Looking for a quick city break served up with some southern hospitality? Look no further than some of these urban hotspots in the Deep South. With each offering a wide variety of attractions, accommodations, and places to eat, you're sure to find something catering to your interests.
Atlanta skyline — Photo courtesy of mattlemmon
As the self-proclaimed "capital" of the New South, Atlanta is the largest city in the region, with a metro area population of over five million. Many activities and venues in downtown and midtown Atlanta offer visitors a variety of choices.
Among the most popular sights in and around Atlanta are the Georgia Aquarium, the World of Coca Cola, Centennial Olympic Park, CNN Center, Georgia State Capitol, Underground Atlanta, Atlanta Botanical Garden, Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, Atlantic Station, High Museum of Art, Margaret Mitchell House, Piedmont Park, Fernbank Museum of Natural History, President Jimmy Carter Library and Museum, Zoo Atlanta, Six Flags Over Georgia and Six Flags Whitewater, Stone Mountain Park, International Village, and Martin Luther King Jr. National Historic Site, among others.
Due to Atlanta's large size, epicurean and gourmand travelers will certainly find something to their liking in Atlanta's many restaurants and neighborhoods. The Hartsfield-Jackson-Atlanta International Airport is the busiest in the world, with hundreds of non-stop flights per day to and from many domestic and international destinations around the globe.
View of Birmingham from Vulcan's observation deck — Photo courtesy of acnatta
As Alabama's largest city, with a metro area population of over one million, Birmingham helps drive the state's economy. A city steeped in both industrial history of steel manufacturing as well as Civil Rights era history, Birmingham has developed into a thriving New South economy focused on medical research, banking, and publishing.
Visitors to Birmingham, with its picturesque setting in the mountainous Ridge and Valley region, have a wide variety of sights, attractions, and award-winning dining options to choose from in and around the Downtown and Southside areas, as well as in the suburban communities of Mountain Brook, Homewood, Vestavia Hills, and Hoover.
Popular attractions include the Birmingham Zoo, Birmingham Botanical Gardens, Vulcan Park and Museum (with spectacular views of the city from atop Red Mountain), Birmingham Museum of Art, Sloss Furnaces National Historic Landmark, Alabama Theater, Alabama Symphony Orchestra, Alabama Jazz Hall of Fame, Birmingham Civil Rights Institute, McWane Science Center, Alabama Museum of the Health Sciences, Five Points South, the Villages of Mountain Brook (Mountain Brook Village, English Village, and Crestline Village), Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail, Moss Rock Preserve, Ruffner Mountain Nature Center, Southern Museum of Flight, Oak Mountain State Park, Aldridge Gardens, and the Riverchase Galleria.
Getting in and out of Birmingham is a breeze with non-stop service to at least 25 cities across the U.S. and direct air service to at least 50 cities daily from Birmingham International Airport.
Located on the Tennessee River, in southeast Tennessee, just north of the Georgia border, Chattanooga is a city steeped in Civil War history. From the cities revitalized downtown on the banks of the river, to the surrounding mountains, Chattanooga offers something for everyone. In the downtown area, visitors enjoy such sights as the Tennessee Aquarium, Hunter Museum of American Art, the historic Chattanooga Choo Choo, Chattanooga Riverboat Company, and the Tennessee Riverwalk.
In and around Chattanooga, attractions offering fun and history for all ages include the Tennessee Valley Railroad, Chattanooga Zoo, Chickamauga and Chattanooga National Military Park (commemorating the Civil War battles that took place here), Lake Winnepesaukah Amusement Park, Raccoon Mountain Caverns, the Battles of Chattanooga Museum, and Lookout Mountain, which includes the Incline Railway, Ruby Falls, Lookout Mountain Park, and Rock City. The many sights and attractions downtown are interspersed with a wide variety of restaurants. Chattanooga is connected to at least ten major airports by air service from Chattanooga Metropolitan Airport.
Charlotte, North Carolina
Although some might question whether or not Charlotte constitutes being in the "Deep South", it is still nonetheless in the South. Charlotte's vibrant city center, locally known as "Uptown Charlotte", has much to offer those looking for a variety of activities.
If it's museums you're looking for, visit the Levine Museum of the New South, the Discovery Place Science Museum, or the Mint Museum of Art. The Charlotte Symphony Orchestra also performs regularly in Uptown Charlotte. Sports fans have a variety of venues to choose from, such as the Charlotte Bobcats (NBA) at Time Warner Arena or the Charlotte Panthers (NFL) at Bank of America Stadium.
The streets of Uptown Charlotte also offer a variety of restaurants and places for socializing. Outside of Uptown, visitors may want to visit Carowinds (the premier theme park in the Carolinas), the NoDa arts district, Reedy Creek Park and Nature Preserve, the Charlotte Museum of History, Latta Plantation, Daniel Stowe Botanical Gardens, and pleasant neighborhoods such as Dilworth, Plaza-Midwood, Elizabeth, Myer's Park, and Southpark, as well as the suburban towns of Huntersville, Cornelius, and Davidson, near Lake Norman.
Charlotte, with a metro area population of over two million, is well-connected with hundreds of daily non-stop flights to many domestic and international destinations with U.S. Airways' largest hub at Charlotte Douglas International Airport