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6 Creative Trips Through the Deep South

Not everyone wants to sunbathe on the beach when they go on vacation. Some people like action-packed expeditions, while others enjoy historical, fact-finding missions.

If that sounds like you, why not plan your next family vacation in the Deep South? You might be surprised by how much there is to do if you think out of the box. Whatever your preferred type of getaway—from train travel to riverboating— the Deep South has something to unique to offer.

On Location

Whether it’s “A Streetcar Named Desire” (New Orleans), “O Brother, Where Art Thou” (Mississippi) or “Walk the Line” (Tennessee), some of America’s best films were set in the Deep South—and many of the original film locations look identical to how they did during filming. The rural scenery and Antebellum setting of the Deep South make it popular for historical films as well, such as To Kill a Mockingbird (1962), putting the region on par with other global locations to film in Sydney or Prague. 

Take a tour around key filming locations for your favorite films set in the Deep South, and rekindle the love you have for your favorite films.

Click here to see a list of movies filmed on Louisiana plantations.

Rail Excursions

The South has a rich history of using rail for almost 200 years. Some of the first railroads in the United States started in the Deep South, such as the South Carolina Canal and Rail Road Company, founded in 1927.

That rich history means there are many great historic rail routes to explore. There are also several railway tours, such as the Tracks of the Deep South tour, which takes you to some of the South’s most notorious musical destinations like Nashville, Memphis and New Orleans. The Great Smoky Mountains Railway also has a scenic train ride, while Georgia’s Coastal Railway travels through the marshes of the Southern part of the state.

Cloudland Canyon courtesy of Georgia State Parks

Camping Trips

The Deep South is known for its beautiful landscapes—so why would you want to stay inside? Reacquaint yourself with the outdoors by planning a camping trip.

Enjoy the tranquil, picturesque scenery at Cloudland Canyon State Park in Georgia. For something more unusual, try camping inside eerie giant caves at Cathedral Caverns State Park in Alabama.

River Cruises

Since Mark Twain’s Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, tourists flock in the thousands for a tour along the Mississippi River.

The Mississippi stretches for over 2,000 miles, winding its way into the heartland of American culture and history. A cruise along the river offers you the best cuisine and music while you float. Find cruises in Baton Rouge, Natchez, Memphis, New Orleans and many other cities.

Musical Tours

Jackson, Nashville, Memphis, New Orleans—the South is brimming with renowned musical towns and cities that have produced some of the world’s most famous sounds.

There’s no more incredible experience for a true music buff than to visit the studios, like Muscle Shoals in Alabama, where some of the greats recorded their albums. You also can discover some of the young and up-and-coming talents that their legacies live on through.

On Wheels

If you want something outdoorsy that’ll get your blood flowing, why not try a cycling trip? Dust off your old bike in the garage, get that lycra on and away you go.

There are plenty of popular, scenic cycle trails for you to try, such as the Chief Ladiga Trail, which weaves through the edge of the Talladega National Forest near Atlanta. Also, try the 40-mile Tanglefoot Trail, which sits on a converted rail track with plenty of great places for a pitstop along the way.

Whether you’re a film buff, a music buff, an outdoor explorer or a riverside relaxer, there is something waiting for you in the Deep South.

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