A Southern USA Road Trip: 13 Cities to Visit
One of the things I’d love to do next spring is embark on a multi-state, extended southern USA road trip. If there are two areas of my home country that seem the most foreign to me, it’s the south and the midwest. With half of my friends now scattered in North Carolina and Georgia, it seems like a great opportunity to start visiting the area.
When the folks over at RVShare reached out, I began thinking of ways I could travel via RV instead of finding different hotels. RVShare, which is like Airbnb for RVs, is actually a lot more affordable than buying or renting an RV on my own. And it solves both my transportation and accommodation problems in one. With this in mind, I mapped out the cities I want to see down south, starting and ending in Asheville, North Carolina.
Asheville, North Carolina
I first heard about this city through a friend in Korea. She said that if she did move to North Carolina, the only place she’d be totally on board with moving to is Asheville. I figured with two friends based in NC, it’d be fun to start and end here to meet up with them. I’d love to check out one of the hikes nearby, see what people mean when they say there’s a hipster culture, and see some of the big sites like the Biltmore Estate or the River Arts District. My friends would probably enjoy the brewery culture too.
Charleston, South Carolina
I’ve been wanting to go to Charleston since… probably middle school. Every photo I see of the city is charming, pastel-colored, and beautiful. I’d probably spend way too long walking along Rainbow row, taking photos at Pineapple Fountain, and roaming the Citadel. Obviously, the history buff in me would need to make a stop at Fort Sumter!
Savannah is another city I’ve had on my list (I was really into civil war fiction as a kid). My friend visited the city for college, and I remember thinking the photos were so beautiful. I specifically remember she had photos of Forsyth Park and some in Savannah’s Historic District.
Atlanta is such an interesting city and a must stop for anyone who wants to learn more about the South. Enjoy brunch with creamy grits and then walk it all off along the Beltline. Right outside of the city are plenty of outdoors attractions, from Stone Mountain to Sweetwater Creek. Read more on the top things to do in Atlanta.
I was looking between Birmingham and Montgomery, and many people said Birmingham was better (though, who knows, maybe I’ll see both!). I’ve always known it in the context of Martin Luther King Jr. and the Civil Rights movement, so it’d be quite a trip to see it all in person.
The photos that pop up for Oxford are just so charming looking! I’d make the journey all the way just to spend an afternoon in Square Books, one of the best independent bookstores in the country.
New Orleans, Louisiana
I finally got to see what New Orleans is all about. Check out my guides from how to spend 4 days in New Orleans, where to eat, and the best things to do in the French Quarter!
San Antonio, Texas
I’d probably forgo the bigger cities this time and head straight to San Antonio, otherwise known as the setting to the Alamo. The Rio San Antonio Cruise sounds like a charming experience as well, despite the crowds!
Did you know the Hedgers from Hedgers Abroad are actually from Oklahoma? I’ve seen their photos, and I’d love to visit the state! I’m going to have to ask them for more travel advice, but for now, I’m looking forward to planning for Tulsa as my main OK stop. The Philbrook Museum of Art looks stunning, I would learn more about Route 66 in the Cyrus Avery Centennial Plaza, and I’d ride a bike along River Parks.
Hot Springs, Arkansas
I’m going to be perfectly honest. Before planning a Southern road trip and looking more into where to go in Arkansas, I never even knew the US had hot springs let alone a whole city named after them. I’d love to visit the National Park, Bathhouse Row, visit the historic districts, and hang out on Lake Catherine or Hamilton!
I’m a huge Elvis fan, of course, I need to visit Memphis! I’m so ready to embrace every cheesy tour about him I can get my hands on.
Home to numerous musical artists throughout the decades? Heck yes! Additionally, I’d love to check out Centennial Park and its replica of the Parthenon, Cummins Falls, and eat my way through all the restaurant offerings while finding new places to enjoy a live show.
What cities would you put on your southern USA road trip? What am I missing in these places? I’m always open to ideas!
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Feature Photo by Benjamin Combs via Unsplash
Disclosure: This post is a collaboration with RVShare. However, all opinions are my own.
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Totally agree with this list!
I’d love to do a road trip like this and the southern states would be great to see. I’d love to stop in all you’ve listed including New Orleans and Savannah especially.
I’m so happy to see Asheville at the top of the list! My husband and I call that our home. We met there and even though we’re living in Springfield, Mo now that’s where we are looking to buy a house! I love it there! The vibe there is pure magic! I love that there are so many other amazing cities on the list too! I’ve been lucky enough to have visited them all except Oxford, but I”m going to have to check it out if you think it sounds worth it! Xx
My dad and I recently did a road trip through the American south and it was so gorgeous. Having been to 10 of these towns, I approve this message! I really, really love Asheville. So many cool restaurants and breweries situated among the mountains. LOVE.
Great list of towns to include – we did a road trip from Florida – DC and took in a lot of the southern States on the East Coast – our favorite was Savannah – we fell in LOVE with the place. Highly recommend not missing it for anyone planning a similar trip :)
I think if I were road tripping, I’d take the opportunity to stop in the smaller towns between big cities that are more difficult to visit since they don’t have airports. Maybe if you get the chance, you’ll find some cool spots between those big cities. ^^ I haven’t heard of RVShare though and it sounds awesome!
Haven’t visit a lot of these cities in your list. Only ever did road trips on the west coast in Cali and East coast driving from Montreal to NYC to New Jersey. This is on my list!
Such a great list! I’ve hit up quite a bit of Southern states while I was living on the Gulf Coast of Florida. One location you mentioned that I really want to visit is Nashville. I always here great stuff about that city!
Thanks to you I now have a ton of extra USA cities on my list! I also need to get myself a RV I think! Thank you so much for this!
I love the idea of an american road trip! I’d never heard of RV share but it seems like a great way to do it. When I finally get back to the US I’ll have to look into this properly and get it sorted!
Great list! San Antonio is my favorite of these 13 cities. Amazing food, nice people, excellent outdoor activities! I always find something new while I am there.