The USA’s southern states, or the ‘Deep South’, are known collectively for their rich histories and cultures, and incredible musical legacy. Here you’ll discover the roots of jazz, blues, gospel, rock and country. In Tennessee, Memphis and state capital Nashville are two cities with rather different vibes. Where Memphis in the southwest gives you the colourful life one can expect from the largest city on the Misissipp River, Nashville gives you a city which is at the centre of the music industry. Further down south in Louisiana, is the sultry New Orleans (or ‘NOLA’). Here in the birthplace of jazz, voodoo meets faded colonial glamour, and you can eat your way through multiple cultures in one meal.
There are plenty of attractions in the Deep South for music buffs – it’s dotted with museums, venues and iconic open memorials like Graceland. If you come for the music, then stay for the food; taste home-cooked gumbo (a spicy soup with meat and shellfish) in New Orleans and sticky barbeque pork ribs in Memphis. Take some time to soak up the atmosphere in the bars and clubs – after all, this is where the rock’n’roll lifestyle was invented. For less wild times, you can take easy-going city tours, admiring the elegant old architecture.
Best time to visit The Deep South: Generally spring to autumn; but the summer heat definitely adds to the atmosphere.
Louis Armstrong International Airport (MSY/ KMSY is 11 miles west of downtown New Orleans); Nashville International Airport (BNA) is just 5 miles north-east of downtown Nashville; Memphis International Airport (MEM) is 7 miles east of downtown Memphis.