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Open Thread: Away Down South In Dixie

In 2022 my wife and I will celebrate our 30th year of marriage and since most of our kids are adults now, we are planning on taking a trip together. 
Thanks to my prior career and us living in a bunch of different states, I have been to 40 of the 50 states. Other than Hawaii and Alaska, the states I have not been to are in two clumps. One is the Northwest: Washington, Oregon, Idaho and Montana. The other is the Deep South: Alabama, Louisiana, Mississippi and Arkansas. 
My plan is to hit those four southern states over the course of our trip, which for OpSec will take place at an unannounced time next year.
So my question is this:
Given those four states which I am not at all familiar with:
Where should we go? 

Where should we stay? 

What should we do when down there?
Obviously I want to stay clear of the large population centers and any especially diverse areas. We are not big tourist trap people, or crowd people in general. In other words, more into things that are unique and/or natural beauty rather than outlet malls and theme parks. Not working with an unlimited budget here but willing to spend reasonably to have decent places to eat and sleep.
Denizens of the Deep South or people who have visited there, what say you?


  1. ChuckInBama

    My wife and I will be celebrating our 30th as well next year, so heartfelt congratulations on the anniversary !

    I'm kinda partial to Northern Alabama, myself. The very tail-end of the Appalachians offers areas for hiking and camping if that's what you are into. Huntsville has the world's largest space museum and plenty of shopping and dining. Small towns nearby to be explored, and some historical areas from the "War of Northern Aggression" remain in their time-honored place.
    To the south of the state, the gulf is always beautiful and the battleship in Mobile is a wonder that I still enjoy touring every time I'm in the vicinity.
    Should you decide on Alabama, you have my email, so I can probably spend some time showing you around.

  2. Troy Lee Messer

    Congratulations on the anniversary.

    Idaho is awesome and big. Deserty in the south. Trees and these things called wilderness areas (read: No pansy ass faggots. you carry acuz shit'll eat you) Constitutional carry. Mountains. Wolf hunting. Very few negros. But everyone is comeing here. So it is expensive.
    Eastern parts of Washington and Oregon are more to the right.

    ChuckinBama's location sounds pretty cool. If they still despise Yankees, extra cool. But ticks, chiggers, negros, tornados, humidity.

  3. daniel_day

    I went to the Huntsville space museum when I was temporarily in the area in 2005. No disrespect intended, but I'd recommend against spending much time there. It seemed to be aimed mainly at children.

  4. Arthur Sido

    We would never live in the deep south, we lived as far south as Northern Kentucky and that was too damn hot. To us Cincinnati is the South, Nashville is the deep south and anything beyond that is basically northern Mexico.

  5. Mikey

    Alabama: I would recommend the Huntsville/Muscle Shoals area. I'd definitely want to stop at the recording studios in Muscle Shoals.

    Also, at least for me, a must visit when I'm passing through is Mother Angelica's Shrine of the Blessed Sacrament in Hanceville (north of Birmingham). It's off the beaten path but an amazing place. Home to the cloistered Poor Claires. Angelica, her mother (who joined the Poor Claires before her death), and others are entombed in the crypt below the church in the basement chapel. The church and grounds are breathtaking, especially knowing the history. Beautiful, peaceful place.

    On that same note, the EWTN studios and grounds in Irondale are a nice stop. Try to catch a morning Mass in the tiny chapel at 7am. Granted, it's a novus ordo but the choir is world class and they're there every day.

    Arkansas: Hardy. The Spring River is top notch for canoe floating. The town is quaint. Nice campgrounds. Also Heber Springs/Greer's Ferry Lake is a nice stop. Both places are in the northern part of the state.

  6. Annie Oakley

    Alabama….I'd recommend Henry Hill in Moulton, near I believe Lawrence County. It's on a paved road near some chicken farms. It has some of magnetic pull that will either pull your car backwards or push you up the hill. Supposedly, in the 1950's a traveling salesman named Henry was killed on that road. So his ghost stays there to help stranded passengers move up the hill.

    Natural Bridge in Hwy 278, west of 13. It's an ecological preserve that has natural stone that eroded into a bridge. It's very serene and nice.

    Mississippi: the town of Iuka. Lots of seafood shops. Really cool town. Natchez trace parkway is nice.

    Arkansas: The crate of diamonds state park (west of Interstate 30, South of Little Rock, the Ouchita mountains and the crystals there.

    Yes I've been to them all. I live in the south.

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