Southeast Travel & Adventure Guide

The Southeastern United States is an expansive region that stretches from the Atlantic Ocean to the “Deep South.” It is a beautiful and historic region of the country that is famous for its food, music, history and natural wonders.

If you are planning a vacation or trip to the Southeast, then check out this guide to Southeast travel:

Southeast States:

The Southeast consists of 12 states:
Alabama
Arkansas
Florida
Georgia
Kentucky
Louisiana
Mississippi
North Carolina
South Carolina
Tennessee
Virginia
West Virginia

Southeast Geography:

The Southeast is bordered by the Atlantic Ocean to the east, the northern states of Maryland and Pennsylvania to the north, the Midwestern states of Ohio, Indiana and Missouri the west and the Atlantic Ocean and parts of Mexico to the South.

Major geological features of the Southeast include: Appalachian Mountains, Atlantic Ocean, Gulf of Mexico and the Mississippi River.

The region totals 580,835 square miles in size (1,504,360 km) and is home to many beautiful white sand beaches, dense woodlands, soaring mountains, and expansive wetlands.

Southeast Weather & Climate:

The climate of the Southeast is generally hot and humid in the summer and mildly cold in the winter.

The temperatures tend to increase the further South you go, with Florida experiencing the warmest temperatures in the entire Southeast.

In the summer and fall, hurricanes and tropical storms are common along the Atlantic and Gulf coasts.

In the winter, snow storms occur occasionally, with at least .1 inch of snow falling in the Southeast each winter, except for Florida where there is virtually no snowfall.

Southeast Travel & Adventure Guide

The average temperature in the Southeast during the winter is between 32 degrees F (.4 degrees C) and 59 degrees F (15 degrees C). The coldest month of the winter is January while February is the second coldest.

The average temperature in the Southeast during the spring is between 58 degrees F (14 degrees C) and 69 degrees F (21 degrees C).

The average temperature in the Southeast during the summer is between 74 degrees F (23 degrees C) and 81 degrees F (27 degrees C). The hottest month of the summer in much of the South is July but in the Deep South it is August.

The average temperature in the Southeast during the fall is between 57 degrees F (14 degrees C) and 72 degrees F (22 degrees C).

Southeast Sightseeing:

The following are some popular tourist attractions in the Southeast:

Arkansas:
Crater of Diamonds State Park in Murfreesboro, Arkansas
Little Rock Central High School National Historic Site in Little Rock, Arkansas
Arkansas Air Museum in Fayetteville, Arkansas

Alabama:
USS Alabama Battleship Memorial Park in Mobile, Alabama
Civil Rights Memorial in Montgomery, Alabama
U.S. Space and Rocket Center in Huntsville, Alabam

Florida:
Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex in Orlando, Florida
Walt Disney Resort in Orlando, Florida
Everglades National Park in Homestead, Florida

Georgia:
Georgia Aquarium in Atlanta, Georgia
Martin Luther King Jr National Historic Site in Atlanta, Georgia
Ocmulgee National Monument in Macon, Georgia

Louisiana:
Audubon Aquarium of the Americas in New Orleans, Louisiana
Mardi Gras in New Orleans, Louisiana
National WWII Museum in New Orleans, Louisiana
Preservation Hall in New Orleans, Louisiana

Kentucky:
Kentucky Derby in Louisville, Kentucky
Abraham Lincoln Birthplace National Historic Park in Hodgenville, Kentucky
Newport Aquarium in Newport, Kentucky

Mississippi:
USS Cairo Museum at Vicksburg National Military Park in Vicksburg, Mississippi
Vicksburg National Cemetery in Vicksburg, Mississippi
Mississippi Museum of Natural Science in Northeast Jackson, Mississippi
Elvis Presley Birthplace and Museum in Tupelo, Mississippi

North and South Carolina:
Battleship North Carolina in Wilmington, North Carolina
The Biltmore Estate in Asheville, North Carolina
Blue Ridge Parkway in North Carolina
Myrtle Beach in South Carolina
Fort Sumter and Charleston Harbor in Charleston, South Carolina

Tennessee:
Graceland in Memphis, Tennessee
The Great Smoky Mountains National Park in Tennessee
Country Music Hall of Fame in Nashville, Tennessee
Dollywood in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee
Shiloh National Military Park in Shiloh, Tennessee

Virginia:
Arlington National Cemetery in Arlington, Virginia
Mount Vernon in Mount Vernon, Virginia
Monticello in Charlottesville, Virginia
Busch Gardens in Williamsburg, Virginia
Colonial Williamsburg Historic Area in Williamsburg, Virginia

West Virginia:
Harper’s Ferry in West Virginia
West Virginia Penitentiary in Moundsville, West Virginia
Trans-Allegheny Lunatic Asylum in Weston, West Virginia
West Virginia State Museum at the Culture Center in Charleston, West Virginia

Popular Foods in the Southeast:

The Southeast is famous for its food. The region is home to some of the best food in the country and no trip to the South would be complete without sampling some of the local cuisine:

Arkansas Foods:
Hubcap Burger
Possum Pie
The Garden Sandwich
Eggplant Casserole
Fried Chicken and Spaghetti
Peck Salad
Griddled Pimento Cheese Sandwich with Bacon Jam
Arkansas Delta Tamales
Chocolate Gravy

Alabama Foods:
Orange Pineapple Ice Cream
Fried Pork Skins
Orange Rolls
Sweet Potato Fluff
Shrimp & Grits
Peach Pie and Peach Ice Cream
Banana Pudding
Baked Grits
Chicken and White Sauce
Fried Green Tomatoes

Florida:
Stone Crabs
Cuban Sandwich
Gator Tail
Mango Salsa
Gulf Oysters
Spiny Lobster
Florida Seafood Stew
Fried Grouper Sandwich
Key Lime Pie

Georgia Foods:
Boiled Peanuts
Fried Green Tomatoes
Georgia Wild Shrimp
Chicken & Dumplings
Fried Apple Pie
Pecan Pie
Sweet Tea
Peaches

Kentucky Foods:
Hot Brown sandwich
Burgoo
Benedictine
Spoonbread
Shaker Lemon Pie
Transparent Pudding and Pie
Corn Pudding
Goetta
Mint Julep
Bourbon

Louisiana Foods:
Jamabalaya
Gumbo
Red Beans and Rice
Turtle Soup
Boudin
Beignets
Po’ Boy
Crawfish Boil
Muffuletta
Blackened Fish
Doberge Cake
King Cake
Cracklins

Mississippi Foods:
Caramel Cake
Catfish and Hushpuppies
Slugburgers
Smokes & Ears
Crawfish
Katrina Pieces
Kool-Aid Pickles

North Carolina Foods:
Shrimp & Grits
Fried Green Tomatoes
Biscuits & Gravy
Livermush
Brunswick Stew
Sweet Potato Pie
Glazed Donuts

South Carolina Foods:
Boiled Peanuts
Oysters
Biscuits
Shrimp & Grits
Carolina Gold Rice
Chow-Chow
Benne Wafers
Sweet Tea

Tennessee Foods:
Nashville Hot Chicken Sandwich
Hot Fish Sandwich
Fried Bologna Sandwich
BBQ Spaghetti
Ramps
Biscuits and Gravy
Goo Goo Clusters
Tennessee Whisky
Moonpies
Vinegar Pie

Virginia Foods:
Fry pies (fried pies)
Rappahannock Oysters
Ham & Biscuits
Peanut Pie
Peanut Soup
Shrimp & Grits
Baked Oysters
Shad Roe
Brunswick Stew

West Virginia Foods:
Pepperoni Rolls
Grape & Gorgonzola Pizza
Biscuits & Gravy
Ramps & Fried Potatoes
Rainbow Trout
Venison Stew
Appalachian BBQ
The West Virginia Dog
Baked Steak and Gravy
Beans and Cornbread
Buckwheat Pancake
Apple Dumpling
Greenbrier Peaches

Best States for Shopping in the Southeast:

Virginia: (Low sales tax on clothing and has many boutique shops and malls).

Southeast Hotels:

The following are some popular and iconic hotels in the Southeast:

The Wilcox in Aiken, South Carolina
Belmond Charleston Place in Charleston, South Carolina
The Inn on Biltmore Estate in Asheville, North Carolina
The Omni Grove Park in in Asheville, North Carolina
Brookstown Inn in Winston-Salem, North Carolina
The Peabody Hotel in Memphis, Tennessee
Chattanooga Choo Choo Hotel in Chattanooga, Tennessee
Hotel Moteleone in New Orleans, Louisiana
The Roosevelt in New Orleans, Louisiana
Jazz Quarters in New Orleans, Louisiana
The Jefferson in Richmond, Virginia
The Brown Hotel in Louisville, Kentucky
Boone Tavern Hotel in Berea, Kentucky
Williamsburg Inn in Williamsburg, Virginia
Martha Washington Inn and Spa in Abingdon, Virginia
The Jefferson in Washington, D.C.
Palace Hotel and Bath House in Eureka Springs, Arkansas
1842 Inn in Macon, Georgia
Little Palm Resort and Spa in Little Torch Key, Florida
Shack Up Inn in Clarksdale, Mississippi
The Greenbrier in Sulpher Springs, West Virginia

There are also a number of chain hotels and motels available in the region:

Motel 6
Days Inn
Super 8
Quality Inn
Howard Johnson
Red Roof Inn
Best Western
Holiday Inn
La Quinta Inns and Suites
Econo Lodge
Hilton
Travelodge
Choice Hotels
Radisson
Ramada
Marriott Hotels
Starwood Hotels

Southeast Airports:

Hartsfield–Jackson Atlanta International Airport (ATL) in Georgia
Baltimore-Washington International Airport (BWI)
Charlotte/Douglas International Airport (CLT)
Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport (FLL)
Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport (MSY)
Miami International Airport (MIA/KMIA)
Memphis International Airport (MEM)
Nashville International Airport (BNA)
Orlando International Airport (MCO)
Raleigh-Durham International Airport (IATA: RDU, ICAO:KRDU)
Southwest Florida International Airport (RSW)
Tampa International Airport (IATA: TPA, ICAO: KTPA, FAA LID: TPA)
Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport (DCA)
Washington Dulles International Airport (IAD)

Southeast Transportation:

Train:
Amtrak: AL, GA, LA, TN, VA, DC, FL, SC, NC, MS

Bus Companies:
Red Coach: FL
Megabus: GA, FL, AL, AK, LA, NC, TN, KY, VA, DC
Greyhound: AK, AL, NC, LA, TN, GA, FL
Sprinter Bus: DC, VA
Southeastern Stages: GA, NC, SC
Vamoose: VA
Tripper Bus: VA
Peter Pan: DC

For more American travel guides, check out our homepage at: www.allamericanadventureguide.com

Sources:
“The South’s Best Hotels and Inns.” Southern Living, Meredith Corporation, www.southernliving.com/travel/2016-souths-best-hotels?
“The South’s Best Hotels 2019.” Southern Living, Meredith Corporation, www.southernliving.com/souths-best/hotels?slide=583580#583580
“Amtrack Train Routes Serving the South.” Amtrak, www.amtrak.com/regions/south.html
Eubanks, Caroline. “Traveling by Train in the South.” This Is My South, 11 Feb. 2019, www.thisismysouth.com/2019/02/11/traveling-by-train-in-the-south/
Eubanks, Caroline. “The South’s Best Bus Companies.” This Is My South, 17 Feb. 2014, www.thisismysouth.com/2014/02/17/souths-best-bus-companies/
“Mountain State Meals: What to Eat in West Virginia.” Food Network, www.foodnetwork.com/restaurants/packages/best-food-in-america/photos/what-to-eat-west-virginia
“Vittles in the Volunteer State: What to Eat in Tennessee.” Food Network, www.foodnetwork.com/restaurants/packages/best-food-in-america/photos/what-to-eat-tennessee
“Partake of the Palmetto State: What to Eat in South Carolina.” Food Network, www.foodnetwork.com/restaurants/packages/best-food-in-america/photos/what-to-eat-south-carolina
“Barbeque and Beyond: The Most Iconic Food in North Carolina.” Food Network, www.foodnetwork.com/restaurants/packages/best-food-in-america/photos/what-to-eat-north-carolina
“Meals in the Magnolia State: What to Eat in Mississippi.” Food Network, www.foodnetwork.com/restaurants/packages/best-food-in-america/photos/what-to-eat-mississippi
“Looking to Eat in Louisiana: The State’s Most Iconic Foods.” Food Network, www.foodnetwork.com/restaurants/packages/best-food-in-america/photos/what-to-eat-in-louisiana
“Great Bites in the Bluegrass State: What to Eat in Kentucky.” Food Network, www.foodnetwork.com/restaurants/packages/best-food-in-america/photos/what-to-eat-kentucky
“Pining for Peach State: Georgia’s Most Iconic Foods.” Food Network, www.foodnetwork.com/restaurants/packages/best-food-in-america/photos/what-to-eat-georgia
“Savor the Sunshine State: What to Eat in Florida.” Food Network, www.foodnetwork.com/restaurants/packages/best-food-in-america/photos/what-to-eat-florida
“Cotton State Classic: Most-Amazing Eats in Alabama.” Food Network, www.foodnetwork.com/restaurants/packages/best-food-in-america/photos/what-to-eat-alabama
“Noshing in the Natural State: The Best Things to Eat in Arkansas.” Food Network, www.foodnetwork.com/restaurants/packages/best-food-in-america/photos/what-to-eat-in-arkansas
“Commonwealth Cravings: The Most-Iconic Dishes in Virginia.” Food Nework, www.foodnetwork.com/restaurants/packages/best-food-in-america/photos/what-to-eat-in-virginia
“The South’s Best Museums.” Southern Living, Meredith Corporation, www.southernliving.com/travel/2016-souths-best-museums
Erdman, Jon and Brian Donegan. “July is the Warmest Month of the Year for Much of the U.S.” Weather.com, TWC Product and Technology LLC, weather.com/science/news/warmest-day-year-map-noaa-ncdc-20140626
“Fall Temperature Averages for Every State.” Current Results, www.currentresults.com/Weather/US/average-state-temperatures-in-fall.php
“Summer Temperature Averages for Every State.” Current Results, www.currentresults.com/Weather/US/average-state-temperatures-in-summer.php
“Spring Temperature Averages for Every State.” Current Results, www.currentresults.com/Weather/US/average-state-temperatures-in-spring.php
“Winter Temperature Averages for Every State.” Current Results, www.currentresults.com/Weather/US/average-state-temperatures-in-winter.php
Erdman, John. “How Unusual Is Snow and Ice in the South? More Typical Than You Think.” Weather.com, TWC Product and Technology LLC, weather.com/storms/winter/news/south-snow-ice-how-unusual