Holiday Time

Only in the South: Celebrate the Arrival of 2020 with Unique New Year's Eve Drops (December 2019)

Log on to Cyber Monday Deals (December 2019)

Southern Hospitality Traveler's Favorite Things About October (October 2019)

Honor the Red, White and Blue in the South with Independence Day Celebrations (July 2019)

Laissez Les Bons Temps Rouler! Celebrating Mardi Gras 2019 (February 2019)

Pickle, Pelican or Peach: The Many Unique Ways the South Welcomes in the New Year (December 2018)

Get Into the Holiday Spirit with the 29th Annual Smoky Mountain Winterfest (November 2018)

17 Celebrations Honoring the Red, White and Blue (June 2018)

Celebrate Mom this Mother's Day with Getaways and Experiences (May 2018)

"Throw me Somethin' Mister!" Celebrating Mardi Gras 2018 (January 2018)

Beach Ball, Fleur-De-Lis, MoonPie: Unique New Year's Eve Drops in the South (December 2017)

25 Festive Events to Keep that Holiday Feeling Through the New Year (December 2017)

Awe-Inspiring Gingerbread Displays at Various Hotels and Resorts Around the South (December 2017)

Fun and Fireworks: 14 Events Celebrating Independence Day (June 2017)

Celebrate 2017 Mardi Gras in the South (February 2017)

Three Festive Ways to Avoid Going Stir Crazy Before the Holidays (December 2016)

30 Ways to Get Your "Jingle" On in the South (December 2016)

Five Ways to Experience the Holidays "Louisiana-Style" (December 2016)

"Brighten Up" Your Holidays with These Holiday Light Displays (November 2016)

Red, White, Blue and You: Fourth of July Celebrations in the South (July 2016)

Drops, Celebrations and More: Memorable Ways to Welcome in 2016 (December 2015)

Spark Your Holiday Spirit with the Many Events Happening Around the South (December 2015)

Six Places to Celebrate the Holiday Season (December 2015)

So Many Ways to Kick Off the Holiday Season in the South (November 2015)

14 Dazzling Holiday Light Displays Throughout the South to Enjoy Now (November 2015)

Celebrate the Holidays in Minden and North Louisiana with the Louisiana Holiday Trail of Lights (November 2015)

New Twist on an Old Favorite: Amping Up the Grilled Cheese (April 2015)

Celebrate National Soup Month Anytime with Recipes from Benchmark Resorts & Hotels (January 2015)

Move Over Ball Drop - This is How the South Welcomes in the New Year (December 2014)

Ways to Get Your Holiday On in the South (December 2014)

Liven Up Your Thanksgiving Meal with Some Myrtle Beach, S.C.-Style Comfort Foods (November 2014)

Warm Up the Days and the Nights with These Chili Recipes (October 2014)

Creating the Perfect Cheeseburger with Crawford Ker on National Cheeseburger Day (September 2014)

Celebrate National Martini Day with these Recipes (June 2014)

It's Great to be King...Celebrating Mardi Season with King Cake Creations (February 2014)

Celebrate Your Valentine with a Getaway (February 2014)

A MoonPie, Pickle, Red Stick and More...Welcoming in the New Year in the South (December 2013)

Celebrate the Holidays with a New Orleans' Reveillon Dinner (December 2013)

2013 Holiday Gift Guide...Packages and Escapes (December 2013)

2013 Holiday Gift Guide: Books (December 2013)

2013 Holiday Gift Guide: Food and Beverage (December 2013)

2013 Holiday Gift Guide: Made in the South (December 2013)

2013 Holiday Gift Guide: Experiences in the South (December 2013)

End Your Holiday Meal on a Sweet Note courtesy of Chef Sara Thomas (November 2013)

From Their Table to Yours: Holiday Recipes from The Carolina Inn (November 2013)

Firing Up the Grill: Tips and Recipes for a Successful and Tasty Grilling Season (May 2013)

Breakfast for Mom, Southern-Style (May 2013)

Mom-Worthy Hotels in the South (May 2013)

Talkin' Mardi Gras, Shreveport, La. Style (February 2013)

Southern Style: 13 Things You Must Do in 2013 (January 2013)

Holiday Joy: Tips for Creating the Perfect Gingerbread House (December 2012)

Absolutely Southern Gift Guide: Secret is in the Sauce at Raleigh Marriott Crabtree Valley (December 2012)

Absolutely Southern Gift Guide: Make It Memorable and Give the Gift of an Experience (December 2012)

8 Reasons to Visit Louisiana’s Holiday Trail of Lights this Season (December 2012)

Absolutely Southern Gift Guide: Chef's Table at Emeril's Delmonico (December 2012)

Absolutely Southern Gift Guide: Simply Ballastone Cookbook (November 2012)

Treat Your Mom to One of These Eight Southern Destinations (May 2012)

Seeing Various Shades of Green: St. Patrick’s Day Celebrations in the South (March 2012)

It’s Mardi Gras Time in the South (February 2012)

Celebrate Elvis Presley’s Birthday in the South (January 2012)

A MoonPie, a Pickle, a Horseshoe and More: Ringing in the New Year Southern-Style (December 2011)

Celebrate the Holidays New Orleans-Style with a Reveillon Dinner (December 2011)

"Treat" Yourself this Holiday Season with (November 2011)

Holiday Fun in the South After Thanksgiving (November 2011)

Holiday Fun at Gaylord Opryland (November 2011)

Tours and Treats Along Virginia’s Inn to Inn Cookie Trail and Tour (November 2011)

Celebrating Milestones in the South (August 2010)

5 Activities that Add a "Sizzle" to Your Summer Vacation (June 2010)

Forget Gifts, Give Experiences This Mother’s Day (April 2010)

Celebrating Mardi Gras 2010 (February 2010)

Published: May 2012
Treat Your Mom to One of These Eight Southern Destinations  

Why limit honoring mom to only one day when you can turn it into a weekend (or longer.) Give your mom the gift of travel, good for use anytime she needs a getaway.

Need some ideas on where to take your mom? Consider these eight destinations.

Greenwood, Miss.

As the saying goes, “good things come in small packages,” and that holds true with small towns as well. Located in the heart of the Mississippi Delta, Greenwood has many things to do, see and experience. If you can't get to everything in one weekend, then you have a good excuse to come back.

Do: Learn some new techniques and show off new recipes at home when you treat your mom (and yourself) to cooking classes at The Viking Cooking School. Enjoy the movie, The Help?About 95 percent of the filmed was shot on location in Greenwood. Don't miss out on exploring the site along the self-guided tour.

Eat: A visit to Greenwood isn't complete without having at least one (or two) meals at Delta Bistro. Overseen by Chef Taylor Bowen Ricketts (James Beard Awards“Best Chef -South” 2011 semi-finalist nominee), the first thing you notice about the restaurant before you reach the front door is the chef's garden. As for the menu, it features something for every palate. Take the experience up a notch by reserving the chef's table to watch all of the kitchen action.

Stay: Spoil your mom at The Alluvian Hotel. Nestle in for the night in one of the boutique hotel’s 45 rooms and five suites. If timeallows, schedule a spa treatment at their spa. Appeal to mom's quirky side and overnight at The Tallahatchie Flats, six authentic tenant houses with tin roofs.

Mentone, Ala.

Situated atop Lookout Mountain, Mentone is a prime destination where you and your mom can reconnect and recharge. Whether you both enjoy exploring the natural surroundings or the quaint town, one thing is for certain, you won't get tired of being in Mentone.

Do: Get outdoors! Experience the allure of DeSoto State Park and/or Little River Canyon when you hike along any of the numerous trails. You can take in the sights at a slower pace when you and your mom set out to discover all Mentone has to offer. Places that should be on your 'must-see' list include Miracle Pottery & Art Gallery and Artisans LTD, both located near Mentone; and Mentone Log Cabin Village in town.

Eat: The funky ambiance at Wildflower Cafe & Country Store partners perfectly with their food. Enjoy either brunch or lunch here Mondays – Saturdays, or dinner Thursdays- Saturdays. Save room for one of their homemade desserts – a slice triple carrot cake, anyone?

Stay: Step back in time when you step on Mentone Springs Hotel's wraparound porches. Accommodations include four bedrooms with European-style shared bathrooms, and five suites with private bathrooms. Cozy up at Mountain Laurel Inn Bed and Breakfast. A true nature escape, the property is located at the base of DeSoto Falls.You and your mom can take in the views or wander the grounds.

Marietta, Ga.

Marietta may be only 18 miles northwest of Atlanta, but it’s a world away from the hustle of the city. It is a delightful destination for you and your mom to visit.

Do: Browse the exhibits at Marietta Gone with the Wind Museum: Scarlett on the Square , and view such items like the original book, movie memorabilia and costumes, including the bengaline gown worn by Vivien Leigh. Do the “Square” by meandering your way in and out of the many boutique shops. Like to take a tour? Hop on the trolley to learn more about Marietta's rich history. There are ghost tours as well.

Eat: Dine at Chicken and the Egg to enjoy such fare as Georgia Shrimp Po Boy, Seared Sea Scallops and other dishes. Be sure to save room for dessert, because you don't want to miss out on dark chocolate ice cream, praline bread pudding and more.

Stay: Snuggle in at the Hilton/Atlanta Marietta Hotel and Conference Center, located two miles from the historic square. For something a little more intimate, consider the Stanley House Mansion with their five rooms.

Knoxville, Tenn.

There's never a dull moment in East Tennessee's destination, Knoxville. Spend a weekend here, and you and your mom can discover what makes the city special.

Do: Park your car and wander through downtown Knoxville. Be sure to stop in Mast General Store on Gay Street for some pennycandy or a moon pie, among other items. Discover boutiques and eateries in the Market Square District. Have free time around noon? Why not take in a free music performance at WDVX Blue Plate Special at the Knoxville Visitors Center, and afterward buzz through the Visitor’s Center gift shop for a special souvenir. Before dinner, head over to Old City District and sample wines from BlueSlip Winery. The city's first winery is also the state's first urban winery. Styles to taste include red, white and fruit.

Eat: Savor the dishes at The Crown and Goose. Chose among traditional British fare (Shepard's Pie), Small plates (Pan Seared Crab Cake), Proper Suppers (Stuffed Ashley Farms Chicken ) and more. If you like seafood, definitely order the freshly shucked oysters. When it comes to desserts, why not go for it all and order the Royal Sampler.

Stay: Make it easy on you and your mom by staying downtown. Spend the night at Hilton Knoxville, home to downtown's only Starbucks as well as other amenities. For something a little different, consider Maplehurst Inn, an 18thcentury mansion. The inn features 13 rooms on four floors, each with their private bathrooms.

Anderson, S.C.

Located in the northwest corner of South Carolina (“The Upstate”), Anderson is situated in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains on the shores of Lake Hartwell. The town is a great home-base for exploring the surrounding area. However, before you set out, you do want to spend some time discovering Anderson.

Do: Discover life in Anderson County with “Small Town Life”self-guided driving tour. Pick up a brochure at the Convention and Visitors Bureau, and set out to view historic sites and the countryside. For the adventurous, take in the area from above a hot air balloon ride. Offered through Skyscapes of America, the three-hour flight, with one hour in the air, departs in the morning. Be sure to bring your camera. The surrounding area is filled with all sorts of gems. Head over Split Creek Farm in nearby Pendleton, and pick up some fresh goat cheese or other goat milk based products.If it's a beautiful day, why not pick some berries at Happy Berry Farms in Six Mile.

Eat: Enjoy lunch (or dinner) at Sullivan's Metropolitan Grill in downtown Anderson. Start out with their Sweet Potato Cheese Chips and then select your main course. Will all of the options available, you can't go wrong with any dish.

Stay: Relax at the boutique Bleckley Inn in downtown Anderson. The 14-rooms are tucked inside a restored historic building, complete with original heart pine flooring.

St. Augustine, Fla.

Let the nation's oldest city dazzle you and your mom during a getaway. You both will realize there is something new to discover on nearly every corner of St. Augustine.

Do: The best way to enjoy a city is through a tour and City Walks offers two good ones that shouldn't be missed. Savory Faire introduces you to St. Augustine's rich culinary offerings, while the newer Tour de Chocolate focuses on chocolate. Don't miss the Old Town Trolley Tour, complete with guides telling about the history of the city as the trolley transports you to different sites.

Eat: Indulge your senses at the cozy Bistro de Leon. Headed up by Chef Jean-Stephane Poinard, let him introduce you to cuisine with a French-flair. Enjoy a bowl of Original Lyon Soup for an appetizer, followed by either a seafood, meat or poultry entree. Be sure to finish your meal so you can enjoy a dessert or two.

Stay: Much like St.Augustine itself, the accommodations are one-of-a-kind. Consider weekending at one of the five Inns of Elegance, each with its own special story and ambiance that is only found here. Another option is the historic Casa Monica Hotel, featuring 138 guest rooms and suites.

Bardstown, Ky.

Known as the Bourbon Capital of the world, Bardstown also has the honor of being Kentucky's second oldest city. Spend a weekend here and find out why it's been called one of “The 100 Best Small Towns in America.”

Do: Learn about the intricacies of bourbon with the master - Colonel Michael Masters at the Chapeze House. Explore Bardstown by foot with either self-guided Walking Attractions self-guided tour or the Historic Attractions Walking tour. Make your way over the My Old Kentucky Home State Park and walk the grounds.

Eat: Head to the family-owned Circa Restaurant for either lunch or dinner. Within an intimate setting, the creative dishes are prepared by father and daughter chefs.

Stay: Experience true southern hospitality with a stay at Rosemark Haven. Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, the property offers seven rooms in the main house and a separate guest house (Federal House) with two bedrooms. The four-room Red Rose Inn, located within walking distance of downtown, is another property listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

Loudoun County, Va.

Turn you and your mom's getaway into a culinary and winery escape when you visit Loudoun County, Va. Home to five wine clusters featuring 28 wineries and tasting rooms, a distillery and a microbrewery; as well as nine destination restaurants, everyone will find something to enjoy.

Do: Get lost in the countryside and explore the wineries. Sip and taste from such places as Chrysalis Vineyards in Middleburg and 8 chains north in Waterford. While out and about, you need to make your way to the old-fashion Philomont General Store (in Philomont) for a quick sandwich and a souvenir or two.

Eat: You can't go wrong with a meal at any of the nine destination restaurants. For example, enjoy lunch at The Red Fox Inn and Tavern (be sure to sample their Virginia Peanut Soup) in Middleburg, followed by dinner at The Restaurant at Patowmack Farm in Lovettsville, which serves seasonal fare.

Stay: Make home base Lansdowne Resort in Leesburg. The property has 296 rooms, including 14 suites. Scheduled enough free time on the itinerary to enjoy a spa treatment at Spa Minérale. You can opt to stay in one of the quaint towns, like Middleburg at the eight-room Middleburg Country Inn. The property is conveniently located within walking distance of the town's shops and restaurants.

photo credit personal collection