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Country Music Band in The deep south USA

Southern Delights: A Guide to the Best places to visit in the Deep South USA

A Guide to the Best places to visit in the Deep South

Welcome to the South. You can journey through nine charming Southern states as you embark on your itinerary through the Deep South of the USA! Here, we can tell you about some of our favourite places to consider for your fly-drive holiday.

1. New Orleans, Louisiana

New Orleans is famous for its big-city sounds, Mardi Gras, Voo-Doo and plenty more. It is a historic city that’s bursting with new and exciting energy. 

Where is New Orleans? On your deep south road trip, you will find New Orleans in the south of Louisiana, near the Gulf of Mexico.

What to do in New Orleans? On your New Orleans Road Trip, the first thing to do is take a walk around the French Quarter. This eclectic, vibrant area is bursting with history, live music and bars that don’t close. In Jackson Square, you will see the beautiful St. Louis Cathedral – the tallest building in the French Quarter.

What is Mardi Gras in New Orleans? Mardi Gras is a wild carnival held the day before Ash Wednesday, usually in March/ April, and is translated as “Fat Tuesday”. Watch the streets come alive with decorated people, contagious rhythms, music, food, and an electric atmosphere. 

Click here to view our Road Trip Itineraries that explore New Orleans…

New Orleans, Deep South USA, St Louis Cathedral

St Louis Cathedral in New Orleans

2. Nashville, Tennessee

Nashville is known for its expansive and exciting music scene. Bluegrass, pop, rock, jazz, blues and soul; Nashville is as diverse as the artists who make up the community.

Where is Nashville? As you travel along your Deep South Road Trip, you will reach Nashville between the Great Smoky Mountains and Memphis, Tennessee. Nashville is 200 miles from Tupelo, 220 miles from Memphis and 535 miles from New Orleans.  

What to do in Nashville? Major music attractions across Nashville include the Grand Ole OpryThe Bluebird Cafe and the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum. A day spent in Nashville will undoubtedly leave you singing! There are always performing arts, shows, and events throughout the city. Whilst you won’t escape the music, other attractions are on offer, including the one and only Jack Daniels distillery and Nashville Zoo.

Where to eat in Nashville? Nashville’s southern heritage can be tasted in the authentic BBQ that will be hard to miss as you stroll the streets. Each BBQ joint has a distinct recipe, which fights for the number one spot in town!

Don’t leave Nashville without… Eating some Nashville Hot Chicken! This Nashville staple can be tasted in restaurants throughout the city, and you can choose just how HOT you’d like to go.

When is the best time to visit Nashville? In Nashville, the music never stops, it’s a year-round destination. The weather can be very pleasant between March and May, where the nights can be nice and cool, whereas the heat can become a little unbearable by June and July with the sticky heat of the South. 

Click here to view our Road Trip Itineraries that explore Nashville…

Skyline of Nashville, Tennessee, Deep South USA

Skyline of Nashville, Tennessee

3. Memphis, Tennessee

Rock’ n’ Roll, Barbecue and Blues. Memphis is home to legendary recording studios – RCA Studio B and Sun Studios, where you can take guided tours, ideal for any music lover.

Where is Memphis? You will find Memphis on the Mississippi River in southwestern Tennessee. A 3-hour drive from Nashville and 1.5 hours from Tupelo and Clarksdale. 

What to do in Memphis? You’ve heard his music; he’s the king of Rock’n’Roll, and you can tour his home. It is America’s second most visited home, second to The White House. Visit Elvis Presley’s Graceland. 

Experience the National Civil Rights Museum inside the former Lorraine Motel, where Martin Luther King Jr died. Head to Soulsville and discover the Stax Museum of American Soul Music before visiting the Rock ‘n’ Soul Museum. Visit Beale Street, Memphis, where neon lights the way to the sound of the blues.

Where to stay in Memphis? There’s one hotel with famous, feathered fowl! The Peabody Hotel, Memphis, is where you will see the resident ducks. The famous birds are escorted daily to and from the fountain, by their own ‘Duckmaster’. (What a job!) You can view the ducks parade through the lobby of the Peabody Hotel, waddling along their very own red carpet nonetheless.

Where to eat in Memphis? Start your day devouring sweet pancakes and finish by sitting down to handmade pasta; like most cities, the difference about Memphis’ food is that it is full of soul! Don’t leave Memphis before indulging in some of its world-famous barbecue. 

 A little-known fact about Memphis… The old MGM movies had a lion who roared at the beginning. This lion was named Volley, and he lived out his life at the Memphis Zoo.

Click here to view our Road Trip Itineraries that explore Memphis…

Trolley, Memphis, USA

Trolley in Memphis

4. Charleston, South Carolina

Charleston is the charm of the South! Whether visiting for a day or a week, you won’t get enough of this magical city’s southern hospitality.

Where is Charleston? Charleston is in the southeastern state of South Carolina on the beautiful east coast.

What to do in Charleston? Charleston is a super walkable city, oozing with southern charm. Picture perfect homes, colourful streets and full of history, there’s loads to do on your visit. For an iconic instagram-worthy picture, visit Rainbow Row—a stretch of 14 colourful houses, each a pastel shade. Visit Boone Hall Plantation and Gardens for an authentic feel for the South – You may recognise this as the picturesque home from The Notebook! 

Take a horse-drawn carriage ride through the city for a different way to appreciate the sights, or take a famous Ghost Tour to get chills as you hear true tales of Charleston’s darker side.

What to eat in Charleston? Locals would say that Charleston is one of America’s greatest foodie cities! Known for its Lowcountry cuisine, including Fried Chicken, biscuits and barbecue, there is something for everyone. Lewis Barbecue, Callie’s Hot Little Biscuit in City Market, and Poogan’s Porch are some of ARTCo’s favourites.

You should know before you go… If you plan to visit Folley Beach or Sullivan’s Island, start early to get the most out of your day, as traffic can build up early.  

Click here to view our Road Trip Itineraries that explore Charleston

Charleston South Carolina

Charleston, South Carolina

5. Asheville, North Carolina

Visit Asheville, North Carolina, along your American road trip. Asheville is the perfect place to stay while exploring the Blue Ridge Mountains and cruising the Blue Ridge Parkway. A colourful, overgrown mountain town, Asheville is a super trendy city with traditional roots.

What to do in Asheville? Food and drink, especially beer, are just some things this city does REALLY well. With beer brewing all over the city, there won’t be a shortage of IPA anytime soon. While in town, you could partake in one of the many beer tours available. Some might see you cruising through the city on a ‘Pubcycle’ or a bus.

 Home to the grand Biltmore Estate, you can find yourself touring these grounds whilst sipping on local wine in America’s biggest house. Explore downtown Asheville for a shopper’s paradise, with hundreds of independently owned stores and boutiques.

When is the best time of year to visit Asheville, North Carolina? Festivals kick off the popular seasons in Asheville. ‘Festival’ marks the beginning of spring for many, and ‘Brewgrass’ means it’s time for leaf-peeping season. Fall brings the blanket of colour over the treetops and is a sight to behold. 

Click here to view our Road Trip Itineraries that explore Asheville

Asheville, North Carolina

Asheville, North Carolina

6. Natchez, Mississippi

Natchez is a historic city full of southern charm. If you want to see Antebellum homes, then Natchez is a MUST on your road trip. Full of old money where the plantation owners would show off their wealth, these elaborate plantation houses are a sight to behold. 

Where is Natchez, Mississippi? In the southwest corner of Mississippi, you will find Natchez, right beside the Mississippi River on the border of Louisiana.

How far is Natchez MS from… To drive from Memphis to Natchez will take just over 4.5 hours; from Clarksdale to Natchez would take just under 4 hours, and from New Orleans would take 3 hours.

What to do in Natchez, MS? There are several of the Natchez homes which are open for public tours, which we’d say no visit to Natchez should be without. Some follow the stories of their past, and some even have a restaurant within. 

Click here to view our Road Trip Itineraries that explore Natchez

Plantation House in Natchez, Deep South USA

Plantation House in Natchez

7. Savannah, Georgia

Savannah is a small, enchanting city full of beauty, a perfect stop as you road trip through the Deep South USA. 

Where is Savannah? Savannah is a picturesque city in Georgia. Savannah is 2 hours drive from Charleston, 45 minutes drive from Hilton Head Island, and 3 hours drive from St. Augustine.

What to do in Savannah, Georgia? There’s tonnes of history and beautiful architecture in Savannah. Many antebellum mansions offer guided tours, including Harper-Fowlkes House, Davenport House, Mercer-Williams House and Owens-Thomas House & Slave Quarters, each as intriguing as the next. 

For a different experience within the city, try a ghost tour! Once you’ve soaked up some history, you can head through the southern squares to Forsyth Park. The fountain here is one of the symbols of the city. Additionally, there is a vast music scene to enjoy in Savannah.

Where to eat in Savannah, Georgia? Your Deep South itinerary will have given you a taste for Southern hospitality by the time you’ll reach Savannah, but Savannah will take you to another level of charm. ARTCo favourites here include Collins Quarter for a fantastic lunch stop, and Olde Pink House for a fine-dining treat!

When is the best time to visit Savannah, Georgia? Spring is our favourite time to visit the Deep South! As summer begins to fade, from September to November, Savannah becomes a prime destination too. Away from the height of summer and high humidity, this off-peak window will result in fewer people around.

Click here to view our Road Trip Itineraries that explore Savannah...

Savannah, Georgia, USA - historic colonial home with flowers

Savannah, Georgia

8. Atlanta, Georgia

Visit the big city full of southern charm, rich history and robust heritage. Georgias’ capital is the home of the Civil Rights movement and has witnessed many significant changes throughout American history.

Where is Atlanta? Atlanta is found in the heart of the American South. Atlanta is 3 hour 40 minutes drive from Savannah, Georgia, and 2 hours 20 minutes from Montgomery, Alabama.

What to do in Atlanta, Georgia? Begin by exploring the small but mighty Auburn Avenue. The birth home of Dr Martin Luther King and the King Center are found here. Explore the life of the legendary civil rights leader in this museum of MLK’s life and teachings. 

Next up is Piedmont Park- this is another local’s favourite. There are often events and celebrations held here as it is amongst the nation’s largest urban parks. The Georgia Aquarium and The World of Coca-Cola Museum are some of our favourites, topping our road trip list!

Where to go next… As you drive from Atlanta, you can make your next stop in Chattanooga, just under two hours away or you could also go to the Great Smoky Mountains.

What to eat in Atlanta? No Deep South road trip would be complete without eating your way through as much Southern goodness as humanly possible! There is a rich and irresistible food culture in Atlanta. 

Click here to view our Road Trip Itineraries that explore Atlanta...

Atlanta, Georgia, Deep South USA - Piedmont Park

Atlanta, Georgia

From the bluesy beats on Beale Street to the finger-lickin’ good barbecue joints, it’s a ride filled with soul and spice. The people you meet and the stories you collect along the way become the real treasures of the trip.

The Deep South isn’t just a place; it’s a vibe that seeps into your soul.

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