Southern hospitality, delicious food and a wealth of musical talent all combine to form the charm that radiates from southern USA. Experience the magic of Gone with the Wind and learn the humble roots of Elvis Presley and the great Martin Luther King. Spend time soaking up the party atmosphere of ‘The Big Easy’ or marvel at the beautiful architecture of Savannah. Immerse yourself in the blues on Beale Street or the capital of country Nashville the Deep South is exciting and unique.
The birthplace of Scarlet O’Hara is Atlanta and author Margaret Mitchell
lived and died here. It is hard to escape Gone with the Wind in Georgia’s capital and there is a museum boasting an impressive collection of memorabilia from both the novel and the film.
Martin Luther King
was Atlanta’s most famous son and a humbling museum dedicated to the life and work of this amazing man is well worth a visit.
The varied music scene of the Deep South is arguably most evident in Tennessee. The capital of country music is Nashville and the ultimate venue is the Grand Ole Opry House
where every Friday and Saturday legends and current stars perform. There is a Country Music Hall of Fame
where a million artefacts to Country, Blues and Pop can be found. The Blues made its home in Memphis and Beale Street produced some of the greatest legends including WC Handy, BB King and rockers Elvis Presley and Jerry Lee Lewis.
No visit is complete without seeing Graceland, the famous home of Elvis, frozen in time since 1977. Filled with his costumes and showcasing his many cars and motorbikes, the tour culminates in a moving visit to his shrine like resting place in the meditation garden. Elvis was born in Tupelo, Mississippi and you can tour the humble two room house that he grew up in which contrasts with his opulent mansion.
The Mississippi Delta is the birthplace of the blues where over 100 musicians began
their careers including Muddy Waters. The Magnolia State has produced some of the most renowned musicians of all time and you can imagine lazy summer days on a shady veranda with a guitar strumming in the background.
If you have a love of literature many writers hail from here including Tennessee Williams, John Grisham and William Faulkner.
The road between Nashville and Natchez is known as ‘the Natchez Trace Parkway’ and is about 8000-years-old. It has seen travellers such as early Native Indians, outlaws; marching soldiers and early settlers pass by. The drive traverses some diverse scenery including national forests, woodlands and swamps and ends in the romantic town of Natchez with its opulent antebellum homes that pay tribute to the days of wealthy plantation traders. Many of the homes open up to the public and some hostesses dress in traditional southern belle attire to impart their knowledge of their ancestors.
Baton Rouge in Louisiana is also a prime example of the genteel lifestyle with many stately mansions that stretch as far as the Great River Road to New Orleans. Jazz, exotic food and a melting pot of French, Spanish, Creole and Southern style blend together to create ‘The Big Easy’. A visit to the French Quarter with its cobbled streets and 18th and 19th Century buildings is a must. The energy of this 24-hour city can be seen and felt in Bourbon Street with its many clubs and restaurants. Steeped in history harking back to early French Creole settlers, this fascinating city has a unique atmosphere from ‘haunted’ streets to the explosion of the Mardi Gras. Do not miss the food which is a mixture of Creole with its rich and heavy sauces to Cajun spices and plenty of seafood and French influence.
Known as ‘The Natural State’ for its outstanding beauty, Arkansas boasts 52 National Parks scattered across the area. Crystalline lakes feed delicately sparkling mountain rivers in the Ozark Mountains. Waterfalls highlight the mountain cliffs but underground there is a myriad of magical caves to be explored. Hot Springs has picture postcard Victorian architecture, antique shops and art galleries but the biggest draw is the age old mineral waters that claim to have healing properties.
This is the home town to former president Bill Clinton and the William Jefferson Clinton Presidential Centre is located in Little Rock with a museum and park.
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