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The South

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Jun 25th, 2009, 09:43 AM
  #1
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The South

I'm thinking about going to one of the southern states while I'm in the US and need some assistance choosing somewhere. I'm not from the US so don't know anything about that area but have always wanted to visit. Is Alabama the more touristy state?
michjv is offline  
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Jun 25th, 2009, 09:47 AM
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Um, no. If you want diverse things to do NC, SC & Ga. all have access to both Mts & beaches as well as several interesting &/or historical cities - Asheville, Charleston, Wilmington & Savannah. You would get a different type of vacation in Fla. w/Miami & the Keys, etc. If this is a serious question(?) we would need some additional information as to what you are loking for in the way of a destination. The ball is in your court.
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Jun 25th, 2009, 09:52 AM
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Where are you coming from? Alabama is the last place I'd think of (no offense to people living in Alabama).
If you consider Washington DC the south, by all means go there and/or Virginia. Lots of interesting places between mountains and Charlottesville and peninsula of Hampton/Newport News and across the bay to Virginia Beach. Then there is Williamsburg/Yorktown/Jamestown and all the historic stuff there and around Richmond (lots of US Civil War places).
If in winter, Florida has beaches, Orlando and Disneyworld, Miami and warm weather.
Pre Hurricane Katrina, I would have said New Orleans with great charm, jazz music, restaurants. Not so sure it has come back yet.
The coast of NC, SC have great beaches and some resorts (Hilton Head).
Charleston, SC is a major attraction with charm, scenery, history, beaches, great restaurants.
I would avoid the "deep south" (Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi, Tennessee (unless you are into country music).
Texas has some great places (Austin, San Antonio).

So much to choose from. I would go by what is easiest to get to and whether you are interested in History, Food, outdoor activities, entertainment.
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Jun 25th, 2009, 09:53 AM
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I agree it is hard to give advice, not knowing your interests. However, Louisiana is also a good destination to consider. The charms of New Orleans are well known. Not so well known but highly interesting is the area known as cajun country to the south and soutwest of New Orleans. LA also has many of the same beach opportuniities as the other gulf states but I don't know how well they have recovered from the huge storms of a few years ago. From New Orleans it is but a short drive to the gulf coast areas of Alabama also.
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Jun 28th, 2009, 12:32 PM
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Aw, come on...Alabama is great! I would suggest, if you do want to go to Alabama, go to the Alabama Gulf Coast. This is a really great vacation spot, beautiful beaches, golfing and fishing...look at www.thebeachiscalling.org, that web site gives a pretty good idea of the area.
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Jun 28th, 2009, 12:39 PM
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The Gulf Coast would be fun. New Orleans would be fun. Charleston? The Carolina Coast?
He doesn't really say anything about wanting the beach per se.
Going to Virginia/Charlottesville would be a lovely visit.
The South is a great place. Tell us more about what you'd like to see--and where you are coming from.
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Jun 28th, 2009, 01:39 PM
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Southern States are plenty big and quite diverse. Many have mountains, foothills, and broad coastal planes, but hours in between. What are you interested in? For Southern history: Savannah GA, Charleston SC, Montgomery, Jackson MS, Vicksburg MS. For US history: Colonial Williamsburg, Jamestown, St Augustine (fascinating Spanish history). For mts: Anywhere in the Appalchians - VA, NC, SC, GA, TN (Great Smokey Mts), For beaches, coastal VA, NC, SC, GA, FL. Big cities: Atlanta. (I don't really consider Miami a southern city, but it's interesting, that's for sure). Lots of choices.
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Jun 28th, 2009, 04:37 PM
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What about Tennessee----there's great music in Memphis (and bbq), Nashville is a great town that is much more than just country music and east TN is beautiful. You can do as touristy as it gets (Dollywood/Pigeon Forge) or see natural beauty all over the Smokies.

Sorry, have to say to that anything near to DC is NOT the south. Much more Yankee (New England Yankee at that) than the rest of the state. Come to norther Virginia and you'll likely sit in your car and get to experience the nation's third worst traffic. In the south of Virginia, there are many wonderful areas as he mentioned.
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Jun 28th, 2009, 04:54 PM
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I'd have to say a fly into New Orleans and spend a few days in New Orleans, and then tour Cajun country for a few days. Then, drive east to Gulf Shores, Alabama (since you wanted to tour Alabama, that's probably the best place in Alabama - beautiful beaches and clear water).

Then, drive up to Atlanta and see the modern South and fly out from there. It wouldn't show you all of the South, but would give you a good view of antebellum South, the Gulf Coast, and the New South.
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Jun 28th, 2009, 05:57 PM
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Agree that Alabama wold be at the bottom of the list unless what you're looking for is a budget coastal vacation. Doesn't have a lot of "sights", the glamour of much of FL, or the history of DC/VA and the coastal cities of Charleston or Savannah.

If you clarify what you are looking for - cities/dining/museums or history/culture or just sitting on a beach - and what time of year - it would be easier to advise you.
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Apr 14th, 2010, 07:55 AM
  #11
 
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Alabama doesn't have a lot of "sights"? Spoken of course by a NY Traveler. I have to respectfully disagree..
Huntsville- NASA Space and Rocket Center http://www.nasa.gov/centers/marshall/home/index.html
Beautiful get away in Gorham's Bluff: gorhamsbluff.com
Mentone
Birmingham- Birmingham Civil Rights Institute bcri.org, Bham Museum of Art, Bham Botanical Gardens, Barber Motorsports Museum barbermotorsports.com (new home of the Indy Grand Prix in Alabama)
alabamatheatre.com.
Birmingham has an amazing selection of fine dining restaurants from Highlands Bar and Grill, highlandsbarandgrill.com, Chez fon fon, Bottega, Little Savannah, Hot and Hot Fish Club, The Veranda the list goes on and on..
While in bham stay at Ross Bridge Resort rossbridgebrochure.com or the historic Tutwiler Hotel.
Gorgeous lakes like Smith Lake and Lake Martin theridgeonlakemartin.com
Auburn or Tuscaloosa for great college towns.. Auburn selected by Money Magazine as one of the best places to live.
Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail one of the top golf destinations in the world..
Montgomery (state capital) see the church where Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr was in the pulpit, Dexter Avenue Baptist across the street from the Capitol building, one of the most historic capitol buildings in the world. Enjoy a Riverboat cruise, and the Alabama Shakespeare Festival.
Then down to the coast see Fairhope, Mobile, Orange Beach, stay at The Grand at Point Clear. http://www.marriott.com/hotels/hotel...-club-and-spa/

Maybe I should get a job at the chamber! I was raised in S. Florida but choose to live in Birmingham. Alabama is a great place to visit or live. Frustrated when I read posts from people who have obviously never visited Alabama yet attempt to dissuade others from going. If you're looking to visit the South.. Alabama will offer much more than you expect!
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Apr 14th, 2010, 11:17 AM
  #12
 
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Don't want to put down AL - if someone is looking for a very sspcific type of vacation - but, based on your own list, there are very few things of real interest to most people.

That doesn;t make it a bad palce to live - or visit if you like lakes or fishng or whatever - but it's really not on the top of the list for the interests of most travelers.

I'mn ot suggesting there is nothing to do - but that there is much ore to do in a host of other places.
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Apr 14th, 2010, 11:48 AM
  #13
 
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Mountains, lakes, beaches, space, art, museums, history, civil rights, golf, fine dining, theatre.. funny I never said anything about fishing. Thanks for helping me make my point NY Traveler. You have my open invitation. That reminds me, I left out the most important element, Southern Hospitality.
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Apr 15th, 2010, 08:56 PM
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reecieboo,

You'll have to forgive nytraveler. Remember, to NY'ers nothing exists west of the Hudson River.

And to be fair to you, many people like lakes and especially beaches (I'd say a great deal of many people's vacations are beach oriented, I'd venture to say that even nytraveler likes the beach) and the beaches in AL are top notch. My sister and family always take a yearly trip to Orange Beach, AL. Better beaches than Florida, and none of those New Yorkers to boot
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Apr 15th, 2010, 09:33 PM
  #15
 
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Thanks, Cajun friend. It gets laughable when someone asks about visiting the south and winds up directed to D.C.!
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Apr 16th, 2010, 12:09 PM
  #16
 
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I know. The real South doesn't begin until you hit South Carolina and all the way west from there to Louisiana, excluding Florida.
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Oct 7th, 2010, 03:28 PM
  #17
 
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reecieboo, thanks for the advice. I'm a Vermonter heading through AL this spring with my family. This will help me in my planning.
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Oct 7th, 2010, 04:34 PM
  #18
 
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Not to beat a dead horse but I do like beaches - in limited doses - and more off-season than on. And I definitely perfer the Atlantic - with big waves and cold water. That's why we're building a beach house - but in NY - not Alabama.

Perhaps it's because I'm a big city person - but I want a lot more with a beach (great restaurants, theater, wineries, upscale shopping, museums, art galleries, etc). If I had to just sit on a beach for more than about 2 hours at a time I would shoot myself out of boredom.
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Oct 7th, 2010, 08:57 PM
  #19
 
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nytraveler,

Do you not read? Or snorkel? Scuba dive? Parasail? Kayak? Windsurf? Surf? Boogie board? Hike sand dunes? Also, if you had any children you'd realize there's no place in the world that they'd rather be than the beach.

There is so much more to a beach than just laying in the sand. When I'm at the beach I constantly find interesting things to do.

I've seen the beaches in NY/NJ. You can have them. Cold murky water, yellow to brown sand. You call that a beach?
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Oct 8th, 2010, 06:36 AM
  #20
 
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YOu got that right about the beach. When I'm there, I'm THERE. Endless things to do with children--or just relaxing.
However if travelling as the OP, I might choose a beach near Charleston for the best of all things possible.
But you aren't gonna hike the sand dunes. They are too precious to even walk on.
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