The south is a great part of the country for exploring and traveling, whether you live there already or you’re from another region, and you’d like to get to know more about the south through your travels.
What makes it a good option? Two big ones are the weather and the affordability. The weather, even in the winter months, tends to be fairly mild and the prices of everything from hotels to attractions tend to be more affordable than you’ll find in other parts of the country.
The following are some picks for the best weekend getaways in the southern United States, regardless of your interests.
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Williamsburg, Virginia is one of the best travel destinations not just in the south, but the country. Williamsburg is often thought of as the perfect family vacation, but it works well as a couples’ getaway as well.
Some of the sites and attractions in Williamsburg include Colonial Williamsburg, Yorktown, and Jamestown. There’s also Busch Gardens Williamsburg.
The best way to plan a trip to Williamsburg is often to purchase a package that includes tickets to the attractions you’re going to see as well as lodging all at one time. It makes for simpler planning, and it will also help you save money.
Jekyll Island, Georgia
Jekyll Island, Georgia is part of the Golden Isles off the coast of Georgia. Jekyll Island is truly a peaceful reprieve from modern life. It’s a State Park, and you’ll feel like you’ve been transported back in time as you walk through the Landmark Historic District. There are walking, carriage and tram tours where you can see how the millionaires of the Victorian-era lived when they came to their Jekyll Island vacation homes.
Jekyll Island is home to the Georgia Sea Turtle Center, which is the only rescue and rehab center in the state. During June and July, you can take nightly turtle walks.
There are more than 20 miles of bike trails on the island, and according to the State of Georgia, at least 65% of the island has to stay undeveloped.
Blowing Rock, North Carolina
Blowing Rock is a small, charming mountain town that’s adjacent to Boone, which is primarily a college town. Blowing Rock is home to rental cabins and inns, and the Westglow Resort and Spa which is frequently named as one of the top spas in the world by media outlets like Travel + Leisure.
At High Gravity Adventures, between Boone and Blowing Rock, visitors can do aerial courses in this adventure park, or if you’re traveling with your children, you can visit Tweetsie Railroad, which is a western-themed amusement park.
The Blue Ridge Parkway runs between Blowing Rock and Boone, so you can drive along this scenic roadway. There’s craft beer, and there are many bistros to eat at as well.
Fairhope, Alabama is a village on the bay a few miles from the Gulf of Mexico. Downtown Fairhope is incredibly scenic and charming with flowers everywhere, and Coastal Living has called Fairhope one “America’s Happiest Seaside Towns.”
Fairhope Pier is located on Mobile Bay and you can sit there and watch sailboats, and see fisherman come in with their catch of the day.
There is a private beach maintained by the City of Fairhope, and there are great casual restaurants featuring seafood and burgers.
In the spring there’s the Fairhope Arts & Crafts Festival, and in the winter there’s the Lighting of the Trees.
Natchez is located on the Mississippi River, and it has a rich, diverse history with cultural influences including African, British, French and Spanish. Natchez is known for beautiful antebellum homes that have been well-preserved and maintained, as well as a history going back 300 years.
There are also stunning historic churches and walking trails.
Natchez has more antebellum homes than anywhere else in the United States, and it’s home to the Natchez Museum of African American History and Culture as well. The area is known for riverboat casinos, fishing and biking too.
Finally, there’s Lexington, Kentucky, also known as Horse Capital of the World. Lexington is home to galleries and museums, as well as the massive Kentucky Horse Park. There are historic homes where the likes of Mary Todd Lincoln and Joseph Bryan lived, as well as Shaker Village of Pleasant Hill which is the largest restored Shaker village in the world.
You can sample Kentucky Bourbon at one of the many distilleries including Four Rose and Buffalo Trace, or indulge in Southern dining at one of Lexington’s independent eateries.