The Deep South of the U.S. spans from Texas, the ‘Lone Star State’, and stretches to the east up to Virginia, the ‘Mother of States’. As one of the most racially diverse areas in the country, you’ll find many Africans, Native Americans and Europeans have made it their home. The best part is the melting pot of cultures and history, complete with Southerners putting their own spin on everything from food and fashion to music and architecture. Y’all in for a toe-tapping, lip-smacking, memory-making journey during your time there! Let’s boogie on down and explore some of the gems of the South.
Delve into a fishy history.
Being so close to the Mexico Gulf and the Mississippi Delta area means Southerners are quite partial to their seafood. Shrimp, swordfish, catfish and oysters are just some of the marine-life that is lovingly crafted into a tasty meal. Biloxi, Mississippi is home to the Maritime & Seafood Museum where you can deep dive into the history of shrimping, recreational fishing, net making, boat building, and marine resource management. Relive the traditions of the Mississippi Gulf Coast by boarding an authentic replica of a Biloxi Schooner and set sail. These “White Winged Queens” sailed the coastline from the late 1800’s to the early 1900’s and are an integral part of Mississippi’s marine history.
Float amongst nature.
Have you ever heard of the Pascagoula River? It’s the largest free-flowing river (in continental U.S.) and has its own wildlife sanctuary – the Pascagoula River Audubon Centre – that spans a whopping 70,000 acres! This bustling bayou has a plethora of protected wildlife and plant life that is unique to the region, plus well over 300 species of migrating birds, making it a nature-lovers’ paradise. Hop into a kayak to float along the river to go bird-spotting. Keep your eyes peeled for bald eagles, blue herons, pelicans and much more!
Gaze at unique spaces.
Frank Lloyd Wright was a well-known architect, made famous by coining the term ‘Usonia’ and incorporating that into the design of his unique Usonian homes. With only 60 homes ever built, the thought that went into the process is fascinating. Wright’s vision was for the Usonian home to have a strong indoor/outdoor visual connection. A Usonian home is typically:
- A single-level dwelling with a flat roof, L-shaped to fit around a garden.
- Built with native materials like cypress wood and brick.
- Has large, cantilevered overhangs for passive solar heating and natural cooling; and
- Includes clerestory windows for natural lighting and radiant floor heating.
The only Wright structure in Alabama is the Rosenbaum House, and we’ll take you there to gaze upon a unique space.
Clap along to the beat.
As expected, with a diverse set of cultures comes a diverse range of music. Southerners are proud to have developed genres such as jazz, rock, country and bluegrass – just to name a few! Elvis Presley, Aretha Franklin, Ray Charles, Cee Lo Green, Louis Armstrong, Janis Joplin and Beyonce were all born in a Southern State and have played integral parts in America’s musical history. One of the many popular recording studios is the Florence Alabama Music Enterprise (FAME), where we’ll take you on a guided tour. Having produced more than 80 ‘Top 10’ records, you won’t be able to keep your toes from tapping along!
The 10-day Boogie & Blues: The Southern U.S. by Design tour features all the above as complimentary YourChoice excursions, curated experiences for you to tailor your holiday to your interests! Book now for your 2022 adventure to a fascinating region of the U.S.