Beach bums and nature lovers need look no further than the states of North and South Carolina, Georgia, Alabama, Virginia, and West Virginia. With sandy stretches along the Atlantic Ocean and Gulf of Mexico, there are plenty of opportunities for sunbathing, surfing, and swimming. History buffs, meanwhile, can enjoy the region’s fascinating cities, steeped in history from the Civil Rights era.
Raleigh’s Neuse River Greenway Trail offers 44 kilometers of trails through wetlands and past historic sights. For a more metropolitan feel, head to the Glenwood South neighborhood for great nightlife or Fayetteville Street District for top-notch theater.
|Raleigh is the capital city of North Carolina.
Explore more of the state along the Blue Ridge Parkway. Stop off at the Linville Gorge, the deepest gorge in eastern America, and the Mile High Swinging Bridge for panoramic views over the Blue Ridge Mountains.
|Linville Gorge is the deepest gorge in eastern America.
After you’ve recovered from the adrenaline rush, head to Outer Banks, a 320-kilometer-long stretch of barrier islands with beautiful beaches and historic lighthouses.
Charleston may not be the South Carolina’s capital, but it’s the state’s largest city. Enjoy the 18th and 19th-century buildings in the Historic District, bar hop along King Street, or simply relax at Charleston Harbor. The town of Myrtle Beach is also worth visiting for pristine (but busy) beaches.
|Visit Myrtle Beach for its pristine (but busy) beaches.
More secluded sandy stretches can be found on the laidback Hilton Head Island, also home to picturesque golf courses and cycling trails.
The natural highlight of South Carolina is Caesars Head State Park, where you can enjoy the best views of Table Rock mountain from the Overlook. Follow the Raven Cliff Falls Trail past impressive waterfalls or the Jones Gap Trail to find natural swimming holes.
During the day, check out Atlanta’s scenic Piedmont Park for gorgeous colorful flower displays. After dark, enjoy Broadway tours at Fox Theater or have the quintessential American experience at the Starlight Drive-In Theater.
|Atlanta is a bustling city day and night.
The quirkiest neighborhoods include East Atlanta for bars and clubs and Decatur for classic southern food, breweries, and pubs.
Jekyll Island offers some of Georgia’s best beaches, but they can get pretty packed.
|Jekyll Island offers some of Georgia’s best beaches.
For a more secluded escape, head to the town of Waycross to book a boat tour around the Okefenokee Swamp, where you could spot some of the 1,000 resident gators.
The two cities of Montgomery and Birmingham are full of Civil Rights history. While in Montgomery, be sure to visit the Civil Rights Memorial, Rosa Parks Library and Museum, and Freedom Rides Museum. In Birmingham, check out the Civil Rights Institute, before enjoying something more light-hearted at the Alabama Theater.
|Birmingham is the most populous city in Alabama.
After catching a show, head out for great nightlife in neighborhoods like 5 Points South, Lakeview, and Northside.
Some of Alabama’s best beaches are in the Gulf State Park, which offers over three kilometers of soft white sand with recreational areas for volleyball and tennis. Over in Mobile Bay, you can enjoy the ocean and lake beaches of Dauphin Island, with its historic Fort Gaines.
|Enjoy the ocean and lake beaches on Dauphin Island.|
The quirky neighborhood of Carytown in Richmond (Virginia’s capital) offers a wide array of antique shops, fashion boutiques, restaurants, and bars. Another town worth visiting is Virginia Beach, with lots of busy beaches and exciting amusements, such as the Ocean Breeze Waterpark.
|Visit the town of Virginia Beach for lots of busy beaches and exciting amusements.
Virginia’s best natural beauty can be found in the Shenandoah National Park, which is best explored along the Skyline Drive. Stop off at President Hoover’s old summer residence and the stunning Dark Hollow Falls.
|Shenandoah National Park is best explored along the Skyline Drive.
Elsewhere in Virginia, you can head underground at the Luray Caverns to learn about unique calcite formations and shimmering interior lakes.
The best way to explore Charleston is along the track from the West Virginia State Museum towards the historic Downtown. You’ll follow the scenic Kanawha River and can take a detour to Magic Island Park, the perfect spot to enjoy a picnic with food you’ve bought at the vibrant Capitol Market.
West Virginia has a great ski scene. Snowshoe Basin, for example, has something for all levels with nearly 40 trails. The Western Territory Area, meanwhile, is intended for more advanced skiers, with its 457-meter vertical drop.
|Go rock climbing in West Virginia.
Enjoy more natural beauty at the Monogahela National Forest. Home to the highest peak in the state (1,480m), this area offers challenging hikes, as well as rock climbing at the 76-meter-deep Seneca Rocks.
If NextStop24 helped you to choose your next travel destination, we'd be very grateful if you’d search for your accommodation and things to do in the United States of America through these links. They're affiliate links, which means that we will receive a small commission for every booking made through them. There are no extra costs for you; you'll simply be helping to keep NextStop24 running. Thanks!
Find More Destinations
Find More Destinations
|California||Canada - British Columbia|
|Florida||Canada - Canadian Prairies|
|Great Plains||Canada - Central|
|Hawaii||Mexico - Baja California|
|Mid-Atlantic||Mexico - Yucatán Peninsula|
|New York City|
Beach bums and nature lovers need look no further than the states of North and South Carolina, Georgia, Alabama, Virginia, and West Virginia.