Travelling to the southern states and want to explore some unique outings? From the Porsche Experience Center in Atlanta to check out the Decadence Festival in New Orleans, there’s something for everyone. Check out some of our recommendations for unique things to explore when you are in the southern USA.
1. Southern USA – Visit Clear Lake
Near Houston and a short drive from Seabrook is the gorgeous Clear Lake that feeds into Galveston Bay. Known by locals as the Bay Area, it’s become an upscale residential district and home to many employees at Space Center Houston. Just across the lake is Kemah Boardwalk, Seabrook’s retro carnival with vintage rides and fantastic waterside dining. There’s also Armand Bayou Nature Center in the area where guided hikes and canoe trips take place.
2. Great Sedona Chili Cook-Off
Really heat things up on Cinco de Mayo at the annual Great Sedona Chili Cook-Off. Held at Tlaquepaque, tastings are available for prizes including Community Challenge, Restaurant Challenge (Judge’s and People’s Choice), and Best Decorated Booth. Chilis are big business in Sedona and throughout Arizona, and how they’re incorporated into this classic Southwestern dish means plenty of bragging rights.
3. Southern USA – Boyce Thompson Arboretum’s Fall Foliage Festival
Just 40 minutes away from historic Copper Hills, Arizona at Boyce Thompson Arboretum State Park, visitors are treated to an incredible colour show at the Fall Foliage Festival that takes place throughout the holiday weekend from 11 a.m. – 3 p.m. It’s the ultimate destination in Arizona for autumn leaves, with a burst of colour from the pistachio trees changing a little later in the season than some other varieties—however, you’ll still experience the gorgeous displays of changing maple and aspen leaves throughout the deciduous forests.
4. Chuey Residence
Although the historic Chuey Residence is currently a project of the L.A. Conservancy, it also houses private residents. The Historic-Cultural Monument (HCM) nomination was withdrawn in order to better preserve the estate for a win-win outcome with the owners. The Chuey Residence remains protected as the local Cultural Heritage Commission continues working towards conserving the home created by master architect Richard Neutra. The quintessential Southern California home was commissioned by poet Josephine Ain Chuey and painter Robert Chuey in the mid-1950s. Sitting on 2.5 acres at the peak of a hill on Sunset Plaza Drive, it’s a popular home for architect lovers to photograph. However, the home fell into bankruptcy in recent years, which caused history and culture buffs to rally for its preservation.
5. Southern USA – Bike Florida National Scenic Trail
The Florida National Scenic Trail is one of the most gorgeous in the region, and cyclists of all ages and abilities quickly fall in love with what seems to be a fairytale outing. The maintained paved path stretches for miles all the way from Navarre Beach to Pensacola Beach. Take a multi-mile day trip if you’re up for the challenge, or explore the shorter routes and pack a decadent picnic lunch for a more relaxed trip.
6. Beignet Festival
You already make stopping at Café du Monde and other beignet cafes a tradition in New Orleans, but if you’re in the city in October it’s time to really celebrate this powdery treat. On October 6, head to New Orleans City Park to celebrate the third annual Beignet Fest where the French pastry is revered along with children’s events, live entertainment, and a variety of local vendors.
You’ll find every rendition of the beignet available, from savoury to sweet. Of course, Café du Monde will be on site, but this is also your chance to sample a number of beignet shops including Café Beignet and the New Orleans Coffee and Beignet Co.