South-East USA comprises Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, North and South Carolina, Alabama, Mississipi, Tenessee and Arkansas.
'Dixie' (originating from the Louisiana French word for 10, dix, originally printed on $10 bills) included the Virginia's, Maryland, Oklahoma and Texas.
Travel to South East states?
Florida is a world away from the other southern states and a
must-see with some of the country's top attractions, while
a handful of the other states bond over the Mississippi River, birthplace of
the blues, hillbilly and jazz, the roots of many modern popular
musical styles and still going strong.
Due to skewed immigration, the civil war and slavery America's Confederate south is home to a melting-pot of lively cutures unique to the country in art, cuisine, language (French/Creole), literature and lifestyle, in addition to music. It's also one of America's poorer regions.
Civil war history and relics are in abundance.
Other than Florida, Louisiana and Georgia there are few attractions
for the international tourist, though specialist interest and further
exploration can be rewarding.
• There is some opportunist theft in Florida aimed especially at
tourists while New Orleans has a reputation for street crime and scams.
Best: anytime except the summer as the southern states are subtropical, with short mild winters and long, sticky summers. However, more northerly areas or states will be chilly in winter.
Worst: June-September, heat, oppressive humidity, a fair amount of rain storms and possible hurricanes.
Further south than other states and offering a very different, affluent and sophisticated ambience, Florida offers
wild wetlands, beautiful islands (Florida Keys), extensive beaches, the world's best theme parks and fascinating, lively Miami, putting it way
ahead of other southerners in the tourist attraction stakes. More Florida Travel.
Louisiana's Intracoastal Waterway
Where blues meets Cajun and French influences at New Orleans, on the last stop
on the great Mississippi River and its riverside plantations.
Rock was born here, a result of the
long and lively multicultural mix.
The 'Big Easy' is home to extra-special French/Cajun cuisine, superb live music, a relaxed pace, colourful architecture
and a riotous Mardi Gras. More
upriver of New Orleans is the state capital Baton Rouge and along
the way are several historic plantations - and associated grand southern mansions - which can be visited for
varying degrees of historical and architectural interest.
Acadiana:in the south west of the state the colourful
Cajun culture takes over with it unique music and cuisine.
Lafayette's Acadian Cultural Center
and Vermilionville Acadian Park will give you background but
the smaller towns are more attractive, so in the wetlands see:
Thibodaux for the Wetlands Acadian Cultural Center; Abbeville and
Breaux Bridge, for crawfish and seafood excellence; New Iberia,
St Martinville, and Opelousas for traditional buildings.
Well worth a visit just to see one of the most beautiful historic
towns in the country, Savannah; also several other worthwhile
sights in the Appalchian Mountains, along the island coastline and
the historic towns.
Savannah: the top state attraction is this stunning
historic town with its antebellum (prewar) splendour which is ideal for walking tours.
Head for the historic downtown district and wander around the 21
Highlights include Davenport House and the Savannah History Museum.
Golden Isles: the barrier islands off
the Georgian coast are named after the wealthy patrons who owned
properties here. St Simons is the most populated with an old English
fort, a lighthouse and museum.
The Cumberland Island National Seashore is a nature reserve of wildlife
and hiking interest.
Appalachian Mountains: superb hiking
and whitewater at the southern end of this range.
Try Vogel Sate Park for scenic splendour, the dramatic Talluhah
Gorge and Amicola Falls State Park.
Dahlonega is a good base and has a gold museum, while the town
of Helen has strong influences from Germany and Switzerland.
Atlanta, the state capital, with a Centennial Olympic
Park left over from the 96' Olympic Games.
Stone Mountain Park, near
Atlanta, a great granite outcrop with carvings of confederate figures.
The musical melting pot of the south combines hillbilly
country with wild western and the delta blues - resulting
in Elvis, and the whisky is sweet yet sour.
Memphis: Elvis Presley still lives here (in the fan's
mind), along with Martin Luther King, the martyr of the civil rights
Graceland, built by Elvis, can be found
a couple of miles out of town.
Social issues are addressed at the National Civil Rights Museum
in the motel where Martin Luther was shot.
Beale St is a major blues based tourist attraction, and the Rock'n'Soul
Museum is near by; also check out Sun Studio.
The city also has a historic district with some Victorian properties,
and museums including the Dixon Gallery and Brooks Museum for art,
plus the Chucalissa Archaeological Site for Native American interest.
Nashville: the country music centre of the world, where the rising stars of
the scene come to get noticed and recorded.
Try the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum to get in the mood,
and the Grande Old Opry House for live performances, see also: instruments
being made and more performances at the Gibson Bluegrass Showcase;
waxy impressions of country stars in the Music City Wax Museum;
famous cars in the Music Valley Car Museum.
Great Smokey Mountains National Park for hiking and mountainbiking trails and
a wide variety of wildlife watching including bears and elk. The
park continues into North Carolina.
Upper class as these states go due to international horse racing shenanigans,
Kentucky has pleasant grasslands and fine whiskey to wash away the bad bets but is pretty short of tourist interest.
Louisville: horse racing capital of the USA during May
for the Kentucky Derby otherwise try the Kentucky Derby Museum,
the Colonal Harland Sanders Museum (as in KFC), and the Lousiville
Slugger Museum for baseball history and bat making.
Bardstown: essential stop for bourbon whisky enthusiasts,
with some distilleries including Jim Beam and the Oscar Getz Museum
of Whiskey History.
Stop by during the Kentucky Bourbon festival to get seriously hammered.
Cave Park, a huge cave system.
Appalachian Trail runs through the scenic splendour of the Blue
Ridge Mountains which dominate the western side of the state.
The coast also has scenic attractions.
Carolina Mountains: drive
from the Shenandoah National Park, Virginia, to the Great Smokey
Mountains National Park, from May to October for a spectacular
scenic route, the state's main tourist attraction. Visit Cherokee for the Museum of the Cherokee Indian and the Oconaluftee
Blue Ridge Mountains rise in the north west of the state,
but the main attractions here lie along the coast.Charleston: for the international visitor this is the
best place to visit in the state, with the main interest in the
historic district between the Ashley and Cooper rivers.
There are excellent traditional buildings from as early as
the 18thC, open to the public, as well as the Charleston Museum, classy eateries and nightlife.
Beach: local citizens flock to this popular and well developed
north coast beach resort in their millions, so it gets crowded during
the spring break and summertime.
A Mississipi riverboat, the big wheel keeps on turning...
the Appalachian Mountains in the north east through the rolling hills
of the central midlands to the flood plains of the Mississippi and
the Gulf coast, this state still has the blues - from ancient civil
war, slavery, music and hurricanes.
Tupelo: for Elvis fans it all started here, hometown
of the 'King' at the Elvis Presley Birthplace.
Clarksdale and Greenville: these are
good places to start an exploration of the history of the blues
in the region by visiting the Delta Blues Museum, attending the
Sunflower River Blues and Gospel Festival in Clarksdale during August
and the Mississippi Delta Blues Festival near Greenville in September.
Natchez: an attractive town with several visitable
historic houses plus African-American and
Native-American related museums. Also the Natchez Trace Parkway
and old Indian route for your hiking or scenic driving pleasure.
In the heart of the south Alabama experienced a tearing social
divide as little as 50 years ago due to race issues so its main
tourism interest now is Afro-American history, from 18thC slavery
and the resulting Civil War to the Ku Klux Klan and 20thC riots.
Montgomery: the state capital, was an important Confederate center
- see the First White House of the Confederacy and Alabama State Capitol.
Later it became a battlezone for civil rights - see the Rosa Park
Museum and the Civil Rights Memorial.
state makes the most of the fact that it has some hills and springs
for outdoor interest, in addition to the bluesy Mississippi River
and some Civil War history.
Boston Mountains: the
main attraction is this range in the northwest of the state with
rivers, forests and springs.
Try the attractive Buffalo National River for water activities,
Eureka Springs for the waters, a scenic railway and historic architecture,
plus biblical interest by way of a Bible Museum and other religious
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