The American South boasts incredible cities like New Orleans, Atlanta, Charleston, and Nashville. However, some of the most useful gems may be found in charming small towns in the region, when the heritage, music, food, architecture, and famous southern hospitality with this beautiful, complicated, and sometimes misunderstood region of the usa can truly be experienced.
In these towns and small cities, visitors may find accents and they often languages which have faded from larger cities, incredible and unexpected histories, and a few of the finest food worldwide.
1. Abita Springs, Louisiana
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An hour’s drive over the world’s longest overwater bridge from New Orleans will be the quirky, artsy, tiny area of Abita Springs. Most widely known due to its eponymous beer, a stop along at the Abita Brewing Business is absolutely essential. While a great many tourists from New Orleans come up with a expedition to Abita, the newly opened Abita Springs Hotel bakes an overnight possible, and there\’s plenty to do. The Abita Mystery Residence is perhaps America’s weirdest museum (it’s been featured on American Pickers, Roadside America, and is frequented by celebrities filming in the region) and merely fever currently brewing could be the historic Abita Cafe along with its sister snowball stand selling New Orleans’ favorite dessert. Abita is another gateway towards Tammany Trace, amongst America’s first rails to trails path which winds for 31 miles through St. Tammany Parish.
2. Natchez, Mississippi
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The southernmost stop in the Natchez Trace, Natchez was settled by French colonists in 1716 and is particularly on the list of oldest communities in the South. Situated high on a bluff covering the Mississippi River, Natchez is famous for its Antebellum-era Greek Revival architecture and is the location of numerous plantations and mansions, including Longwood, Melrose, Rosalie Mansion, and Stanton Hall. Natchez is additionally home to St. Mary’s Basilica, constructed while in the mid-1800s when the only Catholic Cathedral in Mississippi and widely considered an architectural masterpiece among Southern Catholic churches.
3. Breaux Bridge, Louisiana
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The crawfish capital of the universe is located between Lake Martin as well as Atchafalaya Basin, and it is a beautiful base for experiencing authentic Cajun culture and swamp tours. Breaux Bridge is just a few miles outside Lafayette, but has a charming small town vibe and plenty of great restaurants and different lodging options. Don’t miss La Poussiere, a real Cajun Dancehall that opened in 1955, and be certain to start a discussion using the locals, a few of whom still speak Cajun French.
4. Muscle Shoals, Alabama
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This northwest Alabama town is most beneficial recognized for developing the “Muscle Shoals Sound.” Artists including Aretha Franklin, Otis Redding, Rod Stewart, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Eric Clapton, the Allman Brothers, and Carrie Underwood have recorded hits at studios in Muscle Shoals, and visitors can tour both historic and active recording studios including FAME and Muscle Shoals Sound Studios. Also nearby is Ivy Green, Helen Keller’s birthplace which offers tours as well as a chance to begin to see the water pump that famous for providing Helen Keller’s breakthrough.
5. Bay St. Louis, Mississippi
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Situated about the West coast of florida per hour just outside of New Orleans, Bay St. Louis has experienced a renaissance simply because it was decimated by Hurricane Katrina in 2005. Almost 13 years later, Old Town Bay St. Louis has turned into a hub for free adult galleries, restaurants, and native shopping. Each May, pirates control you the bay for any weekend through the annual Pirate Day inside Bay, where town celebrates anything pirate.
6. Dauphin Island, Alabama
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Just beyond Mobile, Alabama, Dauphin Island is frequently passed over for bigger beach towns on the Alabama and Florida Gulf Coast. However tiny island, accessible via ferry or bridge, has become the few places on the Gulf Coast that hasn’t been accumulated with hotels and condos. The island is ringed by beautiful beaches and teeming with wildlife, both on its shores and inland in places including the Audubon Bird Sanctuary and Indian Shell Mound Park. For history buffs, there’s the Fort Gaines Historic Site, home of your Battle of Mobile Bay. Hotel lodging is restricted, but there are plenty of affordable beach house options, almost all the situated up high on stilts and infrequently precariously across the open water.
7. Cleveland, Mississippi
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A jewel with the Mississippi Delta, Cleveland is one kind of many towns in Northwest Mississippi that deserve an end on any southern journey. From the Grammy Museum to Po Monkey’s Lounge, Cleveland highlights the incredible contribution the Mississippi Delta region meant to the blues also to all American music. The Delta is arguably the right spot to achieve true southern soul food, there are a multitude of authentic local restaurants featuring classics like catfish, collard greens and cornbread.
8. Seaside, Florida
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Population: 55,000 (Fort Walton County)
This planned community in unincorporated Fort Walton County is basically comprised of vacation rentals, but is often a fascinating find for fans of urban planning. Seaside is a master planned community, among the initial a example of New Urbanism fully formed, possesses been a sample to cities and towns throughout the South looking to incorporate its design principles. Nonetheless the real draw for this picture perfect town is its stunningly gorgeous beaches, which with regards to their crystal clear and emerald blue waters and powder-like sand are among Florida’s best.
9. Wears Valley, Tennessee
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Often overlooked for the more touristy neighboring towns of Pigeon Forge and Gatlinburg, Wears Valley is both lower priced and even more authentic than its neighbors and will be offering a bypass for the bumper to bumper traffic experienced for the Gatlinburg entrance to your Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Appear in the spring to see bear cubs near, or even in the fall to your beautiful foliage. An unusual treasure while in the Smoky Mountains communities are classified as the tons of pancake houses — try Hillbilly’s.
10. Milledgeville, Georgia
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Architecture is the draw in this town in Central Georgia, the place to find the Greek Revival masterpieces Rose Hill with the Lockerly Arboretum additionally, the Old Governor’s Mansion, that old Capitol Building, widely known as the earliest illustration showing Gothic Architecture in a public building in the us, and Southern Gothic writer Flannery O’Connor’s home Andalusia Farms. The Visitor’s Center supplies a guided landmark tour on the historic trolley.
11. Tupelo, Mississippi
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Tupelo is the most suitable referred to as the birthplace of Elvis Presley, along with his childhood home and church are transformed into a museum within the honor. But there is more to Tupelo than Elvis, including the Tupelo Automobile Museum as well as a Buffalo Park, that you can tour on the “Bison Bus”. Tupelo is among the several stops to the Natchez Trace Parkway, an “All-American Road” maintained from the National Park Service, possesses several opportunities for camping or hiking.
12. Oxford, Mississippi
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A literature lover’s dream, Oxford have been you will find William Faulkner, John Grisham, and many other authors, poets, and artists. For sports fans, Oxford is most beneficial called the home of Ole Miss and the famous Manning quarterbacks it produced. Visit through the summer to see the charm from the historic Downtown Square and Faulkner’s Rowan Oak, or can happen your dream house game weekend inside fall to achieve the full Southern tailgating experience.
13. Natchitoches, Louisiana
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Pronounced “Nac-a-tish”, this college town in northern Louisiana is including referred to as setting for Steel Magnolias starring Julia Roberts, Sally Field, and Dolly Parton, and fans usually stay on the house turned bed and breakfast where movie was filmed. Though beautiful throughout the year, this town is best visited during its elaborate Christmas Festival that can across the town in December featuring over 300,000 lights and 100 set pieces on the banks of the Cane River, or while in the Meat Pie Festival which celebrates the town’s favorite food.