Everybody perceives traveling as an opportunity to explore the world and find beauty in the most incredible, and sometimes obscure, places. The WritingCheap team offers a list of some of the most life-changing places in the South you probably didn’t know existed to help you immediately start planning your next journey.
There are many places that one needs to visit at least once to realize the beauty of the surrounding world. Traveling gives people the feeling of freedom and happiness, but sites full of tourists don’t always give us the opportunity to contemplate the view and architecture or to plunge into the history of a place. This list of life-changing places in the South is for not only the tourist, but also the investigator, discoverer and pioneer.
Kennedy Space Center
It’s not a secret that everybody would love to observe the rocket-launching site they saw on TV. The Kennedy Space Center is situated outside of Orlando, in Merritt Island, Florida, and is globally known for being the place of the Apollo 11 launch. Visitors are given an incredible opportunity to feel the atmosphere of the first successful mission to send a human to the moon. The interesting thing is that Kennedy Space Center is officially open and functions as a NASA site with free access for all wanting to not only observe a real rocket launch but also take the greatest space adventure on Earth.
Delta Blues Museum
The Delta Blues Museum in Clarksdale, Mississippi, will please lovers of music and those ready to be a part of the history of American music. Two outstanding blues musicians, Sam Cooke and Muddy Waters, worked in Clarksdale and spread their art throughout the whole country. The Delta Blues Museum serves as the symbol of their memory and invites all visitors to feel the spirit of the blues in the land where the blues began.
You may not be a fan of Elvis Presley, but touring his former house in Memphis, Tennessee, will turn you into one. Visiting Graceland is a great opportunity to see everything that belonged to the “king” and understand his life and legacy. Visitors are allowed to take a tour and see all of Elvis’s golden records, his extraordinary costumes, vintage cars and expensive jewelry. Elvis Week August 9-17 brings fans from around the world for panels, concerts, contests and a gospel brunch.
Busch Gardens Williamsburg
Called the “world’s most beautiful theme park,” Busch Gardens in Williamsburg, Virginia, is exciting to visit in any season. Fall brings Halloween events and a craft beer festival, while the theme park transforms into a winter Christmas town during the holidays. If you’re not into rides or roller coasters, you can see a live show, dine at one of 15 locations, shop for authentic gifts and, of course, visit nearby Colonial Williamsburg.
Brown Chapel AME Church in Selma
Perhaps everybody knows the history of the African-American fight for racial equality and tolerance that was marked by the Civil Rights Movement and Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. But, in 1960, Brown Chapel AME in Selma, Alabama, became a turning point in the movement when all of those against discrimination gathered there to make a march from Selma to Montgomery. As a result, the Voting Rights Act of 1965 was adopted. A National Historic Landmark, the Brown Chapel keeps the spirit of the struggle to be free and independent to remind visitors about the never-ending hope and belief in one’s national value.
Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art
When you’re in Bentonville, Arkansas, you need to at least get a glimpse of the building considered to be a masterpiece of art. The museum is quite beautiful in its design and, after viewing the incredible exhibits, you won’t forget the architecture, art or network on trails on the 120 acres of grounds. One of the most astonishing things about Crystal Bridges is that its establisher, Alice Walton, made the entry fee free so that all visitors can have an opportunity to experience beautiful art.
City of Greenville
South Carolina invites lovers of delicious and diverse food to this small town situated in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains. In the last 20 years, Greenville has become a famous culinary destination that offers more than 100 restaurants on Main Street and a model for other cities. You can also see 30-foot waterfalls, pocket parks and art sculptures downtown or shop in the Augusta Road historic district.
Roaring Fork Motor Nature Trail
Roaring Fork Motor Nature Trail is a hiking point in the Great Smoky Mountains that provides a 5.5-mile trip through old forests and one of the largest and fastest mountain streams—named Roaring Fork. Hikers will also encounter Rainbow Falls, an 80-foot-tall attraction that got its name due to the rainbow it forms on sunny afternoons.
These are only some of the hidden gems of the South that will not only please the eye of a visitor, but also tell a story of historical, social and political change that have impacted the way modern people live today. Don’t forget your camera!