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any tips for a 14 day - journey in the deep south by bus?

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I'm planning a trip to the south-east of the USA but it's very difficult to decide where to go to and make up a plan. I'm flying to Atlanta, and want to travel from there for 2 weeks. The difficulty is that I have to do everything with public transport (greyhound bus). Anyone experience with a greyhound trip? Would it be dangerous for a 28 year old girl on her own for example?

Then I have to decide to which places I'll travel. As it's close by, I want to go to the great smoky mountains, because I love the nature, adventure, hiking, ... What would be the best operating place for me to visit the smoky mountains? I already read that Gatlinburg is way too touristic and I'm not fond of that, maybe Ashville, but how can I reach my starting point of hiking without car? Other places that look interesting are Knoxville, Nashville, Memphis, New Orleans, Charleston, Savannah, some islands there on the coast, I can maybe go to Florida too, I guess there are some nice diving or snorkling places. But I also don't want to spend the whole journey on a bus of course... Any tips or ideas?

Thanks very much,

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