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

Whether you are looking to explore the great outdoors or learn a little history or perhaps both, the South has a state park (or two) that fits your interest.

Experience a different side of a destination (and the region) when you visit any one of 16 state parks in these six states.


degraylakeyurtOn the north shore of DeGray Lake in Bismarck is the 938-acre DeGray Lake Resort State Park. As the state's only resort state park, various activities found here include an 18-hole championship golf course, disc golf course, fishing, and biking. There are five hiking trails, ranging from one-fourth mile to one mile; and a three-mile loop paddle trail. The state park also provides programs such as guided hikes, lake cruise and kayak tours. Check out DeGray's special events like Eagles Et Cetera in January. Lodging choices are a 94-room lodge, a YURT and 113 camping sites.

Mount Magazine State Park in Paris is positioned on the state's highest point - the nearly 3,000-foot Mount Magazine. Outdoor adventurists will enjoy the rock climbing and hang gliding opportunities. For those who aren't into extreme activities, there are bike rentals available at the lodge, over 14 miles of hiking trails and more. Throughout the year, the state park hosts various guided hikes, history and nature talks. Select to stay in either the 60-room lodge or one of the 13 cabins. The campground has 18 full hook-up sites.petitarkansas

The state's first state park, the 2,658-acre Petit Jean State Park in Morrilton is regarded for its natural beauty. Discover it for yourself along the over 20 miles of hiking trails. The state park also offers guided hikes, nature talks and workshops. Spend the night (or weekend) at the 24-room Mather Lodge, in one or the 21 cabins or at any of the 125 campsites.


The 2,140-acre Monte Sano State Park, located near Huntsville, offers sweeping views from atop Monte Sano Mountain. Enjoy over 20 miles of hiking trails and 14 miles of biking trails, an 18-hole disc gollakelurleenf course and more, including a planetarium and observatory.
Stay overnight in one of the 14 cabins or at one of the 89 campsites.

Nine miles northwest of Tuscaloosa is the 1,625-acre Lake Lurleen State Park, best known for its 250-acre lake. The state park has other amenities as well, like over 23 miles of multi-use trails, a nature center, fishing opportunities and paddleboats. Lake Lurleen offers 91 campsites for those who want to extend their visit.


Situated on the shores of Norris Lake with over 800-miles of shoreline, Norris Dam State Park in Rocky Top combines nature and history within 4,000-acres. Hike along one of 15 trails or take a boat out on the water. Go birding. As for the history side, check out Caleb Crosby Threshing Barn, 18th-century Rice Grist Mill and Lenoir Museum. The state park also hosts annual events such as the Fall Color Pontoon Boat Trips in October and December - Holiday Homecoming. Accommodations include 29 cabins and two campgrounds with a combined total of 75 sites. A nearby full-service marina offers houseboat rentals as well as boat rentals.


panola2Only 15 miles from Atlanta you'll find Panola Mountain State Park. Considered as the "crown jewel" of the Arabia Mountain National Heritage Area (one of three National Heritage Areas in the state), the state park features a pristine 100-acre granite mountain similar to that of Stone Mountain. Teeming with activities that include 25 miles of hiking trails to over 30 miles along the PATH Trail for biking, kayaking and geocaching, everyone can find something to do here. There are also archery classes and tree-climbing classes for something a little different. Take a guided ranger-led hike to learn about Panola's history and the surroundings. The state park offers five primitive campsites.

Located on the western shore of Clarks Hill Lake, one of the largest lakes in the South, is the 447-acre Elijah Clark State Park in Lincolnton. The state park offers outdoor activities like hiking, fishing, boating and more. There is also a miniature golf course. See a log cabin replica of the Clarks home and view the gravesites Clark and his wife. Accommodations include 20 cottages, 160 campsites and 10 primitive campsites.

amicalolafallsLocated between Ellijay and Dahlonega is Amicalola Falls State Park in Dawsonville. Not only is it home to the tallest cascading waterfall in the southeast - Amicalola Falls at 729-feet, but also is the starting point for the Appalachian Trail. Spend the day hiking shorter trails in the state park or trying your hand at fly fishing. Check out the new Aerial Adventure Park with 11 ziplines and three suspended bridges. Thinking about overnighting? Amicalola Falls State Park has a 57-room lodge, 14 cottages and 25 campsites. For those looking for an adventure, consider booking one of the 20-rooms at Len Foot Hike Inn. It's five-mile hike to this Georgia-only backcountry lodge.

South Carolina

Along the shoreline of the 71,000-acre Strom Thurmond Reservoir is the 1,091-acre Hickory Knob State Park in McCormick. It's the only full-service resort in the state's park service with an on-site restaurant and meeting facilities. The park provides an abundance of outdoor activities that include 12 miles of multi-use trails, canoe/kayak rentals, boat access and fishing. There is also an 18-hole championship Tom Jackson-designed golf course. For an overnight stay, select among 18 cabins, 76-room lodge, 44 campsites near the lake or the two-bedroom Guillebeau House.

a219747_1-view-of-table-rock-from-the-parks-lodgeThe 3,000-acre Table Rock State Park in Pickens was one of 16 state parks built by the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC). Outdoor and nature enthusiasts are drawn here not only for the mountain views and two lakes but also for the access point to the 80-mile Foothills Trail. There are shorter hiking trails at the state park as well as boating and fishing opportunities, geocaching, bird watching and more. On the second Saturday of each month, Table Rock State Park host "Music on the Mountain" bluegrass jam at the lodge. Choose among one of the 16 cabins or 69 camping sites to stay the night or weekend.

Another CCC-built state park, Oconee State Park in Mountain Rest encompasses 1,165-acres. As the only state park with an 18-hole mini-golf course, it also offers canoe/kayak, fishing boat and pedal boat rentals. There are ample hiking trails that include the half-mile Wormy Chestnut Trail and the two-mile Tamassee Knob Trail. There is also access to the Foothill Trail. Accommodations feature 19 cabins, 140 standard campsites and 15 dedicated tent sites.huntingislandlighthousebeaufort

Within Hunting Island State Park, near Beaufort, is the Hunting Island Lighthouse, the state's only lighthouse that's open to the public. Climb the 167 steps to the top and be rewarded with views of the marshland and the Atlantic Ocean. As one of the more popular state parks, it has five miles of beach, a saltwater lagoon and a pier. The 5,000-acre state park also offers eight miles of trails traversing through maritime forest and along the lagoon to explore by foot or on bike. Be sure the check out the Nature Center. Stay for the night (or longer) in the one cabin or any of the 171 standard campsites or 10 tent campsites.

Along with the beaches and attractions that make Myrtle Beach a quintessential vacation destination, the area is home to Huntington Beach State Park and Myrtle Beach State Park.

In Murrells Inlet, the 2,500-acre Huntington Beach State Park is a prime spot for birding. Over 300 species have been spotted within the park's borders. Enjoy three miles of beach, ocean jetty fishing, inlets, marshes and more. Ride the Bike-the-Neck Trail or hike along one of the two trails. Unique to the state park is Atalaya, a Moorish-style house that served as the winter retreat and studio for 20th-century sculptress Anna Hyatt Huntington and her husband. Open for tours, it's also the site for the annual juried Atalaya Arts and Crafts Festival. Accommodations include 107 standard campsites and six tent sites.

myrtlebeachbThe 312-acre Myrtle Beach State Park was the first state park to open to the public in 1936. It showcases the state's last stands of oceanfront maritime forest located 300 yards from the beach. Walk out on the fishing pier or drop a line. Don't have a fishing rod? Don't worry, just rent one from the pier gift shop. Hike or bike along the two trails that go into the woodlands. Lodging options include six cabins, 204 campsites and 30 seasonal tent sites.


North Carolina

Jockey's Ridge State Park in Nags Head is home to the tallest natural dune system on thejockeyridgestatepark East Coast. Check out the 360-foot boardwalk or the two self-guided nature trails at this day use state park. Enjoy the views of the Roanoke Sound and the Atlantic Ocean from the top of the dune. Feeling adventurous? Jockey's Ridge is home to hang-gliding with lessons available. There are also opportunities for sandboarding (seasonal) and kiteboarding. Or just take it easy by flying a kite.





photos: (top left) DeGray Lake Resort State Park , (top right) Petit Jean State Park, (upper middle left) Lake Lurleen State Park, (middle right) Panola Mountain State Park, (middle left) Amicalola Falls State Park, (bottom left) Table Rock State Park, (bottom right) Hunting Island State Park, (far bottom right) Myrtle Beach State Park, (far bottom right) Jockey's Ridge State Park