Southern U.S

Old Apr 18th, 2002, 09:51 AM
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Southern U.S

I've never visited the South. I'm just tossing around the idea of a vacation 2 years hence. What southern cities would really exemplify the differences that make the south the south? (the positive things please) If I were to visit 2 or 3 locations, about a days drive in between, what would you suggest? How hot is it in the spring (March - May).

Thanks for any info. Like I said, I've never been, never known any one from, so for me its almost a foreign country <grin>
Old Apr 18th, 2002, 09:59 AM
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Charleston, Savannah, and....? Late (last week) of March, or early April is THE perfect time for these two cities as azaleas and dogwood are in full bloom so it's beautiful and not yet hot.
Old Apr 18th, 2002, 10:00 AM
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Savannah, GA; Charleston, SC; and New Orleans, LA, a different kind of South altogether.
Old Apr 18th, 2002, 10:04 AM
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I agree with Charleston, Savannah, and New Orleans. I might throw in Nashville and/or Memphis for the musical heritage.
Old Apr 18th, 2002, 10:04 AM
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Wow you guys are quick!

Knowing NOTHING, i was working on a list while i waited for responses... on my list i had charlotte, nc; charleston, sc; savannah, ga; montgomery, al; jackson, mi; and new orleans, la

This is completely from stereotypes i've developed from movies and such. Obviously, I'd like to see the real thing, and not rely on stereotypes.
Old Apr 18th, 2002, 10:05 AM
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Oh and thanks for such great replies!! I like to flesh out a trip a couple years in advance, while i wait on my next trip. Gives me two vacations to dream of at one time
Old Apr 18th, 2002, 10:07 AM
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I'd eliminate Charlotte, NC--nice place to live, but fairly dull, especially compared to your other choices. Dream away, and have a great trip when you go!
Old Apr 18th, 2002, 10:13 AM
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Interesting that the same 3 everyone else mentions are my top 3: Charleston, Savannah, New Orleans.
Old Apr 18th, 2002, 11:29 AM
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What about natchez, Mississipi in the spring? Antebellum homes..azaleas...
Old Apr 18th, 2002, 12:13 PM
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Savannah, Charleston & New Orleans are all great cities, but Savannah and Charleston are close together and a VERY long drive from New Orleans.

If you want to do Savannah & Charleston, I'd stick to the East coast then and maybe see Asheville, North Caroline (the Biltmore is there).

If you want to do New Orleans, maybe combine it with a trip to Natchez and Memphis?
Old Apr 18th, 2002, 12:27 PM
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thanks for the advice. I had wondered about the distances. It looked like New Orleans and Savannah would be a 2 day drive. I'll look into Asheville as well.
Old Apr 18th, 2002, 12:40 PM
Big Red
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I would second (third?) Natchez, MS. One of the most beautiful places I've ever been. I would suggest taking the Natchez Parkway from nashville to Natchez to get off the Interstates and see some great country.

Since I'm from KY, I would also suggest my great state. Lexington would supply the kind of South you're looking for.
Old Apr 18th, 2002, 01:56 PM
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Yeah, I would take Charlotte off the list, too. As E. said, it's a nice city, but I don't think there's a lot of touristy stuff that's so unique that you couldn't find it in other places. (And don't berate me, I'm an NC native so I'm allowed to say these things).

Asheville, NC would be a good choice because it's a great city, but I'm not sure how "Southern" it really feels. Of course, if you make it to Asheville then you're only a half day's drive to Nashville, which would probably be a good choice because it definitely feels Southern, and there are some unique music-related things to do there.
Old Apr 18th, 2002, 02:05 PM
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I agree with the top three plus Asheville, especially if you like the outdoors and scenery--Blue Ridge Parkway, Appalachian Trail nearby. Charlotte is too generic and Charleston is my favorite place for 'true south'. However, I wouldn't miss New Orleans for anything. Maybe you could plan a trip just to New Orleans?
Old Apr 18th, 2002, 02:25 PM
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Another fun tour could be a "musical tour" based on Nashville, Memphis and New Orleans. Longest drive -- Memphis to N.O. for approx. 6 hours.
Old Apr 18th, 2002, 02:31 PM
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Maybe you can just wait until the Charlotte basketball team moves to New Orleans and hitch a ride with them!
Old Apr 24th, 2002, 08:32 AM
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I second the recommendation for Memphis. There are all kinds of unique attractions and things to do in Memphis.

- Gibson Guitar Factory Tours
- The Center for Southern Folklore
- Memphis Rock 'n' Soul Museum (a Smithsonian collection)
- Graceland, Home of Elvis Presley
- The Peabody Hotel "The South's Grand Hotel" (complete with the Peabody Ducks)
- the original Memphis Belle bomber airplane
- Memphis Redbirds AAA baseball in new AutoZone Park
- the best BBQ (pork, of course) in the world. In fact, come the 3rd weekend in May for the World Championship Barbecue Cooking Contest on the banks of the Mississppi River. It's like nothing you ever seen.
- Memphis in May (all kinds of events:
- March/April/May: Highs from 55-80. late April and early May is beautiful
Old Apr 24th, 2002, 08:56 AM
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A Mississippi River trip from Memphis to New Orleans would put you through Nachez. If you started farther north, like St. Louis, you'd start in Mark Twain country, and continue into the deep south through the delta, and then to New Orleans, with its own flavor. The heartland. I wonder if there are boats that do that.
Hard choice between the east coast or Mississippi River route. Just a feeling, but I'd think the Mississippi route would be more "authentic," the Charleston, Savannah route, slicker/wealthier.
Old Apr 24th, 2002, 09:01 AM
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Here's my 2 cents:

New Orleans - Can't go wrong. Perhaps THE Southern city. Great mix of cultures and history, which is actually what makes the South unique. Food, music, architecture, history, culture saturates the city. A must see for ANYONE.

Memphis - It's important as a crossroads of music and commerce. Not somewhere you'd want to spend more than a few days, but still worth visiting.

Nashville - As important as Memphis, with a little more substance. Can't throw a rock w/o hitting a session musician, songwriter, or aspiring artist. Check it out if only to see live music. Ain't talkin' bout Wildhorse Saloon either!

Lynchburg, TN - If you want to see what small town life is really like, check it out. Blink and you'll miss the old cooters w/ the town dog hangin' out on the square drinkin' a co-cola. Very nostalgic, even though it's not meant to be! Worth a few hours at least!

Smoky Mountains - Once you dig in past the yuck of Pigeon Forge and really get into somewhere like Cade's Cove, you can see where the pioneering spirit not only settled the wilderness here, but also continued West. Also, skip Asheville unless it's on your way. There is nothing Southern about it to me. And the Biltmore might be pretty cool if it were more than 100 years old and not built to "resemble" a French manor. Likewise with Charlotte. Even though I live here (and love it), I would say it's pretty white bread even with the influx of NYers. Nice town, but...

Charleston - Beautiful city by the ocean with a lot of the charm from the Old South (i.e. architecture, historical buildings, charm of the people). While Savannah kinda compares, it really doesn't. Charleston has long been steeped in being a Southern city, while little Savannah has had some newfound fame over the past years that has brought some opportunists from elsewhere. Stop by if it's on the way maybe.

Atlanta - No, it's not the devil and it does have some Southern charm left in all of its sprawl, but it may be worth skipping as far as a Southern city goes. No, it's not world class maybe, but then it's not inherently Southern either. Maybe that's why nobody really cares about it... it's neither fish nor fowl. Not being Johnny Reb here or anything, but it didn't help that Sherman burned down most of Atlanta's historic plantations and buildings.

Now here's the cap: If you have time to visit the Florida Panhandle AND/OR venture to the upper to mid Keys, those are really the only places left in the Sunshine state where the South remains. Leisurely, beachy, and Margaritavilley. Have to appreciate it for what it is, not what it isn't.

Anyway, enjoy the local food even if it's bad for you, and talk to some of the natives along the way. The South is a land born of pioneers, slavery, and agriculture mainly. There is no changing the past and it sure makes for some great food, music, and people. Have fun!

Old Apr 25th, 2002, 03:10 PM
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Scratch off Montgomery & Jackson.
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