President, take in a pro sports game, visit the Nashville Zoo or have a delicious meal at one of the city’s unique restaurants like the Pancake Pantry or the Pharmacy Burger Parlor and Beer Garden.
Asheville, North Carolina
The Western North Carolina mountain town of Asheville has a unique vibe all its own. In fact, the locals have a favorite slogan – “Keep Asheville weird.” As you stroll around the streets of the historic downtown district, you’ll find a wide variety of shops and restaurants, as well as unique attractions like Woolworth Walk – an art gallery housed inside a restored Woolworth’s building that features works by local artists, as well as a restored soda fountain. There’s also plenty of opportunities for outdoor recreation like hiking and mountain biking, as well as the area’s most popular tourist attraction, Biltmore Estate – the largest privately-owned home in the country, which also features several restaurants, shops and an award-winning winery.
New Orleans, Louisiana
You may only think of New Orleans as a place to celebrate Mardi Gras, but this unique Southern city has a charm that can be enjoyed any time of year. Of course, there’s the infamous French Quarter, where you can shop both modern boutiques and antique stores, and experience some authentic Cajun cuisine at one of the area’s many restaurants. Make sure you try a real New Orleans beignet too while you’re in town too – Café Du Monde serves them up 24 hours a day at the French Market. Outside of the French Quarter, there’s plenty more to do including several plantation homes to tour, art and history museums to explore, picturesque parks for jogging and biking, and tours of the city, the cemeteries and even the swamp!
Music fans will also want to schedule a weekend getaway to the Southern city of Austin since it’s known as the “Live Music Capital of the World.” In fact, it’s home to more than 250 live music venues that feature artists from all genres of music. But, that’s just the beginning. Austin also has an aquarium, a zoo, numerous art galleries, a wide variety of shops and boutiques, beautiful parks for outdoor recreation and several motorsports racing complexes. Plus, the nearby “Hill Country” is home to some quaint former mill towns and offers more than 20 different wineries offering tastings and tours.