Happening Now

14 Food Trails Worthy of Packing an Extra Pair of Comfortable Pants (March 2019)

Exploring Algiers Point, New Orleans' Second Oldest Neighborhood (January 2019)

Postcard from Bristol Tennessee/Virginia (January 2019)

21 "Spirited" Stays Throughout The South (October 2018)

Checking In for the Night: Nine Bed-and-Breakfasts Throughout the South (October 2018)

Rhythm is Deep during Cumberland Caverns Live at Cumberland Caverns (September 2018)

Postcard from Panama City, Florida (August 2018)

Take a Tour of The Lewis Ranch (July 2018)

Reservations, Please! New and Upcoming Properties in the South (July 2018)

Off-the-Beaten-Path: Four Very Different Museum in One Place on the Mississippi State University Campus (July 2018)

Explore Revolutionary War Sites in the South (July 2018)

So Cool, It's Hot: Southern Summer Bucket List (June 2018)

"It's Ours!" Tennessee Town Reclaims Long Island Iced Tea (June 2018)

In a Travel Slump? Find Some Getaway Inspiration with These Four Destinations (June 2018)

Remember and Honor: Seven Military Museums to Visit Year Round (May 2018)

Postcard from Tupelo, Mississippi (May 2018)

Off-the-Beaten-Path: Seven Museums (and a Bonus) Not to Miss in New Orleans' French Quarter (May 2018)

Relax, Recharge and Refresh at Coldwater Gardens in Milton, Florida (April 2018)

Let's Go! Reconnect and Create Memories at These Seven Family Fun Destinations (March 2018)

So Many Reasons to Visit Nashville, Tennessee (February 2018)

Gowns, Costumes and History: 11 Museums (and a Bonus) That Highlight Mardi Gras (January 2018)

Take a Retro U.S. Road Trip with "Addicted to Americana" (January 2018)

Experience Valhalla Resort Hotel in Helen, Georgia (December 2017)

Shop Local: Nine Places to Find Distinctive Gifts (November 2017)

Pose, Snap, Post at Any of These Top Seven Instagrammable Georgia State Parks and Historic Site Locations (November 2017)

A Quick Peek Inside the Omni Hotel at The Battery Atlanta (November 2017)

It's Coming! Great Wolf Lodge in LaGrange, Georgia to Open at the end of May 2018 (October 2017)

Take the Scenic Route: Three Drives not to Miss in the South (October 2017)

Postcard from Winston-Salem, North Carolina (September 2017)

Go, See, Do, Stay: Exploring Three Destinations in the Ozark Mountains (August 2017)

Edgar Degas and the Degas House in New Orleans (August 2017)

Find Unique Experiences in the South (and America) with "100 Things to Do in America Before You Die" (July 2017)

Dive in Gulf County, Florida with Daly's Watersports' "Discover Scuba Diving" (June 2017)

Unpacking the Unclaimed Baggage Center in Scottsboro, Alabama (June 2017)

Get Out(side) and Explore Seven of North Alabama's Natural Attractions (May 2017)

10 Things Not to Miss When Visiting Dollywood (May 2017)

Let the Concierge be Your Guide for Adventure in Gulf County, Florida (April 2017)

Discover Farmview Market in Madison, Georgia (October 2016)

Postcard from Natchitoches, Louisiana (October 2016)

Discover the Essence of the Florida Panhandle at State Parks (October 2016)

Experience Fayetteville, North Carolina (October 2016)

Nine Fun Ways to Enjoy Fall Foliage in Georgia (October 2016)

Postcard from Lexington, Kentucky (September 2016)

Get Out and Explore: Six States, 16 State Parks (September 2016)

Checking In...The Henderson in Destin, Florida (September 2016)

What to Do in Blowing Rock, North Carolina (September 2016)

Postcard from Baton Rouge, Louisiana (June 2016)

From Alligators to Whale Sharks: 10 Aquariums in the South to Explore (May 2016)

Postcard from LaGrange, Georgia (April 2016)

Nine Experiences to Enjoy in Bowling Green, Kentucky (March 2016)

Postcard from Middleburg, Virginia (February 2016)

Go, See, Do: Six Getaway-Worthy Southern Destinations (January 2016)

16 Things to Do in the South in 2016 (January 2016)

Rider or Not, There are Many Reasons to Visit Smoky Mountain Harley-Davidson (October 2015)

The Great Georgia Escape: Discovering (and Enjoying) Big Canoe (September 2015)

Quick Glimpse into Birmingham, Alabama's Growing Culinary Scene (August 2015)

Discover the Vast Musical Side of the South with the Americana Music Triangle (June 2015)

Take Grilling to the Next Level with Grillocracy.com (June 2015)

True Cajun Experience Found at Crawfish Haven/Mrs. Rose's Bed and Breakfast (May 2015)

Experience Acre in Auburn, Alabama (May 2015)

Experience the Mississippi Delta with These Four Destinations (January 2015)

Four Days, Three Destinations: Exploring Columbia County and Augusta, Ga., and Aiken, S.C. (January 2015)

Finding the Perfect Southern Destination for Your Next Getaway (January 2015)

So Many Fun Ways to Spend Your Holiday Gift Cash in the South (December 2014)

Behind the Scenes: The Personal Collection (and Memories) at the Gone With the Wind Museum: Scarlett on the Square (December 2014)

Spending a Day or Weekend in Bardstown, Kentucky (September 2014)

"Celebrate" Your Getaway to The Pearl on Rosemary Beach (September 2014)

College Football Hall of Fame Debuts in Atlanta (August 2014)

Discover Alabama's Varied Culinary Side during Alabama Restaurant Week (August 2014)

Get Out and Enjoy Scallop Season (and Scallops) on St. Joseph Bay in Gulf County, Florida (August 2014)

Bringing the Past and Present Together in Rock Hill, S.C. with "75 Years, Still One Gear" (July 2014)

Four Reasons to Plan a Getaway to Sunny Isles Beach, Florida (July 2014)

So Many Ways in the South to Make This Summer One to Remember (June 2014)

Amp Up Your Doughnut Making (and Eating) Experience with Sublime Doughnuts' Kamal Grant's Cookbook (May 2014)

Streamsong Resort: A Golfing Resort Beyond the Ordinary in Florida (April 2014)

In the Kitchen with Chef Douglas Olsen (March 2014)

Celebrating Farmers and Farm Life with the Farm Star Living Website and App (March 2014)

In the Kitchen with Chef Sam Lodovico, The Resort at Glade Springs (February 2014)

Checking Out Charleston's Culinary Scene with Charleston Culinary Tours (February 2014)

Discovering Downtown Birmingham, Ala. with Alabama Road Trips (January 2014)

Season Two of "Emeril's Florida" Highlights Culinary Gems of South Walton (January 2014)

Chatting with Barbecue Champion and Restaurateur Melissa Cookston (November 2013)

"Cast Iron Chef" Competition to Heat Up the 3rd annual Brooks County Skillet Festival (October 2013)

Crowd Pleasing Recipes to Amp Up Tailgating (September 2013)

Discovering Georgia's Lake Oconee Area (July 2013)

Honoring the Man in Black: Johnny Cash Museum (June 2013)

Experience Sonesta Resort Hilton Head Island (June 2013)

Build Your Own Memorable Experience in Columbus, Georgia (May 2013)

South Walton’s Art Culture: People Behind the Creations (May 2013)

Louisville, Kentucky Beyond the Derby (May 2013)

City Insider: Mark Wyant, owner, The Saint Hotel in New Orleans (February 2013)

Dining Out at Osteria Tulia (January 2013)

Discover Florida's Charm with Emeril's Florida (January 2013)

Taste Nostalgia (and Fun) with Pure Sodaworks (December 2012)

Find Serenity (and More) at Red Horse Inn (December 2012)

In Tall Cotton: Chef Cory Bahr and Restaurant Cotton (November 2012)

Under the Grand Chapiteau with Cirque du Soleil’s Totem (November 2012)

Feelin’ Presidential: Presidential Sites Throughout the South (October 2012)

Eight Cool Southern College Towns (September 2012)

Mark Your Calendar... Fabulous Southern Fall Music Festivals (September 2012)

In the Kitchen with Chef Eric Fulkerson (August 2012)

Visiting The Inn at Magnolia Oaks (August 2012)

Journey to New Orleans Plantation Country (August 2012)

Turn Your Vacation into an Experience at the Plantation on Crystal River (July 2012)

Dazzle Your Summer with Fata Morgana (July 2012)

Coming Home to Hightower Creek Vineyards (July 2012)

Exploring I-95 in the South with Barbara Barnes, Author of What’s Great About I-95: Maine to Florida (July 2012)

Timeless Experiences Await You at High Hampton Inn (June 2012)

Discover Cummins Falls, Tennessee's Newest State Park (June 2012)

See Savannah on a Segway Tour (June 2012)

Newest Addition to Biloxi, Mississippi - Margaritaville Casino & Restaurant (May 2012)

Coming Home: Chef David Guas set for New Orleans Wine & Food Experience (May 2012)

Experience Southern Sweetness with South Carolina's Firefly Distillery (May 2012)

The Running of the 71st Iroquois Steeplechase (May 2012)

100 Years and Counting: Riding the African Queen (May 2012)

Get Into the Wild with Safari Wilderness Ranch (May 2012)

Discover Another Side of Spartanburg with the Underground Guide to Spartanburg (April 2012)

Get Out and Explore National Parks During National Park Week (April 2012)

Glide Through Downtown Memphis on the Segway Experience of Memphis Tour (April 2012)

Congratulations to Our "Adventure Time Getaway" Winner (April 2012)

The Tennessee Aquarium, 20 Years Later and Still Going Strong (March 2012)

Fashion Weeks Show Off Stylish South (March 2012)

What to do When You’re Not Breathing Baseball During Spring Training in Florida (March 2012)

Tables are Set for Restaurant Weeks in the South (January 2012)

Congratulations to our Couples Comedy Getaway Winner (December 2011)

Discovering South Florida’s Three Distinctively Different Kimpton Hotels (November 2011)

Congratulations to our Back To Nature Getaway Winner (November 2011)

“Fall” for the Outdoors and More in Wilmington, North Carolina (October 2011)

Festivals, Football, Foliage and Fun: The Many Reasons Fall is Great in the South (October 2011)

The New Must-Do’s in Raleigh, North Carolina (September 2011)

Culinary Delights and Cultural Gems Await You Along SW Alabama's Culinary Trail (September 2011)

Exploring Seaside with the Seaside Walking Tour (September 2011)

Ending the Summer with a Bang: Labor Day Weekend Fun in the South (September 2011)

Celebrating Food and Music at The Shed in Ocean Springs, Miss. (August 2011)

Extend Your Summer with an Outdoor Concert (August 2011)

Discover Southern Charm and Hospitality at Fairview Inn in Jackson, Mississippi (August 2011)

Living History (and More) Awaits You at Shaker Village of Pleasant Hill (August 2011)

Exploring New Orleans’ Culinary Scene During COOLinary (August 2011)

Celebrate Hampton Bear and Teddy Bears at High Hampton Inn (July 2011)

Fireworks, Parades and More: 25 Ways to Have a “Blast” This 4th of July Weekend in the South (July 2011)

Simply Southern...James Madison Inn in Madison, Ga. (June 2011)

Fun and Free (or Inexpensive) Ways to Celebrate Dad this Father's Day (June 2011)

Congratulations to Our Simply Delightful Getaway Winner (June 2011)

Discovering One of Florida’s Surprises: Paddling the Suwannee River Wilderness Trail (April 2011)

Rediscovering old Florida at the Florida House Inn (March 2011)

Sip and Taste at the 26th annual Hilton Head Island Wine & Food Festival (March 2011)

Congratulations to our "Savannah's Best" Getaway Winner (March 2011)

Let’s Play Ball! Spring Training in Florida (February 2011)

Getting Back to Nature: Touring Bon Secour National Wildlife Refuge (February 2011)

Spotting Winter Wildlife (and Possibly Whales) in Virginia Beach, Virginia (January 2011)

Congratulations to our “Let’s Just Go” Getaway Winner (January 2011)

Finding “Treasures” on Jekyll Island, Georgia (January 2011)

Yo, Ho Ho: Exploring the Life of Pirates at the Pirate and Treasure Museum (January 2011)

It’s All About Experiences This Year in the South (January 2011)

Holidays are Hot at Hotels Across the South (December 2010)

It’s Nice on Ice–Where to Go Ice Skating in the South This Holiday Season (December 2010)

Congratulations to our Private Island Getaway Winner (December 2010)

Celebrating the Holiday Season in Williamsburg Virginia (December 2010)

Discovering Nu Wray Inn in Burnsville North Carolina (December 2010)

Thanksgiving Day Chef Competition at Ritz-Carlton Lodge, Reynolds Plantation (November 2010)

Many Reasons to Celebrate the Holiday Season at Gaylord Opryland (November 2010)

Discover the Birdhouse Trail in Monroeville Alabama (November 2010)

Congratulations to Our Casino Giveaway Winner (November 2010)

Get Out This Saturday for VISIT FLORIDA’s Great Beach Walk (November 2010)

Nathan Beaver set to Return to Perform in Madison Georgia (November 2010)

Fall for Fishing Along North Carolina’s Coast (October 2010)

Savor the Flavor in Polk County, Florida One Bite at a Time (October 2010)

Congratulations to Our Beach Giveaway Winner! (September 2010)

Discovering Mississippi's Culinary Trail (August 2010)

Going Coastal…Now is the Perfect Time to Visit the Florida Panhandle (August 2010)

Ways You Can Support the Recovery Effort in the Gulf (June 2010)

Get Out and Go to Alabama’s Gulf Coast (June 2010)

Soak in the Sun (and Fun) Along Florida's West Coast Beaches (June 2010)

It's New - The Titanic Museum Attraction (June 2010)

Celebrate Dollywood and Dollywood's Splash Country in 2010 (June 2010)

Tell Orlando (and the World) Why the City Makes You Smile (June 2010)

Fun Awaits You Along the Mississippi Gulf Coast (June 2010)

Staying Current on the Oil Spill in the Gulf (May 2010)

Where to Go for the Latest on the Nashville Floods (May 2010)

Keeping Current with the Oil Spill (May 2010)

Published: January 2016
Go, See, Do: Six Getaway-Worthy Southern Destinations  


Some visit for the scenery, some come for the history and others are drawn to the all-around hospitable atmosphere. Whatever your reason (or reasons) may be, you can't go wrong with choosing any one of the following six destinations.

Hot Springs, Arkansas

From its thermal spring waters to its prime location for infamous gangsters to its role in baseball, Hot Springs has been (and remains) a happening destination. Whether you're staying overnight or for the weekend, discover its appeal through its many sides.

Go: Hot Springs is the only city in the country located within a national park. Explorbathhouserowe Hot Springs National Park, inside and out. Begin at Fordyce Bathhouse, the former -bathhouse -turned -visitors -center to learn the history of thermal water baths. Tour the restored rooms and get a feel of what it was like during the height of its popularity. From there, meander down Bathhouse Row National Historic Landmark District to check out eight remaining restored bathhouses.

For those who want more of an outdoors experience, Hot Springs National Park offers 26 miles of trails as well as scenic mountain driving routes.

See: Located on a peninsula on Lake Hamilton, the 210-acre Garvan Woodland Gardens is one of eight woodland gardens in the United States. A feast for the eyes, don't miss the seeing Anthony Chapel and the Anthony Family Trust Carillon. Take some time to view Bridge of the Full Moon located in the Garden of the Pine Wind. It is one of the most photographed places in the gardens.

Do: Did you know Arkansas has its own derby? Oaklawn Racing and Gaming is home to both the Arkansas Derby and the Racing Festival of the South. From January - April, you can enjoy live thoroughbred racing.

Alexandria, Louisiana

Located in Central Louisiana, aka the Heart of Louisiana, Alexandria is rich not only in history but also in arts and outdoor experiences as well as family activities. Within hours of your visit, you'll discover a charming destination for every traveler.

Go: Immerse yourself in the arts. See the various pieces of works at Alexandria Museum of Art. Discover a new artist or two at River Oaks Square Arts Center. Enjoy a performance by the Lagniappe Theatre Company. The possibilities are endless.

See: Don't let looks fool you. The single story Creole cottage located on the Louisiana State University of Alexandria campus has quite the backstory. Known as The Epps House: Solomon Northup's Gateway to Freedom highlights Solomon Northup's story. Northrup was the author of Twelve Years a Slave, published in 1853 that led to "Solomon Northup’s Odyssey” (1984 documentary), and “12 Years a Slave" (2013 movie.)

Through exhibits and displays, learn more about Northup and the Northup Trail; and Dr. Sue Eakin, who was instrumental in relocating the cottage to itskenthouseplantation current location and its reconstruction.

Do: Take a tour of Kent House Plantation. Over 200 years old, it's the oldest standing structure in central Louisiana. The house was one of the few buildings spared when Union troops burned Alexandria during the Civil War; unfortunately, the out homes weren't so lucky. The house has plenty interesting features, including handmade bricks of different sizes. Some still retain fingerprints.


Ocean Springs, Mississippi

If its location along the Mississippi Gulf Coast isn't enough of a draw for you, perhaps you might be intrigued by  Ocean Springs' arts scene and culinary scene to explore the area further. You won't be disappointed spending time in this town.

Go: Learn a new skill when you are out of town, or brush up on an old one at the Mary O'Keefe Cultural Center. Sign up for cooking, art or another class that captures your interest. Even if classes aren't your style, check out the event calendar for upcoming performances, shows, and the Mary C Art and Food Market Day.communityroom

See: Walter Anderson Museum of Art introduces visitors to paintings of local 20th-century artist, Walter Inglis Anderson and the works of his brother Peter Anderson (Shearwater Pottery) and James Anderson.

Two areas of interest include the community center and the "Little Room" inside the cottage where Walter Anderson spent much of his last years. Both house two of his murals representing two very different times in his life.

Do: Enjoy the outdoors as you explore the Davis Bayou Area at the Gulf Islands National Seashore Visitors Center and Campground. Depending on the time of the year you visit Ocean Springs, consider taking a quick ride to Gulfport to board the ferry to Ship Island, one of five Mississippi barrier islands.

Dahlonega, Georgia

No doubt about it, Dahlonega is a "golden" destination. Situated in the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains, it's a delightful escape for those who enjoy discovering quaint towns, sampling local wines and culinary dishes, and seeking outdoor adventures.

Go: With the many shops and galleries to pop in and out of, be aware there's a good chance you can lose all track of time when you are walking around Dahlonega's historic public square. Swing by Dahlonega General Store to get something fun to remember your visit, followed by a stop in Paul Thomas Chocolate & Gift for something to satisfy your sweet cravings.dahlonega

See: Learn more about America's first major gold rush at the Dahlonega Gold Museum. Located in the former courthouse, you can view rare mint coins, see the tools used in gold mining and much more.

Do: Go underground Consolidated Gold Mines to understand what miners went through back in the day. Then finish up by panning for gold. You never know, it may be your lucky day. You can also pan for gold at Crisson Gold Mine.


Lakeland, Florida

Located between Orlando and Tampa, along Interstate 4, Lakeland captivates visitors with its offerings. The city is also the site of the annual Sun 'N Fun Fly-In, a must-experience for everyone.

Go: Relax, regroup and reconnect while strolling through Hollis Gardens and take many views. As you meander your way paths, you may forget how close you are to downtown.

centralfloridapolkcounty 193(a)(b) copySee: Florida Southern College has the largest collection of buildings designed by Frank Lloyd Wright on one site. Even though he designed 18 structures, only 12 were completed between 1938 and 1958, and are known as the "Child of the Sun." The newest addition, the Usonian House , was based on some of Wright's found plans. Choose among a free self-guided tour, three fee-based tours or specialty tours to see them.

Do: Lakeland provides plenty of ways to enjoy its cultural side. For instance, you can visit Polk Museum of Art and check out the exhibits. If you are the mood to watch a performance, see what's on the marquee at Polk Theater, where Elvis once performed in 1956.


Lebanon, Kentucky

Experience bourbon and more - much more - in Lebanon. Located in the Heart of Kentucky, the city offers a range of attractions that cover everything from agritourism to holy sites to history and more. One visit and you'll see that Lebanon isn't a cookie-cutter destination.

makersmarkGo: Discover the world of Kentucky bourbon with some tours. Start out at Kentucky Cooperage to learn about barrel making. From there, head to Maker's Mark Distillery, one of the state's oldest distillery to experience what makes their bourbon stand out. Familiarize yourself with craft distilling at Limestone Branch Distillery. A stop on the Kentucky Bourbon Trail Craft Tour, not only do they produce bourbon but also 'shine as well.

See: Exhibits tell the story about the area at Marion County Heritage Center. Check out the notables, like Turtleman, who've come from the county and still call it home.

Do: Drive out to Gravel Switch to visit Penn's Store. It holds the distinction as the oldest country store in America ran continuously by the same family. Today, the sixth generation Penn oversees the operation.

photos: personal collection; (top) Epps House in Alexandria, La., (top right) Bathhouse Row in Hot Springs, Ark., (top left) Kent House Plantation in Alexandria, La., (middle right ) Community Center at Walter Anderson Museum of Art in Ocean Springs, Miss., (middle left) Inside Dahlonega (Ga.) Gold Museum; (bottom right) Frank Lloyd Wright building on the Florida Southern College campus in Lakeland, Fla., (bottom left) Maker's Mark in Lebanon, Ky.