America’s southern cities have a distinctive soul. From the country music ways of Nashville to the Civil War remnants of Charleston, the south oozes with character and charm. Discover a passion for all things music, a stellar food culture unmatched in the country, and fascinating history told in the streets and museums. Don’t miss these top five soulful southern stops in the USA.
The cradle of the Civil War, Charleston is a romantic city rich in history and charm. It’s a city wonderfully explored on foot or else, on a historic carriage ride along the cobblestones, past antebellum architecture, quaint churches and, in peak season, blooming jasmine. Explore 18th century cannons, historical statues and the imposing Fort Sumter, from where the first shots of Civil War rang out. A city that nods to a bygone era, here you can also discover stunning white-sand beaches, a thriving foodie scene and world-class golf courses.
Pull on your cowboy boots and get ready to swing to the old time sounds of ballads drawled out to the twang of steel-string guitars, mandolins, banjos and fiddles. Nashville is the country music capital of the world. Upcoming and famous country music singers hit the stage every day (and night) of the week, while the heart and soul of the genre comes to life away from the spotlight in the form of museums, famous performance spaces, recording studios and the iconic Country Music Hall of Fame. It is all about the music, but there are also some interesting museums and historic homes worth exploring as well as some great breweries for respite from the country overload.
Feel the beats. 5 Must-See Music Attractions in Nashville
Step back in time. Historic Charleston: Remembering Tragedy while Building on Prosperity
A city synonymous with Elvis Presley, Memphis is another musical stop on the deep southern trail. Here it’s all about the rock’n’roll and blues. Graceland is the obvious crowd-puller, the home of Elvis the King of Rock and Roll, where you can delve into his life and extravagance. But you can also follow in the footsteps of Johnny Cash, Isaac Hayes and Howlin’ Wolf in the many musical museums, clubs and the iconic Sun Studio. Away from the obvious groovin’ attractions, Memphis is a city laden with beautiful green parks, Mississippi views, history and the arts.
The vanguard of the ‘New South’, Atlanta is a sophisticated city oozing with dynamic Southern charm. The hub of the civil rights movement, it’s also the proud home of Martin Luther King Jr. There are many sights in his honour – the Centre for Non-Violent Social Change, the ‘I Have a Dream’ World Peace Rose Garden and the National Historic Site Visitor Centre – and you can also explore the gorgeously preserved Queen Anne-era home where he was born. Beyond the civil war recollections and artefacts in the city’s museums, Atlanta offers miles of hiking trails, fabulous dining, artistic funkiness and a plethora of African American history.
New Orleans is famous for its hearty and finger-lickin’ good southern comfort food. Home to signature Creole and rustic Cajun flavours, there’s nowhere else in the USA that’s so easily distinguished by its foodie flavours. Gumbo, jambalaya, po-boys and fried chicken are just a few of the foodie favourites. Another legacy of New Orleans’ melting pot of cultural influences is the music. The birthplace of jazz, brassy beats as well as bluesy tunes are always ringing in the air, whether it’s a marching band, a live show or festival taking over the character-laden streets.
For the latest deals on travelling to the USA, browse our great range of offers online, visit your local Escape Travel or call 1300 556 855.