While you may be travelling far from home, when you're in the South, you're never far from home cooking
When it comes to snacking and sipping in the USA, you won't find anywhere more indulgent than the South. With biscuits and gravy, po'boys and pimiento cheese on the menu, these road trips will help you discover the soul in soul food. Whether you're nodding your head to the blues in Nashville, sipping Sazeracs in NOLA, or strolling around historic Atlanta, you'll never have to worry about what's for dinner.
Trips & tours in the South
Highlights of the South
Southern USA trip reviews
Southern USA FAQs
From 1 January 2023, Intrepid will no longer require travellers to provide proof of vaccination against COVID-19 (excluding all Polar trips and select adventure cruises).
However, we continue to strongly recommend that all Intrepid travellers and leaders get vaccinated to protect themselves and others.
Specific proof of testing or vaccination may still be required by your destination or airline. Please ensure you check travel and entry requirements carefully.
Depending on which state you're travelling to in the South, getting around is fairly easy, with each state harbouring at least one major airport. Atlanta is a huge hub for international travel, and the Hartsfield Jackson Atlanta Airport sees the most amount of passengers per year worldwide (we weren't joking when we said huge!)
Select trains and buses will travel between the major cities, and you can use a website like BusBud to help choose the best route for your itinerary. If road-tripping is your mojo, Southern road trips can be a blast! There are tons of interesting cities to drive between, a myriad of entertaining roadside stops, and plenty of delicious food to keep your metaphorical tank as full as the tank of your car. All you need is a map and a good playlist and adventure awaits.
The South can get mighty steamy, especially in the summertime where you can expect high humidity for the majority of the day. Since the Southern USA is made up of 16 of the 50 states the climate can vary, but keep in mind that all of the states in the South are subject to hurricanes and tropical storms from June 1-November 30. If you plan on travelling during this period it's wise to pack a rain jacket and waterproof shoes and keep an eye on the forecast.
Since the Southern states can have oppressively hot summers and cold, wet winters, the best time to visit is typically shoulder season: either April-May or September-October. If you thrive in the heat and want to visit during the summer months, you can catch a cool breeze at one of the beaches outside of the coastal cities of Charleston or Savannah, or enjoy some cooler temps in the Blue Ridge Mountains. In major cities, accommodations with air conditioning are almost ubiquitous. If you pack the right clothing and hydrate properly, you might just come to love the sweet, sweltering heat of the South.
The heat and humidity in the summertime can be extreme, so we recommend loose layers and a light jacket for rain or cooler evenings. If you're planning on spending time in the mountains, proper hiking gear, good footwear, and rainproof clothing are a must. Folks in the South typically dress casually but are known to up their game at fancier events or restaurants, so make sure to check for a dress code before you head out to a certain spot.
Soul food is at the epicentre of the Southern experience, and a visit wouldn't be complete without sampling the local fare. When you think of Southern cuisine, you might be expecting exclusively heavy, meat-focused dishes, but it's a common misconception that vegetarians and vegans won't be able to find nourishing foods. Culturally, there are long-standing generalizations that historically Black foods are unhealthy when in reality most recipes are rooted in farm-to-table cooking with fresh produce and heritage grains.
Some of the larger cities like Atlanta, New Orleans, and Nashville, have burgeoning and diverse vegan/vegetarian scenes with dishes like jackfruit bbq ribs, collard greens, and alternative meat burgers. You'll even be able to find vegan versions of some of the classics like shrimp and grits and po'boys. The folks down South are friendly and welcoming, so if you've got a dietary restriction, just let 'em know and chances are they'll happily find a way to feed you.
Intrepid is committed to making travel widely accessible, regardless of ability or disability. That’s why we do our best to help as many people see the world as possible, regardless of any physical or mental limitations they might have. Accessibility depends on where in the South you're travelling but in general, the major cities in the South are relatively well equipped to deal with any disabilities in many areas such as mobility, transportation, and communication. We’re always happy to talk to travellers with disabilities and see if we can help guide them toward the most suitable itinerary for their needs and where possible, make reasonable adjustments to our itineraries.
America is mostly a safe destination for travellers who identify as LGBTQIA+. Same-sex marriage is legal in all 50 states and there there are some anti-discrimination laws to protect sexual orientation and gender identity.
In more rural areas, overt displays of affection can attract negative responses in smaller towns, which tend to be more conservative. Parts of the Southern US belong to a region called the "Bible Belt" where very conservative Christianity plays a strong role in society, and many communities can remain stuck in their conservative ways. Larger cities like Charleston, Nashville, New Orleans, and Atlanta have thriving gay communities and plenty of queer-owned businesses to support.
For more detailed and up-to-date advice, we recommend visiting Equaldex before you travel.
If you are travelling solo on an Intrepid group tour, you will share accommodation with a passenger of the same gender as per your passport information. If you don’t identify with the gender assigned on your passport, please let us know at the time of booking and we’ll arrange the rooming configuration accordingly. A single supplement is available on some tours for travellers who do not wish to share a room.
Yes, all Intrepid trips support the Intrepid Foundation. In fact, we make a donation on behalf of every traveller. Trips to this country directly support our global Intrepid Foundation partner, Eden Reforestation Projects.
Eden Reforestation Projects
Eden Reforestation Projects are helping to mitigate climate change by restoring forests worldwide; they also hire locally and create job opportunities within vulnerable communities. Donations from our trips support restoration across planting sites in 10 countries around the globe.