The Southern USA – Deep South region covers a large area including six states and stretches 700 miles from Louisville to New Orleans and over 800 miles from Savannah to Lake Charles, Louisiana. This is a land of cotton, tobacco, plantation homes, civil war battlefields, oak trees draped in Spanish moss, sites of Civil Rights conflict, sun-drenched beaches and a wonderful eclectic music scene.
For stirring the romantic imagination, Kentucky has few rivals. The name alone conjures images of Daniel Boone, Abraham Lincoln and Jefferson Davis, coal miners, moonshiners and mountaineers; bluegrass music, bourbon whiskey and horse-racing at Churchill Downs.
The Bluegrass Region of north central Kentucky is above all known for horses and thoroughbred racing. Lexington’s Kentucky Horse Park set on over 1,000 acres of rolling farmland, tells the whole fascinating story.
Kentucky is one of the world’s largest producers of bourbon whiskey which was developed in Scott County in 1789. Several operating distilleries are open for visitors to tour and follow the age-old process. The state has close to a million acres of national park and outdoor recreation areas for fishing, hiking, boating and exploring in some of the world’s most beautiful natural scenery. The cave system at Mammoth Cave National Park is the most extensive in the world.
There’s a keen sense of heritage too, and every effort is made to preserve the past. There are many unique museums, and Appalachian folk music and craft traditions live on in hundreds of festivals and events that are held annually throughout the state.
Between the misty peaks of the Great Smoky Mountains and the meandering Mississippi River lies the scenic state of Tennessee. Music and Tennessee are inseparable – in fact just looking at a map of the state makes you want to whistle! The blues, rock ‘n roll and soul of Memphis, the country music of Nashville and the bluegrass of the Smoky Mountains add up to a glorious symphony of magnificent sounds. Today Tennessee has plenty more to offer on top of this. It’s a genuinely hospitable blend of the Old and the New South, packed with natural beauty and diverse attractions. Memphis is home to Elvis’ Graceland, Sun Studio and the Beale Street district with its hot music venues like B.B. King’s and Elvis Presley’s Memphis. Nashville is the home of the famous Grand Ole Opry and Country Music Hall of Fame and the magnificent Opryland Hotel. Chattanooga’s attractions include the Tennessee Aquarium, Lookout Mountain, Rock City Gardens and Ruby Falls, while Pigeon Forge is where you’ll find Dollywood, Dolly Parton’s entertainment park, with music shows, rides and local crafts and is also a great base for exploring the Great Smoky Mountains National Park.
Mississippi encompasses all the wonderful aspects that make America’s Deep South so appealing. For starters, there are paddlewheel riverboats, cotton plantations, white-columned mansions. Civil War battlefields, Indian heritage sites, magnolia trees and centuries-old oak trees. Mississippi also upholds the South’s well-deserved reputation for warm, hospitable people; balmy year-round weather; and truly delectable cuisine. Add to all this an array of casino resorts, more than 160 golf courses and 26 miles of white, sandy beaches, and you’ve got an irresistible combination for a fantastic holiday.
From climate to cuisine Louisiana offers warmth and variety. Although best known for the famous port of New Orleans, Louisiana’s five main regions offer visitors unique culture, entertainment, food and fun. Tear yourself away from the city’s main attractions and fabulous nightlife, and you’ll find a state of enchantment. In Plantation Country graceful antebellum mansions line the banks of the Mississippi. Here are echoes of the Old South in its heyday: wealthy estates, tree-lined avenues, billowing dresses, steamboats on the river, gardens filled with birdsong.
Cajun Country along the Gulf Coast is centred on Lafayette. This unique region houses descendants of French colonists from Acadia, part of Nova Scotia, who were expelled by the British in the 19th century. Their culture, language and music live on to the delight of visitors who enjoy the lively atmosphere and gastronomic delights of Creole and Cajun cuisine. The centre of the state is Crossroads Country, where the French culture of the south meets the pioneer Anglo-Saxon spirit of the North. Natchitoches is the oldest town in the Louisiana Purchase, and its restored riverfront district is a real gem. Further north the cotton fields give way to dense forests, rolling valleys and blue rivers and lakes. Known as Sportman’s Paradise, this predominantly rural area is a scenic setting for fishermen, hunters, watersports enthusiasts and nature lovers.
Just over 300 miles from north to south, and around 200 miles wide, Alabama ranges from the fast-flowing rivers, waterfalls and lakes of the Appalachian foothills to the sub-tropical bayous and beautiful white sand beaches of the Gulf Coast. In between there’s rich farmland, covered bridges, vast forests of cypress, pine and oak, and a sprinkling of metropolitan areas, farming communities which offer a warm Southern welcome to visitors keen to explore.
Alabama has something for everyone. Natural beauty is everywhere, in the craggy highlands and the lowland valleys, in the sparkling rivers and peaceful lakes, and in the homes and gardens where flowers bloom year round. In Birmingham, the largest city, don’t miss the Botanical Gardens, encompassing nearly 68 acres and thousands of flowers, trees and shrubs.
Huntsville is the home of the world-famous Space and Rocket Center and many other attractions too. In Boaz, Shoppers Paradise is just that – more than 140 factory outlet stores and discount retailers mean you’re bound to go home with a bargain.
The State capital is Montgomery, birthplace of the Civil Rights movement, while Mobile is the gateway to the Gulf Coast, with miles of beautiful beaches, fishing, sailing and watersports of every kind.
Once the heart of the Old South, Georgia is now very much the leader of the New South, typified by its dynamic capital Atlanta host of the 1996 Olympic Games. Visitors can enjoy every type of holiday experience, with family attractions, museums, symphony concerts and unique shopping and dining at Underground Atlanta. North of Atlanta are the misty Georgia mountains, where the Blue Ridge Mountains meet the foothills of the Appalachians. This beautiful unspoiled area is a sportsman’s paradise with abundant lakes, streams, hiking trails and resorts. For a taste of the Old South, Georgia’s historic heartland provides a glimpse of history. The romance and beauty of the South come alive along the Antebellum Trail. Winding through communities virtually untouched by the Civil War, the Trail is a nostalgic trip to glorious plantations, quaint town squares, beautiful gardens and other attractions.
The area around Jonesboro is ‘Gone with the Wind’ country – Margaret Mitchell’s classic was inspired by summers spent at her grandmother’s plantation. Savannah and its landmark Historic District are just delightful, and along the coast Brunswick and the Golden Isles have beachfront hotels, golf and tennis and historic forts.
Our rail or Grand American Adventures small group tours are the perfect way to take in all these experiences. Plus, don’t forget that Just America will be pleased to design and prepare a tailor-made holiday to suit your individual requirements. Just get in touch for more information.
Top Locations to Visit in the Southern USA – Deep South
- Enjoy an evening at the Grand Ole Opry in Nashville
- Explore the music traditions and nightlife of New Orleans
- Drive the Natchez Trace
- Visit the birthplace of Elvis Presley in Tupelo.
- Tour the recording studios in Nashville and Memphis.
- Visit Gracelands, home of Elvis Presley.
- Savannah Historic District
- Great Smoky Mountains National Park
- Skyline Drive
Contact Just America and let us create your Southern USA – The Deep South self-drive holiday – ATOL & ABTA protected.