By Caz | October 4, 2018 | This post may contain affiliate links, which means we may receive a small commission, at no cost to you, if you make a purchase through a link. The knot began to twist a little tighter and that deep longing for home arrived. “I can’t sit here and listen to that warm, familiar accent, and see slide show photos of the Real America. A Hawaiian lady sat next to me fueling my angst even more with her talk of endless sunshine, waves, pina coladas and cheap shopping. Most people who have not been to America have the wrong impressions of Americans. They are actually warm, hospitable and so interested in you and your life. We don’t know how many times we’ve said the same thing. Other popular destinations include going to Orlando or LA to see Mickey, with a side trip to Las Vegas. By all means, visit these places, but try to explore a little further and deeper.
The rest of America offers so much heart and soul. The second thing we are always reassuring future visitors to the States about is that the people are so beautiful. Most people who have not been to America have the wrong impressions of Americans. They are actually warm, hospitable and so interested in you and your life. Charleston is by far one of our favourite destinations in America. It was where we would take visiting family members and often go for long weekends away whilst living in Raleigh, NC. Charleston is an old American town with lots of Civil War history. There is so much to see and do from plantation tours, horse and carriage rides along the cobblestones streets of the city, historic home tours, and nearby islands and beaches. Our friend and local expert Caroline Eubanks wrote this great city guide for Charleston. My Mum phoned me the other day all excited about Beaufort once again.
She saw it in yet another movie. You’d recognize the beaches and waterways if you are a fan of Forest Gump. It’s where most of the Vietnam scenes were filmed. The scenery is spectacular and the pace of life quiet and laid back. It also has a rich African American history. It’s perfect for outdoor adventure, beach living, seafood feasting and camping. I think you can guess that we loved Savannah – our daughter has the same name. Like Charleston, Savannah is a place we often visited. That’s not all you’ll find in Savannah, wandering around the squares and discovering gorgeous Southern homes, beautiful gardens and cute cafes and restaurants. The streets with their overhanging oak trees draped in Spanish moss are ghostly in appearance adding to the Savannah charm. We LOVE this city. We suggest starting your exploration with a trolley tour for a historical insight and overview before delving more into those places that most grabbed your attention.
Be sure yo head out to Tybee Island to experience Georgian beach living, It was one of our favourite Southern beach towns – very laid back and unspoilt. We did not know anything about North Carolina before moving there. It is now one of our favourite states and we soon learned how loved it is by so many Americans. It was incredible how many people we would meet across America who would gush about this state when we said we lived there. There are a lot of Americans from the colder Northern states who migrate here because of the low cost of living, the high employment opportunities, the mild climate and the outdoor lifestyle, and the Universities. It has a little bit of everything, which is why we love it so. We so love the Smoky Mountains. There are so many places to camp and hiking trails as well as rivers to slowly meander down from a rubber tube. There are many mountain tops you can climb for outstanding views and of course the Appalachian trail, for the fit and adventurous. We loved horse riding in the Smokies and exploring the old historical towns on bicycles.
It’s also a good spot for a winter log cabin with a spa on deck. A little hippy enclave at the base of the Appalachian mountains, Asheville is where you want to come for organic, healthy food, alternative therapies and lifestyles, and a vibrant music scene. With the nearby mountains, there are pretty drives to go on including the Blue Ridge Parkway, hikes to enjoy and nearby ski fields. It is where we skied for the first time-on fake snow though. The Hollywood of the East. Wilmington is where a lot of films and TV shows are filmed: Dawson’s Creek, One Tree Hill, Sleeping with the Enemy anyone? Oh, and some guy named Michael Jordan grew up here! At only a two hour drive from Raleigh, it was a favourite weekend getaway for us. As soon as the warmth of spring hit the air we were racing down for beach time. Another favourite filming location, the Outer Banks are pretty wild and untouched with only a few small towns here and there.
- Track the foods you eat by searching a database or scanning barcodes
- Bright light
- Hard boiled eggs
- I love anything from the Lonely Planet Kids range
- Serve fat-free or low-fat (1%) milk and water rather than sugary drinks
IT is also the place where Orville and Wilbur Wright first flew a plane. The coastline is rugged and great for outdoor exploration, It is dotted with lighthouses and pirate history and barrier islands that are home to wild ponies. Beaufort is a lovely little Pirate town where Captain Blackbeard is said to have lived for a short time. You can see his pretty little home and perhaps sniff around with a shovel for that buried treasure of his that has not yet been found. Definitely our favourite American college town and one we would love to live in. Why would you want to come here? It is the home of the BEST college basketball University in America. YES. Believe me and not those horrible Dukie fans in the next suburb who wear the completely wrong coloured blue. Why are we the best? Well, when we lived there (i.e in four years) They won two National Championships. And Michael Jordan played basketball for the UNC Tar Heels.
That’s right the BEST basketball player in history, if not one of the worlds’ best ever athletes. It’s also a really pretty college to walk through, and the bars on Franklin Street are seriously pumping when basketball season is on. You have not been to America, or dare I say lived, until you have jumped over a bonfire on Franklin Street and crashed a Frat house party. New Orleans is hedoism at its best. If you want a wild party then head to Bourbon street. Go with your eyes open, or better yet you might want to close them, especially when you pass by another strip club. I much preferred wandering the streets of the French Quarter listening and dancing to the wide variety of buskers on the street playing folk, blues, country, rock or their own mixed up version of each. Hire a bike and head outside the tourist areas to explore old Southern neighborhoods like the Gardens District.