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Southern Charm Hotels in Jacksonville, Charleston and more.

Many things equate to Southern Charm: wrap-around porches, giant oak trees dripping with moss, and pitchers of sugary sweet tea. But cities in the Deep South are more plentiful and diverse than that. Here is a list of some southern destinations worth visiting:

Sanibel Island, FL

Deep south in the Florida peninsula is the little island of Sanibel. It’s located just off the coast of Fort Meyers in the sparkling blue Gulf of Mexico. Sanibel is not your conventional “southern” city. But life here is just as slow and sweet. The year-round warm weather makes it an ideal destination any time. Get the full island experience by booking a vacation condo at Sanibel Moorings Condo Resort. Its coastal themed interiors and adjacent location to the beach will have you wishing you could migrate south every year.

Jacksonville, FL

The Bold New City of the South is an emerging hub for entertainment, culture and arts. Southern influences abound just about everywhere. You’ll notice this particularly in the city’s architectural heritage. Take some time to explore the many areas of Jacksonville, but stay at the Riverdale Inn, a restored Victorian in the heart of trendy Riverside. A few steps from this bed and breakfast takes you to the Riverwalk where you can admire the glittering St. Johns River and city skyline. Don’t forget to pack your beach wear; Jacksonville is home to miles of soft sandy coastline.

College Park, GA

Small town College Park is a quintessential southern town. Tree lined streets and well manicured mansions make up part of the historic city center. While you’re here, take advantage of the area’s culinary offerings. Places like Corner Grille and The Pecan dish up stick to your ribs southern necessities. Offset all of that classic charm with a stay at modern and hip Westin, located conveniently near Atlanta’s international airport. Transportation to Atlanta is also offered in the city center via MARTA.

Charleston, SC

This coastal city is abundant with southern charm. Spend some time strolling the cobbled streets of Historic Downtown or through one of the many revived Antebellum mansions. Another point of interest is Middleton Place. This sprawling 65 acre plantation boasts thoughtfully landscaped gardens and sweeping views. All of Charleston’s historic significance also makes it an ideal city for ghost tours. Consider one before leaving. Cap off your trip to the Deep South by staying at the Wentworth Mansion, a beautifully restored home from the Gilded Age.

McAllen, TX

The city of McAllen is almost as far south as you can go in the contiguous U.S. It’s located in the bottom tip of Texas and sits along the Mexican border. This distinct location gives this southern city a different charm. Instead of giant Oak and Maple trees, palm trees are the dominant landscape accessory. Simple adobe mansions replace fanciful Victorians and fresh Tex-Mex is the cuisine of choice. All of these unique characteristics are packaged into one accommodation: Casa De Palmas. This white adobe hotel is heavily influenced by Mexican architecture and decorated tastefully to reflect McAllen’s heritage.

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Although I may not be the best photographer, I believe as a writer I can equally capture the ugly, the beautiful, and the sublime. I'm a recent English graduate, a regular contributor to a local Florida magazine and a member of Lonely Planet Pathfinders. On the side, I craft creative fiction inspired by my singular experiences as a traveler, focusing on the human condition. The world is full of amazing people, places, and things, after all. Most importantly, I value cultural relativism. Without it, life experiences would not be the same.

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