The southern United States is in contrast to wherever else you’ll ever go. Sizzling climate, heat smiles, and arguably a few of the finest grub within the nation make up the inspiration of this distinctive area. The finest method to get to know the South is by hitting the highway!
As a notice, this unfastened itinerary is supposed to function a information and you’ll comply with it in both route! Whereas I began in New Orleans, you may positively flip it round and begin off your journey in Georgia.
Whereas I’ve laid out a few of the highlights, however I feel among the best elements a couple of highway journey is including in your personal particular stops alongside the best way! I like to make use of Roadtrippers to design the journey and map out the place my “anchor” stops are, after which discover enjoyable stops in between.
Right here’s the last word Southern USA highway journey information!
Southern USA Highway Journey Highlights
- New Orleans, Louisiana
- Jackson, Mississippi
- Memphis, Tennessee
- Nashville, Tennessee
- Charlotte, North Carolina
- Charleston, South Carolina
- Savannah, Georgia
*When you wished to increase the journey, you may add in Atlanta, Georgia, and make your means into Alabama. It simply will depend on how a lot time you’ve got!
As you’re planning, make sure that to take a look at these 10 important suggestions in your highway journey!
New Orleans, Louisiana
Kick-off your journey in New Orleans!
Since it is a lengthy stretch, you may break up the drive by spending an evening alongside the best way. It’s an superior alternative to get off the crushed observe and discover extra of Louisiana.
I fell in love with New Orleans after I went for Mardi Gras. Whereas I’d love to return for an additional Fats Tuesday, town is equally spectacular each day of the yr. Simply wandering town, you’ll get a way of New Orleans’ advanced previous and distinctive tradition!
Prime Issues to See and Do in New Orleans
- The French Quarter by no means disappoints
- Get down and soiled on Bourbon Avenue or go for an upscale night on Frenchmen Avenue
- Go to the oldest cathedral on the continent, St. Louis Cathedral, which was inbuilt 1720
- Go to the Carousel Bar — sure, there’s a carousel contained in the bar!
- Go on a ghost tour and be taught concerning the metropolis’s many legends
Prime Locations to Eat in New Orleans
Detour: Take a Bayou Tour in Louisiana
On my journey, I took a few hours to tour the Manchac swamp with Wild Louisiana Tours! It was such a cool expertise, there was a second the place I felt like I used to be in The Pocket book.
You’ll see the logging ghost city of Ruddock that served as a passageway for historic New Orleans explorers and properly as Iberville, Bienville, Ponchartrain, and extra!
Detour: Study About Plantations
Throughout my Southern USA Highway Journey, I used to be fully awestruck by the Stay Oaks on the entrance to Oak Alley Plantation. I’d seen loads of pictures of Oak Alley, nevertheless it was even grander in particular person.
The plantation has been featured in lots of films and music movies together with Interview with The Vampire, Django Unchained, and Beyoncé’s “Déjà Vu” music video!
Whereas Oak Alley is gorgeous, it’s extremely essential to know what the plantations imply in a historic context and at present. For an in-depth look and to replicate on the atrocities of slavery and its lasting affect, make a visit to Whitney Plantation.
Take I-55 North from New Orleans to Jackson – 190 miles
Jackson is the capital of Mississippi and residential to a cool arts scene, good bars and eating places, and A LOT of dwell music!
Prime Issues to See and Do in Jackson
- Spend the day exploring the Civil Battle websites and the Civil Rights Museum
- Upon getting labored up an urge for food, indulge on turnip greens, cornbread, and black-eyed peas
- Craving some spice? Go for the domestically beloved Miss-Mex (that’s Mississippi-Mexican fusion) for a culinary journey
- Prime your break day by exploring the numerous blues and jazz venues
Detour: Oxford, Mississippi
This energetic school city — residence of Ole Miss — is a enjoyable cease in between Jackson and Memphis. With the historic city sq., James Beard-winning eating places, and deep literary roots (the house of William Faulkner), this might make an amazing addition!
Take I-55 North from Jackson to Memphis – 210 miles
Memphis is all about rock n’ roll and BBQ. You’ll by no means have the ability to eat at one other BBQ joint after you attempt a correct Memphis-style BBQ platter. For extra enjoyable, take a look at the highest 10 issues to do in Memphis in two days.
Prime issues to See and Do in Memphis
- Go to the birthplace of rock music: Solar Studio
- Watch the geese at Peabody Lodge
- Make your means over to Elvis’ world-famous residence, Graceland
- For a complete lesson on the historical past of recent music, go to the Stax Museum of American Soul Music
- Get all the way down to Rendezvous for the most effective BBQ ribs in Memphis
Detour: Go to Tennessee’s Wineries
Take I-40 East from Memphis to Nashville – 210 miles
For nation music followers, singers, and songwriters from all around the world, Nashville is the last word vacation spot. However Nashville isn’t simply nation music, it’s a energetic metropolis, breaking out with new companies, a dynamic meals and cocktail scene, and shiny lights!
Prime Issues to See and Do in Nashville
- Dwelling to the Grand Ole Opry radio present, Ryman Auditorium is an absolute must-see and, whether or not you’re a nation music fan or not, the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum is an interesting spot
- To wrap up your musical day, take a tour of Music Row and RCA Studio B
- One of the crucial gorgeous buildings in Nashville, The Parthenon is the world’s solely full-size replica of the Greek Parthenon in Athens, Greece, so plan on a while to go to the museum and artwork gallery to finish your tour
- Take a day journey to Jack Daniel’s Distillery
Prime Locations to Eat and Drink in Nashville
- Get drinks at The Patterson House
- Have an evening out at Pinewood Social. It’s a retro-style restaurant, bar, and low store, they usually have an especially photogenic bowling alley, out of doors patio, and views of town skyline
- Mas Tacos Por Favor dishes up an array of tasty tacos which can be hands-down the most effective in Nashville
- Dig into the “New American” dishes at Rolf & Daughters, an industrial-chic restaurant with communal tables and a few fairly artful cocktails
- Craving some Southern biscuits? Go to Biscuit Love for a correct carb-filled brunch.
- From gentle to very spicy fried hen and iconic Southern sides, Hattie B’s Chicken is the place it’s at!
Prime Photograph Spots in Nashville
- Three Brothers Café – cool black and white patterned walled alcove
- 12th Avenue South – I Imagine in Nashville Mural
- Madewell Wall – Trying Fairly, Music Metropolis
- The Gulch – “What Lifts You” Wings the colourful mural
*There are such a lot of different murals across the metropolis and funky spots — go on a treasure hunt to search out them.
Charlotte, North Carolina
Take I-40 East from Nashville to Charlotte – 400 miles
That is over a half-day of driving, so go away early and profit from your journey day!
Charlotte is usually a enterprise and banking city, however is made up of lovely, historic neighborhoods, nice museums, and superior waterfront eating places!
Prime Issues to See and Do in Charlotte
- Go to Levine Museum of the New South & the NASCAR Corridor of Fame
- Quiet down on the 29,000-square-foot Ray’s Splash Planet – this ultra-fun indoor water park is the right place to splash round on a steamy afternoon
- See Charlotte’s high-flying previous on the Carolinas Aviation Museum
- Pan for a little bit of gold at Reed Gold Mine
Charleston, South Carolina
Take I-77 South from Charlotte to Charleston – 211 miles
With its climate within the higher 70s within the lifeless of winter, Charleston is the right place for seashore lovers! It’s a quaint metropolis, however there are tons of issues to do.
Prime Issues to See and Do in Charleston
- Get shifting and lease a motorcycle to trip throughout the well-known Arthur Ravenel Jr. Bridge
- Don’t miss the Angel Oak Park—one in all South Carolina’s most outstanding websites—you’ll discover a large 1,500-year-old oak tree, which is a real sight to behold
- Prime locations to remain in Charleston are the Wentworth Mansion, wherever on King Avenue, or the Restoration Hotel (they provide in-room spa providers)
- Rainbow Row is a collection of 13 colourful historic homes and is the longest cluster of Georgian row homes in america. It’s finest to go right here within the morning when there are fewer folks and mushy lighting.
- Mosey by the Waterfront Park — a beautiful eight-acre park alongside the Cooper River.
- The City Market in downtown Charleston is a should — even if you happen to’re simply strolling by (although you may simply spend all day right here). Established within the 1790s, this historic market stretches 4 metropolis blocks.
- Need to discover a really Southern backyard meets swamp? Head to Cypress Gardens for the 80 acres of blackwater bald cypress/tupelo swamp, surrounded with each boat and foot trails.
- When you’re taking this journey within the spring, Magnolia Plantation and Gardens is brimming with azaleas!
- To not be confused with the above, Magnolia Cemetary is value visiting, too.
- Guide a tour to get the historical past of the Gilded Age Calhoun Mansion
Prime Locations to Eat and Drink in Charleston
- Seize cocktails at Vendue Rooftop Bar
- You completely should dine at Husk Restaurant (make reservations properly beforehand!)
- Head to Callie’s Biscuit for a few of the tastiest award-winning biscuits, southern tea sandwiches, grits, and locally-inspired dishes
- Dinner at FIG is beautiful — an elevated tackle Southern classics
- Have dinner, or on the very least, cocktails at 5church (situated in a former church, the inside is tremendous cool!)
Detour: Folly Seaside
Deliver your bikini and lounge within the Carolina solar on Folly Beach throughout the higher a part of the yr. Simply south of Charleston, you’ll discover Folly Seaside Pier which stretches greater than 1,000 ft into the ocean. Middle Avenue is lined with the cutest surf outlets and also you’ll discover tons of souvenirs.
Detour: Cease in Beaufort
Stroll or drive round right here. The Beaufort River wraps round this space and served as the placement for a lot of scenes from Forrest Gump and The Massive Chill. It’s midway between Savannah and Charleston and would make an amazing cease for lunch.
How attractive is Forsyth Park?
Take US-17 South and I-95 South from Charleston to Savannah – 108 miles
Recognized for manicured parks, tons of historic structure, cobblestoned squares, and tons of oak bushes lined with Spanish moss, Savannah is a picturesque cease.
Prime Issues to See and Do in Savannah
- Head to Tybee Island for seashore vibes (about 20 minutes from Savannah). There’s tons of historical past right here too and a cute pier and pavilion.
- Wormsloe Plantation Historic Site is a should for pictures. Attempt to get there barely earlier than it opens to snap pictures with out of us or automobiles.
- Exploring River Street is an absolute should. A mixture of new buildings and outdated warehouses, there are tons of retailers, galleries, eating places, and pubs on this stretch of Savannah’s Waterfront
- Forsyth Park is a big metropolis park within the historic district of Savannah. When you’re there on a summer time Saturday, there’s normally an enormous farmers’ market occurring!
- Savannah is claimed to be one of the crucial haunted cities within the US, go on a ghost tour or haunted pub crawl!
- The City Market is an open-air market courting again to the 1700s
- Put together to search out so many goodies at The Paris Market — a captivating boutique with an eclectic vary of antiques, housewares, and jewellery.
Prime Locations to Eat and Drink in Savannah
- Leopold’s Ice Cream on Broughton St.
- Have breakfast and low at The Collins Quarter on Bull Avenue
- B. Matthews Eatery — for traditional and new American fare, this charming bistro in an up to date classic area is a go-to
- Vic’s on the River for dinner — situated in a 19th-century warehouse, you may’t beat the meals or the cool inside.
- Whereas it’s very expensive, dinner on the famed Olde Pink House is a Savannah staple
- Mrs. Wilkes — Household-owned since 1943, this busy diner serves ample Southern-style breakfast and lunches at communal tables.
- For a cool, darkish, and comfortable vibe — go to the Mata Hari speakeasy. Heads up: you need to have a key to get in! 😉
- Jen’s and Friends is an superior martini bar with tons of martini flavors (severely! From Bananas Foster to birthday cake)
- The Peregrin Rooftop Bar has nice cocktails and an superior view of town
And there you’ve got it, of us! My final information to a Southern USA highway journey! What locations would you add to this checklist? Any hidden gems? I’d love to listen to all about it within the feedback beneath!