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Because you can't spend all day every day journeying around IgoUgo, editors round up the highlights: members' notable trips, newest reviews, favorite destinations, contests, and more. Have a question or idea? Let us know!

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The Great American Road Trip Week 4: The South

The Great American Road Trip Week 4: The South Photo

Photo by Amber Autumn

Posted on July 2, 2012 in Trip Ideas

Dixieland. With more culture than you can shake a fist at, and more parties than you can throw beads at, the laid-back South provided much southern comfort and hospitality. Swamps and marshes, mountains and plain, the South had us as happy as a New Orleans oyster... er. clam. We scoured the South for the best of the American spirit. Beaches, bayous, and bourbon, we felt right at home as the Southerners welcomed us with open arms.

The Yellowhammer State was our first stop this week as we sauntered across the South. Forests to the north, beaches to the south; Alabama let us take advantage of the weather and breath some fresh air. A quaint cabin on Green Mountain let us get in touch with nature, and then we drove down to catch some rays in beautiful Gulf Shores.

Green Mountain Cabin Gulf Shores Boardwalk

   Photo by ssullivan                                                                                                  Photo by fallshirmhosen

The heart of the Confederate South, The Magnolia State offered a cornucopia of American history. Our journey led us to Beauvoir, Jefferson Davis's southern home, and we channeled our inner southerner and sat on the porch to watch the day go by. We also visited historic Vicksburg, where the Union Army took control of the Mississippi River.

Beauvoir Front Porch Battle View

   Photo by twocruisers                                                                                             Photo by Sally_Moore

With so much to do in Louisiana, we could barely fit in a quick bite to eat at Commander's Palace in New Orleans. The Pelican State took us from the Big Easy to the bayou. A NOLA Brass Band caught our eye; there is nothing more southern than jazz. And after a busy day in the city, a boat ride through the wetlands let us catch our breath and kick up our feet.

Traditional NOLA Band Swamp Tour

   Photo by pdcnyc                                                                                                     Photo by jenandfrank

Cowboys and cattle calls- everything really is bigger in Texas (has to throw that in). The biggest state in the continental USA had tons of sights to see, and it was hard to choose just two. Everyone remembers the Alamo- San Antonio is a Texas gem, and the rodeo took us by surprise as such an exciting nighttime event in The Lone Star State!

The Alamo Rodeo Opening Ceremony

   Photo by Stircrazy                                                                                                  Photo by MikeInTown

Cities might not be the first thing you think of in Arkansas- it is called The Natural State after all. The beauty of your surroundings show you why is gained this name when you gander around the area. We relieved any remaining stress in our bodies at Hot Springs, and cruised around the many churches that dot one of the Bible Belt States. Bonus points to anyone that finds a diamond at Diamond Crater!

Hot Springs Small Town Church

   Photo by krareman                                                                                                  Photo by btwood2

From east to west, this state screams southern. Or, rather, it sings south. The country music capital of the world, Nashville, is a highlight on any trip to The Volunteer State. A quick climb through the Smoky Mountains show why they have that name. And we had to stop as Graceland in Memphis to peruse the insane collection of Elvis everything that is housed in his estate.

Smokey Mountains Graceland

   Photo by BawBaw                                                                                                Photo by Tim Thornton

Our last stop in the South was The Bluegrass State. Known for its horse racing culture, we made sure to stop at Churchill Downs and the Kentucky Derby Museum to see some of the famous thoroughbreds. After that we drove up to Natural Bridge State Park to have a picnic on the outlook and take in the beauty of the country we live in.

Churchill Downs Natural Bridge State Park

   Photo by RoBoNC                                                                                                   Photo by ToothTraveler

Previously on Road Trip: The Southeast- Orlando, Myrtle Beach & More
Up in two weeks: The Midwest- Chicago, The Great Lakes, & More

Posted by jhartmann13 (JJ Hartmann)


Comment by MilwVon on July 2, 2012

Nice summary of many of the wonderful places to see in the south. I LOVE the south, although right now even the Midwest is too hot for me!

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