2018 is going to be the year of travel. I love traveling because it opens my eyes and minds to other places and other cultures other than my own. I use to think that traveling internationally was the only way to broaden my cultural aspects but over the past couple of years, me and husband have begun taking these extended weekend trips to different cities across the Southeast. It’s amazing how different each of these cities can be and just how beneficial it can be to explore your own home base. Below are some cities worth taking a long extended weekend trip.
Nashville is known as the country music city but it offers so much more. Just in terms of music, there are jazz bars blocks from Broadway (one of the most popular streets in Nashville) and pop/rock events that happen all over the city. No matter what your musical genre, Nashville has it. The city is also overloaded with quant coffee shops and some of the best food places in the Southeast. If you’re overwhelmed with where to start, Monell’s for breakfast, Saint Anejo for lunch/happy hour, and Kayne Prime for dinner are great places to start.
I was in Savannah for all of 5 hours and immediately wanted to move. I even pulled up an app to start looking for houses for sale (5 mins later my husband pulled me off cloud 9). There’s so much architecture and culture to experience in a weekend. Tip: try to book a boutique hotel like Savannah Bed and Breakfast, The Desoto, or B Historic. These are unique hotels to Savannah that can add to the cultural weekend. After 9pm, the downtown area is bustling with things to do, speak easy places to embrace the music that is Savannah. Oh! and the food (especially the seafood) is life changing.
You didn’t think I was going to have a list of places to vacation and not mention the beach? Of all beaches in Florida, Destin in my favorite. It’s offers the blue serene water without the hustle and bustle of Panama City or Orange Beach. Of course with the coast, seafood is a must. There are great seafood places like AJ Seafood & Oyster Bar, Brotula Seafood House, and Half Shell Oyster House. Not matter where you go, don’t forget to try gumbo and pina coladas. One of the best things to do that cost absolutely nothing: walking the beach while watching the sunset.
When I say that Birmingham Alabama is becoming one of the biggest culinary cities in the Southeast, how many of you would laugh? It’s true! Over the past 5 years, Birmingham has brought in these concept restaurants with award winning chefs. The downtown area has also experienced a transformation with many of the older areas getting a facelift. With unique restaurants like East West and Shu Shop Birmingham (great place for miso ramen) and the newly renovated Pititz building, Birmingham should definitely be on your list. The newly open Elyton Hotel is a great hub to stay and be close to all that Birmingham has to offer.
New Orleans, LA
I couldn’t leave NOLA off the list. I mean do I really have to write why NOLA should be on your list of mini vacations this year? Beignets, crawfish, po’boys, need I say more? It has something to offer no matter what your interest. Years ago, I was that person on bourbon street until after 2am. Now that I’m a little older a little wiser, I find myself wanted to explore the history and true culture that is NOLA. The different museums (The Katrina museum is a must. You will shed tears but it will make you appreciate and understand just what they went thru during that storm and subsequently after) and live music along with a nice glass of wine is bliss for me. Hotels in the French Quarter get you far enough away from the hustle of Bourbon Street but still close to the calmer action.
I definitely want to travel internationally but I’m learning to appreciate the culture that is the United States. What are some cities on your bucket travel list for 2018?