The American South is famous for its warm weather, its stunning natural beauty, and its classic Southern hospitality. This winter, why not do as the birds do and head south to these Dixieland hotspots for a warm welcome.
Even when the ponies aren’t running, you can enjoy a visit to Lexington, the “Horse Capital of the World.” Find good deals on off-season hotels and saddle up for a good time visiting the Kentucky Horse Park to learn about Kentucky’s favorite sport. If horse racing isn’t to your taste, visit one of the many historic sites, like the home of former first lady Mary Todd Lincoln or sample some local whiskey at Town Branch Distillery.
Image via Flickr by mr.bmonroe
Charlotte, North Carolina
Explore the complex history of the American South in Charlotte, which embraces its past and looks forward to its future. Visit the Levine Museum of the New South to learn about the age of the plantations and the Reconstruction Era after the American Civil War. Sports fans should make sure to take in the NASCAR Hall of Fame, and can look for tickets to see the NFL’s Carolina Panthers or the NBA’s Charlotte Hornets for a home game.
FORE! Beautiful Augusta is probably best known for its top-tier golf club, Augusta National, home of the annual Masters Tournament. But a round of golf isn’t the only way to spend time in this pre-Civil War city. Many visitors relax on a cruise of the Augusta Canal —finished just before the war and the catalyst for Southern industrialization — before taking a scenic walk through the Broad Street Historic District, stopping by the Boyhood Home of President Woodrow Wilson. Nature lovers should indulge in a morning wander through the pedestrian-friendly Phinizy Swamp Nature Park.
Baton Rouge, Louisiana
Louisiana’s historic capital has no shortage of classic Antebellum style. Luxury travelers and gamblers can enjoy L’auberge Casino Hotel, while college football fans can head to Tiger Stadium to see the home of the LSU Tigers. History buffs can see Louisiana’s Old State Capitol, hear the whispers of the past at LSU Rural Life Museum, and tour the USS Kidd, a retired U.S. Navy destroyer operated as an informative museum on the Mississippi River.
Saint Augustine, Florida
Being the oldest continuous European settlement in the forty-eight states, Saint Augustine has no shortage of historical points of interest to explore. The Castillo de San Marcos was built in 1672 to defend the Spanish settlement on the Matanzas River. It changed hands many times over the next 200 years, serving as a defensive fort, and a prison until 1900. Today, it is a meaningful national monument, and a very popular tourist destination. Consider a hotel near the waterfront, like the Bayfront Inn, for convenient access to the river and the city’s historic district.
Image via Flickr by rkramer62
With so much history, entertainment, and outdoor adventure, these Southern classics should be on your American travel list. Y’all have a good time now, you hear?
Cory Hanson is an American travel writer specializing in American and European travel. This is part of a series of American destination posts sponsored by travel search and booking service Hipmunk. Find more Hipmunk posts here, and a full sponsored content disclosure here.