The travel season is right around the corner. What better way to chase away the winter blues than a girls’ trip. Gather your girl squad and your gear and hit the road. Experience southern hospitality first-hand by vacationing somewhere within the 663 miles between Miami in the Sunshine State and Atlanta in the Peach State. Here are five fun-filled southeastern destinations to visit with your besties.
Before or after you go to the beach, because you definitely have to go to the beach, Miami has plenty of great places to visit. South Beach is famously situated between the Atlantic Ocean and Biscayne Bay. Boutiques, restaurants, and entertainment are plentiful. Zoo Miami is one of several outdoor attractions geared toward animal lovers. Miami is home to numerous art museums. There are several specialty museums in Miami as well. Vizcaya Museum and Gardens should be at the top of one’s itinerary. Described as “the finest private house ever built in America”, Vizcaya is magnificent.
Escape Games are gaining popularity; there are several to choose from in Orlando. Orlando Premium Outlets on Vineland Avenue is home to top designer outlet stores. The Florida Mall is on the corner of Orange Blossom Trail and Sand Lake Road. The Mall at Millenia is just off of Interstate 4. Orlando International Premium Outlets is among the numerous gift and specialty shops located on International Drive. Disney Springs is a shopping lover’s dream come true.
Visiting Orlando without checking out at least one theme park is criminal. The central Florida city is home to several of the most popular theme parks in the United States, if not the world. Disney has four fantastic theme parks and two water parks in Orlando (Magic Kingdom, Epcot, Hollywood Studios, Animal Kingdom, Disney’s Typhoon Lagoon, and Disney’s Blizzard Beach). Universal has two parks in Orlando (Universal Studios and Universal’s Islands of Adventure). Sea World Orlando, Discovery Cove, and Aquatica are aquatic themed sister parks.
Nature lovers will fall in love with the 50-acres and historic home at Harry P. Leu Gardens. Lake Eola Park is the perfect place to take a walk. The Orlando Museum of Art houses rotating collections of American, pre-Colombian, and African Art. It would take weeks, maybe even months, to do everything there is to do in Orlando.
St. Augustine, Florida
Founded in 1565, St. Augustine is believed to be the oldest city in the United States. It is home to the Castillo de San Marcos, a 17th-century Spanish stone fortress. Living history museums can be found throughout the city of St. Augustine. A variety of tour services, including horse-drawn carriage and Segway tours, are offered to visitors. It will be hard to go home empty-handed with so much contemporary art, fine art, and handmade crafts available. There is over 452 years of history to discover in the Nation’s Oldest City.
Savannah is famous for its plentiful parks, horse-drawn carriage rides, and antebellum architecture. The historic district features squares and parks filled with oak trees covered with Spanish moss. The Gothic-Revival Cathedral of Saint John the Baptist is a landmark at the center of the historic district. The Juliette Gordon Low Birthplace is a historic site owned and operated by Girl Scouts USA. Juliette Gordon Low was the founder of Girl Scouts. She established the first American Girl Guide troop in Savannah, Georgia in 1912. The group became known as the Girl Scouts in 1915. One of the best places to stay is along the river. Savannah River Street along the waterfront has festive feel, especially at night. There are boutiques, galleries, hotels, pubs, restaurants, and more along the Savannah River.
Atlanta is a modern metropolis. The capital of Georgia has a rich history. Important Civil War and the Civil Rights Movement events occurred in the southern city. There are landmarks and historic sites, like the Martin Luther King Jr. National Historic Site, to commemorate them. Stone Mountain Park is one of Georgia’s most popular attractions. The park is built around the world’s largest piece of exposed granite. Centennial Olympic Park was constructed for the 1996 Olympic Games. It is in close proximity to several of the best attractions in the city. One of the best money-saving options for visitors is the CityPASS Atlanta. An easy-to-use booklet gives visitors 9 consecutive days to visit some of the top attractions at 40% off the regular price of the individual attractions. CityPASS Atlanta options include any 5 of the following:
- CNN Studio Tours
- Fernbank Museum of Natural History OR College Football Hall of Fame
- Georgia Aquarium
- World of Coca-Cola
- Zoo Atlanta OR Center for Civil and Human Rights
The United States Census Bureau identifies 16 states as part of the American South. Two of the states that make up the South Atlantic region are Florida and Georgia. Every state in the south has something to offer visitors because to quote Roy Blount, Jr., “…Southern hospitality is an institution.” The two most southern states have outstanding features that make them premium travel destinations.