top of page
atlanta.jpg
  • shannastewart4443

Six of the Best Places to Visit in the South

Updated: Nov 30, 2023

"Once a year, go someplace that you've never been before." - Dalai Lama


Here are some of my favorite places to visit in the South. Since I am an Atlanta native, I am admittedly a little biased, but I am grateful to live close enough to these cities. I have had the pleasure of visiting each one (some more than once). I hope you get a chance to get out and explore them, too. As a new feature in my blog, I will show you a high option (5-stars), a middle and a lower priced option.

Best time to visit anywhere in the South: Fall or Spring


1) New Orleans, Louisiana

One of my favorite cities in the U.S., New Orleans oozes with a festive spirit year-round (not just during Mardi Gras). It's vibrant, colorful culture is contagious. The lively music and parades, the outstanding food, and the gorgeous architecture make New Orleans a place like no other. So, laissez les bon temps rouler (let the good times roll) all the way to this fantastic Cajun city of the South.


Where to Stay:

Virgin Hotel New Orleans

3-star


Number 1 Hotel in New Orleans per Tripadvisor and number 12 in the South in the 2022 Conde Nast Travelers Readers Choice Awards. Located in the center of the city - just steps from the French Quarter and this historic St. Charles Streetcar line - Virgin Hotels New Orleans offers a truly unique and personalized experience. The two-chamber room concept is complete with a patented lounge bed for optimal lounging - reading and relaxing - dressing area and closet space separated by a set of sliding French style doors. Virgin Hotels New Orleans has created 3 unique restaurant and lounge experiences including a coffee shop - a hybrid bar - lounge and restaurant led by local Chef Alex Harrell or enjoy small bites and craft cocktails at The Pool Club - rooftop pool and bar. High-speed WIFI - street level pricing on minibar - and pet friendly accommodations.


The Eliza Jane Hotel

3-star



Both a step back in time and an experience of modern style and luxury, The Eliza Jane sits in the heart of downtown New Orleans. Both soulful and savvy, the hotel conveys a sense of hidden history, of stories still left untold. This impeccably designed 196-room hotel features fifty suites, which includes twelve Signature Suites, a fitness center, street-level restaurant, lobby lounge and courtyard bar. Originally built in the 1860s, the buildings vibrant architecture and storied walls will speak to hotel visitors by revealing the impressive pedigree of our building, complemented by elegant design aesthetics, intriguing spaces, inviting service and destination food and beverage.


The Four Seasons New Orleans

5-star




Unlocking the authentic New Orleans- Four Seasons invites you to its landmark tower - a heritage icon with a central downtown location on the banks of the Mississippi River. Dine on innovative Louisiana cuisine- relax by our resort-style pool- and plan your own private event at our 34th-floor observation deck boasting NOLAs best views.


Things to do in New Orleans:

  • Explore the Garden District

  • Wander the French Quarter

  • Delight in Cajun specialties at the many fantastic restaurants

  • Enjoy live music and cocktails at one of the many bars

Day Trip: Enjoy a tour of the Bayou and see the swamp wildlife


2) Atlanta, Georgia

Since I am from Atlanta, I couldn't leave it off the list. Atlanta is a bustling city full of diverse culture, fantastic entertainment, and delicious cuisine (recently awarded with 5 Michelin star restaurants). There are so many beautiful neighborhoods to explore, trails to wander, and lots of shopping and things to do.



Where to Stay:

The Georgian Terrace Hotel

3-star



Experience the best in Midtown Atlanta Hotels The Georgian Terrace Hotel is a modern icon among Atlanta hotels. A Midtown icon the Georgian Terrace Hotel is located in the heart of Atlanta business and cultural district across from the Fox Theatre. The hotel delivers a brand of service rarely found even in the South. Just off the lobby Livingston Restaurant and Bar serves award-winning American cuisine.


Hotel Clermont

4-star


The Whitley Hotel

5-star


With an awe-inspiring view of the city skyline outside and timeless sophistication inside, The Whitley, a Marriott Luxury Collection Hotel, welcomes guests to Atlanta’s coveted Buckhead neighborhood. Explore the newly redesigned lobby and guest rooms and experience luxury reimagined in chic Southern style.


Things to do in Atlanta:

  • Visit the Georgia Aquarium

  • Enjoy the many museums (including the High Museum, the Human Rights Museum and even a Trap Music Museum)

  • Walk or bike The Beltline Trail

  • Eat your way through the many fantastic restaurants

  • Visit Centennial Olympic Park

  • Enjoy live music at various venues throughout the city

  • Get inspired at the Atlanta Botanical Garden

Day trip: Stone Mountain


3) Savannah, Georgia

After your fun trip to Atlanta, drive southeast for about 4 hours to visit Savannah. This beautiful Southern town offers a lively riverfront with shops and restaurants, beautiful Southern architecture, picturesque squares, and a rich storied history.


Where to stay:


Hyatt Regency Savannah

3-star

With 351 rooms located on the waterfront of the Savannah River the Hyatt Regency Savannah is right in the heart of the Historic District. The hotel offers an indoor pool, fitness center and a waterfront restaurant Windows with a view of the river and sailing ships. The Vu Lounge provides both cocktails and full dinner menu nightly.


The Bohemian Hotel Savannah Riverfront

4-star


The Bohemian Hotel Savannah Riverfront is set in the vibrant riverfront historic district and boasts colorful and decadent style with a creative flair. Rocks on the River serves classic American comfort food and Neapolitan pizzas, while Rocks on the Roof offers craft cocktails with a view.


Perry Lane

5-star



Surrounded by live oak trees draped in Spanish moss and the indigenous allure of antebellum architecture, Perry Lane Hotel, a Luxury Collection Hotel, Savannah is an oasis where both locals and travelers thrive. Perry Lane features an eclectic aesthetic infused with a curated collection of local artwork, modern amenities and timeless luxury. A replenishing cookie jar, sumptuous bedding, expansive windows and Smart TVs in boutique rooms foster an inviting atmosphere, welcoming you to an honest escape. From a buzzing rooftop pool to a cozy library, the hotel hums with a captivating ambiance. Whether you're savoring the slow pace of Southern living or joining the vivacious revelry of River Street, Perry Lane Hotel, a Luxury Collection, Savannah is the perfect focal point for your adventure.


Address

Things to do:

  • Visit the Town Squares

  • Take a Ghost Tour/History Tour

  • Enjoy the Riverfront restaurants, shops and bars

  • Explore Forsythe Park

  • Visit Savannah City Market

  • Take an architectural tour

  • Peruse the art at SCAD

Day trip: Tybee Island


4) Charleston, South Carolina

Charleston lies just 2 hours Northeast of Savannah. This lovely city has been voted as one of the best Overall Cities to Visit by Travel & Leisure magazine once again. It's quaint Southern feel, beautiful architecture, fantastic cuisine and beautiful beaches make it one of the finest places to visit in the South.


Where to stay:

The Ryder Hotel

3-star

This 91-room boutique hotel in the heart of Charleston has a modern lively feel right in the heart of Downtown. Named in Condé Nast Traveler’s “Hot List 2022: The Best New Hotels & Industry Openings in the World,” and voted “Top 5 Hotels in Charleston” on the Condé Nast Traveler Readers’ Choice Awards. The hotel offers a pool, an open air courtyard restaurant, and The Little Palm restaurant.


Emeline

4-stars

Emeline is impeccably stylish with a bright personality. The rooms are romantic and colorful, in rich hues of emerald and gold, and they’re well furnished with elegant built-in storage and bright modern bathrooms. The linens and robes are custom-made, and the details are thoughtful, from ample charging ports to in-room Crosley turntables — the hotel’s vinyl collection is large and growing. Clerks Coffee Company starts the day with a jolt, while Frannie & the Fox serves Italian-influenced wood-fired dishes in shareable servings, and Hank’s Seafood Restaurant is just what it sounds like: a Charleston-style “fish house” with an extensive raw bar.


The Loutrel

5-star

Blending into the charming Georgian facades of Charleston’s historic district, The Loutrel is a genteel host for those who seek refined comfort and meaningful interactions over extravagance. Inspired by Charleston's public and private gardens, our luxury hotel in Charleston ushers the city’s past mystique and progressive future into the present moment—curating experiences that honor Charleston here and now.


Things to do in Charleston:

  • Enjoy a city walking tour

  • Enjoy the beach and water sports

  • Visit the shops, restaurants and bars

  • Take in a show at one of the entertainment venues

  • Peruse the museums and gardens

Day Trip: Daufuskie Island


5) Nashville, Tennessee

Known as the "Music City" of the South, Nashville is a thriving city with a rhythm all its own. Besides live music everywhere, it has a vibrant arts community, excellent restaurants, fantastic boutiques and lots of unique neighborhoods to explore.



Where to Stay:

Graduate Nashville

4-star

The genteel Southern charm is cranked up to ten in the rooms (perfect for a Girls Weekend), all floral prints and Easter-egg colors, with portraits of local idols like Dolly Parton. The public spaces, too, are vibrant and colorful, with a Pop art influence and a demonstrated willingness to mix and match patterns, colors, and motifs. An outpost of the Graduate brand’s signature Poindexter café is present, along with White Limozeen, an opulent only-in-Nashville rooftop restaurant and bar, whose views of the Nashville skyline are impressive. The most unique space, however, has to be the Cross-Eyed Critters Watering Hole, which is a country-themed karaoke bar complete with animatronic puppets as a virtual backing band.


1 Hotel Nashville

4-star


Nestled in the heart of downtown Nashville in walking distance to South Broadway and situated next to the Music City Center and the Country Music Hall of Fame - 1 Hotel Nashville features 215 guestrooms and suites. Amenities include a Wellness Spa , fitness center and yoga studio, Neighbors Cafe, Harriets Rooftop and 1 Kitchen offering clean and fairly sourced farm-to-table cuisine.


The Joseph

5-star

The Joseph, a Luxury Collection Hotel, Nashville is a hotel of Southern origin and Southern heart. It brings the full story of Nashville, TN, to life, defined by a combination of cultural and artistic diversity, genuine hospitality and meaningful moments. Authentic and comfortable yet impeccably designed, the unique, pet-friendly hotel in downtown invites the discerning traveler into a world of warm, Tennessean splendor. From the arrival experience in the porte-cochere to the handmade cocktails crafted at our 21st-floor rooftop bar and the views of Nashville from the fitness center to the fine art on display throughout the hotel—every detail conveys beauty, intriguing complexity and rewarding memories.


Things to do:

  • Check out the music, bars and restaurants on Broadway (Honky Tonk Highway)

  • Visit the Grand Ole Opry

  • Explore Music Row, The Gulch and other neighborhoods

  • Visit Madame Tussauds, The Ryman Auditorium, and the Country Music Hall of Fame

  • See concerts, theatre and art at one of the many venues

  • Visit the many music attractions

Day trip: Chattanooga


6) St. Augustine, Florida

St. Augustine was the capital of Spanish Florida long before the Mayflower arrived. With over 450 years of history, St. Augustine embodies historical cities in the States. With its Spanish architecture, horse drawn carriages, hidden courtyards and brick-lined streets it feels more like Europe than Florida. It also boasts a beautiful scenic harbor and pristine beaches. There is plenty to see and do in this charming Florida town.


Casa Monica Resort & Spa

3-star


Reserve your St. Augustine hotel downtown at the Casa Monica Resort & Spa, Autograph Collection. Immerse yourself in the rich history of our famed historic St. Augustine hotel, originally built in 1888, this hotel is nestled in the heart of St. Augustine's Historic District and within walking distance to popular sites such as Flagler College, Lightner Museum, Castillo de San Marcos and St. George Street. Connect your mind and body with a soothing skin treatment at Poseidon Spa before indulging in the bold flavors of Mediterranean cuisine at the on-site restaurant.


Hilton St. Augustine

4-star

Colorful cottage-style buildings, inspired by Spanish Colonial architecture, are nestled between Castillo de San Marcos and the Bridge of Lions. The Historic District and Saint Augustine Distillery are within a mile. Many rooms have balconies overlooking Matanzas Bay. Enjoy the outdoor pool, fitness center, and 24-hour snack shop. WiFi’s is also included.


The Collector Inn

5-star

The Collector sits on the edge of St. Augustine’s Old Town, within easy walking distance of the city’s most celebrated attractions. Named among the top 15 resorts in Florida, The Collector Inn dates back to the 1790s. The nine historic buildings are divided into 30 rooms and suites, in a style that’s perhaps best described as contemporary colonial, where modern luxuries and historical atmosphere go hand in hand. Despite its location in the center of town, The Collector feels like a little village unto itself, and the word “gardens” isn’t in the name just for decoration.

Lounge in those gardens or sit around an outdoor fire pit or by the pool.


Things to do:

  • Go on an adventure/historical tour

  • Shop, eat and drink on St. George Street

  • Enjoy the beach and watersports

  • Tour the Lighthouse and Castillo de San Marcos

  • Explore Colonial Quarter

  • Walk down the oldest street in the U.S. (Aviles Street)

Day trip: Jacksonville


Book with Fora Perks (for all properties listed above based upon availability):

  • Upgrade on arrival

  • Early Check-In / Late Check-Out

  • Daily Breakfast for 2

  • Food & Beverage or Spa Credit (value varies by property)

  • Complimentary Wi-Fi

  • Welcome gift

What's next on your bucketlist?




Comments


bottom of page