Experience all of the heat, humidity, spice, and hospitality that the South has to offer with a road trip through the southern states of the U.S. Music, food, the great outdoors, the South has it all, with plenty American history thrown in. Here are five Southern road trips not to miss out on.
Southern Carolina’s Hammock Coast is the birthplace of the cotton hammock. Nestled between the famous Myrtle Beach and Charleston, Hammock Coast is a lesser known tourist attraction. You’ll beat the heat and the crowds here and with 90 miles of coastline you won’t be disappointed with the authentic shrimp shacks and fishing villages along this quiet strand. More of a weekend road trip and getaway than a grand adventure, this little known gem is perfect for people who don’t have a lot of time to relax and explore.
Head south on I-95 for scenic route A1A for the Jacksonville beaches before you stop by St. Augustine. This beautiful beach town has an artsy laid back vibe, and it showcases great food, art shops, and luxurious beaches and hotels. Stay in the Casa Monica Hotel, right in the heart of the action. The next day cruise the 250 miles down the coast to Palm Beach. Visit the Kennedy Space Center and Daytona Beach, which might not be high society, but you can drive your car around on the beach for novelty’s sake.
From here, there are many routes you can take. Visit Miami, Key West, or take a side route along the Gulf Coast. Florida has some of the best beaches in the world, as well as some of the most lively nightlife in the South. Before you set off on your road trip, however, make sure you know the rules of the roads. State traffic laws differ and you don’t want your trip bogged down by traffic citations.
Everything is bigger in Texas, maybe because Texas is one of the largest states in the union. For a comprehensive Texas road trip you’ll need a little more time, but the rewards are worth it.
Head south: start in Gainesville. As you pass through Fort Worth stop at the Water Gardens for fountains and scenic views. If you’re with the family the Fort Worth Water Gardens are just a warm up for Splash Station, a water park, thirty minutes away in Cleburne. Further south explore the Inner Space Caverns in Georgetown for some geological history. The McKenna Children’s Museum in New Braunfels is fun for the whole family and increases the educational value of the trip. Finish off your trip with an old-school Texas barbecue, at Cowpokes in Pearsall.
The Cane River Road is a 70 mile loop-like road trip in the heart of Louisiana’s Creole Country. This loop is connected with a series of highways linked by riverside towns and historic plantations. The Cane River Road is an offbeat road trip that will take you deep into the traditional cultures of backwater Louisiana. While this trip might not be a mainstream attraction, you can spend a week on this loop and make a point to see it all, or can do the whole thing in one long day.
The Great River Road of Mississippi offers yet another thorough experience of the Creole region. The towns that line the Great River Road are filled with shotgun shacks, authentic Creole restaurants and bungalows. The few shops you’ll pass are small and usually clustered with locals who simply stand and watch the world go by. Like the Cane River Road this route is distinctly offbeat, yet overwhelmingly authentic.