With the inability to travel by plane as much as we used to, road trips within the continental United States are what many families are turning toward. Aside from the National Parks, there are tourist attractions across the country that need recognition. From well-known Graceland to little-known Georgia Aquarium, there are tourist attractions in the south for all ages.
Settled in Memphis, Tennessee, this homage to the king of rock is a place you can’t help falling in love with. Put on your blue suede shoes and take a tour of the mansion, redecorated in 1974 to fit the king’s taste. You’ll see a 15 foot couch, fake waterfall, and groovy green shag carpeting iconic of the 70s. You can enhance your tour with Elvis’s car museum, containing his vehicles and artifacts from his legacy, as well as tours of two custom planes on site. For ticket prices and more information, visit graceland.com.
Although known for their big Mardi Gras celebration, New Orleans, Louisiana is a historical place with unique entertainment to enjoy at any time of the year. If you’re traveling with kids, check out the city park in the center of New Orleans. A bayou runs through the park and it also has an antique carousel and miniature train. To check out the nightlife with or without children, be sure to visit the French Quarter. There is more to this area than just Bourbon Street. You will find live music, shopping, and unique southern food. To check out more places to explore in New Orleans, visit Trip Savvy.
One of the oldest cities in the U.S, Charleston, South Carolina is a unique location for those looking for a low-key vacation with rich history. Take a stroll through the Magnolia Plantation and Gardens, founded in 1676 or the Waterfront Park if ocean views and shopping is what you’re after. Uncooperative weather? Traveling with kids? Visit the South Carolina Aquarium home to more than 10,000 species of marine plants and animals, according to Vacation Idea. In the evening, there are a plethora of restaurants to choose from including Lewis Barbecue, Stars Rooftop and Grill Room, and the Wild Olive Restaurant, which serves complimentary wine and an authentic Italian menu!
Daytona International Speedway
Travelers looking for speed and competition can visit Daytona Beach, Florida for the Daytona International Speedway. The Daytona 500, typically held in February, is “the most prestigious race in NASCAR” according to Vacation Idea. If you are visiting during other times of the year you can catch other NASCAR races as well as Supercross, AMA Superbike, and ARCA. Even if you aren’t a huge racing enthusiast, the crowd alone will get your adrenaline pumping at this all-American destination.
Most tourist-filled cities have some kind of an aquarium, but none of them hold a candle to the Georgia Aquarium. This aquarium is actually a marine sanctuary located in Atlanta with thousands of marine life species and over 10 million gallons of water. You can enjoy the aquarium via a self-guided or guided tour, and if you would like to learn more about marine life you can check out their many presentations, encounters, and interactions. This attraction is open year-round; for more information check out the Georgia Aquarium website.
This historical site located in San Antonio, Texas offers public and private tours as well as changing historical exhibits. Your entire family can learn about the devastating battle while standing on the actual battlefield itself. If you time your visit right, you might be able to partake in a special event such as “Veterans Day at the Alamo” or “A Homemade Christmas at the Alamo”. While in the area, walk down the San Antonio Riverwalk and stay at one of the many luxury hotels located in the area.
As winter approaches and many of us either fly south or want to fly south, there are places to explore within the U.S that you’ve either always heard about and haven’t visited, or perhaps some which haven’t even crossed your mind. Use this time with limited travel options to learn about the history of the United States while enjoying the sights, sounds, and tastes of the Southern United States.