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The 10 Most Overrated Destinations in the South

The South is a great region for travel, but you may want to think twice before visiting some of these places.

by
Chris Queen

Bio

July 18, 2014 - 7:00 am
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Much of Cherokee, NC consists of quaint, kitschy tourist traps that have not changed much since the 1950s like the Pink Motel.

Much of Cherokee, NC, consists of quaint, kitschy tourist traps that have not changed much since the 1950s like the Pink Motel.

As a lifelong Southerner, I’ll be the first to admit that there’s plenty to love about this varied region I adore. But I’ll also admit that certain areas of the South are simply overrated. Here’s my list of the ten most overrated destinations in the South.

10. Cherokee, NC

Let me start this entry by admitting that I love Cherokee. Growing up, we went there a lot for camping trips and vacations, and my mom’s family did too a generation before me. There’s a lot to enjoy about Cherokee: the history – especially the Trail of Tears play Unto These Hills – and the breathtaking scenery. But beyond that, most of what Cherokee has to offer is kitschy tourism which has changed little since the mid-20th century.

What has created the hype that has made Cherokee overrated? Harrah’s, of course. Harrah’s promotes Cherokee as some sort of amazing resort destination, but that’s not what Cherokee is. If you’re looking for history, natural beauty, and tacky retro-tourism, Cherokee’s your place. If you want to gamble and party, go to the casino and nothing more, because you’ll come away disappointed.

Top Rated Comments   
May I humbly suggest my home town as a plausible vacation destination?....Paris,Tn....home of the "World's Biggest Fish Fry"...Capital of Kentucky Lake....home of Hank Williams Jr....and the town CBS's "60 Minutes" once dubbed "The Honky Tonk Capital of the World"....lots of water sports,best pig sandwiches in the entire Southland,the catfish and hushpuppies are unsurpassed,and increasingly a good retirement spot due to the low cost of living

http://www.tnvacation.com/cities-towns/paris/
8 weeks ago
8 weeks ago Link To Comment
All Comments   (48)
All Comments   (48)
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I've always found Pensacola and Pensacola Beach much more interesting and pleasant than Panama City. Destin and Fort Walton Beach in-between the two bigger towns are also nice places, if with less to see and do than P'cola. Go to the Naval Aviation Museum, the old forts, the downtown music scene, the stately neighborhoods from the 20s of North Hill and East Hill.

Nearby, one can canoe down the Blackwater River, or take a cool dip in Ponce de Leon Springs or Morrison Springs. Have dinner of fried mullet fillets and hush puppies - the local signature meal.

If you must find yourself in Biloxi, visit the Jefferson Davis House.
6 weeks ago
6 weeks ago Link To Comment
Minor quibble, Stone Mountain is granite, not quartz. Otherwise, pretty close for those spots I've visited. As noted in another comment, Cherokee is centered in some of the best motorcycle riding anywhere in the US.
8 weeks ago
8 weeks ago Link To Comment
Two comments -

I grew up in Austin, left ten years ago, for cause.

I visited Asheville in about 2003 and hated it. Two groups, the country folk, who were great, and the pseudo-rastafarian riff raff going to college on trust funds.

8 weeks ago
8 weeks ago Link To Comment
Ashville is one of those places that should be labeled "The Land the Time Forgot" I think every state has at lease one of those. Here in Ohio, it is Yellow Springs, where Antioch College is located (it went bust, but it has been revived).
8 weeks ago
8 weeks ago Link To Comment
I went to Yellow Springs. It was like an episode of Twilight Zone. Antioch a ghost town. As for Ashville, I'll have to make a 3rd try because I keep missing T Wolfe's boarding house [closed, a fire]. Besides the Tourists play there and the Biltmore is down the road.
8 weeks ago
8 weeks ago Link To Comment
Only one I've been to is Austin; lived very near there for 7 or 8 years, could count on my fingers how many times I went "downtown".

The best thing about Austin was created after I left: TX130 is an 80mph toll road that completely bypasses it!
8 weeks ago
8 weeks ago Link To Comment
I haven't been to all the places on this list, but it absolutely nails the ones I have been to - Helen, Stone Mountain, and Buckhead, GA (Neal Boortz calls it Butthead); Miami, FL; Cherokee and Asheville, NC; and Knoxville.
I've been to Portland, OR, and I have a friend who lived there - and hated it so much he moved to Cleveland, OH. Cleveland at least has an excellent symphony and excellent museums without the pretentiousness of Asheville/Portland type hipsterism.
8 weeks ago
8 weeks ago Link To Comment
I go to Cherokee often because it's a gateway to get to some of the best motorcycle riding in the southeast. The Dragon, Cherahola Parkway, Moonshine 28, Foothills Parkway, ect., make it memorable.

Asheville, on the other hand, does indeed match its Portland of the Southeast reputation. It is not a pleasant place to go unless you're already on the bandwagon of throwing out everything that doesn't pass the Utopian smell test. Otherwise, pretentious and dirty-jean snooty is an understatement.
8 weeks ago
8 weeks ago Link To Comment
Asheville wasn't always "the Portland of the Southeast," but I suspected something along those lines was up when I read the Obama's are considering getting a place there.
8 weeks ago
8 weeks ago Link To Comment
This article was written about towns and places like Stone Mountain,
but Graceland should have been included. Its a monument to tackiness.
Then again, if Elvis is still your all time musician hero, then Graceland
is for you.
8 weeks ago
8 weeks ago Link To Comment
Made several reasonably pleasant short trips to Asheville in mid-late 1980s and didn't see/feel the hipster vibe at all. Thus your post clarifies things for me regarding the Austinization in the 1990s.
8 weeks ago
8 weeks ago Link To Comment
Sorry, I intended my post to be a reply to Lake Mary, the initial commenter.
8 weeks ago
8 weeks ago Link To Comment
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