4 Different Ways To Explore Southern USA
America is one of the world’s most diverse countries and visitors can experience new sights, sounds and cultures by hopping from one state to the next. A stark contrast to other regions of the US, the South is a bona fide melting pot offering an eclectic array of adventures. From bustling cities and pristine ocean-front coastlines to rustic ranches and towns packed with history and charm, there’s something for everyone in the sensational South. Discover our favourite 4 ways to explore Southern USA today.
Our Favourite Southern USA Tours
The Southern states of the USA are incredibly varied and they offer a spectacular selection of holiday types, activities and ways to explore. A trip around the states that are located in the south of the country affords several holidays within a single trip, with each location offering something new and exciting. The scale of the US is vast and there are several ways to get from A to B and some truly mind-blowing itineraries on offer.
From train travel and leisurely cruises to self-drive and guided Southern USA tours packed with activities and excursions, there’s an option for everyone. For visitors looking to enjoy the ultimate Deep South holidays, here are some of the best ideas out there:
1. Self Drive Holidays in Florida
Known as the Sunshine State due to the fact that is almost always bathed in golden sunshine, Florida is a popular destination for tourists looking to enjoy laid-back beach living, as well as the thrills and spills of world-famous theme parks. Florida is a state that offers every kind of adventure imaginable and hiring a car and planning a route is a fantastic way for visitors to explore at their own pace, incorporating attractions and locations that appeal to them. Self drive holidays in Florida afford freedom, flexibility and the chance to discover everything this wonderful state has to offer.
With a self-drive holiday, there’s scope to design a personalised itinerary but for those travellers who are looking for inspiration, here’s a suggested Florida self drive route:
Miami is the first port of call for those looking to live it up in one of the most aesthetically pleasing and effortlessly cool cities in the world. Located on the water, Miami is a visual treat, with ocean-flanked hotels and skyscrapers giving way to Art Deco styling in the trendy suburbs of South Beach. Miami is a place to party, soak up the sun and embrace those chilled-out vibes. Having spent some time enjoying the sun-drenched beaches, head for the tropical paradise of Magic City before taking a walking tour of Little Havana and the Art Deco district.
A world away from the energy and neon lights of Miami, visitors will encounter the ocean-front oasis of Key West. A beautiful resort, which is famed for its pristine beaches, swaying palms and classy restaurants, hotels and bars, this is the perfect place to unwind, kick back and take in the views. The Sunset Celebration, which takes place at Mallory Square, is a must.
On departing Key West, head north towards the frenetic Orlando parks, taking a break to explore the incredible natural wonders of the Everglades and enjoy the sun at Fort Myers Beach.
The next stop is the thriving, thrilling resort of Orlando, one of the most famous holiday destinations on the planet. Here, visitors can embrace their wild side, taking on spine-tingling rides and enjoying an unbeatable adrenaline rush. There are also amazing opportunities to see wildlife at Animal Kingdom and to meet Disney’s much-loved stars, a highlight for little and big kids!
The final leg of the journey stretches from Orlando to Fort Lauderdale. Leaving the magical kingdoms behind, stop en route at Kennedy Space Centre before spending the night in the city known as the Venice of America. Fort Lauderdale has earned this title due to its impressive network of waterways.
Find out more about our popular Florida Self Drive now.
2. Mississippi River Cruises & New Orleans
New Orleans is one of the most captivating and culturally unique cities in the US. A fascinating melange of American, French and African influences, New Orleans is a place that is famed for its cuisine, its live music scene and it’s quirky, distinctive aesthetic identity. For those who are keen to enjoy the energy of this incredible region and explore further afield than the city itself, a cruise on the Mississippi is a fabulous option.
Mississippi river cruises are ideally suited to those eager to see the South and its charms. Offering the opportunity to explore at a sedate, relaxed pace and take in some truly incredible scenery en route, we highly recommend an eight-day tour, guaranteed to leave lasting memories.
Beginning in New Orleans, take in a clutch of stunning locations before heading back to the Big Easy for a final night of dining, dancing and drinking. The first stop is Oak Alley Plantation, an antebellum mansion, which has been sympathetically restored to its former glory with breathtaking results. Named after its distinguished collection of 300 oak trees, the dense, verdant canopy creates a pathway to the river shores stretching a quarter of a mile.
The next port of call is the historic city of Natchez, bursting with beautiful homes, colourful gardens and museums. After a guided tour, visitors will be treated to a concert at J.N Stone House. On leaving Natchez, the boat will glide gently to the city of Vicksburg, which played an instrumental role in the American Civil War. After enjoying a guided tour, complete with commentary, guests will make for the charming waterfront town of St Francisville. Dating back to 1809, this quaint town is typical of the Deep South and it is famed for its historic plantations.
Before turning back and making for New Orleans, the boat will dock in Baton Rouge, the capital of Louisiana. The Louisiana State Museum here is well worth a visit and both the Old State Capitol and the current building are sights to behold.
Get excited for your Mississippi River Cruise holiday.
3. Cowboy Country By Train
When you think about the Deep South, images of vast plains, cattle farms, ranches and saloons that are adorned with rustic wooden bat-wing doors spring to mind. For fans of Westerns and those keen to engage in the traditional ways of living in the Lone Star state, there’s nothing better than exploring ‘Cowboy Country’. It is possible to drive around but our favourite way to move from one location to the next without missing out on the views here is to travel by train.
Leaving from Dallas, an eight-day rail holiday in this iconic land takes in some of the most high-profile cities in Texas, affording visitors the chance to witness the wonders of this unique state along the way. From old-school cattle stations to hip cities, this trip really has it all!
Having spent time in the energetic and charismatic city of Dallas, visitors will depart for San Antonio, a historic place that attracts visitors from all corners of the globe each year. The Alamo is a highlight for many but there are multiple attractions to enjoy, including the Buckhorn Saloon and Museum, the River Walk and Mission San Jose. The Texas Ranger Museum is the perfect base to learn all about Texas’ vibrant and rich history and is well worth a stop to immerse yourself in the culture of the region.
The next leg of the journey showcases the state’s vast prairies in all their sun-lit glory, taking visitors from San Antonio to the bustling, modern city of Houston. Here, guests can tick off an array of attractions, including the Houston Space Center, Kemah Boardwalk and the Museum of Natural Science.
Discover more about our Cowboy Country Rail Holiday now.
4. Spirit of the South Guided Tour
For the ultimate deep south holiday, experience a tour that is designed to show off the very best of the South. Pick our 17-day extravaganza, the perfect option for those looking for a whistle-stop tour of the highlights of this enchanting region of the USA, taking you on a guided trip through the states of Georgia, North Carolina, Tennessee, Kentucky, Mississippi and Louisiana.
Packed with all kinds of adventures, this tour offers everything from the chance to explore the USA’s most popular national park, the Great Smoky Mountains, to the opportunity to walk in the footsteps of the King of Rock ‘n’ Roll at Gracelands. The itinerary begins in the lively city of Atlanta and ends in New Orleans, taking in Asheville, Gatlinberg, Lexington, Louisville, Nashville, Memphis and Natchez along the way. This is a truly magical opportunity to explore the diverse towns and cities of the South, while also taking in jaw-dropping scenery and taking advantage of the chance to learn all about the intriguing, chequered history of the region.
This tour offers a huge amount in the way of excursions and sightseeing opportunities. Highlights include:
- Discovering the rugged natural beauty of the Great Smoky Mountains
- Learning all about musical legends and icons of the South such as Johnny Cash
- Visiting the home of Elvis Presley, Graceland
- Soaking up the atmosphere and catching a live performance in Nashville or Memphis
- Touring plantations in Natchez and Oak Alley
- Sampling the best bourbon in the USA
- Learning how to master creole cooking and embracing the buzz of New Orleans
Take all the hassle out of planning by picking our Spirit of the South Guided Tour.
Southern USA offers magnificent sightseeing and cultural opportunities, and there are myriad of ways to get around and enjoy the unique scenery found here. From catching trains in Texas, cruising the iconic waters of the Mississippi and driving Florida’s flawless palm-lined coast, to taking the ultimate southern states tour, there’s a Deep South Holiday to suit you.