Soul food, warm weather, and hospitality are some of the things that come to mind when thinking of the Deep South. The Southern pocket of America is known for “taking it easy” and if you are like me it feels just like home (despite being born and raised in Chicago). Here are a few Southern cities that you should definitely visit.
Savannah is the oldest city in the state and is known for it hospitality, hence its nickname the “Hostess of the South.” Touring Savannah’s downtown district is like taking a step back in time as the historical architecture and brick-laid streets remain intact. Venture to the river walk for a wide variety of dining. Do not miss out on seafood. Since Savannah is situated right on the water, fresh seafood is plentiful. Swing by Lulu’s Chocolate Bar and try one of their dessert martinis. Their birthday cake martini will make you give up cake and ice cream for your birthday and turn to cocktails instead.
Savannah is also just a few miles away from Tybee Island and Hilton Head which are two great resort islands, where you can recline in the sand, take in the sun, and sip sweet tea in true Southern fashion.
New Orleans, Louisiana
New Orleans, also known as the “Big Easy,” is a must see when touring America’s Deep South. There is something for everyone in this city. Most people are familiar with Bourbon Street. However, the French Quarter has much more to offer. This historical area is filled with amazing dining and entertainment. Visit the Irvin Mayfield Jazz Playhouse where you can enjoy their signature cocktails and hors d’oeuvres while taking in the rhythms of jazz. After the show, walk towards the river and grab a table at Cafe du Monde for a fresh order of beignets.
For daytime entertainment, take a cruise aboard Steamboat Natchez. This two hour cruise along the Mississippi River will allow you to capture views of the city from the waterways. There is also a soul food brunch and live music entertainment during the cruise. Once you dock, take a stroll down Magazine Street, which is lined with shops and more dining options. This is also the street many parades take place during Mardi Gras.
Last, but not least on our Southern city tour is Memphis. This city is famous for Blues music and barbecue, which you cannot possibly miss during your visit there. Upon arrival, check-in the famous Peabody Hotel which is still just as luxurious as it was during its glory days in the 1930s.
While touring the city visit BB King’s Blues Club on the iconic Beale Street, where you can eat, drink, and dance all night. You must also visit Erling Jensen, one of Memphis native’s favorite restaurants. Chef Jensen is famous for creating unique renditions of Southern cuisine such as pairing pan fried quail with grits and complimenting the dish with a select wine choice.
These Southern cities offer a wide array of entertainment and dining experience that can provide the ultimate travel experience.