Places Across the Country to Discover the South Outside the South

Southern-adjacent finds for gardeners, shoppers, foodies, and nature lovers venturing beyond the homeland

A man fly fishes from a boat

Photo: Jen Judge

Fly fishing at Ted Turner’s Vermejo guest ranch in New Mexico.

Over Yonder: Northwest

1. Oregon: From late May through October, some ten thousand rosebushes in Portland’s International Rose Test Garden burst into bloom. Varieties include Southern favorites like the pink Savannah and the pale-yellow Fairhope.

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2. Washington: A short walk from the fish vendors and the flagship Starbucks in Seattle’s Pike Place Market, North Carolina native Art Stone launched Honest Biscuits to share the gravy-topped delicacies his grandmother taught him to bake.

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3. Montana: Since 1900, Chico Hot Springs Resort has lured travelers to its restorative waters, but nowadays, folks also come for a twelve-course sampler menu of Paradise Valley flavors at its Tasting Room, helmed by Nashville-reared executive chef Dave Wells.

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4. Wyoming: At the A Bar A guest ranch, horseback riding trails weave through the Medicine Bow Mountains, and the North Platte River teems with trout.

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Way Out: West

5. California: Napa’s Chuck Williams Culinary Arts Museum drips with butter molds, fanciful tureens, and other kitchen curios collected by the late Williams-Sonoma founder and Floridian.

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6. In Santa Monica, North Carolinian Laura Vinroot Poole’s fashion shines at her Charlotte boutique Capitol’s sister location.

7. At Alta Adams in Los Angeles, chefs Keith Corbin and Daniel Patterson give soul food some Golden State twists: fried chicken with Fresno hot sauce, and black-eyed pea fritters with a garlicky green dip.

photo: Andrea D’Agosto
Alta Adams’s fried chicken with Fresno hot sauce.

8. Arizona: Tucson locals snack on bacon popcorn and frog legs at the Parish restaurant, co-owned by Louisiana-raised Bryce Zeagler. His grandmother’s gumbo recipe hits home.

9. Summertime birders at the Nature Conservancy’s Ramsey Canyon Preserve near the Mexican border can spot broad-billed, white-eared, violet-crowned, calliope, and blue-throated hummingbirds.

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10. New Mexico: Georgia-raised conservationist and philanthropist Ted Turner rolls out the red carpet at his 550,000-acre-plus Vermejo guest ranch and nature reserve.

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The Heartland: Midwest

11. Minnesota: Prince’s family hailed from Louisiana, but he made his home in Minneapolis, where he shopped for soul on vinyl at Electric Fetus record store.

photo: Caitlin Abrams/Mpls.St.Paul magazine
Spinning vinyl at Minneapolis’s Electric Fetus.

12. Missouri: Big respect for Midwestern barbecue: Kansas City’s Gates Bar-B-Q has been serving its ribs in thick, sweet sauce since 1946.

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13. In St. Louis, a former shoe factory became the City Museum, an interactive wonderland with slides, a vintage pinball arcade, and a pinned butterfly collection.

14. IllinoisScratch Brewing in Ava sits on seventy-five rural acres, where it sources hickory leaves, maple sap, and chanterelle mushrooms to make flavorful statements on tap.

15. Chicago’s Atelier restaurant only opened last year, but the Lexington, Kentucky–born chef Christian Hunter has already guided it to a Michelin star.

photo: Neil John Burger
Chef Christian Hunter of Atelier.

photo: Aliya Ikhumen
A spirit-free cocktail of melon tea and fermented honey at Chicago’s Atelier.

16. Michigan: The glamorous Grand Hotel on Mackinac Island feels a bit like the Cloister meets the Greenbrier, and Southerners (and plenty of others) have been summering there since the 1880s.

photo: Annie Fairfax
Picnic-ready at the Grand Hotel in Michigan.

Up There: Northeast

17. Vermont: One of the world’s top decoy and sporting art collections resides at the Shelburne Museum.

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18. Renowned Arkansas chef Matt McClure took over the five-restaurant culinary scene at the cozy Woodstock Inn & Resort.

photo: Annie Fairfax
The Woodstock Inn in Vermont.

19. Connecticut: From a little shop in Bantam, the living pottery legends Guy Wolff and his son, Ben, turn out clay treasures based on historic garden pots. 

photo: Megan Haley
Wolff pottery in Connecticut.

20. Massachusetts: In Oak Bluffs on Martha’s Vineyard, locals tout Linda Jean’s for blueberry pancakes and bottomless coffee.

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21. New York: At Atlanta-born chef Chris McDade’s Gus’s Chop House and Popina, two elegant eateries in Brooklyn, hash browns come with trout roe, and porterhouses mellow in a brown sugar brine.

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22. Delaware: The Mt. Cuba Center gardens near Wilmington inspired Virginia-born tastemaker Bunny Williams’s own use of native plants.

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