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southern states

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My Son and I are planning a trip in October to the southern states and we are having a hard time deciding for sure which states to visit.

Must see:
Titanic Museum
Ripleys Aquarium
Riverboat ride on the Mississippi RIver (must be paddle boat:) (not sure which state
Visit Old Plantations
Cotton Plantations

We will be going for 9 days and leaving from the Toronto Area. We have a tentative plan to drive straight to the Smoky Mtns TN (12 hrs) and then stay overnight for two nights and see the Titanic Museum and Ripleys Aquarium (any other spots?) Then leave early in the morning and head to Nashville (31/2 hrs) and we are wondering whether we should just stop in for a quick visit ( arrive around 11am spend a couple of hrs - not really sure what there is to see here) and then head to Memphis (3 hrs - arrive around 7pm) where we will stay the night and see Graceland the following morning. This is where we are stumped. We are thinking of going to Mississippi but not sure what are must sees there, also,we know we want to visit Charleston SC but want to stay somewhere between Mississippi and SC one day/night as it is quite a distance from each other and we are wondering if Atlanta GA would be a good place for a short visit (we would arrive at around noon and leave the next morning around 7-8). We are thinking we will stay in the SC area for two days before heading to West Virginia which will take us about 8 hrs (arriving around 4pm) then getting up the next morning to start out our last 8 hrs home. I would appreciate any advice from those who have visited the area or live in any of these areas. Thanks very much!!

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