There’s no better time to hit the road than during the cooler months with their crisp air, changing leaves and smaller crowds. Here are five thorough but easy-to-digest Southern weekend getaway ideas … complete with where to stay, where to eat, and what to do. Time to pack those bags!
5 Southern Weekend Getaway Ideas
A CHIC WEEKEND IN BIRMINGHAM, AL
Birmingham’s Mountain Brook neighborhood — well, more like a city within the city — keeps surprising us with every opening announcement and revitalization. Visit for an indulgent weekend and see what’s new.
WHERE TO STAY: To experience the modern revitalization of Mountain Brook, book a room at the dreamy Grand Bohemian Hotel. Bright, contemporary design elements play into the unique atmosphere at this boutique hotel. Explore the beautiful art gallery, take cooking or wine blending classes, relax at the Poseidon Spa, or head to the eccentric rooftop restaurant and bar, Habitat Feed & Social, for delicious bites, refreshing cocktails and beautiful views.
WHAT TO EAT: One of the perks you can enjoy while staying at the Grand Bohemian is that almost everything you need is within walking distance. From eateries to bars to entertainment options, you don’t need a car or an Uber to shuttle you from place to place. Right across the street from your hotel, you’ll find Lane Parke, a retail and restaurant development. Enjoy some Mexican fare at Sol Y Luna, catch the game at CharBar No. 7, grab a slice of pizza at Post Office Pies, or get your caffeine fix at Revelator Coffee. There’s something everyone can enjoy at Lane Parke. Looking for a cocktail? Take a short walk to Carrigan’s Pub for our personal favorite cocktail, Southern Culture. Cheers!
WHAT TO DO: Directly across from the Grand Bohemian are the stunning Birmingham Botanical Gardens. Immerse yourself in the beautiful 67.5 acres and 30-plus themed gardens that make up this gorgeous space. Stop by Leaf & Petal to take home a plant of your own, and refuel at the tasty Gardens Café. As a bonus, the gardens are free to the public.
EXPERIENCE THE MODERN SIDE OF MEMPHIS
There’s more to Memphis than music and barbecue (although we absolutely love those facets of Memphis, too). For the more modern wanderer, we’ve got you covered.
WHERE TO STAY: If you’re looking for modern, look no further than Hu. Hotel. With an amazing rooftop with views of the Mississippi River, stylish rooms and hip dining options, this is the perfect spot for that Instagram photo op.
WHAT TO EAT: For breakfast, we recommend grabbing something from Bedrock Eats & Sweets or Sunrise Memphis. If you want to dine an elevator ride away, Hu. Diner and Hu. Café have delicious bites and plates. Other nearby options include Bardog Tavern and Maciel’s Tortas & Tacos, which have casual and late-night dining. At the end of the night, we recommend going up to the rooftop at Hu. for a cocktail while taking in the scenery.
WHAT TO DO: Just a few blocks from the hotel are Slider Inn and Loflin Yard, two of Memphis’ ultimate hangout spots. While you’re in that area, make a pitstop at Broad Avenue Arts District for some shopping, and maybe grab a drink, snack or picture in front of a mural (there are lots over there!). If you want to stay close to the Hu., the National Civil Rights Museum, Beale Street and trolley rides are all nearby.
EXPLORE THREE QUIRKY SMALL NORTH GEORGIA TOWNS
With a population of fewer than 500, Helen, GA, is a two-mile stretch of old-world German charm. It’s next to Sautee Nacoochee in the heart of North Georgia’s wine country, a perfect stage for an Alpine weekend.
WHERE TO STAY: Lucille’s Mountaintop Inn & Spa is a luxury B&B and day spa perched atop a mountain overlooking the Blue Ridge Mountains and the Sautee Valley, just outside the quaint Village of Sautee and close to both Helen and Nacoochee Village. Lucille’s is a quick drive from the cluster of towns, vineyards, trailheads and galleries that make up this part of Georgia.
WHERE TO EAT: Fuel up at Sweetwater Coffeehouse in Sautee or JumpinGoat in Nacoochee Village. In Helen, a sandwich — and a little time to explore — at Betty’s Country Grocery Store is a must. The Attic Restaurant in the nearby town of Clarkesville is another lunch favorite, as are Old Sautee Store Deli/Market or Sheila’s Village Market‘s fresh-made sandwiches. For dinner, Bernie’s is nestled in a quaint Southern cottage and serves up elegant cocktails and delicious fine-dining dishes in a warm, friendly atmosphere. Harvest Habersham is a farm-to-table wine bar and dinner favorite in Clarkesville.
WHAT TO DO: A stroll through magical Helen transports you to Germany with the street names, the local fare, and the authentic architecture. There is even an Alpine mini-golf course. In Sautee, pop into The Lavender Cottage & Garden for irresistibly smelling lavender goods. In Nacoochee Village, visit The Willows Pottery, antique mall, and the working Nora Mill Granary (grits, pancake batter, biscuit mix, oh my!). You’re also in the middle of Georgia’s wine country, so book a wine tour or visit a few closeby like Habersham Winery, Serenity, and Yonah Mountain Vineyard. For the outdoorsy types, Anna Ruby Falls, Duke Creek Falls, and Raven Cliff Falls are three worthwhile hikes with rewarding waterfalls and vistas. Tubing the river is a popular warm-weather activity in Helen.
MOSEY THROUGH NASHVILLE’S MIDTOWN
Many come to Nashville without ever leaving downtown, but we’re here to show off downtown’s trendier, more put-together sister, Midtown. Get to know this multi-neighborhood section of Nashville in all of its shopping, dining, and imbibing glory.
WHERE TO STAY: Midtown might offer Nashville’s most vibrant hotel. From eye-catching lobby decor to a hip rooftop bar, The Graduate Nashville is front and center of the stylish local scene.
WHERE TO EAT: Start your morning at the lobby’s Poindexter Coffee for the biggest latte you can muster, or walk to Three Brother’s Coffee just down the road. Lunch at Nashville hot chicken staple Hattie B’s is a hot bucket list item for many. For dinner, walk to the Gulch for the city’s best ramen and creative Japanese dishes at Otaku or for some serious elevated Southern flavors at Adele’s. White Limozeen, The Graduate’s rooftop bar, is the spot for a nightcap and eclectic small plates.
WHAT TO DO: In close-by Centennial Park, the suffrage exhibit at The Parthenon‘s West Gallery, We Have a Vision: Nashville Women from the Centennial to Suffrage, runs through January 13, 2021, and explores the lives of four prominent Nashville women who impacted the suffrage movement. Get a dose of Nashville history, then stroll around the park for a while. Head to lively, pedestrian-friendly 12South for some shopping. From White’s Mercantile‘s eclectic gifts to Judith Bright‘s handmade jewelry and Imogene + Willie’s artisanal denim, the boutiques will keep you busy for hours.
GET TO KNOW THAT GREENVILLE … GREENVILLE, SC
The New York Times called Greenville “a national model for a pedestrian-friendly city center,” and we have to agree. This beloved South Carolina town is home to a lot, and it’s time you visit!
WHERE TO STAY: The refreshingly chic SpringHill Suites by Marriott in downtown Greenville boasts the perfect address, chic indoor-outdoor common areas, and well-appointed amenities like cozy firepits, Peloton bikes, an outdoor pool and a generous breakfast. SB TIP: For those looking for a more rural retreat, book a room at the Tuscany-inspired, ultra-luxurious Hotel Domestique in nearby town Travelers Rest just nine miles away.
WHERE TO EAT: Greenville is a hotspot for foodies, and lots of gems lie right in or near downtown. Start the day with coffee at The Village Grind. Brunch at Mary’s at Falls Cottage is quaint and lush, nestled right on the edge of Falls Park, or take a quick drive to Swamp Rabbit Cafe & Grocery or Fork and Plough. Dinner at The Anchorage and a before- or after-cocktail at Bar Margaret across the street is the perfect one-two Greenville culinary punch.
WHAT TO DO: The two most prominent natural features of downtown Greenville are the European-esque, tree-lined Main Street and the beautiful Reedy River Falls, located in the heart of Falls Park on the Reedy. Crossing this urban oasis is the award-winning Liberty Bridge and its postcard-perfect photo ops. Shop up and down Augusta Road shopping district and marvel at all the public art that energizes this city.
We hope we’ve ignited some weekend getaway inspiration in you! Tell us where you’re going next, and connect with us on Instagram — @StyleBlueprint.
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