The Southern United States can provide endless opportunities for great travel experiences and adventure. The South has abundant natural wonders from sunny beaches and wild rivers to towering mountain ranges, as well as many awesome artificial attractions. Let’s check out some specific destinations in the South and a few of the unique adventures you can find in each area.
Charleston is among the most visited cities in the nation and it boasts a colorful history. Blackbeard the pirate once blockaded the harbor and dark tales of the civil war and sordid affairs of the past abound. There are a variety of unique tours available if you’d like to explore this spooky side of Charleston, including night-time tours led by pirates and a tour of the dark and haunted side of Charleston that is only for those 18 and older! If you’re interested in outdoor adventures you can go on a boat tour in search of Atlantic bottle-nose dolphins or take a kayak down the Ashley River past shipwreck sites and old historic houses.
Where to sleep: The Restoration hotel in Charleston
There is much more to do in Myrtle Beach than just play in the sand! If you like to be scared check out Ripley’s Haunted Adventure, a unique haunted house full of live actors determined to terrorize you, or the Ripley’s Marvelous Mirror Maze, a labyrinth of mirrors and LED lights in which you may become hopelessly lost. Another unique adventure is the Soar + Explore, a pirate themed zip-line and ropes course with 33 different challenges to face while you zoom 50 feet above water!
Where to sleep: Crown Reef Resort in Myrtle Beach
Gatlinburg is right at the entrance to the Great Smokey Mountains National Park, so there are plenty of opportunities for amazing outdoor adventures close by. For example Ober Gatlinburg, Tennessee’s only ski resort, boasts a 400 foot snow tubing park with a 50 foot vertical drop. There are also plenty of opportunities for white water rafting on the nearby class III and IV rapids with names like “Razor Blade” and “Too Late”. To get an awesome view of the town and Smokey Mountains day or night check out the Gatlinburg Sky Lift, that will take you over 1800 feet high to the top of a mountain overlooking the city.
Where to sleep: The Lodge at Buckberry Creek in Gatlingburg.
Fredericksburg is located in the Texas Hill Country and is close to the Enchanted Rock State Natural Area, where a massive dome of pink granite rises above the landscape. The unique dome provides some great hiking and climbing adventure opportunities and you can either sign up for a climbing tour or climb the rock yourself after signing in at the park headquarters. Another unique site to see is the abandoned railroad tunnel at the nearby Old Tunnel State Park. Up to 3 million Mexican free tailed bats live in the tunnel from May to October and emerge in a spectacular display nightly.
Where to sleep: Hampton Inn & Suites Fredericksburg.
Another Texas Hill Country town is New Braunfels. This is the home of Schlitterbahn, the best water park in the country. The water park in New Braunfels has a variety of exciting water rides including “The Black Knight” that completely encloses you in darkness as you race down twists and drops and the six-story tall “Master Blaster Uphill Water Coaster” that has consistently been voted the best water ride in the United States. Another adventure available in New Braunfels are the adventure tours at the Natural Bridge Caverns. These tours will take you on a difficult 3 to 4 hour journey into the caverns. You’ll have to crawl, climb, and rappel through wild passages with only the light of your helmet!
Where to sleep: Hilton Garden Inn New Braunfels.
As you can see there are plenty of opportunities for unique and exciting adventures in these cities and throughout the South. So what are you waiting for? Plan a trip to visit these awesome places!