I haven’t been back to the United States since I had my baby last year, and am itching to return and do some travelling. I asked Margie of family travel blog DQ Travel to name her top cities to visit in the South with kids, and these are her picks!
5. Atlanta, GA
This is my favorite city in the South because there is so much to do for the whole family! Our family loved visiting the World of Cola-Cola. Not only do they have a vintage Coke museum filled with memorabilia, but a tasting room of Coke products from around the world. To top it off, you receive a glass bottle of Coke upon exiting and their gift shop has something for everyone. Across the street is our favorite aquarium – the Georgia Aquarium. We absolutely loved interacting with the beluga whales and stared at the giant manta rays and whale sharks for over an hour. Our family loves football, so we had to stop into the College Football Hall of Fame. This place was so much better than I thought it would be. They had numerous interactive exhibits that were geared towards your team (through an All Access Pass you wear as a lanyard and scan at the various stops). Our favorite part though was kicking a field goal (rather attempting to kick it), and catching diving passes and landing on a cushion to break the fall. Stone Mountain is also a quick 20-minute drive and provides all day walking trails, mini golf, and seasonal activities to break from the city life.
4. St. Augustine, FL
The oldest city in the country is one of our favorite places to visit in the South due to its quaintness and historical significance. Our kids loved exploring Castillo San Marcos and completing the junior ranger activities. Walking the ramparts, pretending to fire cannons and just admiring the view from the top, is always something we do when we visit St. Augustine. It’s also has a very small, walkable downtown area with great restaurants and shops. Many of the streets are cobblestone and the Spanish architecture of the city resembles a European town. There are also many pirate museums and shops that the kids enjoyed visiting too.
3. Pigeon Forge, TN
This city is a kids’ paradise. Located less than 10 minutes away from the Great Smoky Mountains, the hiking trails and views of forests are abundant. Both times we visited, we rented a cabin, and all of us did not want to leave the house! When we did leave, we explored the nearby town of Gatlinburg which had an aquarium, Ripley’s Believe it or Not and many shops in their main street area. There were also plenty of distilleries for the adults to visit as well! In Pigeon Forge itself, there is the main road filled with mini golf spots, arcades, go-cart rentals and western themed dinner shows. We love visiting this city and plan to be back soon.
2. Greenville, SC
This small town in South Carolina was a hidden gem we discovered last year. Their downtown has great food and a beautiful park called Falls Park at the Reedy. The center of the park has a gorgeous rocky waterfall and a suspension bridge over it. There are plenty of walking trails and green areas for the whole family to enjoy spending time outdoors. We also enjoyed biking along the Swamp Rabbit Trail, a 20-mile bike path that connects Greenville to two nearby towns. Although we only biked 6 miles roundtrip, we enjoyed the scenic trail to breakfast and then to a brewery to pick up a growler for later. The kids’ favorite activity though was the Children’s Museum of the Upstate. There were countless interactive and educational exhibits, rock climbing and a giant play structure that kept the kids entertained for hours!
1. Charleston, SC
We love Charleston because of the food, history, and charm of the city. It is the quintessential Southern city! Our kids enjoyed the aquarium, and also taking the ferry and visiting Fort Sumter, where they learned about the Civil War. We also walked the downtown and the adults enjoyed eating our way through the city and admiring the architecture and brightly colored houses. There are also many plantations about 10-20 minutes away from Charleston. Walking through an old Southern mansion and plantation is truly an experience that helps you understand the reality of life in the South.
– By Margie of DQ Travel.
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