America’s Deep South is more than just a geographical location; it’s a way of life. From twangy-accented southern belles to sizzling soul food, country music to cotton plantations and civil war battlegrounds, the Deep South conjures up an identity that’s all its own.
The great news is that there’s no better time than September to visit, with its hazy long days and gently cooling nights. Here’s where you should head.
The undisputed home of country music, Nashville is the place where aspiring musicians and their well-worn guitar cases live among the legacies of the greats before them. A city alive with hopes, dreams and good times, immerse yourself in rhinestones and showbiz, smokey honkytonk and cowboy boots – you’ll never look back.
As riotous as it is big hearted, Nashville is practically a pilgrimage for country music fans the world over – and even if that’s not you, the city is sure to charm you into submission regardless.
New Orleans, Louisiana
Often referred to as the northernmost city of the Caribbean, New Orleans is an electric mix of European grandeur and African soul. The city’s oldest neighbourhood is its French quarter (known as Vieux Carré) where the striking architecture dates back to the 18th century.
Of course, New Orleans is also the home of some pretty enthusiastic Mardi Gras celebrations. Add this to its world famous Bourbon Street and it’s safe to say that the party never stops in this vibrant city.
Charleston, South Carolina
The oldest city in South Carolina, Charleston still retains much of its unmistakeable colonial charm. From the horse-drawn carriages parading lovers down the cobbled streets to the scent of honeysuckle blowing in the wind as families dine on their veranda, Charleston is the home of southern belles and seersucker suits.
Known for its art, fashion, food, jazz music and of course the Roaring ‘20s craze for its very own Charleston dance, the city also consistently wins accolades for its friendly, polite and hospitable residents, perfectly demonstrating that old southern charm is still going strong.
The birthplace of blues, soul and rock‘n’roll, Memphis is the land of retro diners serving perfectly barbecued pork, nostalgic music stores filled with Johnny Cash records and, of course, those worshiping at the altar of the King himself: Elvis.
Boasting as much glitz as grit, as much swagger as sentiment, there’s nothing better than walking in Memphis.
The self-proclaimed ‘capital of the south’, Atlanta is a modern metropolis drenched in American history. Laying claim to the USA’s first black mayor, the hometown of civil rights activist Martin Luther King and the setting of many a civil war site, Atlanta has plenty to offer history buffs.
But a city of this size doesn’t stop there. Atlanta offers up its 21st century glitz in the form of the Georgia Aquarium and the World of Coca-Cola. With a surprising amount of greenery and a collection of definitive neighbourhoods akin to mini-towns, Atlanta soon proves itself worthy of its mega-city status.
Are you ready to discover the Deep South?