The East and West coasts of the USA may attract all the attention, but it’s America’s Southern States that have all the charm for travellers, injecting a super-sized dose of Americana into their USA itineraries.

So vast and incredibly varied are America’s Southern States that they’re pretty much their own little worlds. And although most visitors to the USA head to popular states and cities such as California and New York, it’s the south that leaves travellers with the best memories.

Here are seven Southern States that will likely deliver the goods and are worthy of exploration.

Make sure you read until the end where you’ll learn how you can win a money-can’t-buy-experience to either Nevada, West Hollywood (WeHo), the Southern States or Hawaii, just by booking a paid trip to any of these four places with Excite Holidays.


1. Sweet home Alabama


The seat – literally – of the American Civil Rights movement (it was on a city bus in Montgomery, Alabama, that Rosa Parks refused to get up for a white man), Alabama wears its history proudly, evident in the museums and historic homes (including Martin Luther King Jr’s) that line its wide streets and boulevards.

But don’t just come here for the past. Equally worth dropping by for are the clean as a whistle sandy beaches, dramatic landscapes, and verdant forests – worthy of a little exploration on two-wheels.


2. Explore Georgia


Georgia’s the kind of place that reels you outdoors, out amongst the marshes, the mountains and the 47 state parks that somehow fit within the borders of this great southern state.

But before you head to the great outdoors, spend some time in the capital, Atlanta, whose vibrant and cosmopolitan population keeps things interesting at any hour of the day or night.


3. Only in Kentucky


Even if you’ve never set foot inside Kentucky, odds are the southern state has had some influence on your life, either through the inspirational acts and deeds of Abraham Lincoln and Muhammad Ali – who were both born in Kentucky – or the finger-licking legacy of Colonel Sanders, who developed his recipe for the best chicken in the world here.

And then there’s the bourbon – that distinctively American drink. Taste some of the best bourbon in the world by visiting the best distilleries in the area on the famed Bourbon trail, passing scenic meadows and beautiful estate houses along the way.


4. Pick your passion in Louisiana


Louisiana is the foot-tapping southern state that has more creativity than it knows what to do with. It has already developed its own music (jazz) and its own cuisine (Cajun) and yet it still has more to give. Take the Mardi Gras in New Orleans, for example. This colourful festival is another expression of Louisiana’s creative spirit.

For those that prefer to get amongst nature, this southern state provides too, with trips through natural swamps and wetlands waiting for you just outside the city limits.


5. Visit Mississippi


Come here for the history, the architecture and the Mississippi Delta, but stay for the incredibly friendly locals, the yummy seafood (including spicy boiled crawfish and crabs), and the top-notch musical entertainment.

Of course, a visit here isn’t complete without paying homage to the King at his birthplace home, but tick off must-dos as soon as you can and spend the rest of your time here just soaking it all in. This is a southern state to just take things slowly…


6. Enjoy Missouri


Music, entertainment, food and the great outdoors – Missouri is all this and more. A lengthy stretch of the famous Route 66 cuts through this southern state, giving visitors a hefty dose of Americana, all served with side dishes of modern metropolises (such as St. Louis and Kansas City), friendly small towns, and towering mountain ranges.

Missouri also has a rich historical legacy, being the birthplace of such musical icons such as Miles Davis and Tina Turner.


7. Made in Tennessee


It’s hard not to be charmed by any of America’s Southern States, but there’s just something special about Tennessee. A visit here is as uniquely American as it gets, and if that isn’t enough to make a lasting impression on you, the warm embrace of its locals will. Plus there’s the fact that Tennessee is just naturally gorgeous.

But it’s really the music that you should come for. Nashville, Memphis – these two great American cities have done more for popular music than perhaps any other in the world, birthing not one but two musical genres: country and rock’n’roll.


Win a holiday to the USA


If reading about these incredible destinations has excited your bones, then hold onto your seat, because just by securing a booking with Excite Holidays to Nevada, West Hollywood, the Southern States or Hawaii between 9 January and 5 March 2017, you will go into the draw to win a money-can’t-buy trip to one of these stateside destinations.

That’s four separate holidays for four lucky agents.

Agents can also earn 500 bonus rewards points for each night booked and paid for in the featured destinations.

Find out more about how you can win here.

Which southern state are you most looking forward to crossing off your bucket-list?

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