Southeast U.S.

Welcome to the Ultimate Southeast United States Travel Guide!

This region of the United States consists of these states: Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, and West Virginia.

The southeast is known for Bluegrass, Jazz, and Country music, French and Cuban influences along the Gulf of Mexico, the Blue Ridge Mountains, Whisky and Bourbon, and antebellum cities like Charleston and Savannah.

Whatever kind of adventure you want to have here, this guide has everything you need for planning a trip!

Ready to plan your trip? Then here’s your ultimate Southeast United States travel guide!

Top Cities to Visit

Asheville, North Carolina

Charleston, South Carolina

Chattanooga, Tennessee

Gulf Shores, Alabama

Highlands, North Carolina

Miami, Florida

Nashville, Tennessee

New Orleans, Louisiana

Orlando, Florida

Savannah, Georgia

St. Simons, Georgia

Virginia Beach, Virginia


When To Go


Fall is the best time to visit the Southeast. Temperatures and humidity are lower, there are no school breaks during these months, so crowds will be less, and the fiery-colored fall foliage will take your breath away.

The days will be mild, and you’ll want a layer for the mornings and evenings. If you’re in the mountains in late-October or November, you’ll need warmer layers for the whole day. Along the Gulf of Mexico or in Southern Florida, this will still be swimsuit weather, though the water will be cold.

The Great Smoky Mountains is one of the Best Destinations To Visit In October!

Winter isn’t the best time to visit the Southeast. The temperature will be cold enough (with high chances of rain, but rarely snow) to make you want to stay indoors. But outdoor activities are what the Southeast is known for.

The two exceptions for visiting the Southeast in the Winter are:

Skiing in the higher elevations of Virginia and West Virginia

Miami and the Florida Keys. Temperatures will still be pleasant (almost warm) here.

I consider Miami to be one of the Best Destinations To Visit In January and New Orleans to be one of the Top Places To Visit In February!

This is a great season to visit because cultivated gardens and wildflowers will be in bloom, and lush foliage will have returned to the forests and National Parks. The weather can still be cold in the evenings and mornings in March and early April in the higher elevations, but for the most part, you’ll want shorts and short-sleeves during the day.

To steer clear of the increasing crowds, avoid popular Spring break weeks from mid-March to early April.

Charleston, South Carolina, is one of the Best Destinations To Visit In April!

Prepare yourself, because Summer will be hot and humid, and you’ll need plenty of bug spray for the mosquitos. Because of school summer breaks, crowds will also be at their peak, especially the beaches.

But don’t let this scare you away from visiting in the summer. This is also when some of the best festivals in the Southeast take place, such as the Atlanta Food & Wine Festival, Key West Pride, Bonnaroo, Charleston Carifest, and the Beer, Bourbon & BBQ Festival in North Carolina.

Nashville, Tennessee, is one of the Best Places To Visit In June!

Best National & State Parks to Visit

Biscayne National Park in Florida

Dry Tortugas National Park in the Gulf of Mexico off the coast of Florida

Everglades National Park in Florida

Fall Creek Falls State Park in Tennessee

Great Smoky Mountains National Park in Tennessee and North Carolina

Hot Springs National Park in Arkansas

Mammoth Cave National Park in Kentucky

Shenandoah National Park in Virginia


The Most Scenic Drives

Blue Ridge Parkway through Virginia and North Carolina

Highway 276 through Pisgah National Forest in North Carolina

Kentucky Bluegrass Backroads

Ozark National Forest on the Pig Trail Scenic Byway

Seaside Loop in Florida

The Overseas Highway through the Florida Keys


Must-Do Excursions

Taste your way through the Kentucky Bourbon Trail

Experience Mardi Gras in New Orleans

Visit the Biltmore in Asheville, North Carolina

Swim in the Florida Keys

Take a riverboat cruise on the Mississippi River

Swim with manatees

Hike in the Smoky Mountains

Visit the Jack Daniels Distillery in Tennessee

My Must-Have Guide Books

Shop My Travel Essentials


Local Foods To Try

Peach Cobbler

Fried Chicken

Shrimp and Grits

Fried Green Tomatoes

Low Country Boil

Chicken Fried Steak

Fried Catfish



Have you been to this region? Comment below with anything you’d add to this Southeast United States travel guide!

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This travel guide is not a sponsored post, and, as always, the thoughts and opinions expressed here are entirely my own. Some of the links in this guide are affiliate links, and, at no cost to you, I may earn a small commission.



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