The American South begs to be discovered in depth and in person, on a journey to uncover its tumultuous, storied history, romanticized cities, delicious BBQ, boutique bourbon distilleries, bayou mysteries, Mardi Gras excess, and cultural curiosities. Southern states are perfect for families, couple getaways, and group trips for men or women, and when the time is right to travel through the South again, Nine Muses Travel can craft an epic itinerary with hotels full of character and exclusive activities to bring alive the arts, culture, history and cuisine of this distinctive region. While many hotels have reopened and outdoor activities are available, not all indoor sights and museums mentioned below are open - currently. Enjoy this list of unique Deep South experiences to inspire your future travel plans!
The Cajun flair of New Orleans and its variety of arts and culture, food, and history make this an enticing destination year-round. I recommend staying at these beautiful hotels for their location, hospitality and excellent dining: Windsor Court Hotel, The Ritz-Carlton, New Orleans, W New Orleans - French Quarter, The Roosevelt New Orleans - a Waldorf Astoria Hotel, or Hotel Monteleone. Don't miss the exceptional National WWII Museum in New Orleans; it opened a few years ago and is quite big so be sure to set aside three to six hours here to take it all in.
New Orleans live musicology and nightlife tour
New Orleans foodie walking tour
Big Easy cocktails mixology experience
Dinner reception at an historic mansion
New Orleans Museum of Art curator-led tour
Bayou wildlife and culture tour via airboat
Local New Orleans voodoo workshop
Private visit to Tabasco factory
National WWII Museum tour
Gulf fishing charter via seaplane
Streetcar cocktail crawl
Roll on a Krewe float during Mardi Gras
Alabama and Mississippi
This weekend all eyes were on Alabama as civil rights icon and Congressman John Lewis' body was ceremoniously carried across Selma's historic Edmund Pettus Bridge for a final time. These states pair perfectly for a scenic backdrop to a memorable trip full of civil rights insights. Stay in Natchez, Mississippi at Monmouth Historic Inn, check into The Alluvian Hotel further north in Mississippi, or ask for my top recommendations in the cities of Birmingham and Montgomery, Alabama.
Civil Rights 101: Birmingham, Selma, and Montgomery with historian guides
Meet and Greet with a civil rights era activist
VIP visit at the new Legacy Museum and National Museum of Peace and Justice
Mobile, Alabama Mardi Gras Museum & Float Barn private tour
Antebellum home tour of Natchez
Mississippi River scenic cruise
Sunset bayou kayak in Alabama
With the passing of 104-year-old Olivia Olivia de Havilland on Sunday, we lost the longest living cast member from the classic film Gone with the Wind. You can frankly give a damn on a tour of iconic Gone with the Wind film sites in Georgia, a state that offers great beaches, a wealth of history, and the cosmopolitan pleasures of Atlanta. I recommend staying at Waldorf Astoria Atlanta Buckhead or Stonehurst Place Bed & Breakfast in Atlanta, Perry Lane Hotel in Savannah, and The Cloister at Sea Island by the coastal border with Florida.
Civil War to civil rights history tour
Meet a non-violent freedom fighter
Martin Luther King Jr. birth home tour
Savannah art walk with curator from Savannah College of Art and Design
Southern food and culture of Savannah
Immersive tour of Georgia Aquarium
Margaret Mitchell's Gone with the Wind tour
Behind the scenes CNN studio tour
Delta Flight Museum
World of Coca-Cola Museum visit
High Museum of Art curator-led tour
Masters golf packages / playing in August
A true classic Southern itinerary pairs Savannah with South Carolina's lowcountry and charming Charleston. A wealth of activities for all ages await in South Carolina - especially its wonderful beaches! Favorite hotels in Charleston include The Dewberry Charleston, Belmond Charleston Place, Wentworth Mansion, and Zero George Street Hotel, or travel an hour south from Charleston for beach time at the stunning Sanctuary at Kiawah Island Golf Resort - the only hotel on the island! Closer to Hilton Head and Savannah, you'll marvel at Montage Palmetto Bluff and The Inn & Club at Harbour Town at The Sea Pines Resort.
Charleston history, architecture and garden tour
Private lowcountry cooking class
Ghosts and graveyards nighttime tour of Charleston
Culinary tour of the low country
Private Charleston carriage tour
Barrier Island beachside boil
Vintage luxury motorboat cruise
Shrimp boat expedition
Wetlands hiking and biking adventures along the coast
If you're looking for a music, foodie, or history themed vacation, terrific Tennessee has it all! In Nashville, I'm a big fan of the Kimpton Aertson Hotel and its restaurant (which I personally enjoyed as a guest during a conference last June), and you'll also love The Hermitage Hotel and Thompson Nashville. In musical Memphis I recommend staying at The Guest House at Graceland or The Peabody Memphis.
Blues Trail with a music historian
Tennessee Civil War history tour
Johnny Cash experience & Country Music Hall of Fame
Private music studio recording experience
Exclusive Graceland tour
Ryan Auditorium and Grand Ole Opry behind the scenes tours and live shows
Nashville live music tour
Nashville or Memphis BBQ tasting tour
Private Southern cooking class
Nighttime Ruby Falls lantern tour
Like a great whiskey chaser, Kentucky pairs perfectly with a trip through Tennessee. Kentucky's rolling hills and pastures set the scene for a trip filled with horses, bourbon, and Civil War history. Louisville's Brown Hotel is a lovely, landmark property to set the tone for your unique, tasteful tours.
Private bourbon tasting at regional distilleries
Kentucky Civil War history tour
Bluegrass state horse farm visit
Kentucky Derby exclusive party and event access
Sights, Sounds, and Tastes of the Deep South: Louisville, Nashville, Memphis, Natchez, New Orleans
Spirits of the South: Kentucky and Tennessee immersion (food, bourbon, and whiskey)
Georgia on my Mind: Atlanta, Savannah, Sea Island
Lowcountry for Families: Savannah, Charleston, Kiawah Island
The Civil Rights Trail: Atlanta, Montgomery, Selma, Birmingham, Memphis
Nine Muses Travel works with an exceptional North American tour operator who can customize private travel for you and your companions with these benefits for all my clients.
Expert guides: naturalists, adventure guides, and unique locals
Comfortable, safe, and luxurious vehicles
24/7 real-time support
Competitive rates at four and five star properties
Deep destination knowledge
Contact Nine Muses Travel to deepen your understanding of everything the Deep South offers and to learn more about me and what I can do for you!
I creatively customize luxury travel highlighting the best local arts and culture, history, and cuisine for intellectually curious clients longing to feel deeply inspired by exciting destinations, culinary delights, and unique cultural experiences on a life-changing, joyful journey of discovery.
President of Nine Muses Travel