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Traveling Through the American Southeast: My Guide to the Best Points of Interest

traveling through the american southeast

Ironwork galleries on the Streets of French Quarter decorated for Mardi Gras in New Orleans

As someone who has only just recently began traveling around the nation, I have become fascinated by the sheer variety of interesting things you can find that are nothing like how things are in your home state. Particularly, the American Southeast has a lot of great points of interest that often have a thematic through line between them while offering that unique pinch of themselves that sets them apart. Today I’ll be discussing some of these, being careful to not overlook any state categorically in the area.

Birmingham Botanical Gardens (Alabama)

A great place to stop, even when the flowers are not in bloom. It’s a very relaxing atmosphere, and best of all, there’s no cost for admission!

Walt Disney World (Florida)

How could I talk about the American Southeast without talking about Walt Disney World? They don’t call it the happiest place on Earth for no reason. Even I, as someone who is not a huge fan of amusement parks, had a great time when I went and would recommend it to anyone with an inner child.

Martin Luther King, Jr. National Historic Site (Georgia)

When visiting the American Southeast, there are few things more important than recognizing both the Civil Rights Movement and its most prominent leader. He did a lot to advance our society and has very clearly made a great impact on many people’s lives.

Martin Luther King Jr. Mural at the National Historic Site in Atlanta

MLK Mural at the National Historic Site in Atlanta

Kentucky Derby Museum

When you think of Kentucky, many will inevitably think of the Kentucky Derby. Even if you are only visiting as a curiosity of the history of the event, you are going to find something of interest to discover.

Mardi Gras World (Louisiana)

Mardi Gras is easily one of the biggest annual celebrations, and definitely one of the most energetic and fun. This is the perfect place to let your freak flag fly – dress up in wild and colorful costumes, have a cookout, and enjoy the parade and music.

Cascades on South River, Shenandoah National Park

Cascades on South River, Shenandoah National Park

North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences

This is the kind of place you want to go when you want to enjoy science that is one half serious and deep, and another half fun and entertaining. For instance, from October 22, 2016 to March 12, 2017 is “The Secret World Inside You,” an event that offers an easy-to-digest (no pun intended) presentation to help educate attendees on their body.

Graceland (Tennessee)

Anyone who even spends a moment thinking themselves Elvis Presley’s number one fan and has not visited Graceland has a long way to go. Elvis Presley was understandably a huge influence on a lot of people’s lives as they grew up, both due to his music and his style. As such, tours of the singer’s mansion have proven very popular.

Shenandoah National Park (Virginia)

This national park is not something massively popular like a Yellowstone Park, but it’s also not obscure an obscure one either. If you are a fan of waterfalls or mountainous areas, you are likely going to enjoy the scenic beauty of this park.


Images: Shutterstock. Shenandoah National Park/Jon Boilus; Martin Luther King Mural/Forty3Zero; Mardi Gras/amadeustx

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