17 Must-See Spots in the Deep South
When most people think of the deep south, they imagine a place of plantations and poverty-stricken rural areas. While this is certainly part of the deep south, there is so much more to see and do in this region of the country.
From bustling city streets to serene natural landscapes, there are endless possibilities when it comes to planning a vacation in the deep south.
From the world-renowned beaches of Florida to the mountainous beauty of Tennessee, the Deep South offers a wealth of vacation destinations to suit every taste.
There is more to the deep south than meets the eye. While rural poverty and plantations are certainly a part of this region, there is also much to see and do in the deep south’s cities.
Deep South Vacation Ideas
Whether you’re looking for a family-friendly vacation or want to get away from it all and explore the natural beauty of the area, we’ve got you covered.
Here are just a few of the many places you can explore on your next trip.
1. New Orleans, Louisiana
New Orleans is a unique and vibrant city with a rich history and culture. Founded in 1718 by French settlers, the city has been influential in the development of jazz and blues music, and its architecture reflects a mix of French, Spanish, and American influences.
Today, New Orleans is known for its festive atmosphere, tasty food, and passionate football fans. The city is also home to a number of interesting landmarks, including the French Quarter, Bourbon Street, and Jackson Square. And of course, no visit to New Orleans would be complete without taking a ride on a steamboat down the Mississippi River.
Whether you’re looking for a fun-filled vacation or a chance to experience some of America’s most fascinating history and culture, New Orleans is definitely worth a visit.
2. Memphis, Tennessee
Nestled on the banks of the Mississippi River, Memphis is a city with a long and rich history. Home to a diverse range of people and cultures, Memphis is a place where music, food, and art come together.
Visitors can explore historic sites like the National Civil Rights Museum and Graceland, or enjoy the vibrant nightlife scene on Beale Street. And no trip to Memphis would be complete without indulging in some of the city’s legendary BBQ.
With so much to see and do, it’s no wonder that Memphis is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the United States. Whether you’re looking for a weekend getaway or a longer vacation, Memphis is sure to have something for everyone.
3. Nashville, Tennessee
Nashville is a city with plenty to offer visitors. From country music to hot chicken, there’s something for everyone in Music City. And with a lively downtown and friendly locals, it’s easy to see why Nashville is one of the fastest-growing cities in the United States. If you’re looking for a fun-filled vacation, here are four reasons why Nashville should be at the top of your list.
First, Nashville is home to some of the best country music venues in the world. Whether you want to see a show at the historic Grand Ole Opry or catch a rising star at one of the many honky-tonks on Broadway, you’re sure to have a good time.
Second, the food in Nashville is absolutely incredible. In addition to hot chicken, you can find all sorts of delicious Southern dishes like barbecue and fried green tomatoes. And if you’re looking for a good place to eat late-night, there are plenty of great places open until the early hours of the morning.
Third, Nashville has a vibrant nightlife scene that caters to all tastes. From live music clubs to dance clubs, there’s something for everyone in Nashville.
And last but not least, the people in Nashville are some of the friendliest in the United States. Whether you’re looking for directions or just want to chat, locals are always happy to help out.
So what are you waiting for? Nashville is a city with something for everyone. Whether you’re looking for a weekend getaway or a longer vacation, be sure to add Nashville to your list.
4. Birmingham, Alabama
If you’re looking for a unique place to visit, Birmingham, Alabama is definitely worth a trip. This vibrant city is steeped in history and culture, and there’s plenty to see and do.
From iconic civil rights landmarks to world-class museums, Birmingham has something for everyone. And of course, no visit to Birmingham would be complete without sampling some of the delicious southern cuisines.
Whether you’re looking to learn about America’s past or just enjoy some good food, Birmingham is definitely worth a visit.
5. Atlanta, Georgia
If you’re looking for a vibrant city with plenty to see and do, then you’ll want to add Atlanta, Georgia to your list of must-visit destinations. From its rich history to its diverse array of attractions, there’s something for everyone in Atlanta.
For history buffs, there are a number of sites related to the Civil War and the civil rights movement. The city is also home to several museums, including the High Museum of Art and the College Football Hall of Fame.
Atlanta is well-known for its food scene, and you’ll find everything from traditional Southern cuisine to international dishes.
And of course, no visit to Atlanta would be complete without taking in a game at Truist Park, home of the Atlanta Braves.
So whether you’re looking to explore new cultures or simply want to enjoy a weekend in a lively city, be sure to add Atlanta, Georgia to your travel itinerary.
6. Savannah, Georgia
There are many reasons to consider visiting Savannah, Georgia. For starters, the city is bursting with history. Founded in 1733, Savannah was the first city in the American colonies to be planned out in a grid pattern.
Today, the city is known for its beautiful Spanish moss-draped oak trees and cobblestone streets lined with stately mansions. Visitors can explore this history by taking a walking tour of the city or visiting one of its many museums, such as the Ships of the Sea Maritime Museum or the Tillman Ward House Museum.
In addition to its rich history, Savannah is also home to a bustling arts scene. The city is filled with galleries, theaters, and music venues, and it hosts a number of festivals throughout the year, including the Savannah Jazz Festival and the Savannah Film Festival.
Whether you’re interested in exploring the past or enjoying the present, Savannah is definitely worth a visit.
7. Miami, Florida
Looking for a sunny place to vacation? Miami, Florida is worth considering! Here are some reasons why:
First of all, the weather is amazing. The average temperature is around 75 degrees, with very little variation throughout the year. And of course, there’s the beach! Miami Beach is world-famous for its white sand and crystal-clear water. It’s the perfect place to relax and soak up some sun.
In addition to the beach, there are plenty of other things to do in Miami. There are museums, art galleries, and impressive architecture. The nightlife is also vibrant, with plenty of clubs and bars to keep you entertained.
And of course, there’s the food! Miami has a diverse culinary scene, with influences from Cuban, Puerto Rican, and other Latin American cuisines. Whether you’re looking for a casual meal or a fine dining experience, you’ll be able to find it in Miami.
So if you’re looking for a place to enjoy some sun, sand, and good times, be sure to add Miami to your list!
8. San Antonio, Texas
San Antonio, Texas is a city with a rich history and plenty to see and do. Founded in 1718, it’s the oldest city in Texas and was once the capital of the Spanish colony of Texas. Today, it’s known for its diverse culture, beautiful architecture, and delicious food.
There are a few must-see attractions in San Antonio. The Alamo, of course, is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the state. The Alamo was the site of a battle during the Texas Revolution, and today it stands as a reminder of the sacrifice made by those who fought for Texas’ independence. Visitors can tour the Alamo complex, which includes the original mission building and the battlefield where the battle took place.
If you’re looking for something a little more light-hearted, be sure to check out the San Antonio River Walk. This pedestrian mall winding along the San Antonio River is lined with shops, restaurants, and bars, making it the perfect place to spend an afternoon or evening strolling and people-watching.
And no visit to San Antonio would be complete without sampling some of its famous Tex-Mex cuisine. From enchiladas to fajitas, there’s something for everyone to enjoy. So whether you’re interested in history, culture, or food, San Antonio is a great choice for a vacation destination.
9. Tampa, Florida
Tampa is a unique city located on the west coast of Florida. The city is home to a variety of attractions, including the Busch Gardens theme park, the Florida Aquarium, and the Lowry Park Zoo.
Tampa also has a vibrant nightlife scene, with clubs and bars dotting the downtown area.
Visitors can enjoy a variety of activities in Tampa, from swimming and sunbathing on the city’s beaches to exploring its many museums and art galleries.
There is something for everyone in Tampa, making it an ideal destination for both tourists and locals alike.
10. Key West, Florida
Key West is a small island located in the Florida Keys, and it is known for its clear blue waters, sandy beaches, and abundance of seafood. Visitors can enjoy activities such as swimming, fishing, diving, and snorkeling.
There are also numerous restaurants and bars to explore, as well as shops selling souvenirs and local art. One of the most popular tourist attractions is the Key West Aquarium, which houses a variety of fish, sharks, and turtles.
Another must-see landmark is the Ernest Hemingway Home and Museum, where the famous writer once lived.
With its tropical atmosphere and laid-back vibe, Key West is definitely worth a visit.
11. Jackson, Mississippi
Jackson, Mississippi is a friendly southern city with a rich history and a lot to offer visitors. Founded in 1821, Jackson was the capital of Mississippi during the Civil War and has been the state capital ever since.
The city is home to a number of museums and historic sites, as well as a lively arts and music scene. Visitors can explore the Mississippi Museum of Art, stroll through the grounds of the Old Capitol Museum, or tour the Governor’s Mansion.
For those interested in history, Jackson is also home to the Smith Robertson Museum, which tells the story of the city’s African American community.
The city is also a great place to enjoy some good old-fashioned southern cooking, with a number of excellent restaurants to choose from.
Whether you’re looking to explore Mississippi’s past or enjoy its present, Jackson is definitely worth a visit.
12. Baton Rouge, Louisiana
Baton Rouge is the capital of Louisiana, and it is known for its rich history, delicious food, and passionate LSU fans.
The city is home to LSU, one of the top universities in the country, and LSU fans are some of the most dedicated in all of the college sports. Tailgating on game days is a must-do activity when visiting Baton Rouge, and no matter where you go in the city, you’re sure to hear the LSU fight song, “Geaux Tigers!”
In addition to LSU, Baton Rouge is also home to many historic sites and museums. The Old State Capitol Building is one of the most popular tourist attractions in the city, and it offers views of the Mississippi River from its Observation Deck.
If you’re looking for a taste of Louisiana culture, be sure to check out one of Baton Rouge’s famous Cajun restaurants. From gumbo to jambalaya, there’s something for everyone to enjoy.
With its friendly people and beautiful setting, Baton Rouge is definitely worth a visit.
13. Houston, Texas
Houston, Texas is one of the most vibrant and exciting cities in the United States. It is home to a diverse population, a thriving arts scene, and a wide array of dining and entertainment options.
Houston is also a great city for shopping, with its many malls, boutiques, and antique stores. And of course, no visit to Houston would be complete without taking in some of its iconic landmarks, like the Space Center Houston and the San Jacinto Monument.
Whether you’re looking for a fun-filled weekend or a longer vacation, Houston has something to offer everyone. So why not add it to your list of must-visit destinations? You won’t be disappointed.
14. Austin, Texas
If you’re looking for a hip and artsy city to visit, Austin, Texas should be at the top of your list. This vibrant city is home to a thriving arts scene, as well as some of the best live music venues in the country.
In addition, Austin is known for its unique food culture, with a wide variety of delicious restaurants to choose from.
Whether you’re interested in exploring the arts or simply enjoying some good food and music, Austin is sure to have something for you. So why not add this wonderful city to your travel plans? You won’t regret it!
15. Saint Augustine, Florida
There are few places in the world that can rival the beauty and history of Saint Augustine, Florida. Founded in 1565 by Spanish explorer Pedro Menendez de Aviles, Saint Augustine is the oldest continuously inhabited European settlement in the United States.
The city’s rich Spanish colonial heritage is evident in its architecture, with many buildings dating back to the 1600s. Saint Augustine is also home to several fascinating museums, including the Lightner Museum, which houses an impressive collection of Victorian art and artifacts.
In addition to its historical significance, Saint Augustine is renowned for its natural beauty. Visitors can enjoy stunning beaches, majestic live oak trees draped with Spanish moss, and pristine waterways. There are also numerous opportunities for outdoor activities such as fishing, kayaking, and bird watching.
Whether you’re interested in history or nature, Saint Augustine is definitely a place worth visiting. With its unique blend of culture and beauty, it’s easy to see why this charming city is one of Florida’s most popular tourist destinations.
16. Natchez, Mississippi
Natchez, Mississippi is a city with a rich history dating back to the early 1800s. Located on the banks of the Mississippi River, Natchez was once a major hub for trade and transportation.
Today, the city is known for its antebellum architecture, its lively music scene, and its tasty food.
There are plenty of reasons to visit Natchez. History buffs will enjoy touring the beautiful antebellum mansions that line the streets of downtown Natchez.
Music lovers can catch a live show at one of the many blues clubs in town. And foodies will be in heaven with the city’s mouth-watering selection of southern cooking.
Whether you’re looking to indulge your senses or learn about America’s past, Natchez is definitely worth a visit.
17. Mobile, AL
Mobile, Alabama is a historic city with a lot to offer visitors. Mobile was founded in 1702 and was the capital of French Louisiana from 1702-1711.
It is also the site of the Battle of Mobile Bay, which was an important victory for the Union during the Civil War. Today, Mobile is a thriving port city with a diverse population.
Visitors to Mobile can enjoy attractions such as the Gulf Coast Exploreum, the Mobile Botanical Gardens, and Bellingrath Gardens and Home.
Mobile is also home to several festivals throughout the year, including the Alabama Jubilee and the Mardi Gras celebration. With its rich history and culture, Mobile is a city that is definitely worth a visit.
No matter what your interests are, you can find something to love in the deep south. From city exploration to outdoor adventures, there is something for everyone in this region of the country.
There’s something about the deep south that just beckons to be explored. Maybe it’s the rich history, the colorful characters, or the delicious food. Whatever the draw, there’s no denying that the deep south has a lot to offer. And yet, so many people never venture below the Mason-Dixon line.
If you’re one of those people, I’m here to encourage you to explore the deep south for yourself. Trust me, you won’t be disappointed. From the music and culture of New Orleans to the beauty of the Florida Keys, there’s something for everyone in the deep south.
Deep South Travel Ideas:
- Orlando Florida Travel Guide
- Best Vacation Spots on the Mississippi River
- Best Small Towns in the Deep South
So what are you waiting for? Get out there and explore!