If you didn’t grow up in the South, you may not know how amazing it really is. I’ve adventured through the South, and I know that there are plenty of things that make the South like no other part of the country. Here are 12 of the best parts of the South:
If you listen to country music, you might know of porch-sitting, but you probably won’t realize how huge it is until you visit the South. Walk through any southern neighborhood, and you’ll see people relaxing on their front porches and happily waving at passersby. Your life won’t be complete until you’ve rested on a true Southern porch rocker!
I always dreamed of catching a jar of “lightnin’ bugs,” and if you’re anything like me, you need to put this on your Southern bucket list. Even if you hate bugs, you’ll love how magical fireflies look on warm Southern summer nights!
3. Friendly people
When I first visited the South, all of the friendly strangers I met weirded me out a little, but if you head South, you’ll grow to love them. In the South, strangers will chat with you like they’ve known you their whole lives. The best part of Southern hospitality? Southerners are nice because they want to be, not because they want something from you.
It’s not uncommon to hear people use words like “God,” “blessing” and “Jesus” in everyday conversation, and in the South, faith is authentic. Down South, people talk freely about Christianity, and while it may not feel comfortable for everyone, if you’re Christian, you’ll probably love it. Christianity isn’t forced on you, but Christians don’t apologize for their faith, either.
Yes, Southern humidity does have some downfalls, like being drenched in sweat 10 minutes after you get out of the shower or your hair not holding curls. However, because your skin never dries out, it’ll always look amazing. You could spend $100 on a facial or you could step outside in the July heat for five minutes and end up with smooth, glowing skin. Take your pick!
6. The word “Y’all”
I won’t lie: One of the reasons I moved to the South is that I can say “y’all” as much as I want to without judgment. What’s more charming than the word “y’all” in a southern drawl? That’s right – othing!
7. Sweet Tea
You haven’t drunk real sweet tea until you’ve drunk it in the South. Let me tell ya, Southern sweet tea is a game changer!
8. Southern Food
I’m love all food, but the South has some of the best food around. Fried chicken, biscuits and gravy, mac ‘n’ Cheese, peach cobbler, fried green tomatoes, pulled pork, cornbread, and brisket are just a few of the amazing food options here. Are you hungry for a taste of the South yet?
9. The Slower Pace
Is it because everyone is weighed down from eating too many biscuits? Is it because people take the time to stop and chat with each other? I’m not quite sure why the South moves at a slower pace than the rest of the U.S.,, but compared to the rest of the country’s always-on-the-go attitude, it’s a nice change from the norm.
10. The Lakes, Rivers, And Beaches
Wherever you are in the South, chances are that you aren’t too far from a large body of water. That means that it’s easy to make plans to hang out on a boat or to spend the day sunbathing on the beach. Just beware of the alligators!
11. The SEC
Southerners take football very seriously. Sure, there’s the PAC-12 in the West, the Big Ten up North, and the ACC in the East, but is there any conference with as many fans as the SEC? A quick stroll through Oxford, Mississippi; Tuscaloosa, Alabama; or Athens, Georgia, on game day will tell you everything you need to know about how big college sports are in the South.
12. The History
So much of American culture is actually Southern culture. In the South, you’ll find many historic sites that date even before the Civil War. So much of the South maintains its legacy through its stories of hardship and true American grit.
Beneath its hospitable exterior, the South has a feisty streak, and it’s definitely worth visiting so that you can experience both. When you visit the South, you may be in for a culture shock, but I guarantee that you’ll have the time of your life here, y’all!