When planning a trip to the States, it’s easy to be tempted by the might and majesty of New York, or the sun and sand of California. But the USA is such a multi-faceted country, with many different and varied sides begging to be experienced outside of only it’s most well-known cities. Looking to the South in particular, there are so many states like the ones listed below that drip with culture and links to the country’s past, but are often overlooked. Searching for the roots of the American’s traditions in food and music can provide an experience that is more intimate, informative and authentic.
Louisiana is a state that seems to have a bit of everything. For music lovers, there is of course New Orleans, the birthplace of Jazz and a city with a noted atmosphere and buzz about it at all times. This likely owes a lot to the fact that the people of the state come from such diverse backgrounds, and the state’s emphasis on promoting and encouraging these heritages. Yet there is a huge amount of variety in the state’s geography as well; from the eerie, mist-covered swamps to the many state parks, there will be something to satisfy every visitor. Furthermore, the “creole” dishes that originate from the state are completely unique to Louisiana, blending influences from over eight different countries.
The US state of Georgia is one steeped in history and southern charm, the state that originated Gone with the Wind. And indeed, while there are tours available for visitors to catch a glimpse of the locations from the film and others set in Georgia, it’s far from all the state has to offer. There’s a great deal of natural beauty being showcased in the region also, from the Cumberland Island National Seashore, complete with wild horses, to the world’s longest white-water rafting course along the Chattahoochee River, to the start of the Appalachian Trail at Springer Mountain. It is no wonder that apartments in LaGrange, GA, and other cities outside the main population centre of Atlanta are springing up as the state capitalizes on its gorgeous natural resources.
Tennessee is a state which has music in its bones. It is the birthplace of country, blues, soul, and rock and roll, and thrives in its musical history in a way that no other American state can truly match. From Beale Street in Memphis to Bristol’s “Bristol Sessions” to the Grand Ole Opry in Memphis, there is hardly a place in the state where the musical history cannot be felt. But more than just the famous sites where musical history has been made, there is a massive amount of live music and festivals occurring around the clock, particularly within Nashville. Even once all that has been experienced, you can indulge in traditional American BBQ from Memphis, said to be the best in the nation, or sip a southern-brewed beverage and any of the state’s many breweries or distilleries.