Southeast United States
Southern Charms and Sizzling Heat
Despite a diversity of cultures and geography, the southeast U.S. is warm – in both temperature and temperament.
Sweeping plantations, riverboats and trees dripping with whisper-thin Spanish moss make The Carolinas and Georgia the epitome of Old South elegance. Perhaps in response to the humid heat, this region proceeds with slow-paced dignity but remains as seductive as a bowl of sweet southern peaches or a slice of decadent pecan pie. If you avoid the hustle and bustle of major centers like Atlanta, a visit here will leave you feeling as refreshed as you a sampling of the region’s ubiquitous mint julep.
In contrast to the laid-back Georgia, Florida is sizzling hot. With more than 800 miles of beaches, Disney, the romantic Keys and ultra-chic Miami, The Sunshine State draws more visitors than any other southeastern state. While a plethora of amusement parks will keep kids of all ages amused, outdoor enthusiasts can scuba, snorkel, hike, bike, sail or paddle their way through the numerous state parks and nature reserves. Whether you’re into Mickey or mangroves, Florida will have something for you.
Sections of Louisiana continue to recover from the ravages of Hurricane Katrina, but New Orleans has opened its flood-damaged doors to tourists again. Although parts of the city were washed away when the levies broke, the Creole joie de vivre has returned. Cajun cooking, Mardi Gras and jazz are still hot commodities that shouldn’t be missed.
If you’d rather beat your feet in the Mississippi mud, you can return to the lazy days of Huckleberry Fin and Tom Sawyer with a river cruise in an old-fashioned paddle boat. Dixieland music, games of chance and a romantic meal afloat the river that inspired Mark Twain are just a few of your options.