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Mabry Mill Pond on the Blue Ridge Parkway in Virginia
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Travel South Frequently Asked Questions

FAQs About the Southern USA

What states define the Travel South region?

Some people define "the South" as the territory below the Mason-Dixon line, the boundary south of Pennsylvania and Maryland surveyed in the 1760s by Englishmen Charles Mason and Jeremiah Dixon. Today, the "South" is defined by Travel South USA as Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia and West Virginia.


How easy is it to travel in the Travel South region?

Once you get to the South, efficient and frequent domestic air service is available by most of the major U.S. carriers, making it easy to travel to any destination. The interstate system in the U.S. is excellent and easy to use. States have welcome centers located along the state boundaries on most major highways, with personnel ready to help answer questions, provide additional information, directions and reservations. Cities – large and small – also have visitor centers to provide assistance as needed. Most destinations provide detailed information to help in holiday planning.


What is there to see and do in the American South?

Approximately the size of Continental Europe, the Southern United States offers virtually any kind of holiday experience desired – from beaches to mountains; active to leisure; big cities to small towns – in any season. There are national and state parks to hike and camp, wild and scenic rivers to fish or raft on; scenic byways for leisurely drives and state highways for those who want to get off the beaten path.

In addition, visitors can experience world-famous theme parks, water parks, historic sites and battlefields, glorious gardens, internationally acclaimed museums and shopping malls (from designer to discount). Restaurants of every kind – fast food to five-star – provide the gastronomic experience of choice. Popular American music was born in the South: the blues, rock 'n roll, country, Cajun and bluegrass. Nightclubs and entertainment centers sound out all types of music. The South is famous for its festivals and special events are scheduled throughout the year to celebrate the seasons, local customs, foods and culture.

Professional sports such as American football, baseball, basketball and hockey along with horse and greyhound racing offer tremendous spectator enjoyment. Golf and tennis are popular throughout the region – either to play or view professional tournaments. Fishing, boating, rafting, canoeing, kayaking and other water sports abound on the lakes, rivers and oceans.


What is the cost of travel in the American South?

The South is a destination renowned for its great value, whatever your budget. A variety of accommodations – luxury resorts, moderate hotels, quaint bed and breakfast, economy motels, houses and condominium rentals – make selection easy. Shopping centers and restaurants are varied and plentiful. If you're renting a car, the U.S. gallon of gasoline is quite often less expensive in the Southern USA than in other regions of the country.


Do I need a visa?

If you are traveling to the U.S. on holiday and hold a British, Japanese or Canadian passport or any of the other 25 participating countries in the Visa Waiver Program (VWP), you do not need a visa. Journalists are required to have a Visa if working on assignment in the US.


What is the climate like?

The South has two distinct regions that vary in climate and seasons. The weather is sunny and can be very warm or hot, day and night.

The Deep South (Georgia; Alabama; Mississippi; South Carolina; Louisiana and Arkansas) experiences seasonal contrast in both temperate and foliage. Spring brings blooming gardens, warm days, cool mornings, and evenings (average 21°C, 71°F). Hot summer days and nights (temperatures average 27°C or 84°F) herald the arrival of summer with high humidity resulting from afternoon showers; autumn heralds milder temperatures, although many areas experience an "Indian Summer" of warm days (average temperature 19°C or 69KF). Winters are traditionally cold with more rainfall or precipitation (average temperatures 11°C or 52°F).

The Piedmont (North Carolina; Tennessee; Kentucky; Missouri; Virginia and West Virginia plus the mountains and foothills of Arkansas and South Carolina) have similar temperatures in the spring and summer as the Deep South, yet can be cooler in the mountainous areas. Autumn leaves bursts into a colorful blaze of reds, oranges and yellows with temperatures at a pleasant 17°C or 63°F. Winter brings cooler temperatures, even overnight frost and occasional, but rare, snow (average temperature 7°C or 44°F).

Foliage changes with the season bringing glorious, blooming gardens in spring (from March to May); lush, dense forests and hillsides during sunny, sultry summers (June – August); the pine trees, live oaks and palms found in the South are evergreens, but the maples, oaks and ginkos resemble a painter's palette of color during Fall Foliage (traditionally mid-late October).

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