If you’re headed south this summer, you’ll find that the folks living in the region are as warm as the weather. From the foothills of the Smoky Mountains to the banks of the Mississippi, a sweet summertime escape to the South awaits. Connect with history, feast on decadent dishes and recharge on a front porch with a glass of sweet tea. We’ve rounded up some of the top destinations in Southern cities and the best places to stay. Here are our top picks:
Asheville, North Carolina
Known for its vibrant art scene, historic architecture, fine shopping, spectacular dining, and the legendary Biltmore Estate, it’s no wonder why Asheville was dubbed as one of the “coolest cities in the South”. A short stroll from downtown Asheville and you’ll stumble upon the incredibly sweet Carolina Bed & Breakfast. With its yellow stucco exterior and almost an acre of lush gardens, the 1901 Arts and Crafts Style B&B is the kind of place you visit for wonderful conversation, great food, and a good front porch. In a town like Asheville, which prides itself as a foodie haven, the Carolina Bed & Breakfast has earned a reputation for cuisine that’s creative, fresh and prepared with love. From its sumptuous breakfasts to its hot and cold canapés that range from coconut shrimp to peach ricotta bruschetta, the inn believes that food is a celebration. Enjoy a leisurely stay in one of the inns six well-appointed rooms featuring original artwork and antiques.
One of Tennesee’s best-kept foodie secrets and famously known as Dolly Parton’s hometown, the small town of Sevierville nestled in The Smoky Mountains offers travelers an ideal southern summer escape. At the crossroads of local heritage and hospitality, you’ll find Blue Mountain Mist Country Inn and Cottages. Picture sitting in a rocking chair on a wraparound porch, a cup of coffee in hand, watching as blue mist emerges from the valleys. Or imagine listening to the birds sing while sipping on a refreshing glass of Southern sweet tea? Or maybe you’d like to indulge in a slice of Blue Mist Cream Cake? Sounds pretty good, doesn’t it? The inn’s 10,000 square foot Victorian farmhouse features 12 rooms and five romantic cottages in the rolling foothills of East Tennessee. Your shady hammock awaits.
New Orleans, Louisiana
Effortlessly blending both the past and present with plenty of Nawlin’s flare, Avenue Inn Bed and Breakfast transports guests back to a time of antebellum and Southern splendor. Tucked in the heart of the Garden District, and nestled among the centuries-old oaks on the famed St. Charles Avenue Streetcar line, this 1891 Thomas Sully mansion offers turn-of-the-century charm to match its historic location. Stroll down to Magazine Street to find specialty boutiques and bistros, and start each morning with a delicious continental breakfast served on the Creole-style veranda. After a day of exploring NOLA, retreat to your uniquely furnished room for a great night’s rest.
With its emerald tree canopy, quaint cobblestone streets and historic beauty, it’s easy to fall in love with the city of Savannah. With plenty of local activities, charm, and beauty, the beloved coastal city offers something for everyone to indulge in. Nestled in the heart of the historic district on Oglethorpe Square, The President’s Quarters Inn features 16 richly appointed suites, each named after a United States President who has visited the city. Several rooms feature private balconies overlooking the courtyard garden. You can expect a gourmet breakfast made-to-order each morning, enjoyed in the historic inn’s front parlor, or in the courtyard gazebo, relax with afternoon hors d’oeuvres and wine, and indulge in evening cordials and your nightly turndown service.
Brimming with spectacular river views and a rich history, the storied Magnolia State town of Natchez beckons travelers looking for to dive into a truly distinctive Southern story. From its vantage point on the highest bluff of the Mississippi River, this Southern town is home to countless eateries, shops, live music festivals, and more. Escape to quieter times and a place rich in both history and comfort at Devereaux Shields House. In a city known for its architecture, the inn is a lovely Queen Anne Victorian home set on pristinely manicured gardens lush in Natchez crepe myrtles and camellias. Enjoy your stay in the main house or Aunt Clara’s Cottage, a four-room guest cottage with a lovely front porch. The inn is a short stroll to the Mississippi River Bluff, the old town center and both the Historic and Garden districts of Natchez.