When you sit down to plan a trip to the American South, the first destinations that come to mind are likely major cities such as Orlando, Florida, and Austin, Texas. Though these are great places to vacation, you’ll find plenty of other excellent choices in the South that you should consider — especially if you want a quieter trip at your own pace. Check out one of these underrated cities the next time you’re planning a trip to the southern United States.
Brunswick is a coastal city in Georgia. You can explore the local culture in the Victorian-era Old Town Historic District or with a visit to St. Simons Island Light. Fort Frederica National Monument, an 18th-century fort and settlement, is another popular sight in the area.
If you book a hotel room in Brunswick you’ll be near all of these attractions. However, the fantastic Georgia coast beaches are what really make the city a great choice for a trip. Nearby Driftwood Beach on Jekyll Island is a gorgeous location and hosts the annual Shrimp & Grits Festival and other events.
College Park, Georgia
College Park is a small city on the outskirts of Atlanta. Its proximity to Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International makes College Park an excellent place to reserve a hotel room, and the city offers easy access to attractions such as the Georgia Aquarium and World of Coca-Cola.
Stay in College Park and make day trips into Georgia’s capital via Interstate 85, or avoid the traffic and go to closer attractions such as the College Football Hall of Fame. You’ll also find a nice variety of restaurants in College Park, including Tropical Cuisine, which serves Caribbean food, and Zab-E-Lee, which is a Thai eatery.
Dripping Springs, Texas
A small city that’s easy to pass by as you head into Austin, Dripping Springs is a hidden gem with loads of charm, a few wonderful restaurants, and plenty of space to unwind under the blue Texas sky. Dripping Springs Ranch Park is a green space where you can spend an afternoon walking, or you can swing by Campo Ben McCulloch to find a camping spot for your motorhome, RV, pop-up camper, or tent. For a more luxurious stay in town, book a comfortable hotel room in Dripping Springs.
Amarillo, Texas, is a last major stop in the Lone Star State where many drivers check into hotels in the city before heading north into Oklahoma or west into New Mexico. Others visit for an afternoon in Wonderland Park, which has huge roller coasters, small family-friendly rides, mini golf, water slides, and more. Cadillac Ranch is a unique and popular art installation in town, and you can learn more about Texas natural history at the Panhandle-Plains Historical Museum. Texas Air & Space Museum is another quality attraction in the city.
Though it can be tempting to visit the South’s biggest cities for a vacation, there’s a lot to discover in smaller towns around the U.S. Head to one of these destinations to enjoy a peaceful change of pace for your next trip.