Southern Secrets: Exploring Hidden Road Trip Treasures

Marti Travis Gonzalez
| July 13, 2023 | 3 Minute Read
A lone kyaker paddling on a quiet river or lake that feels like a swamp Getty

Embarking on a road trip with your family is an adventure like no other. While popular destinations often steal the limelight, a whole world of hidden gems is waiting to be discovered in the southern region of the United States.

Join us as we unveil some lesser-known road trips that offer fantastic family activities and fun attractions along the way. From scenic landscapes to captivating historical sites, these journeys promise unforgettable memories for the whole family.

A southern mansion with large trees in the front lawn. Getty

The Natchez Trace Parkway Adventure

  • Route: Nashville, Tennessee to Natchez, Mississippi
  • Total Mileage: Approximately 444 miles
  • Driving Time: Around 10-12 hours


Nashville, Tennessee: Begin your journey in Music City and explore iconic attractions such as the Grand Ole Opry and the Country Music Hall of Fame.

Meriwether Lewis Monument: Discover the history and pay homage to the famed explorer at this intriguing site along the Natchez Trace Parkway.

Tupelo, Mississippi: Visit the birthplace of Elvis Presley and immerse yourself in the rich musical heritage of the region.

Vicksburg National Military Park: Step back in time and explore the historic battlefield and memorials commemorating the Civil War.

Natchez, Mississippi: Conclude your trip in this charming city, known for its antebellum homes and breathtaking views of the Mississippi River.


A woman walking down a sandy beach path toward the water in Florida. Getty

Florida's Forgotten Coast Expedition

  • Route: Tallahassee, Florida to Pensacola, Florida
  • Total Mileage: Approximately 230 miles
  • Driving Time: Around 5-6 hours


Tallahassee, Florida: Begin your journey in the state capital and explore attractions like the Tallahassee Museum, Mission San Luis de Apalachee and the Florida Historic Capitol Museum.

Wakulla Springs State Park: Take a refreshing dip in the crystal-clear springs or enjoy a riverboat tour to spot wildlife in their natural habitat.

Apalachicola, Florida: Known for its charming historic district and delicious seafood, this coastal town offers a taste of old Florida.

St. George Island State Park: Relax on pristine beaches, go fishing, or embark on a nature trail adventure in this untouched paradise.

Pensacola, Florida: End your expedition in this vibrant city, where you can explore the National Naval Aviation Museum and enjoy the beautiful Gulf Coast beaches.

Brand USA - Louisiana DAAG Road trips and Foodie Hubs 2018 Explore Louisiana

Cajun Country Discovery

  • Route: Lafayette, Louisiana to New Orleans, Louisiana
  • Total Mileage: Approximately 135 miles
  • Driving Time: Around 2-3 hours


Lafayette, Louisiana: Start your journey in the heart of Cajun Country and experience soulful music, delicious cuisine, and the unique culture of the Acadiana region.

Avery Island: Discover the birthplace of TABASCO® sauce and tour the beautiful Jungle Gardens, home to exotic flora and fauna.

Vermilionville: Immerse yourself in Louisiana's history and heritage at this living history museum, where costumed artisans demonstrate traditional crafts.

Houmas House Plantation and Gardens: Step back in time at this stunning plantation, known as "The Crown Jewel of Louisiana's River Road."

New Orleans, Louisiana: Conclude your trip in the vibrant city of New Orleans, where you can enjoy live jazz music, indulge in Creole cuisine, and explore the French Quarter.

Venturing off the beaten path in the southern United States unveils a treasure trove of lesser-known road trips brimming with family-friendly activities and captivating attractions.

Wherever you choose to go, these road trips offer a delightful blend of natural beauty, history, and culture. So, pack your bags, hit the road, and create memories that will last a lifetime with your friends and family. Happy travels!

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