A road trip through the American South takes travelers past bluegrass, blue ridge mountains, and blue ocean waves as they journey from quiet coastlines to bustling cities and beyond. It’s here that you’ll discover everything from a taste of colonial life to modern mansions and nostalgic theme parks.
From stopping at roadside overlooks that highlight spectacular mountaintop views to cruising down palm tree-lined beachfront streets, these southern spots are sure to top your road trip bucket list.
South Midas locations
Midas wants to help you get ready for your summer road trip, starting with your vehicle. Our techs can run a completely free Closer Look Vehicle Check. This in-depth visual inspection lets you know what needs fixing now and what can wait, so you can hit the road with confidence.
Make the trip before the trip to Midas and get $20 off a full-synthetic oil change. Request your appointment at Midas.com.
Great Smoky Mountains National Park, North Carolina and Tennessee
The most visited national park in the U.S. offers everything a vacationer could want in a mountaintop getaway. This serene southern destination spans two states—North Carolina and Tennessee—offering easy access by car, with well-traveled and relatively easy-to-navigate roads taking visitors to the area’s many hiking trails, historic homesteads, and impressive lookouts. Boasting an eclectic mix of attractions in the surrounding area and a bounty of affordable accommodations (many with picturesque views), Great Smoky Mountains National Park offers an unforgettable experience for every type of traveler.
Blue Ridge Parkway, North Carolina and Virginia
When it comes to the great American road trip, few roadways rival the 469-mile journey down the Blue Ridge Parkway. Snaking its way through North Carolina and Virginia, this iconic parkway takes adventurers along scenic mountain paths, past cascading waterfalls, through historic sights, and to many other worthy stops for those looking to stretch their legs. Flanked by the Great Smoky Mountains on its southern end, and Virginia’s Shenandoah National Park to the north, a drive along the Blue Ridge Parkway checks a lot of bucket-list boxes.
Walt Disney World Resort, Florida
Each year, families around the world make the journey to the theme park capital of the world: Orlando, Florida. Whether you’re looking for a getaway that will please your kids, or simply a place that appeals to your grown-up kid at heart, no visit to this entertainment hub is complete without visiting the expansive, nostalgic Walt Disney World Resort. Take a whirlwind spin on the teacups, visit immersive recreations of faraway lands, and snap a selfie with the legend himself, Mickey Mouse, to make the most of this magical vacation destination.
Churchill Downs, Kentucky
Known as the home of the Kentucky Derby, Louisville’s Churchill Downs Racetrack is a major draw for horse enthusiasts. Since its opening in 1875, the venue has served as a showcase of equine majesty and power—as well as the perfect spot to show off a heavily festooned bonnet. Those who enjoy an afternoon at the track bear witness to a spectacle of stunning speed and agility. But even if you don’t visit on a race day, a tour of the legendary grounds offers the chance to take in this storied sport.
Colonial Williamsburg, Virginia
If time travel is on your bucket list, sneak a peek at American Revolution-era life in Colonial Williamsburg. This historic district meets living-history museum showcases a time when Virginia served as a tour de force among the nation’s blossoming colonies, with Williamsburg serving as the political, cultural, and educational center of the region. You’ll be (figuratively) transported back to the 1700s thanks to encounters with actors in period costumes and cobblestone-lined walks in the footsteps of founding fathers such as Thomas Jefferson.
South Beach, Florida
Those dreaming of a beachy getaway with a vibrant culinary, art, and nightlife scene flock to Miami’s South Beach. Pulsing with energy, this literal hot spot is a favorite playground of celebrities and the well-to-do given its reputation for high-end dining, shopping, museums, and art deco architecture. The scene here is a dreamy watercolor wonderland by day and electric neon fantasy by night, with a high probability of catching sight of brilliant sunshine and beautiful people as you frolic in this hypnotic, multicultural locale.
Elvis Presley’s seductive style had audiences “all shook up” throughout his meteoric career, but it’s The King of Rock and Roll’s grandiose and, at times, gaudy Memphis mansion that serves as a reminder of this icon’s extravagant and exceptional life. Elvis’ sprawling Graceland estate attracts fans and curiosity seekers alike to tour this National Historic Landmark, as well as to visit the complex’s museums—including ones dedicated to the music legend’s automobiles and airplanes—restaurants, a performing arts venue, a wedding chapel, and more.