< Back to Travel Guides

Southern USA Travel Guide

The Southern USA beckons with its captivating blend of history, music, and warm hospitality. Charleston, South Carolina, boasts cobblestone streets and antebellum homes, inviting you to step back in time. Savannah, Georgia, enchants with its oak-lined streets, inviting squares, and a genteel atmosphere that speaks to its Southern charm.

Culinary Delights:

Savor the culinary tapestry of the South, from the spicy gumbo of New Orleans to the smoky barbecue pits of Tennessee. Each state contributes its unique flavors, creating a gastronomic journey that's as diverse as the region itself.

Musical Heritage:

Feel the rhythm of the South in cities like New Orleans, where jazz notes linger in the air, and Nashville, the heart of country music. From blues on Beale Street to the soulful tunes of the Delta, the Southern USA is a symphony of musical heritage.

Historical Landmarks:

The South is a living history book with landmarks like the Civil Rights Movement sites in Montgomery, Alabama, and the historic plantations that stand as witnesses to bygone eras. Walk in the footsteps of history and gain insights into the region's complex past.

Southern Hospitality:

Experience the warmth of Southern hospitality, where strangers are friends you haven't met yet. Whether it's a front porch conversation in Mississippi or a lively gathering in a Tennessee honky-tonk, the Southern USA invites you to immerse yourself in a culture that feels like a heartfelt welcome.

Food & Local Cuisine

Indulge your taste buds in the diverse and flavorful cuisines that define the Southern USA. From soulful classics to innovative fusions, here are some must-try dishes and iconic restaurants:

Gumbo in New Orleans, Louisiana:

Dive into the rich and hearty flavors of gumbo, a beloved Creole and Cajun dish. Head to Commander's Palace for a fine dining experience or grab a bowl at the historic Dooky Chase's Restaurant.

Barbecue in Nashville, Tennessee:

Experience the smoky allure of Southern barbecue in Nashville. Visit Martin's Bar-B-Que Joint for authentic pit-smoked meats or try the inventive twists at Peg Leg Porker.

Shrimp and Grits in Charleston, South Carolina:

Sample the Southern classic of shrimp and grits in the charming streets of Charleston. Husk, led by Chef Sean Brock, is renowned for its elevated approach to Southern cuisine.

Hot Chicken in Nashville, Tennessee:

Spice up your palate with Nashville's famous hot chicken. Hattie B's Hot Chicken is a local favorite, offering varying spice levels to suit every preference.

Beignets in New Orleans, Louisiana:

Satisfy your sweet tooth with beignets, powdered sugar-dusted pastries. Café du Monde, located in the heart of the French Quarter, is an iconic spot to savor this New Orleans treat.

Lowcountry Boil in Savannah, Georgia:

Delight in the communal experience of a Lowcountry Boil in Savannah. The Grey, housed in a restored Greyhound bus terminal, offers a modern take on Southern cuisine.

Exploring the Southern USA is a culinary journey, where each bite tells a story of tradition, innovation, and the region's rich cultural tapestry.

Libations and Entertainment

Bourbon Street, New Orleans, Louisiana:

Dive into the vibrant nightlife of the French Quarter on Bourbon Street. From jazz clubs to lively bars, the atmosphere is electric, especially during Mardi Gras.

Broadway, Nashville, Tennessee:

Experience the heart of country music on Broadway in Nashville. Honky-tonks, live music venues, and rooftop bars create a lively and iconic Nashville nightlife scene.

Beale Street, Memphis, Tennessee:

For a soulful experience, head to Beale Street in Memphis. Blues clubs and neon lights illuminate the street, providing the perfect backdrop for an unforgettable night.

Savannah Historic District, Georgia:

Stroll through the cobblestone streets of Savannah's Historic District, where charming pubs and rooftop bars offer a relaxed and inviting ambiance for an evening out.

Frenchmen Street, New Orleans, Louisiana:

Escape the bustle of Bourbon Street and discover the authentic music scene on Frenchmen Street. Intimate jazz clubs and cozy bars provide an intimate setting for music enthusiasts.

From the lively jazz tunes of New Orleans to the honky-tonk rhythms of Nashville, the Southern USA's nightlife beckons with unforgettable experiences and a touch of Southern hospitality.


The Spectator Hotel, Charleston, South Carolina:

Experience Southern hospitality at its finest in this boutique hotel located in the heart of Charleston's Historic District. The Spectator Hotel blends luxury and charm, offering personalized service and stylish accommodations.

The Greyfield Inn, Cumberland Island, Georgia:

For a unique escape, venture to Cumberland Island and stay at The Greyfield Inn. This historic inn, nestled in a stunning natural setting, provides an exclusive and tranquil retreat.

The Peabody Memphis, Tennessee:

Immerse yourself in elegance at The Peabody, an iconic hotel in downtown Memphis. Known for its famous ducks marching in the lobby, The Peabody combines classic luxury with Southern flair.

The Roosevelt New Orleans, Louisiana:

Step into a blend of history and luxury at The Roosevelt. This Waldorf Astoria property in the heart of New Orleans offers opulent rooms and suites, ensuring a lavish stay in the Big Easy.

Blackberry Farm, Walland, Tennessee:

Escape to the foothills of the Great Smoky Mountains at Blackberry Farm. This renowned luxury resort combines farm-to-table dining, outdoor activities, and exquisite accommodations for an unparalleled Southern experience.

The Dewberry Charleston, South Carolina:

Modern sophistication meets Southern charm at The Dewberry. Located in downtown Charleston, this stylish hotel boasts mid-century design, top-notch amenities, and breathtaking views of the city.

The Inn at Palmetto Bluff, Bluffton, South Carolina:

Nestled along the May River, The Inn at Palmetto Bluff offers a serene escape. This Montage Resort property features Lowcountry-inspired cottages and an array of outdoor activities.

From historic inns to luxurious resorts, these accommodations exemplify the Southern USA's commitment to hospitality, ensuring your stay is as memorable as the destinations you explore.

Best times to go to 

Southern USA

The Southern USA welcomes visitors year-round, but spring (March to May) and fall (September to November) are ideal. Mild temperatures, blooming flowers in spring, and colorful foliage in fall create pleasant conditions for exploring the region. Summers (June to August) can be hot, especially in coastal areas, while winter (December to February) offers a milder climate, making it suitable for cultural and historic excursions. Choose your time based on preferred weather and regional activities.

Things to do in 

Southern USA

Charleston, South Carolina:

Wander through the cobblestone streets of the historic district, where pastel-colored antebellum homes and charming gardens create a picturesque setting. Don't miss the iconic Battery promenade with its stately mansions and views of the harbor.

Savannah, Georgia:

Explore the enchanting squares adorned with moss-draped oak trees in Savannah's Historic District. The city's 22 squares, each with its unique character, offer a glimpse into the Southern elegance and hospitality.

New Orleans, Louisiana:

Immerse yourself in the lively atmosphere of the French Quarter, where vibrant architecture, lively jazz clubs, and eclectic street performances create a sensory feast. Stroll along the iconic Bourbon Street and embrace the spirited energy of this historic city.

Nashville, Tennessee:

Dive into the heart of country music in Nashville. Visit the Grand Ole Opry, explore the Country Music Hall of Fame, and take a stroll down Broadway, where honky-tonks and live music venues line the street.

Montgomery, Alabama:

Delve into the Civil Rights Movement's history at sites like the Rosa Parks Museum and the Dexter Parsonage Museum. Montgomery stands as a poignant reminder of the struggle for equality and justice.

The Southern USA's sights are a captivating blend of history, charm, and cultural richness, inviting you to embark on a journey through its storied landscapes and vibrant cities.

Speak with our Travel Experts

We'll do the pricing, planning and research for you.
Make an Appointment

or call 1-800-503-8173

Best Ways to Get To 

Southern USA

The region is served by several major airports, including Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport (ATL), Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport (MSY), and Nashville International Airport (BNA). These hubs offer convenient connections for domestic and international travelers.

Traveling within 

Southern USA

Road Trips:

A road trip through the Southern USA is a picturesque adventure. The region is well-connected by a network of highways and interstates, making it easy to explore at your own pace. Renting a car provides flexibility to discover charming small towns and scenic landscapes.

Train Services:

Amtrak provides rail services connecting major Southern cities. The Crescent, for example, links New York City with New Orleans, offering a scenic journey through the heart of the South.

Bus Services:

Intercity bus services, such as Greyhound and Megabus, offer affordable transportation options between Southern cities. This is a budget-friendly choice for those looking to explore multiple destinations.

Money Matters in 

Southern USA

The official currency across the Southern USA is the United States Dollar (USD). Credit and debit cards are widely accepted, and ATMs are readily available for cash withdrawals. Tipping is customary, so it's advisable to carry some cash for convenience, especially in smaller establishments. Mobile payment options like Apple Pay and Google Pay are also commonly used, ensuring smooth transactions during your Southern sojourn.

Southern USA

 Trip Ideas

Historic Charm (7 Days):

Begin in Charleston, exploring antebellum homes and the Historic District. Move to Savannah for its enchanting squares and oak-lined streets. End your journey in New Orleans, immersing yourself in jazz, Creole cuisine, and the lively atmosphere of the French Quarter.

Musical Odyssey (5 Days):

Start in Nashville, visiting iconic music landmarks and enjoying live performances. Head to Memphis for blues on Beale Street and a tour of Graceland. Conclude your musical journey in New Orleans, experiencing the city's unique jazz scene.

Coastal Retreat (6 Days):

Begin in the beachside charm of Charleston, then venture to the serene coastal beauty of Hilton Head Island. Continue to Savannah for its historic allure and riverfront charm. Wrap up your coastal retreat in the Gulf Shores of Alabama.

Southern Foodie Expedition (8 Days):

Embark on a culinary adventure, starting in New Orleans with gumbo and beignets. Move to Nashville for hot chicken and barbecue, and conclude in Charleston, savoring Lowcountry cuisine. Explore local markets and iconic eateries along the way.

Delta Blues and Country Roads (6 Days):

Immerse yourself in the music history of Memphis and the soulful sounds of the Mississippi Delta. Journey to Nashville for country music experiences, from the Grand Ole Opry to vibrant honky-tonks.

Craft your Southern USA itinerary based on your interests, whether it's history, music, culinary delights, or a mix of these, and uncover the distinctive charm each destination has to offer.

If you decide to go away, book your hotel, flights and activities through our trip concierge for discounts and benefits. We offer free upgrades, free breakfasts, free hotel credit and VIP gifts at many luxury hotels for the same price as the hotel’s own websites. (Book direct and you don’t get these benefits so why would you?). Our packaged vacation prices tend to be considerably cheaper than flight and hotel prices available online.

See Vacation Packages

Festive Celebrations:

Dive into the region's vibrant festivals, such as Mardi Gras in New Orleans, the Kentucky Derby in Louisville, or the Nashville Cherry Blossom Festival. Each event showcases the Southern spirit and cultural richness.

Outdoor Adventures:

Explore the diverse landscapes through outdoor activities like hiking in the Great Smoky Mountains, kayaking in the Florida Everglades, or biking along the Natchez Trace Parkway.

Plantation Tours:

Delve into history with guided tours of antebellum plantations, offering insights into the South's complex past. Destinations like Charleston and Natchez boast well-preserved estates that narrate the stories of bygone eras.

Swamp and Bayou Excursions:

Discover the unique ecosystems of the Southern USA by embarking on swamp tours in Louisiana or kayaking through the bayous. Encounter diverse wildlife and immerse yourself in the natural beauty of these regions.

Art and Culture Hubs:

Uncover artistic treasures in cities like Nashville, known for its music scene, and New Orleans, celebrated for its jazz and vibrant street art. Visit museums and galleries that showcase the South's contribution to American arts and culture.