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Where to stay, what to see & do for 4 weeks in the Deep South?

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My husband, son (aged 12) and I will be visiting the USA in Sept/Oct 2013. The main reason for our visit is my passion for the Deep South. We are particularly interested in Tennessee, Georgia, Alabama and Mississippi. Not knowing anyone in Australia that has visited the Deep South it would be great to get some locals knowledge of things we should do and see.

We will have about 4 weeks to drive or fly. We love driving, hiking, good food, theme parks, architecture, beautiful scenery and history. But most of all we love people, we would really like to immerse ourselves in some real Southern hospitality and get to know the real South.

So if anyone out there has any suggestions or tips to help this Aussie family with their Southern Discovery, I would greatly appreciate it.

Many thanks.

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