Vacations are inherently supposed to be stress-free experiences, but there can be some differences between relaxing on a beach and touring a historic city. One is virtually stress-free, and the other can deliver major sources of stress, especially if you’re in a foreign country. Here are some quick and easy tips on how to best experience the American South easy breezy.
Research your destination
There are some subtle and not-so-subtle differences about the culture in the American South versus the North. So, if you’re a fashionista, it might be helpful to find out where you’re going and what’s considered acceptable there.
For example, with a few exceptions, Americans who live in the North tend to dress casually. In the South, it’s a mixed bag. You’ll probably want to dress to the nines when you visit Dallas, Texas but you’ll find more conservative shorts and a t-shirt appropriate for Charleston, SC, while you can get away with nothing but a skimpy swimsuit in Miami.
Rent a cAr
The best way to get around the South is by car, so if you don’t already have one, rent a car for this leg of the trip. Public transportation isn’t available or reliable in many southern cities (with a few exceptions like Atlanta), so a car is going to be your best bet.
To keep your travels as stress-free as possible, rent a car with all the tech amenities, like a smart trunk and adaptive cruise control. If you end up taking your trip up north to DC, NYC or Boston, you’ll want to ditch the car, but in the South, it’s a must.
Talk to locals, eat the foods
“Southern hospitality” is a phrase for a reason, and you may have a good experience when you ask locals about their favorite restaurants and entertainment.
For sure, you should try local delicacies when you travel, and especially barbecue in the South. You can find restaurants serving a variety of veganized classic Southern comfort foods like seitan BBQ, jackfruit fried chicken, vegan cheese grits, and much more.
Plan for late winter or early spring
The American South can be sweltering hot in the summer months, but in late winter or early spring, it’s perfection. Late winter is usually when people from the north head south for a Southern vacation.
The winters are much milder in the South than the North, but they still may be a little chilly for your liking. Check local temps and averages to see which month has the ideal temperature for you.
There’s a lot to do in the South, and you may find that a rigid schedule is too restrictive for your liking. Many people travel to this area to learn about American history and Southern culture, but there are plenty of hiking and biking trails that are worth noting.
You may want to check out Powers Island Trail in Georgia or Beacon Heights in North Carolina for some serene places to connect with nature. Additionally, from North Carolina down to the Florida Keys, there are some great beaches where you could spend days unwinding from the rest of your trip.
If your schedule remains too rigid, you may miss what could be the best moments of your trip, and you could easily get burnt out when you don’t listen to your body.
The American South generally has a laid-back vibe, so you should be able to travel around without much stress.
Try not to put too much pressure on the trip and allow yourself to take in the culture for all it has to offer. And be sure you have a car or you may end up spending half your trip waiting on public transportation.
Relax, take things show, stay flexible, enjoy all the delicious foods, and absorb all there is to offer in the great American South.