Our next stop in our road trip guide is going to be the Southern states. From the Big Easy to Elvis Presley's home base, you’ll find yourself practically overwhelmed with activities to do and delicious food to eat as you enjoy a much-needed dose of Southern hospitality.

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New Orleans, Louisiana


What to do


Take a Mule and Carriage Ride

A lot of cities have horse-drawn carriages available for tourists, but have you ever explored a city in a mule-drawn carriage? New Orleans has several tour groups that bring visitors around the city’s highlights - It’s unique, just like the Big Easy!

Visit the French Quarter

Take a walk through the “Crown Jewel of New Orleans” and take in the sites of this historic neighborhood. You’ll find a wonderful collection of old sites and modern attractions to learn and shop from. With its array of fortune tellers, ghost tours, French markets, and music, you’ll never find yourself bored in the French Quarter!

Preservation Hall

While you’re in the French Quarter, don’t forget to head on over to St. Peter Street to catch a Jazz concert. A city staple, Jazz music is a huge part of the culture, so make sure to check the calendar and buy tickets to a show to get the full New Orleans experience.

Where to eat


Café Du Monde

This historic cafe first opened in 1862 and has been a New Orleans staple ever since. With its varieties of coffees and other drinks, everyone will be satisfied with their beverage selections, but the true star of the show are their absolutely divine beignets (square French-style donuts covered in powdered sugar).

Commander’s Palace

Take a trip to the Garden District to visit this culinary landmark originally established in 1893. Taking a trip to New Orleans and not eating as much Creole and Cajun food as possible is like going to California and not getting tacos. When it’s time to order, we recommend starting your meal with their Commander’s Creole Gumbo.

Parkway Bakery and Tavern

Just like how a trip to New Orleans isn’t complete without tucking into some beignets and gumbo, po’boys cannot be left out! Po’boys (also known as “poor boys”) are sandwiches made on French bread and usually filled with some type of meat or seafood. If your mouth is watering, then you can’t miss out on Parkway’s Bakery and Tavern. We recommend their Deep Fried Creole BBQ Shrimp.

Where to stay

Mike’s home


Katie’s home


Leslie’s home


Biloxi, Mississippi


What to do


Gulf Coast Gator Ranch & Tours

You can’t take a trip to the south without seeing at least a few alligators. Take a walking tour of an actual gator ranch and even have the opportunity to safely hand-feed some gators. If you haven’t gotten enough of the great outdoors after your time at the ranch, head out on a high-speed airboat for a tour of Moss Point’s swampland.

Take a Ferry to Ship Island

Head out to Ship Island to experience some of Mississippi’s best beaches and sunbathing opportunities without the nuisance of commercial development. If you’re not in the mood for swimming or sunbathing, you can see Civil War era Fort Massachusetts, built around 1858 and learn more about the island’s history.

Where to eat


Coastal Picnic & Company

Enjoy a popup picnic experience and celebrate an anniversary, birthday, date night, or “just because” with the Coastal Picnic & Company. Book your picnic date and choose a location on their site, and they’ll provide you with food provided by Eat Drink Love Catering and one of their signature themes chosen by you: Biloxi Blues, Boho Bliss, Coastal Charm, Pretty in Pink, or one of their seasonal styles. We recommend adding on some gourmet donuts to your picnic to give it that extra dose of sweetness.

Mary Mahoney's Old French House

If you’re in the mood for an upscale dining experience in one of the oldest homes in the United States, then Mary Mahoney’s Old French House is for you! We suggest ordering their Sisters of the Sea Au Gratin.

Half Shell Oyster House

If you find yourself missing the food from New Orleans, then you should make a reservation at Half Shell Oyster House. Specializing in New Orleans-style food and Southern hospitality, you’ll surely have a meal to remember. We recommend trying their shrimp Orleans dish.

Where to stay

Sherrell’s home


Lori’s home


Christie’s home


Visit the South

Memphis, Tennessee


What to do


Visit the Blues Foundation's Blues Hall of Fame

Take the time to learn about the history of blues music at the Blues Hall of Fame. Visitors will learn about the genre of music through ten different exhibits, many of which are interactive. You can also view rare album covers, photographs, and memorabilia.

Tour Graceland

If you’re a fan of Elvis Presley, or if perhaps you watched and loved Baz Luhrman’s new biopic, Elvis (2022), then you can’t miss out on touring Graceland. Purchased by Presley in 1957, Graceland served as his home base and contains a living room, his parents’ bedroom, the kitchen, TV room, pool room, the famous Jungle Room, his father’s office, the newly-enhanced Trophy Building, the Racquetball Building, and Meditation Garden.

Take a Memphis Riverboat Tour

Carve out an hour and a half of your day and take a riverboat tour down the Mississippi river. Passengers have the opportunity to learn about the history of the river as well as enjoy a seasonal dinner or music cruise.

Where to eat


B.B. King’s Blues Club and Restaurant

Eat delicious food, listen to classic soul, rock n’ roll, or blues music, and show off your moves on the dance floor at B.B. King’s (not necessarily in that order). We recommend ordering BB’s Famous Lip Smacking Ribs.

Arcade Restaurant

Grab a bite at Memphis’ oldest restaurant! Originally founded in 1919 by Speros Zepatos, this diner has remained a family-run staple in the city. We recommend ordering the Greek pizza.

Lafayette’s Music Room

This is an ideal place to go if you want to enjoy a great meal while listening to live music seven nights a week. Lafayette’s is known as a place for up-and-coming musicians to perform when launching their careers, such as Billy Joel, KISS, Barry Manilow, J.J. Cale and Leon Russell. We recommend grabbing a slice of their Cajun Crawdad Pizza.

Where to stay

Dana’s home


Tyler’s home


Charlotte, North Carolina


What to do


Pan for gold at the Reed Gold Mine

Take the opportunity to pan for gold at the site of the first documented gold find in the United States and was the largest producer of gold in the country until the start of the California Gold Rush in 1848. Admission to the gold mine is free, and those eight years and older who want to pan for gold need to only pay $3.

Make a splash at the U.S. National Whitewater Center (USNWC)

Grab a paddle and head out on an adventure at the U.S. National Whitewater Center. However, if you’d rather not get wet, you can still visit and try out their ziplines, hiking trails, and yoga classes.

Visit the Daniel Stowe Botanical Garden

While you’re in Charlotte, take the time to reconnect with nature by strolling through the Daniel Stowe Botanical Garden. With several different types of gardens, there’s something to interest everyone with a green thumb. We recommend checking out the orchids when they are in bloom - Their beauty is unmatched!

Where to eat


Midwood Smokehouse

You can’t leave North Carolina without tasting some delicious, authentic Southern-style barbecue. At Midwood, we recommend grabbing your napkins and chowing down on their prime beef brisket.

Oh My Soul

If you’re in the mood for a meat-free meal, then you’ll love this completely vegan restaurant that serves up a host of diverse African-inspired meatless dishes. We recommend digging into their Waka Waka “vurger.”

Where to stay

Charity’s home


Ira Kathryn’s home


Peter’s home


Charleston, South Carolina


What to do


Embark on a swamp tour

Take a guided boat tour through a South Carolinian swamp`for only $5! As you embark on your journey, look out for all of the unique wildlife the swamps have to offer, such as alligators, birds, turtles, and other swamp flora and fauna.

Go on a zipline adventure

Feel the wind hit your face and the thrill of defying gravity as you venture out as part of the Zip Line Canopy tour in Charleston. Explore the Lowcountry as you fly through the trees and get that once-in-a-lifetime view.

Tour Ft. Sumter

History buffs will love touring this historically significant monument, located right in Charleston. In the wake of the 1861 election of Abraham Lincoln as president, Confederate forces fired on Fort Sumter, demanding that Union soldiers vacate the island, marking the beginning of the Civil War.

Where to eat


Florence’s Lowcountry Kitchen

Grab a bite of Southern comfort food at Florence’s Lowcountry Kitchen. Every dish is sure to fill you up with that warm fuzzy feeling, but we recommend ordering their shrimp and grits.


Don’t forget to grab some baked goodies from Clerk’s while you’re in Charleston! If you’re in the mood for a lot of pastries, come in after 1pm and enjoy them for half off. If you want something a little more filling, Clerk’s also offers heartier breakfast meals, but if it’s later in the day and you want something a little more boozy, they have an “off the clock” menu that hosts some alcoholic beverages. If you’ve got a sweet tooth, we recommend grabbing one (or more) of their sunshine cookies.

Where to stay

Hannah’s home


Andrew’s home


Christian’s home


Savannah, Georgia


What to do


Visit the Juliette Gordon Low Birthplace

Whether you were once a Girl Scout, or if you look forward to your yearly boxes of Thin Mints, you’ll love taking a trip to Julliette Gordon Low’s birthplace. Born in 1860, Low went on to create the Girl Scouts in 1912, which has blossomed into an organization that has inspired more than 60 million girls. From guided tours to afternoon tea to the Girl Scout Troop Experience, you’ll have a blast spending your day celebrating girl power.

Visit Flannery O’Connor’s childhood home

Bookworms will love visiting the childhood home of famous novelist, short story writer, three-time O. Henry award winner, and recipient of a posthumous National Book Award in 1972, Flannery O’Connor. There, literary lovers can visit the Bruckheimer Library where they can view rare books, find rare books and gifts, and take a walk through the garden, where famously a five-year-old O’Connor taught a chicken to walk backwards (Talk about talent!).

Where to eat


The Pirate’s House

If you’ve already binge-watched Our Flag Means Death but are still in the mood for a swashbuckling adventure, then sail over to The Pirate’s House. Once a rest stop for pirates and sailors, this establishment has been converted into a restaurant that still holds tight to its pirate-y roots. We recommend ordering their jumbo lump crab cake and broiled shrimp.

Leopold’s Ice Cream

If you want to satisfy your sweet tooth, then a visit to Leopold’s might be in order! First created in 1919 by brothers and immigrants from Greece, George, Peter and Basil Leopold, this ice cream parlor has been a staple of Savannah for over a century. We recommend getting a scoop (or two) of their Savannah Socialite flavor.

Where to stay

Monica’s bungalow


Nicole’s home


Travel to the South

Key West, Florida


What to do


Visit the Audubon House & Tropical Garden

Fans of history, architecture, nature, and the supernatural will enjoy visiting this Key West staple. Built in the 1840s by Captain John Huling Geiger for his family, this home has survived hurricanes and shipwrecks and still stands strong. For fans of the macabre, this home has been certified “Haunted” by several paranormal societies. Take a tour and see for yourself if you feel a ghostly presence of Geigers past!

Go on a Dolphin Watch Eco-Tour

How many people can say that they’ve snorkeled with dolphins? Well, if you take a Dolphin Watch Eco-Tour, you can be one of them! The tour will begin by climbing onto their catamaran and embarking on a journey to the Gulf of Mexico to watch dolphins thrive in their natural environment. Afterwards, you’ll head on over to the Key West wildlife refuge to go snorkeling and perhaps have a chance to swim alongside some dolphins.

Where to eat


El Meson de Pepe

Savor the flavors of authentic Cuban food at El Meson de Pepe, a restaurant that has been committed to serving Cuban food to the people of Key West for over 30 years. We recommend ordering their bistec palomilla.

La Trattoria

Take a tour of Italy without even leaving Key West at La Trattoria. Make sure to come in on a Monday for their Martini Monday happy hour where you can sip on $7 martinis. If you’re looking for a meal, then you can’t go wrong with their carbonara ravioli di pesce.

Where to stay

Helen’s home


Curt’s condo


Anthony’s home


Birmingham, Alabama


What to do


Visit the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute

Take a step back into history and learn about the Civil Rights Movement at this Smithsonian-affiliated institute. Learn about the significance of this socio-political movement as you walk through exhibits like the Barriers Gallery, the Confrontations Gallery, and the Human Rights Gallery.

Put the Pedal to the Metal at the Autobahn Indoor Speedway & Events

Live out your Fast and Furious fantasies at the Autobahn Indoor Speedway, where you can spend a day go-karting around a track at up to 50 MPH (or up to 25 MPH in the Junior Karts for those 8-12 years old). Once you’ve spent some time enjoying the go-karts, visitors can test their aim and try their hand at ax throwing.

Canoe on the Cahaba River

Spend a day on the water canoeing down the Cahaba River on a guided tour with a naturalist to help you make the most of your trip. The Cahaba River Society offers several experiences to explore and appreciate the river. From an all-day excursion to a moonlit tour to an overnight camping experience, you’ll find yourself appreciating nature like never before.

Where to eat


Demetri’s Bar-B-Q

Pull up a chair and grab a bite of some Birmingham barbecue at Demetri’s. A fixture of the city’s restaurant scene, Demetri’s Bar-B-Q has been serving mouth-watering meals for over 50 years. We recommend chowing down on their wings and ribs plate.

Café Dupont

Enjoy an organic,”slow food,” locally-sourced meal at Café Dupont. You’ll be able to recognize the freshness of the ingredients from the moment you take your first bite. The menu changes daily, so make sure you check the website before booking your reservation, but from their summer 2022 menu, we recommend the braised Mississippi rabbit.

Farelly’s Southern Bar & Kitchen

Enjoy the taste of a home-cooked meal at Farelly’s Southern Bar & Kitchen. Sit down for a dose of Southern hospitality and consider ordering their crispy Southern fried chicken.

Where to stay

Renny’s treehouse


Alexandra’s loft


Discover HomeExchange

The American South is full of history, wildlife, and once-in-a-lifetime adventures that are guaranteed to make your vacation unforgettable. Don’t forget to take lots of photos and to try as much food as possible while you’re driving through, and remember that “Bless your heart” is definitely not a compliment.