• Oak Alley Plantation

The Deep South Holidays

Deep South Holidays are a feast for your senses. From the heavenly scent of fried chicken to the notes of bluegrass and country music, America’s Deep South is ready to welcome you in with its classic southern hospitality. Lose yourself in the beat of live music in bars and clubs, indulge in hearty comfort food, and discover rich history during your holidays to America’s Deep South. 

Discover the states of South Carolina, Kentucky, Tennessee, Mississippi, Louisiana, Georgia and Alabama, and soak up the Deep South’s infectious culture of good food and unparalleled hospitality. From Jambalaya and gumbo to barbecue ribs and sweet peach cobbler, dine on endless soul food, and uncover some of the country’s most pivotal history. Follow the Civil Rights Trail to unearth the movement’s landmarks, visit working plantations and the beautiful Antebellum South mansions, and ponder the tales of the past as you wander museums that tell the tales of the region’s history. 

The Soundtrack of the Deep South 

Renowned for its music, the Deep South has changed the world’s musical landscape with its iconic genres. There’s simply no ignoring the constant call of music here, whether you’re dancing to country music in Nashville’s honky tonks, losing yourself in the soft notes of jazz in New Orleans, enjoying the soulful melodies of the blues in Memphis, or partying to the beat of Atlanta’s hip hop. Discover each genre's beginnings and immerse yourself in the rhythms as you visit the Deep South’s cities. From hopping from club to club along Memphis’ Beale Street to exploring Nashville’s famed Grand Ole Opry, your Deep South holiday is the perfect way to uncover the region’s rich musical heritage. 

 

Destination Highlights
  • Explore Kentucky's Appalachian Mountains and experience the folk culture and outdoor adventure that awaits here
  • Laze on Alabama's delightful sun-drenched beaches
  • Visit some of the Deep South’s many live music venues, from Bluegrass in Kentucky to the jazz and Cajun clubs in Louisiana
  • Experience the flamboyance of Mardi Gras in New Orleans

Time Zone

GMT -6 hours to GMT -5 hours

Currency

USD - US Dollar

Visa Information

Irish Passport holders require an Electronic System for Travel Authorisation (ESTA) to visit the Deep South. You can obtain an ESTA from www.cbp.gov/esta

Language

English

Health Information

No vaccinations are required for travel to the Deep South. All travellers should be up to date with routine immunisations. It is important to contact your GP to check for the latest recommendations.

The charming hospitality and quaint antebellum architecture are just some of the things you’ll relish in the Deep South. The birthplace of bluegrass, country, jazz and blues, this region is a hotbed of musical heritage. Let’s not forget Memphis either, where rock ‘n’ roll began and the music legend Elvis, once lived. The cotton plantations and nostalgic boat cruises along the Mississippi will stir your imagination well after your visit.

  • Grand Ole Opry Cr Tennessee Tourism

    Musical heritage

    Don’t miss the chance to visit the Grand Ole Opry in Nashville, Tennessee. The ‘home of American music’, this famed venue began as a radio broadcast in 1925 and has hosted country icons such as Bill Anderson and Dolly Parton.

  • French Quarter

    Culture

    Be sure to take a stroll through the French Quarter of New Orleans, known as The Big Easy. This French colonial neighbourhood is famed for its Creole culture, pastel-coloured architecture and enthralling Mardi Gras celebrations.

  • New Orleans Mardi Gras

    Mardi Gras

    Arguably the most popular event in the South, Mardi Gras is the exotic festival celebrating the last day of Carnival in New Orleans. The world-renowned festival sees a flamboyant mass of bright costumes, extravagant masks, bead throwing, and dancing flooding the streets of New Orleans. Make your way to Bourbon Street and the French Quarter for the party this festival is known for, or head to St. Charles Avenue and Canal Street to see the spectacular parades.

  • Louisiana gumbo

    Southern cuisine

    There’s a reason it is called ‘soul food’. America’s South serves up a rich array of food, from tangy barbecues to spicy crawfish to fried green tomatoes, all of which are a feast for your soul and a comfort to your stomach. Sample collard greens cooked with fat chunks of ham, corn ground into hominy grits, fried cornmeal hushpuppies with fried catfish, and rich, delightful gumbos on your holiday in America’s South.

  • a woman wearing a white shirt and black hair

    Karen

    Destination Specialist

    There is so much to see and experience in the Deep South. Each state has its own vibe and plenty of hidden gems to discover, so I would recommend combining a few destinations during your holiday. Travel along some of the historic parkways or trails, and stop off when you see something that peaks your interest.

     

  • Charlotte, Destination Specialist

    Charlotte

    Destination Specialist

    As you travel through the Deep South, make sure you try some of the local delicacies. From gumbo and jambalaya, to fresh catfish, fried green tomatoes and barbecue, there’s plenty of delicious comfort food to feast on.

Events & Festivals

Festivals and events are wonderful to include during your Deep South holiday, offering a glimpse into the country’s authentic culture and traditions.

 

  • The Charleston Wine and Food Festival

    In celebration of Charleston’s culture, people and places, the city of Charleston hosts a five day food and wine event each March. Over these five days, you can immerse yourself in Charleston’s happening food and wine scene over several venues. There are various events cooked up, including cooking classes, live podcast discussions, dinners and tasting sessions. 

     

  • World Championship Barbecue Cooking Contest

    Each May, Memphis’ Tom Lee Park plays host to the World Championship Barbecue Cooking Contest. Hundreds of teams come from across the world to cook up a feast of meat in the hopes of winning the title of World Champion. Alongside the main competition, there’s an ameatur contest too, so anyone who loves to barbecue can get involved.

     

  • Country Music Association Festival

    Famous for its country music, the city of Nashville hosts the Country Music Association Festival each June. Unfolding over four days and across multiple stages, new artists and country legends perform to crowds in downtown Nashville. As well as incredible music, the festival also hosts interviews and Q&A sessions with the music artists. 

     

  • New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival

    Known as Jazz Fest, the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival takes over the city of New Orleans for a whole week between the end of April and the start of May. The festival celebrates the local culture, arts and music. Expect talented artists performing to crowds of visitors, delectable local food, and an array of crafts to get involved in. 

  • New Orleans Mardi Gras

    A celebration before Lent begins, the Mardi Gras holiday fills the streets of New Orleans with the colour of carnival each February. Mardi Gras Day falls on the last Tuesday before Ash Wednesday, but the city is filled with parading krewes (social organisations) long before that, starting in January. You can expect lavish costumes, delicious food, and incredible music.

  • Hangout Music Festival

    Alabama’s Gulf Shores beaches welcome world-famous music artists and crowds of visitors each May for the Hangout Music Festival. Against the backdrop of the white sand beaches and rolling waves, you can enjoy sports, beach parties, art and dancing, as well as the incredible music, of course. 

Local Cuisine

Get a flavour of the local culture through your palate during your Deep South holiday. Here are a few of our favourite dishes.

 

  • Jambalaya

    With a heavy dose of Spanish influence, jambalaya originated from Louisiana. This stew-like dish is often made with varying ingredients and melds together a variety of meaty flavours, usually including chicken, andouille sausage, shrimp and vegetables. 

     

  • Barbecue

    The Deep South is famous for its barbecue food and for good reason. You won’t have to look far to find eateries serving up dry rubbed and marinated joints and ribs, which are slow cooked so that the meat falls straight off the bone. 

     

  • Gumbo

    No matter the time of year, the hearty creole stew of gumbo is always on the menu in Louisiana. Often served with white rice, gumbo brings together a variety of flavours, such as chicken or seafood, in a rich and well seasoned tomato sauce. 

     

  • Fried Green Tomatoes

    If you know your movie classics then you will know this: fried green tomatoes are devoured as a side or a main by many locals across the Deep South. Green and unripe tomatoes are covered in a cornmeal batter then fried, resulting in the perfect combination of tart tomato and rich batter. 

  • Iced Tea

    The perfect way to cool down under the southern sun? Freshly brewed iced tea. Sweetened with sugar and adorned with fruit and mint, iced tea is a favourite across the Deep South. 

     

  • Grits

    A truly southern dish, grits are made from cornmeal, boiled down in water to the consistency of porridge. A bowl of grits is usually topped with other delicious food, such as tomato sauce, seafood, bacon or mushrooms, to bring a delicious flavour to this hearty comfort food. 

     

Our Deep South destinations

Greenville

Deep South

Mississippi

Mississippi
Wintzells Oyster House

Deep South

Alabama

Alabama
Great Smoky Mountains

Deep South

The Great Smoky Mountains

The Great Smoky Mountains
Lover's Leap, Rock City Garden

Deep South

Tennessee

Tennessee
Lacassine National Wildlife Refuge

Deep South

Louisiana

Louisiana
Kentucky Horse Farm

Deep South

Kentucky

Kentucky
Nottoway Plantation

Deep South

Deep South Plantation

Deep South Plantation