The Best Things To Do In Georgia & The Carolinas
There’s nothing quite like a tour of the Deep South to provide an insight into the fascinating diversity of the United States of America. A region steeped in history, bursting with cultural experiences and attractions that draw crowds from all corners of the globe, Georgia and the Carolinas have so much to offer. Famed for live music, indulgent food, pristine, sun-soaked beaches, vibrant cities and serious soul and old-fashioned charm, the Deep South is an incredible location for an authentic American holiday. For those looking to put together an itinerary, here are the best things to do in Georgia and the Carolinas.
Things To Do In Georgia
Georgia is a vast state, which offers everything from bustling cities like Atlanta to rustic, old-school towns that are packed with live music venues, traditional eateries and quirky watering holes.
There’s a host of activities, excursions and attractions available to travellers looking to explore the state, as well as those keen to head further afield and discover the unique charm of the Deep South. The best things to do in Georgia include:
Savannah Historic District
The Savannah Historic District is a region of the city of Savannah, which dates back to the days before the American Civil War. Famed for its grid pattern of streets and avenues, and its striking architecture, a trip to this part of town catapults you back in time.
Ambling around the tree-lined pavements is a relaxing way to see the sights but those keen to take on a more structured tour can book a seat on the trolley tour. This rustic mode of transport is the perfect way to travel in an area that appears to be frozen in time. Occupying more than two square kilometres of the city, the historic district is known as the beating heart of Savannah. Over the years, it has been lovingly restored and preserved, and it’s a colourful, vibrant gem that should be a must for every Georgia itinerary. Look out for coloured houses, cobbled streets, historical monuments, grand suburban villas and open squares adorned with trees and flowers.
Book your Savannah Old Town Trolley Tour now.
The World of Coca Cola
Located in the heart of Atlanta, the World of Coca Cola is a museum dedicated to the soft drinks giant. A sprawling, 20-acre complex, this attraction provides visitors with an intriguing insight into the story of the brand, how it came to be a global power and how its most famous drinks are made.
There’s an impressive collection of interactive displays, as well as a tasting lounge, which offers the opportunity to taste over 100 different drinks. Visitors looking to stock up on souvenirs will also have the chance to buy all kinds of branded merchandise before heading home. Guided tours are available and are definitely a must for Coke lovers out there!
Atlanta is a thriving, modern city, which offers a gear change from the languid pace of life so often associated with the Deep South.
The city is bursting at the seams with shops, restaurants and cafes, and it also boasts an array of unique sights to explore. In addition to the World of Coca Cola, visitors can also learn about the history and story of Martin Luther King at the Martin Luther King Jr National Historic Site and gain an understanding of how a leading news network runs with a tour of CNN Atlanta. To the east of the city, visitors will find Stone Mountain, an imposing stone stack, which is thought to be the world’s largest granite monolith. The stone is imprinted with a frieze of leading Confederate figures. To reach the rock, visitors can hop on a cable car and ascend in style!
From Atlanta, pick up the popular Deep South and Delta Blues Small Group Tour.
Things To Do In North Carolina
Known as the Old North State and the Tar Heel State, North Carolina is located to the north of South Carolina and the west of Tennessee. Occupying an expansive stretch of coastline that straddles the Atlantic Ocean, North Carolina is a state that offers everything from serene beaches and secluded coves to picturesque towns and national parks that attract millions of visitors every year. Some of the best things to do in North Carolina include:
The Great Smoky Mountains
A ridge of mountain peaks located on the border between North Carolina and Tennessee, the Great Smoky Mountains form part of the Appalachian Mountains.
As America’s most popular national park, it’s not hard to see why droves of tourists and locals flock here to spot wildlife and enjoy the mesmerising scenic views. The diversity of flora and fauna is world famous, and those hoping to stumble on resident creatures should keep their eyes peeled for black bears, deer, racoons, red and grey foxes and squirrels, and skunks. There’s also a vast array of bird species on display within the park.
There are various hiking routes available, which are designed to take in the most aesthetically pleasing parts of the park and visitors can also drive around designated areas. In addition to hiking and bird watching, travellers can also enjoy fishing, cycling and horseback riding.
The nearby town of Asheville is also worth visiting when planning a day in the mountains. Boasting a bustling arts and music scene, the town is decorated with architectural treasures that span the ages. The Biltmore Estate is a highlight for many. A glorious estate fashioned on a renaissance chateau, this spectacular feat of engineering was built by George Washington Vanderbilt. It has more than 200 rooms and decadent manicured gardens, and visitors can also enjoy wonderful views of the Blue Ridge Mountains.
Take in the Great Smoky Mountains on the Spirit of the South Guided Tour.
The Outer Banks
The Outer Banks is an archipelago comprising a series of barrier islands nestled just off the coast of North Carolina. Separated from the mainland, these island idylls provide a perfect base for soaking up the sun, fishing, water sports, swimming, snorkelling and diving.
A beautiful destination for a chilled out holiday, the Outer Banks is also geared towards those looking for action and adventure. There’s a raft of activities on offer and plenty of events running throughout the year to keep visitors entertained. Popular activities include boating, fishing and water sports, whilst land-based options range from biking and bird watching to off-roading, hiking and golf. There’s a selection of restaurants, shops, hotels, bars and cafes available, in addition to yoga centres, galleries, artisan markets and wildlife parks.
Things To Do In South Carolina
Sandwiched between Georgia and North Carolina, South Carolina is affectionately known as the Palmetto State in recognition of the official state tree. A melting pot of old and new, South Carolina is everything you imagine when you think of old-fashioned America.
A green state scattered with lakes, meadows and mountain ridges, not to mention a golden coastline, South Carolina is among the most visually arresting regions in the country. There’s a sedate pace of life, old-school hospitality isn’t hard to find and you can’t help but feel like you’ve travelled back in time.
The good life reigns supreme here and a trip takes in everything from stately mansions, historic plantations and sandy beaches to towns oozing character from every orifice. There’s a huge range of things to do in South Carolina. Here are some musts for every visitor:
Charleston is one of the most iconic cities in the US. A cultural gem, which has been polished over the course of centuries of unrest and revolution, Charleston offers a feast for the senses. The aesthetic of the city is unapologetically alluring, with streets lined with colourful houses and architectural features that display the finest design and engineering concepts of eras that stretch from the 1700’s to the modern day.
The people are everything you’d expect from a city that encapsulates and embodies southern charm, the music is loud and live and the food is to die for. Think hearty, warming dishes that might as well as leap off the plate and give you a giant hug. Although steeped in history, Charleston’s contemporary gastronomy scene is thriving and its diversity is turning heads the world over. Today, eating in Charleston is synonymous both with fine dining with flair and comfort eating with serious flavour.
This is a magical city which has a romantic vibe that offers a refreshing alternative to more modern, cosmopolitan American cities. When staying in Charleston, take a few days to explore the area. Popular attractions include Fort Sumter National Monument, the French Quarter, McLeod Plantation and Old Slave Mart Museum.
From Charleston, explore the Historic South on this 8 day coastal cruise.
Magnolia Plantation and Gardens
A short drive from the centre of Charleston, Magnolia Plantation is a beautifully-preserved traditional South Carolina plantation, which is surrounded by dazzling gardens. Dating back to 1676, the plantation was founded by the Drayton family. It was opened to the public in 1870 and visitors can take tours throughout the year. The house is a sight to behold but the gardens steal the show for most visitors. Characterised by swathes of colour, intricate patterns and vivid, verdant lawns, there’s also a maze to enjoy and a swamp garden. The site also has a petting zoo.
Discover the best of South Carolina with our Old Southern Heritage Self Drive.
The South of the USA is a fascinating region, which goes a long way to cement the notion that America is one of the most diverse countries in the world. Georgia, North Carolina and South Carolina afford visitors a glimpse into what is meant by southern charm, treating travellers to old-fashioned hospitality as well as the opportunity to enjoy a vast array of activities and take in incredible sights and attractions. Whether searching for beach bliss, unique cultural experiences or a trip back in time, these things to do in Georgia and the Carolinas will not disappoint.
Combine Savannah, Charleston and Atlanta in one ultimate Southern America Self Drive.