25 Best Weekend Getaways in the South (2023)

Mark your card, pack your seersucker, and practice your "hey guys." It's time to explore the South: a place where the oak meets the Atlantic shoreline, where extraordinary caves lie beneath the surface, where blues and jazz clubs play music late into the night, and where a glassbourbonit's never too far. We're here with 25 potential additions to your travel wish list - South Edition - from cities that love to be in the spotlightSmall towns off the radar. Here are 25 of the best weekend getaways in the South.

Related: The 50 best destinations to travel in 2023

1. Savannah, Georgia

25 Best Weekend Getaways in the South (1)

With well-preserved architecture and oak trees covered in Spanish moss,Sheetit's easy to fall in love. A spotlight was thrown on them.city ​​food scenein recent years; Spectacular new openings like The Gray and Common Thread have wowed guests with their Southern hospitality and unforgettable interpretations of Georgia ingredients.

2. Field of Cakes, Kentucky

25 Best Weekend Getaways in the South (2)

For some people, Bowling Green's appeal can be summed up in two words: cars and caves. At the National Corvette Museum, even non-car fans can drool over pristine models and prototypes of America's most famous car. (Plan a factory tour if you want to see these babies in production.) Then move from man-made to natural beauty: Take an underground boat tour of Lost River Cave, once a Native American hunting ground, the hideout of Jesse James, and, most notably, a nightclub from the 1980s. 30 throughout its history.Mammoth-Cave-NationalparkIt's not far from here if you're interested in descending into the longest known cave in the world.

3. Chattanooga, Tennessee

25 Best Weekend Getaways in the South (3)

Chattanooga has a moment. The quaint riverside town leaves behind its rolling landscape and sprawling downtown lined with hotels, steakhouses, and hot spots like Easy Bistro & Bar, a French restaurant and raw meat bar that uses all Southern ingredients (regulars love the delicatessen). License plate). At Lookout Mountain you can see an underground waterfall and test your nerves on one of the steepest passenger railways in the world.

4. Wilmington, North Carolina

25 Best Weekend Getaways in the South (4)

Dawson's Creekand other TV and movie productions may have put Wilmington on the map, but there's a lot more to this bustling riverside city than Hollywood connections. Stroll along the Riverwalk to the skylit Old Wilmington City Market and the sprawling Cotton Exchange, a shopping and dining complex spread across several historic buildings. Get tickets to Airlie Gardens in advance to see 100,000 azaleas and a 15th-century live oak tree. Wrightsville Beach is a 10-minute drive away, and many other powder island options are a bit further. We recommend staying atwelcome to the dreamers, a boutique hotel and designer vacation home.

5. New Orleans, Louisiana

25 Best Weekend Getaways in the South (5)

The city that saw the birth of jazz, sazeracs, poker and po'boysnew Orleansnever missed a beat. NOLA's staying power can be attributed to its unique architecture (a mix of French, Spanish, and Caribbean influences), fun-loving spirit, and live music scene; Between Tipitina's, Preservation Hall, Chickie Wah Wah, and many other jazz bars, you can play live virtually every night of the year. This is one of the must-see food capitals of the world: indulge in swirls of Creole gumbo, Rockefeller oysters, muffulettas, and red beans with rice.

6. Natchez, Mississippi

Natchez, Mississippi is rich in history. Spend time at the Natchez Museum of African American History and Culture and the Greater Natchez Indian Village, a park-style museum featuring prehistoric Native American mounds. River gambling and annual festivals celebrating literature, film, and music are also major attractions. The Natchez Trail, one of themost beautiful places in the country- Your 444-mile journey to Nashville starts here.

7. Asheville, NC

25 Best Weekend Getaways in the South (7)

This small bohemian town in the North Carolina mountains has been a popular destination for more than a century. The bestashvilleRoute? Eat, walk, eat again, shop independently, have a craft beer, repeat. Seasonal and sustainable dishes take center stage on local menus, with favorites like rhubarb, Sovereign Remedies, and Cucina 24 making the most of Appalachian bounty. To catch up on one meal (and work up an appetite for the next), try Craggy Pinnacle, a popular hike for the incredible views from its top, especially when the mountains are ablaze with the leaves changing color in fall.

8. Hot Springs, Arkansas

25 Best Weekend Getaways in the South (8)

You may think that everything you need to know about Hot Springs is in the name. Yes, you are probably here to "explode".Hot-Springs-Nationalpark. However, there are plenty of activities out of the water, too, including hiking (including 16 miles of trails through the national park), exploring the beautiful Garvan Woodland Gardens, a self-guided art deco tour of downtown, and more.

9. Charleston, Carolina del Sur

25 Best Weekend Getaways in the South (9)

If southern hospitality had an absolute epicenter, it would be thisCharleston, Carolina del Sur. Known for its colorful palm-fringed houses and lush gardens shaded by oak trees, the village is the real deal on a tour package. However, the city isn't exactly frozen in time; Charleston's dining and shopping scenes are very much in the here and now, and there is always anew hotelto check

10. Louisville, Kentucky

25 Best Weekend Getaways in the South (10)

If you like baseball, bourbon, bluegrass, and yes, horses, then Louisville is for you. Head to the bourbon at Stitzel-Weller Distillery, a historic distillery that now offers tastings, mixology classes, and more. Then trade the malty aroma of local distilleries for the fresh greens of Central Park or the crisp air of Louisville's Mega Caverns, where you can zip line 100 feet underground above the canyon floor. Lay down in the museum hotel21cor theHotel Grady,a sleek new boutique hotel in an 1883 building whose former tenants included the original designer of the Kentucky Derby hats.

11. Bryson City, North Carolina

25 Best Weekend Getaways in the South (11)

Bryson City, North Carolina, may be small (population 1,500), but it's big on outdoor fun. sits south ofGreat Smoky Mountains National Park,Bryson City is a charming little mountain center for hiking (the national park's Deep Creek Trail is a favorite), horseback riding, zip lining, breweries, and scenic steam train rides. A mandatory stop isThe Bistro at the Everett Hotel, right on the main square of the city; local trout pies and meatloaf are a welcome meal after a long day in the great outdoors.

12. Nashville, Tennessee

25 Best Weekend Getaways in the South (12)

oNashvilleRenaissance shows no signs of slowing down. Neon-lit honky-tonks party into the wee hours, country superstars take the stage at the Grand Ole Opry, a booming foodie landscape that encompasses everything from well-guarded hot chicken recipes and time-honored shrines to southern cuisine and a James Beard Award winner. kitchens - The Nashville star continues to shine brighter. Leave your luggage in the newly renovatedHotel Hermitageand hit the dance floor.

13. Saint-Simons-Insel, Georgia

25 Best Weekend Getaways in the South (13)

Drive an hour and a half south of Savannah and you'll find yourself on Saint Simons Island, part of Georgia's chain of golden islands. Mother Nature calls the shots here, and it's not always easy to tell where the land ends and the water begins. Expect marsh-fringed rivers and streams, moss-covered oak trees (best viewed from Avenue of the Oaks), and stunning beaches stretching along the Atlantic Ocean. All that time in nature can be interspersed with golf (extremely scenic), biking, fishing, and visiting an impressive array of historical sites.

14. Amelia-Insel, Florida

25 Best Weekend Getaways in the South (14)

Welcome to the quieter side of Florida. thiscute barrier islandIt promises sparkling quartz beaches, towering sand dunes, gentle bike trails, kayak-friendly canals, and a beautiful old town. The way of life here is low-key and laid-back, though things pick up considerably during the annual Auto Show (March), the Shrimp Festival (April to May) and the Bocce Championships (November).

15. Roanoke, Virginia

25 Best Weekend Getaways in the South (15)

Tucked away in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia, Roanoke, also known as "Star City," is known locally for its small-town charm, Appalachian heritage, and stunning mountain views. Home to a zoo, wildflower garden, and hiking trails, Mill Mountain Park is topped by a 100-foot-tall steel-and-concrete star on the mountain that is illuminated and visible for miles. From there, it's just three miles to the vintage cars and trains at the Virginia Transportation Museum and the Rockwells and Sargents at the (free!) Taubman Museum of Art.

16. Ocracoke, North Carolina

25 Best Weekend Getaways in the South (16)

Getting to Ocracoke requires some work. A remote island in North Carolinaouter edges, Ocracoke is only accessible by boat or ferry, but those who make the trip will be rewarded with white-sand beaches and a bustling seaside town. This is a true escape as almost the entire island is protected by the Cape Hatteras National Seashore.

17. Shenandoah National Park, Virginia

25 Best Weekend Getaways in the South (17)

Hikers, drivers, bird watchers, backpackers, fishermen, horseback riders, astronomy enthusiasts - there is something for everyone in Shenandoah National Park. The park is part of the Blue Ridge Mountains and features the famous Skyline Drive, a mountaintop strip of asphalt; wooded cavities; Hundreds of miles of trails for hiking and horseback riding; and nearly 100 mountain fishing streams. If you want to see the stars, camp or stay at the lodges near Big Meadows.

18. Macon, Georgia

25 Best Weekend Getaways in the South (18)

Birthplace of Otis Redding and Little Richard, adopted home of the Allman Brothers, and hometown of country music star Jason Aldean, Macon is a small town that has made a world of difference in history, musically and otherwise. It is home to prehistoric Native American sites, thousands of National Register-listed buildings, and the Tubman Museum, which honors African-American art and culture. It's no wonder it's called the "Festival Capital of Georgia"—events celebrating music, film, Native American culture, sports, and more dominate Macon's calendar.

19. Oxford, Mississippi

25 Best Weekend Getaways in the South (19)

Oxford is best known as the home of William Faulkner. The Nobel and Pulitzer prize winner lived for decades in Rowan Oak, an 1840s Greek mansion. A fable,” he scribbled on the wall of his office. From the house, take the tree-lined Bailey's Woods Trail to the University of Mississippi Art Museum to see works by Georgia O'Keefe and Man Ray.

20. Orange Beach, Alabama

25 Best Weekend Getaways in the South (20)

Florida gets all the beach vacation love from the Gulf, but check out this often overlooked neighboring city just across the state line. Laid-back Orange Beach offers the same unbeatable Sugar Coast, plus family-friendly amusement and water parks, dolphin cruises, nature trails, championship golf, fishing trips and free concerts.

21. Menfis, Tennessee

25 Best Weekend Getaways in the South (21)

Grill lovers and music fans always have an open door in Memphis. The city's Beale Street is a tumultuous neon stream of flashing lights, pedestrians hopping into the clubs (this is the only place in the state where you can walk with your drink) and the howl of electric guitars pouring out of blues bars. . Two key Memphis stops are Sun Records, the studio where Elvis and Johnny Cash recorded, and Graceland, Elvis' private mansion and ski jump frozen in mid-century kitsch.

22. Key West, Florida

25 Best Weekend Getaways in the South (22)

Full of Floribean flavor,Key Westit's so special it almost doesn't feel real. This coral island, 100 miles from the mainland, is a sunny playground of tiki drinks, bike tours, Cuban sandwiches, key lime pies, and whimsical Bahamian-inspired cabanas. This is where Tennessee Williams worked best, where Ernest Hemingway came from Paris to "dry his bones" (and then stayed for nearly a decade), and where the first international passenger flight was operated, when Pan American Airways flew seven pilots to Havana one year 1928. Today, the former airline headquarters is something of a casual restaurant and bar where you can spend an afternoon savoring fish tacos and lime margaritas.

23. Washington, D.C.

25 Best Weekend Getaways in the South (23)

The monuments and museums (and the cherry blossoms for a few fleeting weeks in spring) might get you there, but once you see D.C. rich, you may want to extend your stay. Walkable neighborhoods like Georgetown and Dupont Circle, walks and picnics at Rock Creek Park, and surprisingly hip nightlife and dining are just a few of the surprises the city has to offer.

24. Gatlinburg, Tennessee

25 Best Weekend Getaways in the South (24)

From the distilleries and amusement parks of Gatlinburg to the waterfalls and wildlife of the Great Smoky Mountain National Park, this forest is a destination like no other. It's a great family vacation, with kid-friendly hiking trails, park activities, and attractions ranging from Ripley's Aquarium to the Mountain Farm Museum across the border in North Carolina, offering a glimpse into mountain life. in the XIX century.

25. Charleston, Virginia Occidental

25 Best Weekend Getaways in the South (25)

The Appalachian spirit is strong in Charleston. This former frontier town and state capital has a growing number of travelers discovering the magic of its mountain. See what's new at Capitol Market and fill your bags with wine, cheese and honey. participate in all kinds of outdoor activities in the Kanawha State Forest; and embark on US Route 60 for a spiral ride through breathtaking scenery.

Top Articles
Latest Posts
Article information

Author: Mrs. Angelic Larkin

Last Updated: 03/31/2023

Views: 6555

Rating: 4.7 / 5 (47 voted)

Reviews: 86% of readers found this page helpful

Author information

Name: Mrs. Angelic Larkin

Birthday: 1992-06-28

Address: Apt. 413 8275 Mueller Overpass, South Magnolia, IA 99527-6023

Phone: +6824704719725

Job: District Real-Estate Facilitator

Hobby: Letterboxing, Vacation, Poi, Homebrewing, Mountain biking, Slacklining, Cabaret

Introduction: My name is Mrs. Angelic Larkin, I am a cute, charming, funny, determined, inexpensive, joyous, cheerful person who loves writing and wants to share my knowledge and understanding with you.