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

Elevate your holiday gift giving to a new level this year when you give your loved ones unique and one-of-a-kind gifts from the South.

From experiences to hotel packages, there is truly something for everyone, including the one that has everything and the one that is most difficult to buy for.

And you might also see a few things for yourself as well, because after all, don’t you deserve something for making it through the holidays?


  • Take on the Chattahoochee River (located in Columbus, Ga., and Phenix City, Ala.) with Whitewater Express. Check out the Chattahoochee Season Passes. Choices include the Classic Season Passes, starting with eight visits for the price of $7, $227.00; or the Challenge Season Passes, starting with six visits for the price of five, $242.50. Season passes expire December 31, 2014.

  • Discover Wilmington, N.C.’s culinary scene through Culinary Adventures with food writer/culinary tour guide Liz Biro. Choose from the Downtown Wilmington Restaurant Walking Tour that features insider tips, local food traditions, restaurant scoop, chef demonstrations, tastings and more, or opt for the Drinks Downtown Cocktail Walking Tour and visit Wilmington’s favorite watering holes and taste signature cocktails, microbrews, wine/cupcake pairings, and meet top mixologists. The Top Chef Farmers Market Tour and Cooking Class on Saturday mornings includes enjoying fresh produce prepared by one of Wilmington’s celebrated chefs.

  • Learn the art of making moonshine with Dark Corner Distillery's (Greenville, S.C.) moonshine making class. Led by head distiller, Paul Fulmer, attendees will learn grain science, fermentation, filtration, distillation, proofing, bottling, and aging. Upon graduation, each student will receive an official Dark Corner Distillery certificate of completion, a bottle of un-aged corn whiskey (moonshine) and a Dark Corner Distillery t-shirt.

  • Give the gift of a guided quail hunt (half or full day) with Shadow Oak Plantation in Berrien County, Ga.

  • Take to the air with Fantasy of Flight in Polk City, Fla. Board the New Standard D-25 for a 15-minute Central Florida scenic flight. The Boeing Stearman PT-17 is a 30-minute experience that allows you to take control in flight.

  • Get back to nature while exploring another side of Alabama’s Gulf Coast with BeachnKayak Rentals. Offering guided tours throughout the year (please contact for current and/or to make arrangements), it is a great opportunity to get off the beaten path to recharge and reconnect.

  • For the NASCAR fan in your life, give them a “ride experience” from Richard Petter Driving Experience. There is something for all level of interest (and budget), such as Ride Along (three high speed laps sitting shotgun in a NASCAR) to Rookie Experience (eight laps in the driver’s seat of a NASCAR race car) to Advanced Racing Experience (40 laps) and more. There is even a Junior Ride-Along for the younger fans.

  • Journey with the Gentle Giants at Georgia Aquarium in Atlanta is the number one program in the world to experience an artificial wildlife encounter. It is the only opportunity in the world where guests are guaranteed to swim with whale sharks, the largest fish in the world, in Georgia Aquarium's 6.3 million gallon exhibit – Ocean Voyager. Guests can suit up and SCUBA dive or snorkel with thousands of amazing animals for the experience of a lifetime. Check out their other interactions such as the Beluga & Friends Interactive Program and Sea Otter Encounter, too.

  • Discover the culinary gems of Miami, Fla., with Miami Culinary Tours. Chose from such experiences as the Little Havana Tour, the South Beach Food Tour and others.

  • Learn to “hang ten” with Pure Life Surf School in Daytona Beach, Fla. Chose from private or group lessons. They also offer Stand-Up Paddle (SUP) lessons as well.

  • Give the gift of tank driving, car crushing or other adrenaline adventures found at Tank Town USA in Morganton, Ga.

  • Learn about Pensacola, Fla.’s rich past with Go Retro tours. Learn about colonial Pensacola or more about Pensacola during the Civil War. There is also a tour the focuses on the many landmarks of the city, as well as a ghost tour.

  • Get up close with a penguin from Moody Garden’s (Galveston, Texas) Aquarium Pyramid South Atlanta Exhibit with the Moody Gardens Public Penguin Encounter. Great for the entire family, the experience begins with a behind-the-scene look at the food preparation kitchen, and the exhibit. Led by a biologist, everything about penguins will be discussed and answered.

  • For those planning to vacation any where between Destin, Fla. to 30-A can now learn how to create a sand sculpture like a pro with SandCastle Lessons from Beach Sand Sculptures.

  • Spend the weekend in Natchez , Miss., while learning how to cook with chef Regina Charboneau at Twin Oaks Bed and Breakfast. From the “Cooking Class Package” to the “All About You” package, each one offers different amenities and experiences.

  • For the music lover, let them rock, roll and stroll through Macon, Ga.’s colorful music history with Rock Candy Tours. They offers walking tours in downtown Macon that feature miles of historic sites that helped shape rhythm and blues, southern rock, new wave punk and even the music business today.

  • Check out the many culinary tours offered by Charleston Culinary Tours. Stimulate your appetite and mind a chose among such tours as the Upper King Street Culinary Tour, Chefs’ Kitchen Tour, Chef’s Showcase at the Farmers Market Tour and more.

  • People come from the beaches and stay for the experiences that can be found in Panama City Beach, Fla. For those who are heading this way in 2014, some potential gift ideas include Gulf World’s “Swim with the Dolphins” or other programs like “Trainer for a Day,” “Sea Lion Meet N Greet,” and more. Learn how to Stand Up Paddle board (SUP) with Waves 2 You or Walking on Water (WOW). View the beach from the air with a helicopter tour. Take Flyboard lessons, which is basically flying over the water in a water-powered jetpack.

  • Treat someone special to one of three culinary weekends offered through the Viking Cooking School in Greenwood, Miss.

  • Get the race fan in your life 2014 season tickets for Bristol Motor Speedway. If they are into music festivals, get them tickets to the 2014 Bristol Rhythm & Roots Reunion.

  • What do you give the foodie that has everything? Tickets to the upcoming Food Network South Beach Wine & Food Festival presented by FOOD & WINE.

photo credit: Gift Wrapping 15, flickr, creative commons by origamiguy