Unsung Southern Destinations

Head south for some warmer weather this winter!

The winter months bring with them some wonderful things - beautiful snow, hot cocoa by the fire, great holiday celebrations with family and friends - but at after a while, the cold weather can start to wear on us. But thankfully, it’s nothing a little road trip can’t fix! Head to any of these great southern destinations guaranteed to help you thaw out so you can make it through the rest of the winter months. 

1. Greenville, SC
This small town in the Upstate of South Carolina is gaining a reputation as an up-and-comer. Their downtown is cute as a button - with wide streets tree lined streets full of great shops and food choices. Adjacent to downtown, you’ll find Falls Park on the Reedy. This park is famous for its pedestrian suspension bridge that is supported on one side, giving walkers a clear view of the river as they pass. If you’re up for a bit of a longer hike - check out the Swamp Rabbit Trail. The trail is 20 miles long and runs along the Reedy River and through several city parks.

2. Naples, Florida
Snowbirds have the right idea - who wouldn’t want to head to Florida in the middle of the winter? While Naples is known for it’s high-end shopping and beautiful white sand beaches - they also have some amazing ways to get outdoors and enjoy the amazing Florida wildlife. Top on our list would be the Delnor-Wiggins Pass State Park that offers great hiking trails, bird watching, and even some fishing spots. Another must see spot is the Naples Botanical Gardens. If you head down there before January 3rd, you can check out their Night Lights in the Gardens display, which - as the name implies - puts the gardens into a spectacular display of lights.

3. Birmingham, Alabama
As the largest city in Alabama - we weren’t expecting Birmingham to have such an extensive nature preserve - but they do, and that’s why they made our list! The Ruffner Mountain Nature Preserve has it all - 14 miles of trails to hike, several mining sites that were used in the 1950s, and even a quarry you can check out. Another must-see spot is Railroad park. This 19 acre park in central downtown was developed as a tribute to the city’s history. And if you visit before the end of the year, they have an ice-skating rink that sounds like too much fun.

4. Dawsonville, GA
This town, found slightly northeast of Atlanta, is home to one of the most spectacular state parks we’ve ever visited -- Amicalola Falls State Park. This particular park has too many trails to count, including some that mark the end of the Appalachian Trail. But - our personal favorite - is the one that leads up to the highest waterfall east of the Mississippi River - appropriately called Amicalola Falls. If you make it up there - there is a great bridge that walks you across the falls so you can see the water coming and going. The falling water has a magical, ethereal quality that is not to be missed.

5. Chattanooga, TN
Found along the Tennessee River at the bottom of the Appalachian Trail - Chattanooga, TN is home to one of the amazing and incredible, Lookout Mountain. Not only can you see seven - that’s right, SEVEN - different states from the top of this mountain - but it has two other incredible destinations nestled inside it. Hidden in the depths of this mountain is Ruby Falls - America’s largest underground waterfall. The waterfall is often illuminated with interesting colored lights to add to the dramatic effect. As you continue to climb to the top of the mountain - you can make your way through Rock City, which basically looks like a garden paradise. The beautiful, sweeping foliage is a wonderfully stark contrast to the rock formations. Truly incredible.

While we can’t guarantee that all of these destinations will be sporting 70+ degree temperatures, they are sure to be warmer than some of the snowy northern destinations - and hopefully will be enough fun to keep you energized through the spring time!

Trader Online Web Developer

1 comment:

  1. Anonymous11:39 AM

    Great picks...but how 'bout some west coast destinations that don't require four days travel from the northern border....?


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