Deep South magazine partnered up with Expedia.com to help make memories on your next Southern adventure. Whether fueled by history, literature, music, nostalgia or the great outdoors, plan to visit some of the region’s most popular landmarks and attractions.
Oak Alley Plantation
Capture your photo along this historic plantation’s alley of 28 oak trees and experience the real-life setting for the 1994 film “Interview With the Vampire.” Inside, the majestic house has been restored to its former glory, and cottages and a restaurant make it possible to stay the night.
Key West, Florida
Another must-stop photo opp along your Southern tour, this popular spot on Florida’s coast is anchored by a colorful buoy. Locate it at the corner of South and Whitehead streets, and be prepared to stand in line. It’s one of the most visited —and photographed — spots on the island.
Old Monroe County Courthouse
With the recent passing of Harper Lee, her hometown of Monroeville, Alabama, will become even more of a pilgrimage for fans wanting to catch a glimpse of Maycomb. The best place to learn about Lee’s life and work is the old county courthouse. Sit in the courtroom where her father practiced law, view exhibits on both Lee and her childhood friend Truman Capote, and pick up a souvenir in the gift shop.
Johnny Cash Museum
Housing the most comprehensive collection of artifacts and memorabilia in the world, this Music City museum is authorized by the musician’s estate and tells the story of Johnny Cash’s life, from his early letters to the last song he ever wrote.
The home of writer William Faulkner is tucked into Bailey’s Woods just off Oxford’s main drag and is a destination for literature fans around the world. Property tours allow guests to roam the house and grounds freely, and an exhibit includes handmade books and drawings, along with maps of the author’s fictional Yoknapatawpha County.
Babyland General Hospital
Those Cabbage Patch Kids you loved so much as a child were actually born in Georgia. Located on 650 acres in the North Georgia Mountains, Babyland General will delight visitors of all ages with hundreds of “little people” available for adoption, the chance to witness a live Cabbage Patch birth and parenting advice from Licensed Patch Nurses (LPNs) on hand.
Jockey’s Ridge State Park
Nags Head, North Carolina
Climb to the top of the tallest natural sand dune system in the Eastern United States at this Outer Banks landmark. Visitors can also learn about plants and animals found around the dunes by reading information panels along the 384-foot-long boardwalk, go sandboarding or set up a picnic with a view of the Atlantic Ocean.
Less than a mile from downtown Atlanta lies the secret sanctuary that is historic Oakland Cemetery. Founded in 1850, it is the final resting place of many of the city’s most noted citizens, including Gone With the Wind author Margaret Mitchell. Guided tours on weekends share the history, period gardens and art and architecture that make up this outdoor museum.
The Crescent Hotel & Spa
Eureka Springs, Arkansas
Originally opened in the late 1800s as a luxury resort in the Ozark mountains, The Crescent was later used as a hospital by an untrained inventor turned doctor who stored cadavers in the morgue (pictured). Today, it’s known as “America’s Most Haunted Hotel” with several resident ghosts making appearances on regularly scheduled ghost tours.
Charleston, South Carolina
History buffs will want to see where the Civil War began on April 12, 1861. Confederate artillery opened fire on this federal fort in Charleston Harbor, and Fort Sumter surrendered 34 hours later. Tour boats from Charleston take visitors to the Fort Sumter Visitor Education Center, and sunset tours are now available from March through October.
Photo credits, from top: Oak Alley courtesy of Oak Alley Plantation, Old Monroe County Courthouse and Rowan Oak by Deep South, Jockey’s Ridge by daveynin from Flickr Creative Commons, and The Crescent morgue courtesy of The Crescent Hotel & Spa.