Hop in the car, get on a flight, and check into one of your favorite affordable hotels – it’s time to venture south! The southern states in the U.S. have some of the most beautiful and exciting attractions to see while on vacation with the family. Each area has its own spirit, so trips can be catered to your needs and desires. Explore the forests of Arkansas, jam out to live music in Tennessee, or simply soak up the rays in Florida. The choice is yours! Here are a few ideas to get started:
Lake Charles, Louisiana
Louisiana has so much to offer outside of New Orleans. The vibrant foodie scene of Cajun and Creole influence only grazes the surface in the capital city. To have a truly authentic experience, head west to the Lake Charles district, where you’ll find everything from lazy boat rides to stops along the Southwest Louisiana Boudin Trail – have your fill of traditional sausages any time of day! There’s chic and expansive hotels throughout Lake Charles, too, many of which offer casinos on the property and tons of activities. Be brave and try some local alligator legs washed down with some Bayou Rum!
Savannah’s old-world charm and beautiful scenic strolls are perfect for travel groups that love to be outside but enjoy a city setting, too. You can get lost for hours in Savannah’s fun shops and restaurants along the river. The kids who are into transportation will go wild over the Georgia State Railroad Museum. Just outside the city are some great water parks for warmer weather as well, including Summer Waves on Jekyll Island.
Arkansas in general is a state full of lush green parks, incredible culture, and a hearty music scene. Who knew? Take the kids to see Walton’s, the original Wal-Mart, to peruse old-timey items and history. Older kids and parents will love staying at the 21c Bentonville, a design hotel doubling as an art gallery. Just outside downtown Bentonville is Crystal Bridges – a large, famed art museum that’s free to the public and has gorgeous garden grounds.
Sanibel Island, Florida
Florida is known to be a mecca for family gatherings, especially in Orlando, Miami, and even Daytona Beach. But on the Gulf Coast side, there is just as much to offer – and it’s a little less commercialized. It’s well worth taking the whole crew to this side of the state for plenty of sunshine, gentle waves, and fantastic outdoor active pursuits. On Sanibel Island, for instance, you can take a kayaking adventure through Tarpon Bay’s mangroves, which is good for almost all ages, or go on a boat ride over to Cabbage Key while dolphins dance along the bow.
Where do you like to travel in the southern part of the U.S.? Which is your favorite state?