The eclectic mix of nationalities that have lived in the Deep South (the states of Georgia, Alabama, South Carolina, Mississippi, and Louisiana) have led to a fascinating melting pot of culture, cuisine and a relaxed way of life.
Add in the unique musical heritage, authentic Southern cuisine and the famous southern hospitality, and you have all the makings of a once-in-a-lifetime holiday.
The ‘Big Peach’ is the birthplace of the American Civil Rights Movement and the best place to learn about the events that have shaped modern America.
Famous singer-songwriters such as Jimi Hendrix, Bobby Brown and Elton John have all called this sophisticated and contemporary city home, and sightseeing highlights include the Carter Presidential Centre, the World of Coca Cola Pavilion and the CNN Centre, home of the largest TV network where you can experience a behind the scenes tour that will give you insider knowledge into the production complexities of producing a great show.
Underground Atlanta sizzles at night. We recommend a visit to Blind Willies for the best in blues, booze and Cajun food – including gumbo, jambalaya and Kentucky’s finest whiskey. You’ll also find some of the best live music in town.
The birthplace of Jazz and home to the culture and religion of Voodoo! Here you can explore the French Quarter (the architecture is like strolling into old world Europe), stroll along famous Bourbon Street and spend an afternoon getting lost along the other narrow streets of this historic district. Visit the unique antique shops, numerous jazz clubs, and experience Cajun and Creole cooking at its best!
Make sure you allow time to explore the historic buildings of Jackson Square, including the magnificent St. Louis Cathedral. We also recommend taking some time to browse the many shops, restaurants, cafés, galleries and museums around this area whilst surrounded by local sketch artists, fortune tellers and street performers.
If you get hungry, stop off at Central Grocery and Deli for a famous Muffaletta. This delicious Italian sandwich was born and bred in New Orleans deli. If sweet treats are your thing, enjoy strong chicory coffee and beignets outside the famous Café du Monde on Decatur Street.
Continuing the spooky theme, Savannah, Georgia is often reported to be one of the most haunted places in America, alongside New Orleans and Salem. This is definitely a great place to experience eerie presences and local ‘haints’ on your Deep South road trip. Even the visitor centre is built on top of a yellow fever grave site – eek!
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You might guess that ghost tours are a popular activity here, but there’s also beautiful antebellum architecture and authentic, world-famous Southern cuisine to enjoy. Visit the Olde Pink House to enjoy sumptuous seafood platters, bone-in cowboy rib-eye and incredible mac and cheese.
The nightlife in Savannah is plentiful and diverse. From live jazz to alternative bands, you can always find your groove here. Visitors enjoy piano bars, Broadway-style musicals and even karaoke.
It’s time to start belting out ‘Walking in Memphis‘ as loud as you can. There is so much to do and see in Memphis, including Graceland, home of Elvis Presley, Beale Street where you’ll find blues clubs and restaurants aplenty, and of course a plethora of music establishments like Sun Studio and Stax Museum of American Soul Music. Memphis is the best place to visit to be immersed in some of the most enduring musical movements in American history.
One stop off you must make is Graceland. Hailed as the most famous rock ‘n’ roll residence in the world, this is the late Elvis Presley’s estate and mansion. The museum here takes visitors on an unforgettable journey through the rock ‘n’ roll legend’s home and gives an insider’s guide into the music, culture and personal side of Elvis.
If you’re a foodie, take some time to get stuck into local favourites like soul burgers, slow-smoked meats, biscuits and gravy and Prozac cupcakes: a moist chocolate cupcake topped with decadent chocolate icing made by Muddy’s Bake Shop.
For a weird and wonderful hotel experience, look no further than a stay at the five-star Peabody Hotel. At 11am each morning you can witness the hilarious march of the ducks. The hotel’s resident ducks come down from their rooftop penthouse and waddle along a red carpet to a fountain in the centre of the lobby, where they remain until 5pm each day before they return to their penthouse suite. This bizarre spectacle has been happening since 1940!
The city is bursting with honky-tonk bars, where local musicians play for tips, hoping to finally get their big break. Legendary venues like Bluebird Café and Tootsies are great places to experience live music and enjoy a beer or two.
Cajun country is classed as the French Lousiana region stretches from west of New Orleans to the Texas border along the Gulf of Mexico and is also known as Acadiana (good luck finding that on any map though!). Major cities include Acadia, Lake Charles and Lafayette.
When people think of Cajun country several things spring to mind: miles of haunting bayous, alligators, swamps and of course lots of really, really good food – think po’boys, gumbo, boudin, shrimp and sugar cane.
Zydeco music is a part of daily life here. You’ll find signs for a fais do-do (Cajun dance party) everywhere and there’s always a party to attend. With 400 festivals and events throughout the year the people of this region definitely know how to let the good times roll (or as locals would say “laissez les bons temps rouler“). If you’re excited for Mardi Gras in New Orleans, definitely also consider the music events in Cajun country.
For nature lovers, the moss-draped cypress trees and vast wetlands of this region are home to a number of species of water birds, wildlife and native plants. If you’re looking for excitement, you can even rent a canoe in this area for the chance to spot a ‘gator.