Things To See and Do in Savannah, Georgia

The city of Savannah, Georgia is the oldest city in the state of Georgia, and features a number of historic sites throughout the city and just outside its limits. Initially founded in 1733, Savannah became the British colonial capital of the Province of Georgia. The city has done an excellent job maintaining its rich heritage from the colonial days and on through the development and expansion of the United States. With so many different places to visit, below are 17 things for visitors to see and do in the southern city of Savannah.

17. Skidaway Island State Park

Skidaway Island State Park is a 588-acre park located near Savannah, located on a barrier island that borders Runaway Negro Creek and Skidaway Straights and is part of the Atlantic Intracoastal Waterway. The park features 87 tent/trailer/RV sites, 5 picnic shelters, a group shelter, 3 camper cabins, 3 pioneer campgrounds, 3 playgrounds, and an interpretive center.

Two nature trails in the park wind through marshes, forests and sand dunes, and feature observation towers to provide additional vantage points to scope out the areas flora and fauna. Bird watching is another popular activity at Skidaway Island State Park, along the Colonial Coast Birding Trail. The scenery within Skidaway Island is so popular in fact that the area has developed into a popular spot for wedding ceremonies to be held, with a permit of course.

Skidaway Island State Park Savannah
Source: Shutterstock

16. Walking Food Tour

Why waste time researching where to eat when you can hit all the hottest spots on the Savannah Culinary & Cultural Walking Food Tour! This walking food tour not only gives you a taste of some of the best cuisine found in Savannah, but you’ll get to take in Savannah’s history along the way.

You’ll get an intimate experience on this tour as each tour is limited to just 14 people. Be sure to come with an empty stomach as you’ll make many stops along the way — enough for lunch!

 

Source: Shutterstock

15. Grayson Stadium

Originally known simply as the Municipal Stadium, Grayson Stadium opened all the way back in 1926. However, a devastating hurricane in 1940 wracked the original stadium, causing a significant amount of damage. Major renovations occurred in 1941, and leading the fundraising charge was Spanish-American war veteran General William L. Grayson.

half of the funds coming from the Works Progress Association, the stadium was named in recognition for Grayson’s work in helping generate the funds for repairs. Currently, Grayson Stadium is home to the Savannah Sand Gnats, a minor league affiliate to the New York Mets, and formerly played host to the Savannah State University baseball team, and the annual Thanksgiving Day football game between two local high schools. With a capacity of 4,000, the stadium provides an intimate experience for a baseball game, a chance to truly embrace the sport on a more grassroots level.

Photo by: Savannah Sand Gnats
Photo by: Savannah Sand Gnats

14. Riverboat Sightseeing Cruise

When you need to give your feet a break, sit back and relax on the Savannah Riverboat Sightseeing Cruise! You’ll be able to see the city from a whole new perspective from the water.

There is a wide variety of cruise options to choose from to ensure you find the right one that fits your needs. For example, select cruises have live entertainment as well as meals. Further, the cruises are offered at different times to ensure you can find a time that works best for you.

Source: Shutterstock

13. First African Baptist Church

First organized in 1773 under the leadership of Reverend George Leile, by 1777 the church was officially constituted as a body of organized believers. With the guide of 3rd Pastor Reverend Andrew Marshall, the congregation came into possession of the present lands for the First African Baptist Church.

Inside the church, the light fixtures, baptismal pool, and 1832 Pipe Organ are all originals to the church. The solid oak pews in the church were installed during the early 1900s and were made by slaves. The ceiling of the building is inspired by the “Nine Patch Quilt” as a representation that the church was a safe house for slaves. In past times, the church served as the largest place for blacks and whites to meet during times of segregation.

First African Baptist Church
Source: Shutterstock

12. Nighttime Ghost Tour

If you’re up for a spooky adventure then check out the Ghost City’s Dead of Night Tour. This tour lets you dig into the haunted history of Savannah and since the tour takes place after dark, it’ll feel even spookier!

The tour will take you to hard-to-find spots that are reputedly haunted in Savannah. Since you’ll be taking the tour on foot, you’ll get a more personal glimpse into Savannah’s spooky past.

 

Source: Shutterstock

11. Old Fort Jackson

With construction starting in 1808 and wrapping up in 1812, Old Fort Jackson is the oldest standing brick fort in the state of Georgia. Located on the Savannah River, the fort saw action during the War of 1812 before being designated a National Historic Landmark in more modern times. Contrary to most visitors’ first guess, the fort is not named after Andrew Jackson, but rather James Jackson, a British native who fought for the American cause and rose to the rank of Colonel, and accepted the surrender of the British in Savannah at the close of the revolution.

The fort also saw a great deal of action during the Civil War and served as an operational outpost for both Rebel and Union soldiers after it traded hands following a siege. For a time period from 1884 through 1905, the fort was known as Fort Oglethorpe. The city of Savannah purchased the fort in 1924 but didn’t have it fully restored until the 1970s. Visitors now are offered a chance to take a step back through time to a much more turbulent period of history of the United States.

Old Fort Jackson Savannah
Source: Shutterstock

10. Haunted Pub Tour

Calling all beer-enthusiasts, this tour has your name written all over it! The Creepy Crawl Haunted Pub Tour of Savannah gives you a peek into Savannah’s spooky past while getting a tour of the local pubs.

On the tour, you’ll get a complimentary glow-in-the-dark to-go cup that you can use during the pub-crawl. Your first stop is at Six Pence Pub, here you can fill up your cup, and learn about its spooky past. Along with other pubs, you’ll also make a bonus stop at Colonial park Cemetary.

Source: Shutterstock

9. Cathedral of St. John the Baptist

Initially in Savannah, the colonial charter prevented Roman Catholics from settling in the city. The English government at the time feared that Catholic settlers would be more loyal to the Spanish (and Catholic) authorities in Florida instead of the English government in Georgia. Shortly after the American Revolution, this practice came to a conclusion. French settlers from Haiti were the first Catholics to settle in the area, with the first church opening in 1799.

After the opening of a second church in 1839, construction began on the Cathedral of St. John the Baptist in 1873 and finally concluded in 1896 with the addition of the iconic spires on the tops of the church towers. The structure was nearly destroyed at one point in 1898 after a fire ripped through the building. Services are still offered at the church today, and the most recent renovations concluded in the year 2000.

Rolf_52 / Shutterstock.com
Rolf_52 / Shutterstock.com

8. Tybee Beach Pier

When you want to escape the hustle and bustle of the city for a relaxing day by the water take a 28-minute drive to Tybee Island and spend the day at the beach! Here you can lounge by the water, pack a picnic or take a stroll on the Tybee Beach Pier.

Further, there are also many local shops where you can take in the work of local crafters and artisans. You can also grab a drink or a bite from one of the local restaurants.

Source: Shutterstock

7. Bonaventure Cemetery

Perhaps not traditionally the first thing that pops to mind for tourism, a cemetery can seem like an odd destination to visit. However, Bonaventure Cemetery, the largest municipal cemetery in Savannah, covers some 160-acres of land.

This cemetery, in particular, became famous when it was featured in the novel Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil by John Berendt, and subsequently in the movie directed by Clint Eastwood based on the book. The cover of the book, featuring the Bird Girl sculpture was virtually unknown for some 50 years in the cemetery prior to being featured as the cover art. After rising to fame, the sculpture was donated to Savannah’s Telfair Museum of Art to avoid any potential disturbances at the site. Bonaventure Cemetery is also a great option for travelers on a budget, since there are no admission fees, of course.

Bonaventure Cemetery Savannah
Source: Shutterstock

6. Hop-On and Hop-Off Trolley Tour

Explore Savannah at your pace on the Historic Hop-On and Hop-Off Trolley Tour of Savannah. This tour allows you to make your own itinerary and allows you to spend as much or as little time at each stop.

The trolly makes 15 stops throughout the city so you’ll have plenty of opportunities to explore Savannah’s Historic District. The trolly comes every 20 minutes or so, so you can hop back on when you’re ready!

Source: Kristi Blokhin / Shutterstock.com

5. Forsyth Park

Slightly smaller than the gigantic cemetery mentioned above, Forsyth Park is a large city park that covers some 30-acres of the Savannah Historic District. Inside the park, visitors can find walking paths, a children’s play area, a fragrant garden (a garden specifically designed for the blind), a large fountain, tennis courts, basketball courts, and areas for soccer, frisbee and is even the home of the Savannah Shamrocks Rugby Club.

If that wasn’t enough, the park is also occasionally home to concerts to benefit the public. Originally opened in the 1840s as just 10-acres the park expanded and was named after Georgia Governor John Forsyth. The park also includes a memorial to Confederate volunteers who gave their lives during the Civil War. The park is an important urban feature to Savannah, as it is modeled after the Parisian style of urban planning focused on creating residential areas radiating out from a central green space.

Forsyth Park Savannah
Source: Shutterstock

4. Savannah History Museum

Enjoy a brief introduction into Savannah’s history at the Savanah History Museum. The museum is located in the former historic Central of Georgia Railroad’s passenger station.

Here you will get a glimpse into Savannah’s history from modern-day to dating back to 1733. Learn about Savannah’s culture, music, and artistic contributions through the exciting exhibits. You’ll also get to see the famous bench from Forrest Grump!

Source: EQRoy / Shutterstock.com

3. Pin Point Heritage Museum

In 1985 the A.S. Varn & Son oyster and crab factory in Pin Point closed its doors for good. It served to mark the end for a tiny fishing community on the banks of Moon River, just to the south of Savannah. For just under 100 years, Pin Point was self-sustaining and isolated.

The community was a Gullah/Geechee enclave founded by freedmen where family, religion, and work were deeply connected to the water. The factory today has been converted into the Pin Point Heritage Museum and celebrates the life and work of the Gullah community that lived here. Pin Point Heritage Museum provides guests with an opportunity to learn about the Gullah culture, at the site of a longstanding pillar of the community. Visitors are encouraged to take the guided tour to truly enhance the experience.

Basket Weaving
Source: Shutterstock

2. Historic Savannah Theatre

Located in Chippewa Square, the Historic Savannah Theatre first opened in 1818 and is one of the United States’ oldest continually operating theaters. Because of multiple fires inside the theater, it has served as both a live performance venue and a movie theater.

Since 2002, the venue has been host to a number of regular performances, but primarily musical revues. Not only has the theater been devastated by fire, but it’s also endured some wild weather as well. At one point just before the start of the 20th century, a hurricane-battered Savannah and tore sections of the roof off, and flooded the auditorium. One of the most unexpected guests to ever step foot on the stage of the Historic Savannah Theatre was baseball legend Ty Cobb, who in November of 1911 appeared in a performance called The College Widow.

Photo by: Savannah Theatre
Photo by: Savannah Theatre

1. Savannah Historic District

The Savannah Historic District is a large urban historic district that corresponds roughly to the city limits of Savannah prior to the Civil War. In 1966 the area was declared a National Historic Landmark District and is one of the largest of its kind in the United States.

On average, the Savannah Historic District attracts millions of visitors annually to marvel at its 18th and 19th-century architecture and green spaces. Some sights to see inside the historic district include the birthplace of Juliette Gordon Low (the founder of the Girl Scouts of America), the Telfair Academy of Arts and Sciences, the First African Baptist Church, the Temple Mickve Israel, the Central of Georgia Railway roundhouse complex, the Colonial Cemetery, the Cathedral of St. John the Baptist and Old Harbor Light. Not only is the district home to a number of sites on this list, but it features a great deal more that will keep visitors entertained throughout their travels.

Savannah Historic District
Source: Shutterstock

 

The Top Suggestions for a Girls Getaway Weekend in the USA

There’s nothing more useful in your life then a really, really good friend- especially when you need one. With work and family commitments, that relationship with your BFF is often sacrificed for the sake of time (and sanity) management.  But really, what contributes more to your work/life balance than a good gossip, some great food and a whole lot of laughter? Here are some awesome spots in the U.S. to consider when planning your next girls weekend getaway. The fun factor is high -no matter what your idea of vacation is.

1. Savannah, GA

With its fragrant azaleas, rich history and pedestrian-friendly layout, this southern belle is a great spot to gather your girls and hang out. Dating back to the early 1700s, Savannah’s City Market was the place of commerce in the city for farmers and traders to peddle their wares. Now it is a super collection of boutique shops, eateries and character cafes. Grab an ice cream (a requisite on girl’s weekend) and do some serious shopping in this open air marketplace. Savannah is sometimes referred to as “Hollywood of the South” and has been the site for many movies. Go on a movie tour and see where movies like Forrest Gump and Cape Fear (1962) were shot, among dozens of others.

Forsyth Park Savannah

2. Palm Beach, FL

With dozens of beaches in the area, Palm Beach makes for a great girlfriend getaway. Delray Beach has the sun and the surf, but is also lined with bistros and pubs- and emits a fun, party vibe. If your girl’s weekend includes a trip to the spa, the Eau Spa at Eau Palm Beach Resort and Spa is a great choice. This full service spa expands out over 42,000 sq. ft. In addition to all of the spa services, this facility offers a “Self- Centered Garden”, located in the heart of the spa. It’s the ultimate chill-out spot, with hanging chairs, fountains, lots of greenery and an elegantly laid back vibe.

Sean Pavone / Shutterstock.com
Sean Pavone / Shutterstock.com

3. Clyde Park, MT

Do you and your gal pals want to connect with your inner cowgirls? Consider a retreat to Big Sky Yoga retreat in Big Sky country. Take your yoga practice to some pretty serene surroundings (like mountain backdrop, against the wide open sky). What is really cool about this yoga retreat is that it’s part yoga and part horseback riding- and gives you a chance to really connect with nature in a way that is uniquely suitable to the surroundings. The tagline is appropriately- Namaste and Yeehaw!

Photo by: Big Sky Yoga Retreats
Photo by: Big Sky Yoga Retreats

4. Las Vegas, NV

When you think about Las Vegas, you probably think about the casinos and the nightlife that doesn’t close. That’s fun too, but there are a lot of spa experiences to be had in Las Vegas as well- perfect for a tranquil girls getaway. Spend the afternoon at the contemporary chic Bathhouse Spa at Delano, using their steam rooms and saunas, completed with spa treatments.  For another spa experience, check out Canyon Ranch at the Venetian. This spa is an “aqua thermal oasis” and uses alternating hot and cold water experiences to relax the muscles and rejuvenate the skin. One highlight is the experiential rain shower- which is a cooling shower. Guests can choose from various streams and intensities:  Caribbean Storm, Tropical Rain or Cool Fog.

pool las vegas

5. Finger Lakes Region, NY

With 120 wineries to choose from in this region, a wine tour through the Finger Lakes region in New York State is perfect for wine-loving ladies on a getaway.  So that you can really savor the wines, consider joining an organized wine tour, or hiring transportation for the day. Some wineries do tours by appointments only, but there are some good ones that allow drop-ins too: Fulkerson Winery, Swedish Hill Winery, and Glenora Wine Cellar.

Vineyard Finger Lakes New York

6. San Antonio, TX

San Antonio’s Riverwalk is the largest urban ecosystem in the U.S. and has 15 miles of sidewalks and paths that wind alongside the San Antonio River. You can explore the river on a boat, or use their bicycle share program with your friends and go for a scenic ride shaded by Cypress trees.  You literally can do whatever appeals to you along the way- shop, dine or tour museums. The Riverwalk grants access to King William Historic District and, 300-year-old Spanish missions as well. It’s a great city to wander and let your mood be your guide. A trip to San Antonio wouldn’t be complete without a visit to the Alamo, located nearby.
San Antonio Texas

7. New York, NY

In many ways, New York is perhaps the ultimate destination for a girl’s getaway; it’s hard to beat the shopping, the shows and the dining. While a little priciest, you’re going to want to stay right in Manhattan, so that you can really experience the energy of the city.  Hit all of the tourists spots- like the Empire State Building and Central Park. Get your shopaholic fix on Fifth Ave and visit Saks and Bergdorf Goodman. Don’t forget FAO Schwartz, which is appealing for kids of all ages. In homage to the role of friendship with your ladies, take a Sex and the City tour- and experience memorable moments from the series. Take in a Broadway show. Don your dancing shoes and tour the clubs in the city that never sleeps.

New York

The 12 Best Food Truck Cities in America

There is no denying it; we are living in a glorious age where food trucks have become the hottest places to grab some grub. Cities all over America are host to hundreds of food trucks that offer everything from the typical taco to over the top gourmet meals. What makes a city better than another in terms of food trucks? We looked at how many food trucks operate in the city, how diverse the selections are and how friendly the cities are to these trucks. Without further ado, these 12 cities are the ultimate food truck cities in the country:

12. Honolulu, HI

Lunch wagons have been part of the landscape in Hawaii for generations and used to serve the same thing, a couple scoops or rice, some macaroni salad and gravy based main. But things have come a long way in recent years and innovative trucks have popped up all over Honolulu and visitors should be sure to check at least a few of them out. Melt Honolulu became an instant hit when it hit the streets in this city serving up incredible grilled cheese sandwiches, including one called the “Melt of Shame”. Fresh wood fired pizzas can be found at the Inferno’s truck or if you are in the mood for shrimp and grits, head to Soul Patrol. Warm weather all year round, awesome new food trucks popping up all over the city and the ocean at your fingertips; sounds like a pretty amazing food truck city to us!

Theodore Trimmer / Shutterstock.com
Theodore Trimmer / Shutterstock.com

11. Seattle, WA

Seattle has always been overshadowed by Portland in terms of being a food truck city but as the years tick by they are holding their own and home to some of the best food trucks in America. For some down home New Orleans cooking make sure to check out Where Ya At, a food truck that continuously rates as one of the best in the country. It is here where you will find Creole soul food, hot beignets and fried-oyster po’boys. Marination is another truck in this city that has garnered press country wide for its Hawaiian-Korean cuisine and attitude towards delivering incredible flavors and a dose of “Aloha” to the city. Seattle’s Largest Independent Food and Craft Festival happens yearly in the summertime and if you have a chance to check it out, we highly recommend it. One of the best cities in America for food trucks, yet highly underrated.

Photo by: Urban Beer Hikes
Photo by: Urban Beer Hikes

10. San Francisco, CA

This city is teeming with food trucks, new ones popping up every day and no matter where you are headed you are sure to find one that absolutely blows your mind. Although this city wasn’t the birthplace of the food truck craze, they have upped their ante by offering food of new gastronomic levels. Fried oyster and bacon sandwiches, curry goat tacos and Vietnamese caramel ribs are just a slice of what you can find here. The SoMa Streat Food Park is a popular place to head, especially for visitors looking to get a variety of trucks. The lineup here changes daily and features a dozen or so trucks, entertainment and picnic tables to eat at. If you are looking for sustainable meat and veggies make sure to check out Go Streatery who is famous for serving up their famous handmade brisket sandwiched piled high and topped with an incredible savory jam.

Photo by: Carlos Muela
Photo by: Carlos Muela

9. Tampa, FL

This city is all about food trucks and getting them out on the road. They even are home to a Food Truck Rally, a company that specializes in promoting local cuisine and connecting the public with the food trucks, hosting seminars for potential food truck owners and staging events all over the city. Tampa Bay’s Florida State Fairgrounds also holds the World’s Largest Food Truck Rally on a yearly basis! Wicked Wiches is one of the most popular food trucks in the city, offering gourmet sandwiches including a fried chicken sandwich served on jalapeno waffles. If you are after vegetarian or vegan seek out the Taco Bus who are known for their awesome menu and the fact they only ever use fresh ingredients.  But if there is one thing to try in this city it is the famous Gorilla Balls from the Fire Monkey Food Truck. Gorilla Balls are balls of mushroom risotto stuffed with beef and blue cheese, then deep fried to crispy perfection.

Photo by: Bay News 9
Photo by: Bay News 9

8. Atlanta, GA

Atlanta is an up and coming city when it comes to food trucks and there is no better time to experience these awesome trucks than now. This city is where you will find down home southern comfort food mixed with Mexican and Asian influences. Head first to The Good Food Truck where “the Poodle” is served from a lipstick red carriage. The Poodle is actually a hot dog, sandwiched between a French toast bun and loaded with apple-maple slaw and spicy mustard. If you are more in the mood for something a little more Mexican, head to the Blaxican where you will find Buffalo chicken tacos and collard green quesadillas. New laws in Atlanta have made it easier for trucks to operate on public roads and expect to see even more as the years go on.

Photo by: The Good Food Truck
Photo by: The Good Food Truck

7. Miami, FL

South Florida loves their food trucks and you will find hundreds of trucks lining the streets, with offerings you won’t find anywhere else. The Latin Burger is one of the most popular trucks in this city, serving up something they call the Macho Burger, created out of a combination of chorizo, chuck and sirloin, topped with caramelized onions and Oaxaca cheese. If you are looking for Asian fare there is only one food truck to seek out that that is Dim Ssam a GoGo who serves up gourmet sandwiches with ingredients such as foie gras, kimchi and pork. But the real hit in this city is HipPops, a truck that offers handcrafted desserts. Hugely popular, this truck offers the chance for customers to create their own custom dessert. Choose from gelato, sorbet or frozen yogurt, and three kinds of premium Italian chocolate dips. Top your POP with finely crushed pistachios, almonds, hazelnuts or pecans. And ta da; an incredibly delicious creation.

Photo by: The Latin Burger
Photo by: The Latin Burger

6. Denver, CO

Denver boasts over 100 food trucks and there is seemingly no bad place to grab a bite to eat. Whether you are looking to grab a green-chili cheeseburger, pizza or barbecue; you can find it in this city. If you are looking to try some delicious made from scratch tacos or quesadillas make sure to search out the pink food truck named Comida, the best of its kind in town. If you want to get back to your childhood there is no better food truck to visit than HEY pb&j, a truck that puts an innovative spin on the classic peanut butter and jelly sandwich. Combinations such as The King (peanut butter, applewood smoked bacon, sliced bananas, clover honey) and the Mother Clucker (mo’ pecan-peanut butter, fried chicken, homemade green tomato jam, goat cheese, spicy hot honey) are true favorites.

Photo by: Comida
Photo by: Comida

5. Minneapolis, MN

Residents of the Twin Cities can certainly get their fill of any type of cuisine they are looking for in this city with its multitude of food trucks. Dozens of choices are parked along meters, outside the breweries and setting up shop at the farmers markets. Fans of tater tots will want o head directly to the TOT BOSS food truck where you can find anything from tater tot nachos to tot and beer burritos. If it is something like a burger you are after make sure to head over to Butcher Salt, where small town restaurant meets sustainability meets four wheels. Here you will find grass-fed beef sliders, candied maple bacon and a whole lot other deliciousness. If you are looking for something more gourmet head to Get Sauced, where you will find locally sourced and organic foods, all transformed from scratch into gourmet dishes.

Photo by: TOT BOSS
Photo by: TOT BOSS

4. Washington, DC

This city boasts more than 150 food trucks, many of them roaming the streets, many of them with permanent spots and a whole lot of them turning out for festivals. Washington stands out due to the unique and creative foods these trucks are seen serving up. Food truck pioneers The Fojol Bros are well worth a visit with their colorful trucks and carnival like costumes, not to mention the delicious food they are serving up including butter chicken and beef berbere. On a cool Washington day make sure you head over to Red Hook Lobster Pound where you can get a steaming cup of authentic New England clam chowder or delicious lobster roll. With all these food trucks it seems hard to keep track of but luckily the Food Truck Fiesta app has you covered with its real time map that lists where the trucks are and whose serving up what.

Photo by: Mobile Cuisine
Photo by: Mobile Cuisine

3. Austin, TX

Austin is a city which has been supporting food trucks at a time when no other city was, and it’s no surprise they have maintained that level of support. Featuring over 250 food trucks, this city is the perfect place to take a culinary tour. Visitors will want to head to the East King Side truck, a vibrant and colorful display of artwork that happens to serve up an incredible serving of beet home fries. The most famous food truck in this city though is Hey! You Gonna Eat or What?, a truck that is known for its snarky chefs and large sandwiches. The Shiner Bock Monte Cristo is the sandwich to order here and is loaded with cheddar, provolone, mesquite-smoked turkey and pit-smoked ham. It is then fried in batter, topped with powder sugar and served with a side of cherry-fig jam. Anywhere you turn in this city there is surely going to be a food truck to suit your needs.

Photo by: Hey!. You Gonna Eat or What?
Photo by: Hey!. You Gonna Eat or What?

2. Portland, OR

This city has been at the forefront of the food truck revolution and despite their reputation for being vegan hippies; you can find just about any food you want at one of their awesome trucks. With over 350 food trucks throughout the city, deciding which ones to visit will be your hardest choice. It is imperative that you head to the Grilled Cheese Grill where you can get your favorite childhood meal reinvented. The Cheesus is perhaps the most famous of dishes where a burger is served with grilled cheese sandwiches acting as the bun. Weenies from Another World is another truck you shouldn’t miss as this awesome looking vintage truck serves up homemade dogs, bread and incredible tater tots. If its southern food you are after head to Ms. Kate’s Southern Kitchen for homemade mac n’ cheese, pumpkin spiced waffles and buttery fluffy biscuits.

Photo by: Reddit
Photo by: Reddit

1. Orlando, FL

There are almost 200 food trucks in Orlando and counting, and this city wins in terms of having the most food trucks per capita in all of the United States. The good weather, the incredible creativity and the outpouring of support from citizens of this state all contribute to the number of them. One of the best food trucks to check out is Twisted Plates where you can get gourmet food without dolling out a ton of cash, or having to get dressed up. The menu here changes regularly depending what is in season. Dixieland Diner is where you will find Cajun and the best of southern food including shrimp and grits and jambalaya. The winning combination of southern hospitality and generous portions means this truck gets big lines, but it is well worth the wait. Natural juices, shaved ice, waffles and chicken, gelato, burgers and pizza are available state wide at a number of food trucks.

Photo by: Dixieland Diner
Photo by: Dixieland Diner

The 10 Busiest US Airports at Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving is a crazy time for Americans, they take this holiday seriously, sometimes even more so than Christmas. Like the more holly-jolly holiday, Thanksgiving is about taking time to share a meal and be with family and friends, but since Americans are pretty spread out, this often requires a quick (or maybe not so quick) flight. If you’re lucky enough to live within driving distance of your family, you can sit back and smile at the rest of this article, taking satisfaction in the fact that you won’t be one of the millions who must brave the following 10 busiest airports over Thanksgiving (as reported by Orbitz travel data):

10. Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International -Atlanta, Georgia

2015 marks the first year that Atlanta’s international airport has landed on the ‘most busy’ list for the Thanksgiving travel period and with travel during this holiday period up an estimated 6% over last year, Hartsfield is likely to stay in the top 10 for a while.

Sean Pavone / Shutterstock.com
Sean Pavone / Shutterstock.com

9. Dallas-Fort Worth International -Dallas, Texas

Another newcomer to the top 10 list, Dallas-Fort Worth is sure to see its infrastructure put through a pressure test. Recent years have seen more than two million passengers served by this airport during the entire Thanksgiving holiday period.

Frontpage / Shutterstock.com
Frontpage / Shutterstock.com

8. Newark Liberty International -Newark, New Jersey

New Jersey’s Newark airport is a frenzy of activity on a good day, let alone one of the busiest travel times of the year. Last year during the entire month of November, Newark saw a total of nine million travelers through its doors and this year that number is only going to rise.

EQRoy / Shutterstock.com
EQRoy / Shutterstock.com

7. Orlando International -Orlando, Florida

Orlando airport is also making its debut on the top 10 list and enters as the 7th most busy airport in America for the Thanksgiving travel period. Perhaps with air fares dropping, more travelers are taking advantage of visiting relatives in the country’s warmer southern states.

Sean Pavone / Shutterstock.com
Sean Pavone / Shutterstock.com

6. John F. Kennedy International -New York, New York

New Yorkers have a bit of a reputation for being impatient but for those that plan to travel through JFK airport during Thanksgiving should expect to have to wait, and wait, and wait. JFK is the 6th busiest airport in the country for this travel period, so maybe opt for LaGuardia instead since it’s not in the top 10 list.

Leonard Zhukovsky / Shutterstock.com
Leonard Zhukovsky / Shutterstock.com

5. Boston Logan International -Boston, Massachusetts

Be prepared for delays and make sure your travel plans are somewhat flexible if you’re using Boston’s Logan airport this Thanksgiving. Previous years on-time data for this travel period show that only about 30% of all flights into the airport land on-time.

Leena Robinson / Shutterstock.com
Leena Robinson / Shutterstock.com

4. Denver International -Denver, Colorado

Of all the new additions to this years top 10 list, Denver International Airport makes the biggest splash as it enters the charts as the 4th busiest in the country. Last year the airport released a statement of “Tips for Navigating Denver International Airport This Thanksgiving Holiday” advising travelers to bring carry-on luggage only, arrive hours early and check-in online ahead of time. All pretty much common sense.

Arina P Habich / Shutterstock.com
Arina P Habich / Shutterstock.com

3. San Francisco International -San Francisco, California

With a total of 38.8 million residents no one should be surprised to see a California airport on this list. One way that San Francisco airport is helping passengers cope with the stress of holiday travel is with their Yoga Room in Terminal 2. The Yoga Room offers complimentary mats and pillows so passengers can chill and get a little more aligned while waiting for their flights.

Photo by: Altego
Photo by: Altego

2. Chicago O’Hare International -Chicago, Illinois

Chicago’s O’Hare International airport is going to be the second busiest in the country during Thanksgiving, but this airport has taken into consideration the fact that Thanksgiving is all about family time, meaning lots of children are going to be taking to the skies as well. Families can enjoy the Kids on the Fly play area inside Terminal 2 which features child-sized model planes and an air traffic control tower to keep them occupied while awaiting departure.

Photo by: Visit Flyover Country
Photo by: Visit Flyover Country

1. Los Angeles International -Los Angeles, California

The number one busiest airport in the country for Thanksgiving will be none other than LAX, and this probably doesn’t come as much of a surprise, however this airport has taken a creative approach to helping passengers cope with the stress. LAX PUPS which stands for Pets Unstressing Passengers is a dog therapy program where dogs and handlers are positioned at various gates to give love to stressed out travelers. Because after all, who can resist those puppy eyes.

Photo by: LA Times
Photo by: LA Times

America’s 12 Most Beautiful College Campuses

America is loaded with beautiful college and university campuses that not only drive students to attend these schools but visitors from all over the world. From a University that has been designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site to campuses that look more like resorts than schools to breathtaking surrounding landscapes, it’s hard to believe the students here can actually concentrate on their studies. Between the stunning architecture, elaborate fountains, mountain landscapes and amazing students; here are our choices for the 12 most beautiful campuses across America.

12. Kenyon College -Gambier, Ohio

Whether you are a student here, visitor to the campus or happen to be a resident in the tiny town of Gambier; you have one thing in common, you are surrounded by the stunning Kenyon College campus. Placed on the hilltop in the tiny town, the campus features one of the most incredible walkways in America, the famous 10 foot wide Middle Path. The Middle Path spans the entire length of the campus and right into town, surrounded by humungous overhanging trees on both sides. Fall is absolutely the most beautiful time as the leave change to brilliant shades of red and orange, and it is truly like something out of a painting. The rest of the campus isn’t so shabby either, think castle-like halls, stunning columns, surrounding rock walls and beautiful churches. This campus is so pretty and serene; you will have a hard time leaving once you are here.

Photo by: PHS Grads at College
Photo by: PHS Grads at College

11. University of Virginia -Charlottesville, Virginia

This university is the only university in the USA to be designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site and was designed by the one and only Thomas Jefferson. Since that time the university’s layout has been copied but none have come close to this incredible campus. Jefferson not only planned the layout of the property but also hired the initial faculty and created the curriculum, a feat he was so proud of it ended up as one of his three proudest moments on his gravestone. The shining star of this campus is the neoclassical domed Rotunda which was created to replicate the Pantheon in Rome. An interesting fact about this building is that it actually burnt down in 1895 so what you see today is a replica. The Small Special Collections Library hosts early printing of the Declaration of Independence and for any history buff, this campus is truly breathtaking.

Photo by: Neighborhood Nomads
Photo by: Neighborhood Nomads

10. Stanford University -Palo Alto, California

Sunny blue skies and warm temperatures help push this campus onto the list of the most beautiful campuses across America, but there are many other factors to consider as well. Even though this university continually goes through expansive growth, they have managed to maintain their cohesiveness and safeguard their beauty. Entering the university through its dramatic entrance via Palm Drive is a one of a kind experience, with its romantic Spanish red-tile roofs and myriad patches of green. Throughout the campus students and visitors will find timeless buildings from the early California Mission Revival architecture combined with tasteful and modern new additions such as the Science and Engineering Quad. While the academics may be rigorous, the campus sends out a feeling of tranquility and with students and staff interacting all over the grounds, you certainly will feel welcome here.

Martin Valigursky / Shutterstock.com
Martin Valigursky / Shutterstock.com

9. Furman University -Greenville, South Carolina

The lush South Carolina landscape at this campus includes Asia-inspired gardens, a sparkling blue lake and a collection of diverse buildings. The campus is spread over 750 acres of wooded grounds and circles the beautiful lake and the landmark Bell Tower, offering miles of walking trails and even an 18-hole golf course. From a former Buddhist Temple to an environmentally sustainable show home to the beautiful Georgian architecture; the landscape here certainly isn’t mediocre. The Bell Tower that stretches out into the lake looks best during fall when the trees leading up to it turns into splashes of red and orange as the leave change with the season. The fountains strategically placed throughout, the rose gardens and the breathtaking sunsets help make this one of the most beautiful campuses across the country.

Furman University

8. University of Washington -Seattle, Washington

If you are looking for a campus with a view, go no further than the University of Washington, which boasts views of both the snow-capped peaks of Mt. Rainer and the shimmering waters of Lake Washington. Spring time is the best time of year here though as the Quad features 31 Yoshino Cherry trees that bloom beautiful, delicate pink pedals, which enthrall visitors in both March and April. One of the favorite buildings on campus here is the Suzzallo Library, featuring 35-foot high stained glass windows and vaulted ceilings that soar up to 65 feet in the air. The glass fronted Paccar Hall puts a modern twist on the campus with its unique levels and abundance of light it lets in and out. Students can be found here at the newly renovated Neptune Theatre taking in some musical acts or hanging out by the Drumheller Fountain.

cpaulfell / Shutterstock.com
cpaulfell / Shutterstock.com

7. Lewis & Clark College -Portland, Oregon

First things first, although the spelling is different, who wouldn’t want to attend a school that is called “Lewis and Clark”? Secondly this college campus is downright breathtaking, partly because of the surrounding scenery and partly because of its pristine location. Located on top of Palatine Hill in the Collins View neighborhood of Portland, Oregon this campus offers students towering trees and trillium lined creeks. The architecture here has won numerous awards for its environmentally sustainable buildings while others buildings have significant history attached to them. 600 acres of wooded trails, an outdoor swimming pool and a reflection pool with views of Mt. Hood only add to the prettiness of this campus. This college is also known for having really attractive students, just adding to the prettiness of the campus.

"L&C Flanagan Chapel" by M.O. Stevens - Own work. Licensed under CC BY 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons.
L&C Flanagan Chapel” by M.O. StevensOwn work. Licensed under CC BY 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons.

6. Dartmouth College -Hanover, New Hampshire

Not only is the campus here beautiful but the people as well, as this university boasts some of the happiest students across the country. This could be due to the magnificent surroundings that they live in, the fresh mountain air and the sense of community that is felt here. It also happens to be the ninth oldest college in the country. There are huge elms trees here that provide the perfect shady study spots for students as well as beautiful red brick buildings that tower high into the sky. The surrounding pastel mountains and picturesque Connecticut River on the west side of the campus only makes this University even more inviting. Placid forests, the smell of fresh air and students who are always smiling; it doesn’t get much better than this.

Edward Fielding / Shutterstock.com
Edward Fielding / Shutterstock.com

5. Elon University -Elon, North Carolina

It is often described as the campus with the best grass, and as strange as it may sound it truly looks like each blade of grass has been individually cut with a sharp pair of scissors. In fact everywhere you look on this campus is a picture perfect moment. From the classic collegiate architecture of the South to the wide variety of trees to the picture perfect blue skies that always seem to hang overhead, this campus is the epitome of beauty. The fountains throughout the campus must not be forgotten though, the famous KOBC fountain sparkles and sprays in the sunlight, the fountains in the lake shine and everywhere you turn, keep an eye out for these awesome features. The new admissions building stands strong and proud, a beautiful architectural piece of work that provides the perfect entrance to the perfect campus.

Bryan Pollard / Shutterstock.com
Bryan Pollard / Shutterstock.com

4. Berry College -Mount Berry, Georgia

It holds the title of being one of the largest campuses in the world, spread out over 27,000 acres. Each acre is teeming with fields, forests, mountains and/or lakes that provide an absolutely breathtaking setting. This school was founded in 1902, specifically for enterprising rural boys and it wasn’t long before a girls school was added in 1909. Some of the best features about this campus include the numerous fountains and reflection pools located around the buildings which offer a serene and relaxing environment. Breathtaking gardens can be found throughout the entire campus, as are trails for bikers, hikers and even horseback riders. The English Gothic inspired buildings only add more beauty and character to this campus. Make sure to check out the Ford Dining Hall and Ford Auditorium to see some of the prettiest buildings here.

Berry College Georgia

3. University of Hawai’i at Mānoa -Honolulu, Hawaii

It is unsure how any students can possibly concentrate on studying at this beautiful campus located in Honolulu Hawaii. Surrounded by lush green tropical foliage, bright beautiful flowers and wide walking paths throughout the campus, it is easy to understand why most students study outdoors. Dramatic hills and cliffs frame the background as this campus is located in the Manoa Valley. Graduate students especially enjoy it here as they are encouraged to study coral reef at the marine biology lab, built on a coral reef. This campus combines natural beauty with world class research facilities along with a highly competitive sports program, which draws students from all over the world. In addition, and one of the favorite natural occurrences here are the abundance of rainbows that are always filling the skies.

Photo by: University of Hawai’i
Photo by: University of Hawai’i 

2. Cornell University -Ithaca, New York

Set in the Finger Lakes region, the planners that built this campus were both ambitious and geniuses. With beauty in mind they placed the campus on twenty three hundred acres of land which includes lakes, gardens, waterfalls and more. The main quad was placed over the dramatic Cayuga Lake, the longest in the region and was done so to invoke the thoughts of putting education on a high platform and the views are simply stunning. The mix of buildings from historic to modern and dramatic creates the perfect landscape of learning. One of the most impressive features of this campus though is Cascadilla Gorge, where eight waterfalls drop 400 feet from the campus into downtown, along with an array of beautiful gardens and 150-acre arboretum. Students here love to head off the campus as well to the vibrant city of Ithaca, recently voted as one of the top 100 places to live in the world.

Cornell University Ithaca

1. Rollins College -Winter Park, Florida

It is Florida’s oldest post-secondary institution and the most beautiful campus in America, as ranked by the Princeton Review for 2015. The location itself is enough to warrant some attention as it is directly located on Lake Virginia, which leads to some pretty incredible views. Add in lush gardens, the greenhouse oasis, overhanging trees, rose gardens and pedestrian pathways that run through the scenery and you have a pretty incredible place to study. Students love the outdoor classroom spaces, the three-story atrium in the Bush Science Center and Olin Library that offers view of both the lake and the campus. The green grass, the palm trees and the modern buildings make this campus look more like a resort you want to spend a week at rather than a campus. At night when the moon rises and shimmers off the lake it turns the colors into deep blues and combined with the twinkling lights of the buildings, it is a perfect setting.

Photo by: Rollins College
Photo by: Rollins College

The 7 Spookiest Cities in America

Who doesn’t love a good ghost story? Sharing chill-inducing tales of ghosts and goblins is practically an American pastime, and we can all take solace in the fact that they’re just stories. It’s harder to shake off the uneasiness that a good ghost story leaves you with, though, when you visit the locations where the ghost story purportedly took place. Looking for a really good scare on your next vacation? Stop by one of these particularly spooky American cities if you’re looking for some major frightening fun.

7. St. Augustine, FL

©fitopardo / Getty Images

It should come as no surprise that the oldest city in the United States (St. Augustine was founded in 1585) has a few skeletons in its proverbial closet. To make the most of your ghostly visit to this gem of a city on Florida’s east coast, don’t miss the impressive Castillo de San Marcos. This large fort has been guarding America’s first city for over 300 years, so it has some ghostly stories to tell. While touring the dungeon, you may feel the cold hands of former prisoners wrap around your wrists or shoulders. Visit the fort near sunrise or sunset to see if you can get a glimpse of the spirit of the Spanish soldier; the ghost appears at the edge of the fort, wistfully looking out to the sea, just before daybreak and nightfall. You’ll get the shivers, too, at the Spanish Military Hospital, which was unwittingly built on top of a Timucuan burial ground.

6. Centralia, PA

SimcoePix / Shutterstock

America’s ghost towns are inherently creepy, but the creepiness factor of this ghost town in rural Pennsylvania is cranked all the way up to a “10.” Once a quaint coal-mining town, Centralia used to be home to more than 2,000 residents — but now the town’s population has dwindled to less than 10. Why? You can thank the coal mining operation. In 1962, a fire in the coal mine started — and it’s still raging underground today, thanks to a nearly limitless supply of coal. Sicknesses, sinkholes, and dangerous levels of carbon monoxide led to residents high tailing it out of Centralia over the ensuing decades. Today, the abandoned buildings and empty streets give off a distinctly eerie vibe. The creepiest part of this town, though? Steam and smoke still rises from the underground fire and seeps through cracks in Centralia’s abandoned roadways, making it look like the town is enveloped in a ghostly vapor.

5. New Orleans, LA

Nick Martucci / Shutterstock

New Orleans may be known for its rowdy French Quarter and the ribald festivities of Mardi Gras, but there’s a darker side to this famed southern city, too. For a solid scare, head to the Andrew Jackson Hotel near the French Market; the hotel is said to be haunted by the spirits of five little boys who perished there when a fire ripped through the building in 1778. Another spooky New Orleans pastime? Voodoo. Pay homage to the city’s voodoo queen with a stop by Saint Louis Cemetery. Famed voodoo practitioner Marie Laveau, who died in 1881, is buried here — purportedly along with her pet snake, Zombi. She’s said to cast a curse on whoever walks by her grave. Laveau’s sinister character was recently “brought back to life” in the T.V. series American Horror Story; Angela Bassett played the high priestess of voodoo.

4. San Francisco, CA

Created by drcooke / Getty Images

San Francisco is known for its brightly colored row houses, its hippy-dippy history, and — today — as the epicenter of the tech boom. But just off of San Fran’s breathtaking coast sits a more sinister relic. The infamous Alcatraz Federal Penitentiary on Alcatraz Island is just a ferry ride away from the mainland — but only visit if you’re up for being spooked. Alcatraz claims nefarious individuals, like Al Capone, as former inmates; in fact, visitors today claim to hear banjo music emanating from the shower room, where Capone used to play his beloved instrument. Throughout the years, visitors, inmates, and guides alike have been unnerved by the sounds of chains rattling, blood-curdling screams, and the feeling of walking through chilly goosebump-inducing cold spots throughout the prison.

3. Adams, TN

Maddi Avery / Shutterstock

Are you a fan of the shaky-camera storytelling and substantial scares of the movie The Blair Witch Project? Then a visit to Adams, TN, is a must since some spooky events in the town inspired the film. In the early 1800s, a farmer named John Bell settled in Adams; the Bell family grew happy and prosperous on their Adams farm for a number of years. That is, until mysterious happenings started to capture their attention — knocks on windows, the sound of chains being drug through the house, and strange animal sightings became an almost daily occurrence. Eventually, the family began hearing a ghostly voice, too; the disembodied voice identified itself as the ghost of Kate Batts, a former disgruntled neighbor of the Bells. The ghost of Kate tormented farmer John’s daughter, Betsy, relentlessly; Betsy reportedly had her hair pulled and was pinched and scratched by the ghost. You can still visit the haunted Bell cabin today … if you dare.

2. Salem, MA

Wangkun Jia / Shutterstock

Famous around the world for the horrific Salem witch trials, this tiny northeastern town just can’t shed its witchy past. Relive the hysteria with a visit to Gallows Hill Park. Now a baseball field and children’s playground, this park’s innocent veneer belies its haunting past; it was here in 1692 that the town of Salem hung 19 residents for suspected crimes of witchery. Tourism in the town today surrounds the Salem witch trials; get your dose of ghostly history at the Witch Dungeon Museum, which hosts a live re-enactment of a witch trial, based on the actual 1692 transcript. And don’t pass up a visit to the Witch House, a historic home built in 1642 that once housed the fearsome judge James Corwin, who presided over the witch trials. Suspected sorceresses were supposedly brought to this home to be checked for “witches’ marks,” or marks said to be left by the devil on the bodies of those that practice witchcraft.

1. Savannah, GA

Natalia Bratslavsky / Shutterstock

Amidst the moss-draped old oaks and stately Georgian homes, spirits lurk. In fact, the charming coastal town of Savannah, Georgia, is often referred to as America’s Most Haunted City! That reputation is well earned — see for yourself with a visit to some of Savannah’s spookiest landmarks. Check out the Sorrel-Weed House, a handsome mansion built on top of the unmarked graves of revolutionary soldiers; spirit sightings are so common at the house that the Sci-Fi Channel’s show Ghost Hunters has paid a visit here. And the creepy albeit beautiful Bonaventure Cemetery just outside of town is another must-visit. For major chills, stop by the grave of Gracie Watson, a six-year-old girl who died from yellow fever in 1889. Even if you don’t buy the story that Gracie’s ghost still haunts the cemetery, you’ll still shudder at the ghostly-looking statue that sits upon her grave!

15 of America’s Prettiest Beach Campgrounds

If you are having trouble deciding between a beach vacation or roughing it at a camping getaway, why not combine both in the ultimate beach camping vacation. All across the United States are breathtaking campgrounds that are located directly on the beach, high on top of beach bluffs or just a stone’s throw away from the ocean. Although many beaches forbid overnight camping, and you have to be extremely careful of tides, these 15 campsites are sure to keep you safe and sound, as you fall asleep to the sounds of the crashing waves. Without further ado, here are 15 of America’s prettiest beach campgrounds.

15. Ocracoke Campground – Cape Hatteras National Seashore, North Carolina

This barrier island in the Outer Banks is home to a few fabulous campgrounds, only accessible by boat or plane. Ocracoke Campground is the only campground right on the beach, only a short walk over the dunes to reach the water. The campground offers campers flush toilets, cold showers, drinking water, and nice soft sandy soil to pitch your tent on. The beach is constantly quiet, with just handfuls of shore birds that run back and forth from the water. If you happen to take a flashlight out at night you may be lucky enough to see the crabs scampering by. There is no shade at the campground and the mosquitoes can be common, but if you bring plenty of insect repellant and a couple sun umbrellas, you will be just fine. Enjoy visiting the second-oldest operating lighthouse in the country and the oldest in North Carolina on this amazing island.

Photo by: National Park Planner
Photo by: National Park Planner

14. Bahia Honda State Park – Bahia Honda Key, Florida

The remote island of Bahia Honda Key is home to beautiful sunsets, snorkeling and incredible white powdery beaches. With over 72 RV and tent sites available, there are so many choices. Many of the sites are wooded which is a great relief in the hot Florida sun. Amenities include a marina, concession stand, electric hookups and lots of patrols to make sure everyone is safe. The snorkeling here is one of the highlights of the State Park and sea life includes stingrays, sharks, barracudas and tons of colorful fish. The sites that are located right on the ocean are perhaps the best of the best, with an ocean beach and turquoise waters literally at your front door. Rates are a little high for a campground and start around $38 a night, but the blue waters, white sand and the abundance of activities are totally worth the extra cash.

Bahia Honda State Park

13. Anastasia State Park, Florida

Visitors to Anastasia State Park certainly won’t be bored with over 1,600 acres of diverse wildlife and rich ecosystems to explore. It is described as stepping back into time when campers arrive here, with ancient sand dunes and a tidal marsh teeming with plants and wildlife. The campground itself has 139 campsites, ranging from tent only sites to ones capable of fitting RV’s. There are a plethora of amenities here not limited to but including hot showers, grills, sheltered dining areas, campfire programs, interpretive programs and electric hook ups. Kids will never be bored here either renting a canoe, taking a nature hike, surfing in the waves or stargazing at night. Heading to the dunes at sunset is a popular activity for everyone here as you can get a 360-degree panorama of both sea and sand, with a 19th century lighthouse in the foreground.

Photo by: theobine via Flickr
Photo by: theobine via Flickr

12. Kalaloch Campground – Olympic National Park, Washington

This campground is only one of two campgrounds to pitch a tent on the southern coast of Olympic National Park. Open year round with 175 campsites these sites fill up quickly especially in the summer so if you want experience this coastline make sure to book early. This campground is actually perched on a bluff high above the Pacific Coast and is known for its abundance of nearby wildlife and outstanding views. Visitors should count on seeing bald eagles overhead and whales spouting just offshore. There are plenty of hiking opportunities in the area and seven different trails lead down to the beaches just off highway 101. Olympic National Park actually covers a total of 65 miles of rugged coastline and camping here offers an array of awesome experiences. Campsites typically range from $14-$36 a night and the Kalaloch Campground is truly beautiful no matter what time of year!

Photo by: Hip Camp
Photo by: Hip Camp

11. Wright’s Beach – Sonoma Coast State Park, California

Plan on spending the night falling asleep to the sounds of the waves crashing at this awesome campground located in Sonoma Coast State Park. Visitors here spend most of their time searching the beach for shells, discovering the tidal pools and rolling down the sand dunes. Expect the campground here to be quiet, peaceful and open to having your four legged furry friends join you. Campsites 1-9 are the most private and located directly on the beach, where you can expect to see plenty of dolphins and whales playing in the ocean. The bathrooms here are exceptionally clean, the rangers friendly and efficient and although this campsite remains a quiet secret; it may not for long. It is important to note that there is a dangerous undertow and swimming in the water is not recommended. Also there are no showers available here but some located just up the road.

Sonoma Coast State Park

10. Malaquite Campground – Padre Island National Seashore, Texas

This oasis on the Gulf of Mexico offers 48 campsites and starts at just a mere $8 a night. The campground is tucked in the dunes just a short half mile away from the visitor’s center. Tent campers are welcome to set up on the sites or on the beach and campers are accommodated on a first-come first-serve basis. Amenities include cold showers, flush toilets and paved parking. In contrast to the neighboring spring break Mecca, Malaquite Campground is actually located on the longest undeveloped stretch of Barrier Island in the world. If you are lucky enough to visit in the summertime plan on seeing plenty of sea turtles hatching and making their way to sea. These sandy white beaches are a haven for these majestic creatures.

Photo by: Terry Ross via Flickr
Photo by: Terry Ross via Flickr

9. Horseneck Beach State Reservation, Massachusetts

Starting at just $22 a night, visitors can pitch their tent at this beautiful beach park where a breeze provides respite from the intense heat, all year round. Located on the Western end of Buzzard’s Bay, just West of Martha’s vineyards, campers flock to one of the 100 campsites. Pounding surf along this two-mile beach provides excellent windsurfing conditions and plenty of waves for the little ones to splash in. The scenery here is enough to amaze any visitors as wild flowers bloom, sand dunes are in the background and migratory shorebirds are all over the place. The campground offers such amenities as clean shower facilities, accessible restrooms and dump stations. Popular activities include swimming, hiking, biking, fishing, sailing and boating.

Photo by: Tim Pierce via Flickr
Photo by: Tim Pierce via Flickr

8. Ninilchik View Campground – Ninilchik State Recreation Area, Alaska

On top of a bluff over Ninilchik Beach sits 13 awesome campsites. Two 10,000 snow-capped volcanoes frame the horizon and tidal fluctuations constantly change the awesome scenery. The stairway down the bluff leads visitors to vast sandy beaches at low tide, perfect for relaxing or beachcombing. There is tons of wildlife, calling this place home, like magpies, bald eagles and squirrels. Visitors enjoy nearby fishing, clamming and hiking. The campground has a host on site, a dump site nearby and costs as little as just $1 a night to stay there. It is important to note that clamming and fishing are sometimes banned during certain seasons. Watch as the wave’s crash against the cliffs, bald eagles circle overhead and enjoy the peace and solitude of this secret campground.

Photo by: wagnertravelnotes
Photo by: wagnertravelnotes

7. Assateague State Park – Assateague Island, Maryland

This campground is Maryland’s only ocean campground and is located on the barrier island, sandwiched between the Atlantic Ocean and Sinepuxent Bay. Campers will look forward to two miles of ocean beaches that are popular for swimming, surfing, fishing, sunbathing and beachcombing. The camping sites are pretty basic here, with a pad, fire ring, picnic table and a couple of spots with electrical hookups. The bathhouse is stocked with flushed toilets and showers though. All of the campsites are just a short walk to the beach or bay where there are a plethora of activities. Canoeing and kayaking in the bay through secluded coves and marsh areas gives visitors the opportunities to get up close and personal to awesome wildlife.

Photo by: theobine via Flickr
Photo by: theobine via Flickr

6. Sea Camp Campground – Cumberland Island National Seashore, Georgia

This remote barrier island is a labyrinth of gnarled live oak branches, picture perfect wide flat beaches and an awesome campground with 16 individual campsites as well as two group sites. With rates at $4 per person per night, you can’t go wrong pitching a tent here. This remote island campground is only accessible by boat and visitors should expect restroom facilities with cold showers, picnic tables and firepits at each site. There is a small amphitheatre for ranger programs as well as a boardwalk that takes visitors out to the beach. The beach ranges over 18 miles long and a favorite pastime of many includes searching for shells and shark teeth. Keep your eyes peeled for manatees, sea turtles and over 300 species of birds that call this island home. Swim, bike or kayak around the area and just remember that camping is limited to a maximum of seven nights at one time.

Photo by: Jason and Kris Carter via Flickr
Photo by: Jason and Kris Carter via Flickr

5. Oceanside Campground – Assateague Island National Seashore, Maryland

If you happen to love wild ponies, Oceanside Campground located between Chincoteague Bay and the Atlantic Ocean is the perfect place to pitch your tent and watch as a herd of wild ponies roam around; after all they have called this place home for over 300 years. There are a total of 104 waterfront campsites to choose from, all offering superior seaside sunset views. The amenities here aren’t quite as grand as others on this list but that is all part of the charm. Expect adequate restrooms with cold water showers, picnic tables and fire rings. Most of the days here will be spent either surfing or playing in the waves, digging up clams and fishing for crabs. It is important to note that this location is extremely windy and make sure you have extra long tent poles to make sure your tent doesn’t fly away in the middle of the day. It is also recommended to take a flashlight with you on a beach walk at night to see the ghost crabs running all about.

Photo by: Jim Pennucci via Flickr
Photo by: Jim Pennucci via Flickr

4. Jalama Beach County Park – Santa Barbara, California

This Santa Barbara country park maintains just over 100 campsites, all of them overlooking the ocean or beachfront. Each site includes a BBQ pit, picnic table and 31 of them offer electrical hook up. Full restrooms including hot showers are located nearby. Beachfront sites start at $45 a night and do fill up fast so it is recommended you book early in order to snag one of these. Campers here engage in a variety of activities including surfing, whale watching, fishing and bird watching. High winds and rough surf can make the water hazardous for weak swimmers and thankfully there are lifeguards present in the summer months. If you feel like passing on cooking over the campfire the infamous Jalama Beach Grill is just a short walk away. Here visitors can indulge in one of the famous burgers, topped with tons of veggies and an extra special sauce.

Photo by: John Murphy via Flickr
Photo by: John Murphy via Flickr

3. Cape Perpetua Campground – Siuslaw National Forest, Oregon

This rugged section of the Oregon coastline is teeming with sea life, blowholes and an abundance of wildlife. The campground is located between the old-growth forest and the beach, with access to impressive hiking trails and incredible beach views. Steep cliffs, rolling hills, sand dunes and lush forests are all part of the scenery here. There are a total of 40 campsites here; in this one of two national forests that borders the Pacific. Visitors here love to explore the many tidal pools, hiking the 23-mile trail system or simply relaxing on the beach. The campsites are each equipped with a picnic table and fire ring and flush toilets and drinking water is provided. The visitors center provides a breathtaking view of the ocean and show numerous short films in the theater. Rates start at just $22 a night and the view alone is worth it.

Photo by: Prisma Bildagentur AG / Alamy via Travel + Leisure
Photo by: Prisma Bildagentur AG / Alamy via Travel + Leisure

2. Westport-Union Landing State Beach – Westport, California

This campground is located atop a cliff top, making it one of the most dramatic campgrounds when it comes to epic scenery. With 86 sites this campground is first come first serve but don’t let that scare you away. Visitors who get lucky enough to stay here will enjoy the soundtrack of crashing waves, all day and night. This beach covers over three miles of rugged coastline, tree-covered mountains and awesome sunsets making it the perfect place for the budding photographer to pitch a tent. Restrooms and drinking water is available here but that is pretty much it in terms of campground amenities, this is truly primitive camping at its best. Prepare yourself for unpredictable weather, activities such as geocaching, fishing and swimming and enjoy nature at its finest at this beautiful state beach in California.

Photo by: Agathe B via Wikimedia Commons
Photo by: Agathe B via Wikimedia Commons

1. Wai’anapanapa State Park – Maui, Hawaii

Black volcanic sand, the bright blue sparkling sea and lush green vegetation make this one of America’s prettiest beach campsites. At Wai’anapanapa State Park visitors will be privy to a wild, low-cliff volcanic landscape that offers peace and solitude, a respite from the urban cities. Shore fishing and hiking through the incredible trails are among the most popular activities to do here, although many people love to bask in the hot sun on the small black sand beach. Offering 60 campsites starting at just $12 a night, this campground is located near a ton of natural wonders including the native hala forest, legendary caves and blowholes. Located near the end of the renowned Road to Hana, it is here where campers can pitch a tent and discover the beauty of the quieter side of the island of Maui.

Wai’anapanapa State Park

The 12 Strangest Sayings in America

If you’ve had a chance to travel, you’ve noticed differences in the way people talk in other places. This is something that anyone who has traveled the U.S. is keenly aware that people in Seattle talk differently than New Yorkers, and Texans are a whole other kettle of fish again. Even then, we can usually figure out what people mean when they break out a colloquialism or a local version of an idiom. Sometimes, though, we’re left scratching our heads. Here are 12 of those strange sayings that will have you wondering if everyone’s still speaking English.

12. “Bang a U-ey” – Rhode Island

For most of us, “banging” something either means you’re making a big noise, like construction workers hammering nails into a wall or … well, you get the idea. We do use “bang” colloquially, but nowhere is the verb more colloquial than in Rhode Island where locals might tell you to “bang a U-ey” if you make a wrong turn. “U-ey” is pretty common slang for a U-turn. When Rhode Islanders tell you this, they just want you to make a U-turn, and there’s no need to make a lot of noise about it. The term might be related to the phrase “bang one out,” which essentially means to do something, but it sure sounds strange nonetheless. If you happen to be told to do this, your Rhode Island tour guide will likely be impressed if you just wheel it around, no questions asked.

Rhode Island

11. “Your wig’s a little loose” – Kentucky

The Bluegrass State is known for some of its quirky Southern slang, although it shares much of this lingo with other Southern states. One interesting phrase you might hear only in Kentucky is, “your wig’s a little loose” or “I think your wig’s a little loose.” This is essentially telling someone you think they’re crazy—not exactly a compliment. The phrase is comparable to idioms like “doesn’t have his head on straight” and “I think you have a few screws loose.” You needn’t be actually wearing a wig, in this case, your wig is more a metaphor than anything, so don’t worry about telling your Kentucky friends that you’re not even wearing a wig. Bets that this phrase got its start in the early days of the Union, when everyone was still wearing powdered wigs? We really hope so.

Kentucky 1

10. “Get a wiggle on” – South Dakota

The Dakotas get a bad rap: the weather isn’t all that great, there’s not much to see or do and the locals are friendly, but perhaps a little strange. One thing you’ll quickly notice is that South Dakotans, much like Minnesotans and North Dakotans, have some pretty odd turns of phrase. One of the most intriguing is “get a wiggle on,” which essentially means “hurry up.” Others might be familiar with the phrase “get a move on,” which uses the same construct and means the same thing. We’re not entirely sure why South Dakotans want everyone to wiggle to their destination, though maybe it has something to do with keeping warm during the harsh winter weather. Nonetheless, if a South Dakotan acquaintance happens to suggest you should get your wiggle on, you needn’t bust a move like you’re on the dance floor—a bit more spring in your step will do.

South Dakota

9. “Gotta get flat” – California

It shouldn’t come as much of a surprise that the Golden State has some pretty slangy terminology. While a lot of California colloquialisms have arisen from surf culture and then spread to a wider demographic through the magic of Hollywood, there are still a few turns of phrase that are uniquely Californian. One of those phrases might be “gotta get flat,” which, at first glance, seems pretty obtuse. Why do we need to get flattened out? Is this something to do with earthquakes? Or maybe it’s some new twist on “getting down.” It actually just means “I need to lie down”—and if you think about it, it makes perfect sense: we often talk about being “laid flat out” or “flat on our backs,” so “getting flat” would be lying down.

California

8. “Geez-o-Pete!” – Michigan

Michigan’s strangest idiom might seem relatively tame or even understandable from some points of view. It’s a sort of mild swear, certainly not as rude as some of the phrases you can find around the world. In some ways, it’s almost cute and it’s definitely Michigan. “Geez-o-Pete!” is an exclamation that’s sort of like “Jesus Mary Mother of God!” with much the same meaning and a kind of parallel structure in that it calls on Jesus and St. Peter. If you hear your Michiganian friends shouting this, you know something’s caught them off-guard and not in a way that’s made them happy. It’s just that polite company is likely forcing them to keep it G-rated—otherwise you might hear some other choice words instead of this phrase.

Michigan

7. “Just because a cat has her kittens in the oven don’t make them biscuits” – Vermont

Local pride is something you’ll run into in any number of states (and countries, for that matter), but Vermont seems to take the cake with their own colloquialism about what makes a local a local. Specifically, they might tell you that “just because a cat has her kittens in the oven don’t make them biscuits.” What they’re really saying is that even if you were born in Vermont, you’re not necessarily a Vermonter, just like putting those kittens in the oven doesn’t make them biscuits. Once an outsider, always an outsider in Vermont, it seems. It will apparently take a couple generations to be considered a real Vermonter. In the meantime, nobody’s said we can’t all enjoy maple syrup, fantastic fall colors and great skiing in the Green Mountains in the wintertime.

Vermont

6. “That dog won’t hunt” – Georgia

Georgia’s another Southern state with that peculiarly Southern way of speaking. Of course, the Peach State has its own lingo, and one of the native phrases is “that dog won’t hunt” or “that dog don’t hunt.” While outsiders might think nothing of this idiom, it’s actually a way of saying something won’t work—much like a dog that won’t hunt, something’s a little off. Other versions of the phrase include “that horse isn’t a runner” and the historical predecessor “that cock won’t fight,” which was used as a natural metaphor for an idea that was bound to fail during the heydays of cockfighting in the 17th and 18th centuries. Today, if someone from the Peach State tells you the dog won’t hunt, you’d better go back to the drawing board.

Georgia

5. “Looks like 10 miles of dirt road” – Wyoming

Wyoming is a relatively “young” state and this Western state has been decidedly pastoral and rural throughout most of its history, even before statehood. With a large interest in ranching, the smallest population in the U.S. and a huge swath of land dotted by mountains and valleys, it’s little wonder that Wyoming’s slang would take on a distinctly rural flavor. The phrase “looks like 10 miles of dirt road” is an example of that. This phrase is pretty easy to figure out: it means someone looks disheveled or unwell. Dirt roads are often unkempt and bumpy, washed out by storms and rutted especially after use or the winter—so saying someone looks like 10 miles of that is not a compliment! If your hosts in Wyoming suggest you look like this, you might want to nip off and “freshen up.”

Wyoming

4. “I’m going by your house later” – Louisiana

At first glance, the phrase “I’m going by your house later” may not seem all that strange. In fact, some of us may have offered someone a ride home from a party or offered to drop something off because we were “going by later.” But in Louisiana, “going by your house later” doesn’t mean someone is just going to drive by like a bitter ex. It means they’re actually going to stop in and visit. Whereas people from other places might say, “I’m going to stop in later,” Louisianans like to keep you in suspense by suggesting that they’ll be in the neighborhood, at some point. Chances are that the phrase started off much like it’s used in other regions—to mean somebody’s place is on your way—but eventually just became another way of saying they were going to drop by.

Louisiana

3. “Red it up” – Pennsylvania

Have you made a bit of a mess of things? If you’re in Pennsylvania, chances are you won’t be told to “clean up.” No, Pennsylvanians are more apt to tell you to “red it up,” an odd turn of phrase that could catch most of us off-guard. It seems, at first glance, tangentially related to phrases like “paint the town red,” but the actual meaning of the phrase is a lot more buckled down and serious than we might imagine. It’s actually descended from the verb “to ready [up],” which means to make a room ready for a guest or to set the table for a meal. It might be related to other archaic uses like “ready the cannons.” The Pennsylvania Dutch introduced that particular idiom to English in the Keystone state. In the modern day, “ready” has been changed to “red,” even though the phrase still means the same.

Pennsylvania

2. “Butter my butt and call me a biscuit!” – Alabama

Alabama is probably best known for its Southern drawl, that oft-mimicked and mocked accent that is supposed to characterize people who hail from Alabama and the other states that make up the Deep South. Alabamans have a few expressions that set them apart from other Southern states. One of the best (and most mystifying) is “butter my butt and call me a biscuit!” This is an exclamation expressing delight at discovering something surprising yet pleasant. Other variants exist around the English-speaking world, such as “pin my tail and call me a donkey.” A close synonym is “I’ll be a monkey’s uncle.” Just don’t take the suggestion too literally if you’re visiting the Heart of Dixie—nobody actually wants to be buttered and called a biscuit, although they’d surely be surprised if you did!

Alabama

1. “Slap you naked and hide your clothes” – Missouri

This phrase comes to us from Missouri, although there might be variants on it around other parts of the South and the West. In other areas, we might have heard our parents threaten to “tan your hide” or “slap you silly” when we did something they didn’t like. In Missouri, the threat is to “slap you naked,” and then “hide your clothes” so you can’t go out again in public—at least, not unless you want to go out in the buff. Really, this seems like a pretty good threat. If your parents were to “tan your hide,” nobody would really know. If you get slapped naked and have your clothes hidden though, everybody’s going to know what happened—you get a bruised ego in addition. Best to mind your manners when you visit Missouri!

TommyBrison / Shutterstock.com
TommyBrison / Shutterstock.com

9 Significant Historical Sites of the American Civil War

From 1861 to 1865 this iconic battle of North versus South waged on to determine the fate of slavery in the United States of America. This battle for civil rights and freedom was a defining moment in our nation’s history and marked the abolition of slavery and the preservation of the United States as one indivisible nation. The Civil War remains today as the deadliest war in American history, with approximately 620,000 military , not to mention the undetermined civilian casualties as a result of the relentless battles. From Gettysburg to Andersonville to Richmond, many of the historic sites are preserved and can still be visited today. Here are a few we recommend any history buff check out:

9. Appomattox Court House National Historical Park -Appomattox, Virginia

Among the preserved and reconstructed buildings at this national historic park is the McLean House. This important building is where General Robert E. Lee surrendered the Confederacy to Union commander Ulysses S. Grant on April 9th, 1865, effectively ending the Civil War. Today the park is home to many original artifacts tied to the events which occurred here, including the pencil used by General Lee to make corrections to the terms of surrender. The park’s visitor center is open daily from 8:30am – 5:00pm and admission is $10 per vehicle.

Mclean House

8. Shiloh National Military Park -Shiloh, Tennessee

Shiloh National Military Park preserves the battlefields of Shiloh and Corinth in southern Tennessee and Mississippi. The Battle of Shiloah was one of the first major Civil War battles in the south and resulted in nearly 24,000 soldiers killed, wounded or missing. After this battle the Union troops took the railroad junction at Corinth which is why the sights of both battlefields are preserved within this National Park designation. Among the attractions of these historic sites are the Shiloah National Cemetery, the Confederate Memorial in Shiloah Park, Siloah Indian Mounds and the Sunken Road.

Shiloh National Military Park

7. Richmond National Battlefield Park -Richmond, Virginia

Richmond, Virginia played an integral part of the Civil War, having served as the capital of the Confederate States of America during this time. As a result, there are numerous sites of historical significance to be found throughout the city and surrounding counties. Richmond National Battlefield Park includes 13 distinct sites or units, each commemorating an important event or location of the American Civil War. Among these sites are Fort Harrison, Cold Harbor, the defensive battery of Drewry’s Bluff and the famous Tredegar Iron Works, now home to the park’s main visitor center.

"Pattern building, Tredegar Iron Works, Richmond, Virginia" by Morgan Riley - Own work. Licensed under CC BY 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons.
Pattern building, Tredegar Iron Works, Richmond, Virginia” by Morgan RileyOwn work. Licensed under CC BY 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons.

6. Antietam National Battlefield -Sharpsburg, Maryland

On September 17, 1862 the Battle of Antietam was fought at the foothills of the Appalachians along Antietam Creek in Sharpsburg, Maryland. This was a significant battle as it marked the end of General Robert E. Lee’s first invasion of the North during the Civil War. Today, the area and its historic sites have been preserved as a National Park and included on the National Register of Historic Places. Each year over 330,00 people visit the park which includes such attractions as a visitor center, National Cemetery, Maryland Monument and the Pry House Field Hospital Museum.

Antietam National Battlefield

5. Fredericksburg and Spotsylvania National Military Park -Fredericksburg, Virginia

This Civil War site in Virginia gives you a 4 in 1 experience as this National Military Park covers 4 important battle sites of the Civil War; the Battle of Fredericksburg, Battle of Chancellorsville, Battle of the Wilderness, and Battle of Spotsylvania Court House. The park includes 5 preserved structures open to the public (one of which is the location where Stonewall Jackson died of injuries sustained during the Battle of Chancellorsville) and at over 8374 acres, Fredericksburg is the second largest military park in the world.

Confederate Cemetery, Fredericksburg VA

4. Andersonville National Historic Site -Andersonville, Georgia

When we think of POW camps, our minds tend to lean more to Europe and the camps of WWII, long before this however there were POW camps right here in America. Andersonville National Historic Site in Georgia preserves the site of Camp Sumter, also known as Andersonville Prison which was a Confederate POW camp during the Civil War. The site is open to the public and includes a National Cemetery, prisoner-of-war museum, and remains of the camp itself. Visit this site to pay your respects to the over 13,000 men that died here as a result of the unlivable conditions; a somber reminder of the horrors of war camps.

Joseph Sohm / Shutterstock.com
Joseph Sohm / Shutterstock.com

3. Chickamauga and Chattanooga National Military Park -Fort Oglethorpe, Georgia/Lookout Mountain, Tennessee

This military park encompasses two distinct locations which were the sites of two significant Civil War battles;  the Battle of Chickamauga in Georgia and the Chattanooga Campaign at Lookout Mountain, eastern Tennessee. The park consists of four main areas: Chickamauga Battlefield, Missionary Ridge, Lookout Mountain Battlefield and Point Park and Moccasin Bend. These parks preserve and recount the long and hard-fought battle of the Chattanooga Campaign; the power struggle of North vs South for domination and control of this “Gateway to the Deep South”.

Lookout Mountain  Chattanooga

2. Fort Sumter National Monument -Charleston, South Carolina

Fort Sumter is credited as being the location where the American Civil War really began, when on April 12, 1861 Confederate artillery opened fire on this Charleston Harbor fort. While there are several sites associated with Fort Sumter that are accessible by land, including the visitor center, visiting the fort itself will require transportation by boat as the fort sits in Charleston Harbor. Visitors can either take the public boat tours operated by Fort Sumter Tours at a cost of $19 for adults and $12 for children, or if you have your own boat, there is no admission to visit Fort Sumter on your own.

Fort Sumter National Monument -Charleston

1. Gettysburg National Military Park -Gettysburg, Pennsylvania

It’s no accident that the site of the most notorious battle of the American Civil War comes in as the number one historical Civil War site to visit in America. The Battle of Gettysburg in 1863 was the bloodiest of the entire Civil War with an estimated 46,000-51,000 casualties from both sides. The result of this battle was a Union win, which ended Robert E. Lee’s second and most ambitious invasion of the North. The significance of this battle was such that it spawned President Lincoln’s famous Gettysburg Address which honored the fallen soldiers of this bloody clash. Today, the public can appreciate the significance of Gettysburg with a visit to the visitors center, the Soldier’s National Cemetery or David Wills House.

Gettysburg National Military Park

7 Chicken Masters of the South

Like so many have said, there’s no chicken quite like mama’s chicken. But when mama is a master chef of the South…or just a belle who knows how to cook poultry like no other, the other stuff doesn’t even begin to compare. That is, until you head to these fine dining establishments and put her version to shame…not that you’d ever admit it. These master fryers know how to season, cook, serve, sauce, prep, and create chicken like we’ve never seen before. Add in an incredible smell and taste and it’s all uphill from there. In fact, they’re recipes are so tasty, folks rave about them from states away. Whether they’re from the South, or just happened to stumble upon some deliciousness while traveling. Never underestimate the power of a good piece of chicken. And, in our very tasty opinion, here are the seven best places to find them.

7. Busy Bee Café – Atlanta, Georgia

For a city known for its soul food, making a memorable plate of fried chicken is an incredible feat. It’s also one that Busy Bee prides itself on. Since the 40s, they’ve been serving up crispy and tasty chicken. Their secret? Brining the meat for 12 full hours, add a specialty flavored flour, then cook it in peanut oil. Order yours with their signature gravy, and bask it in sides like collard greens or broccoli and cheese casserole. Yum!

Photo by: Busy Bee Cafe-ATL
Photo by: Busy Bee Cafe-ATL

6. Raising Cane’s – Baton Rouge, Louisiana

If you’re looking for a restaurant that does one thing, and does it well, you’re in luck. Raising Cane’s offers home-fried chicken with the convenience of fast food. Their meals come in varying sizes, offering eaters chicken strips, french fries, coleslaw, and Texas toast. As well as their signature Cane’s sauce – a delicious addition to their hot, flavorful meals. Stop by one of their many franchised locations for a quick take on tasty dinners.

Photo by: Shoshanah via Flickr
Photo by: Shoshanah via Flickr

5. Martha Lou’s Kitchen – Charleston, South Carolina

Martha Lou is one example of its namesake working behind the scenes – Martha herself, along with her daughter, Debra, are chicken masterminds. And they’ve been perfecting their method for more than 30 years. Visitors can stop by their pink restaurant – virtually everything is coated in the color – for an added dose of “mama’s kitchen” charm. Fan favorite sides include okra stew and their signature pepper lima beans.

Photo by: Martha Lou's Kitchen
Photo by: Martha Lou’s Kitchen

4. Yardbird Southern Table & Bar – Miami Beach, FL

There’s a reason Yardbird is winning so many awards and public mentions – their chicken is delicious. Order it alone, with biscuits, or go for the full-meal deal and get their chow-chow cheddar waffles and watermelon (our mouths are watering already), which is topped off with hot honey, and bourbon maple syrup for the waffles. Chicken loving heaven. Oh, and did we mention each meal is plated perfectly, too? Sign us up!

Photo by: Yardbird Southern Table & Bar
Photo by: Yardbird Southern Table & Bar

3. Barbecue Inn – Houston, Texas

Self-proclaimed Southern hospitality specialists, Barbecue Inn has been dishing up chicken since the 40s. That’s four generations of incredible cooks who have passed their secrets down the line. Eaters can even choose from Southern versions, all white, or all dark meat when ordering their meal. Guests agree that the taste is virtually unbeatable, and that the crisp alone is worth the trip; chicken is served grease-free.

Photo by: Stephan Rushmore via Road Food
Photo by: Stephan Rushmore via Road Food

2. Beasley’s Chicken + Honey – Raleigh, North Carolina

One of the newer joints around, Beasley’s uses modern methods to reinvent an old favorite. Rather than traditional free-fry, they opt for the help of pressure fryers. It might sound new, but the taste is just as delicious as the old school ways. (Likely less messy, too.) Each piece is then topped with a thin drizzle of honey to bring out the Southern flare. Eaters also recommend a side of buttermilk biscuits to take in the whole honey-loving effect.

Photo by: Beasley's Chicken + Honey
Photo by: Beasley’s Chicken + Honey

1. Gus’s Fried Chicken – Mason, Tennessee

We don’t know who Gus is or how he got so good at frying up birds, but we’ll let him cook for us any day. The original was started in Tennessee back in 1953 and the chicken was so good, places elsewhere just couldn’t wait to get their hands – or mouth – on it. Today there’s locations all over where you can order their crispy, spicy chicken that so many have grown to love.

Photo by: Evan Blaser via Flickr
Photo by: Evan Blaser via Flickr