The Getaway Guide

Summer is here and with it a longing to unwind. Whether that looks like a sun-kissed beach vacation or a luxury Blue Ridge Mountains retreat, these all-star locales will have you well on your way to vacation bliss before you can say the words “book it.”

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Eager to opt outside this summer? Point your car toward Alabama. With twenty-two state parks, eight national parks, and dozens of waterfalls, rivers, and lakes, Alabama has endless opportunities to fish, camp, canoe, hike, and just generally enjoy the great outdoors. Marvel in the beauty of the skyline from King’s Chair Loop in Birmingham or trek to the jaw-dropping DeSoto Falls while exploring Alabama off the beaten path.



Find beauty, charm, and history in one place with a visit to Bardstown, The bourbon capital of the world. Enjoy a trip through rolling hills, then follow the rickhouses until you land in Bardstown—home to eleven unique bourbon experiences. And don’t miss the Oscar Getz Museum of Whiskey History to complete your libation education.



Southern hospitality with a touch of je ne sais quoi is what you’ll find in this small town just north of Atlanta. Get a taste of French country life in the Georgia mountains. Sprawling vineyards, gourmet delicacies, and the romantic Chateau Elan Winery and Resort will make you feel like you’re in the French Alps. Relax sipping chardonnay in the charming downtown, then dial up the drama at the adrenaline-pumping Michelin Raceway Road Atlanta.


Just steps from the Chattahoochee River, Columbus is buzzing with things to do. Here, culture and entertainment meet, offering visitors electrifying stage performances at world-class venues and raft or kayak opportunities on one of the longest urban whitewater courses in the world. After a busy day of fun, recover at chef-driven restaurants featuring the South’s best ingredients.


Fort Myers is an ideal destination for people looking for outdoor fun. Discover the shores of Sanibel and Captiva Islands, a paradise for those who love shell hunting. Searching for wildlife? Venture to J.N. “Ding” Darling National Wildlife Refuge to explore nature trails and spot a wide variety of birds. Then hop in a kayak to meander along the Great Calusa Blueway to see manatees, dolphins, and the occasional sea turtle.


LaGrange is an unexpectedly beautiful town with many historical sites to see. Stop by the Truitt-Vanderbilt Club, within walking distance of charming boutiques and restaurants, to experience the 1914 Georgian-style home built by Cornelius Vanderbilt Truitt. Nearby, don’t miss the chance to walk Ferrell Gardens at Hills and Dales Estates before stopping for refreshments at Wild Leap brewery or Nutwood Winery.


Looking for outdoor adventure with a side of live music? Visit Lake Cumberland. The center point of Kentucky is a hotbed of boating, fishing, water sports, hiking, camping, kayaking, and mountain biking. Pair a field day with one of many festivals, including the Master Musicians Festival, Foodstock, or the Moonlight Festival. And don’t forget to catch a show at the century-old live performance venue the Virginia.


Lake Murray features endless sporting activities and natural wonders like the Congaree National Park, home to the Southeast’s largest old-growth hardwood forest. Catch a big one fishing on the lake, then watch the Columbia Fireflies at Segra Park. Spend a day floating the Broad, Saluda, or Congaree Rivers, or explore one of the nation’s top zoos, Riverbanks Zoo and Garden. Your summer adventure awaits in the top southern destination of Lake Murray Country.


Breathtaking scenery is in order at the halfway point between Atlanta and Augusta. Here you’ll find Lake Oconee, a beloved Georgia retreat that appeals to every type of traveler. Camp out or stay in luxury at The Ritz-Carlton Reynolds, Lake Oconee at this 9,000-acre outdoor wonderland. Families searching for great golf, water sports, and boating have made this their summer escape for generations.


From its namesake river to its dazzling Delta, it is no surprise that Mississippi is a paddler’s paradise. See what its many waterways have in store by exploring the intoxicating topography of this fascinating state. Walk the Natchez Trace and ancient paths once trodden by Indigenous tribes and early frontiersmen. Then climb aboard a canoe to coast the Big Muddy. Or explore smaller tributaries, swamps, and bayous by kayak to uncover Mississippi’s incredible wildlife.


A sophisticated ambience pervades Naples, from its globally inspired arts scene to its innovative culinary options. Invest in retail therapy along its tony 5th Avenue and Third Street South shopping districts, known as Old Naples, then enjoy outdoor café seating for alfresco dining in the sunshine. Wrap up the day with a museum or gallery tour in this “see and be seen” city.


Pristine sands and warm Gulf Stream waters stretch from Jupiter to Boca Raton, Florida, along forty-seven miles of The Palm Beaches, and that warm air and clear water make it an ideal getaway for any time of the year. Made up of thirty-nine cities and towns, the extraordinary landscape is a favorite among golfers, scuba divers, nightlife seekers, and those looking for a historic beach vacation with old-world elegance.


What would be better than an all-inclusive vacation with locations along some of the finest beaches in the Caribbean? For optimum tranquility, consider Sandals Dunn’s River in the heart of Ocho Rios, Jamaica. Here the beauty of the iconic island pairs with incredible amenities like a swim-up bar, twelve on-site restaurants, and included green fees at nearby Upton Estate Golf & Country Club.


If Savannah has always piqued your curiosity, you’ll be happy to discover that the city’s fascinating past still permeates its progressive present. Among its historic architecture, you’ll find the best of summer in the South: festivals in the park, beaches, kayaking, feel-good food, and welcoming cocktails. Enjoy a rooftop bar-hop before catching a Savannah Bananas baseball game, the ultimate summer pastime.


Dolly Parton’s hometown is well known for its outdoor appeal. Experience all of the Smoky Mountains’ beauty via the Horizon Skyride at SkyLand Ranch, where you’ll soar above the peaks for a picture-perfect view. On terra firma, Sevierville delivers Southern charm in its downtown, home to great shops and restaurants, like the Appalachian. Or drive to nearby Shine Girl Distillery, operated by Parton’s niece, Danielle Parton.


Winston-Salem wears its collegiate town label proudly. But beyond its six colleges and universities is a world just as exciting to explore. Go back in time at Old Salem Museums and Gardens or explore stunning art at Reynolda House Museum of American Art. Downtown, hop among ten craft breweries before concluding your visit on the Moravian Culinary Trail to taste the flavors of the city’s founders.