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  • An aerial view of Little Rock, Arkansas
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    Starting Point: Little Rock, Arkansas

  • Ozark Bathhouse on Bathhouse Row in Hot Springs, Arkansas
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    Unwind in Hot Springs, Arkansas

  • Greenville Bridge over the Mississippi River, Mississippi
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    Blues, Views and Delicious Eats in Greenville, Mississippi

  • Mississippi State Capitol in Jackson, Mississippi
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    Fresh Finds in Jackson, Mississippi

  • The Historic Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma, Alabama
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    Follow the Route to Civil Rights In Selma, Alabama

  • City lights in Mobile, Alabama
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    History and Revelry Along Alabama’s Gulf Coast

  • Sunset over the beach in Pensacola, Florida
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    Beach Time in Pensacola, Florida

  • Ziplining in Tallahassee, Florida
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    End Of The Road: Tallahassee, Florida

Show at the Bradfordville Blues Club in Tallahassee, Florida
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Southern States

  • Route distance:
    1,695 km
  • Suggested Time:
    1-2 weeks

Sea, sun and Southern living across four American states

If you’re looking to get off the beaten path in the U.S., take a drive along the Gulf Coast, where local diners, notable historic sites and sprawling beaches vie for your attention. What to bring: Light layers to accommodate the Southern heat and coastal breezes; your appetite for home cooking and blues music; and a relaxed attitude.

01
An aerial view of Little Rock, Arkansas
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Starting Point: Little Rock, Arkansas

Begin your journey in Little Rock, the quaint capital of Arkansas. You can fly into Little Rock’s Clinton National Airport (though you may also arrive through a nearby international airport like the one in Memphis, Tennessee) and rent a car before setting out to explore the city. Hop on the vintage Metro Streetcar, which runs through downtown’s charming River Market District. This part of town is home to plenty of local shops, bars and restaurants, as well as a seasonal farmer's market, which runs from May through October. If you’re not in town during the farmer's market season, visit the indoor Ottenheimer Market Hall where vendors serve delicious local treats like gourmet coffee, artisanal bread and pastries and regional souvenirs.

89 km
1 hour by car
02
Ozark Bathhouse on Bathhouse Row in Hot Springs, Arkansas
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Unwind in Hot Springs, Arkansas

After stocking up on snacks, head about an hour south to Hot Springs, Arkansas, located east of the Ouachita National Forest. While here, spend a day discovering Hot Springs National Park, which surrounds the north part of the city and offers spectacular views of the Ouachita Mountains. Stroll through Bathhouse Row, where you can enjoy the thermal mineral waters at Buckstaff Bath House before hopping back in the car for the next leg of your journey.

284 km
3 hours by car
03
Greenville Bridge over the Mississippi River, Mississippi
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Blues, Views and Delicious Eats in Greenville, Mississippi

Driving southeast across wide stretches of farmland will lead you to Greenville, Mississippi. This town lies in the heart of the Mississippi Delta country and basks in views of the iconic Mississippi River. While there, check out live music performances in the Walnut Street Entertainment District or head out for a night of camping in Warfield Point Park. It’s also smack dab in the middle of blues country, so plan your visit around one of the many music festivals that take place throughout the summer and fall.

478 km
5 hours by car
04
Mississippi State Capitol in Jackson, Mississippi
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Fresh Finds in Jackson, Mississippi

This route follows the Mississippi River, so you can enjoy the view almost all the way to your next stop: Jackson, Mississippi. This capital city is part of the Mississippi Blues Trail and has a rich musical history, which you can experience on Farish Street. Take a tour of the Beaux-Arts-style capitol building (constructed in 1901) and then stop in at Parlor Market for lunch, where you’ll find seasonal farm-to-table Southern fare, such as spicy pimento cheese and fried catfish.

151 km
2 hours by car
05
The Historic Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma, Alabama
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Follow the Route to Civil Rights In Selma, Alabama

The next few stops on your Gulf Coast road trip provide a fascinating look at U.S. history. Selma, Alabama is famous for being the starting point of the seminal Selma-to-Montgomery civil rights march of 1965. At Selma’s National Voting Rights Museum and Institute, you can learn about the USA’s civil rights movement and the struggles black Americans faced in their pursuit of equality. On the drive to your next stop you’ll pass through Montgomery, where you can tour the Rosa Parks Library and Museum, which honors the famous civil rights pioneer.

283 km
3 hours by car
06