Since my travel bug is well, bugging me, I need a vacation. I have had the privilege of traveling the world, expensed to others, but since I am on my own, I need to figure out how to feed this need on a budget. Since I live in Texas, I think a road trip in the Deep South is the answer.
Strolling through the streets of Birmingham, Alabama gives me the feeling of walking through history. The city has joined modern conveniences — Thank God for Starbucks — while embracing the history of the region. The Birmingham Civil Rights Institute chronicles the civil rights movement in Alabama. An all-day pass cost $12 and offers a poignant and emotional journal of a time in our history that shaped this nation.
Columbia, South Carolina
I am not an animal person, but love flowers. Riverbanks Zoo and Botanical Garden is the number one must see in Columbia, South Carolina. The museum offers activities for adventurous types, as well. Get up close and personal with a giraffe or pet a kangaroo. There is a rock-climbing wall and a Sky High Safari rope course. Tickets for a day pass to the zoo are $13.95, but some of the other activities are extra.
Photo by Noble Nolen via Trover.com
The southern charm of Marietta, Georgia oozes out of its pores. It’s the home of the museum that celebrates the movie that personified the south, “Gone With the Wind.” The Gone with the Wind Museum features exhibits and collectibles from the movie set: Scarlett’s clothing, personal journals from the author, Margaret Mitchell, and props from the movie set. Admission to the museum is reasonable, but be careful you don’t blow your budget in the gift shop.
Bossier City, Louisiana
When you think of budget traveling, casinos might not come to mind, but the casinos in Bossier City, Louisiana will fit anyone’s budget. Casinos aren’t just for gambling. Bossier City is like a smaller, cheaper version of Las Vegas, with fewer showgirls. Margaritaville Resort Casino, owned by island crooner, Jimmy Buffett, is a tropical oasis in northern Louisiana. Stick with the breakfast and lunch buffet at the World Tour Buffet for the best prices. If you can’t resist the allure of the casino, play the penny slots. There is less pay out, but the same thrill and a penny goes a long way.
Robinsonville, Mississippi is a small hamlet in northern Mississippi with nine casinos, but schedule your visit in October to attend the Mid-South Fair. This fair started in 1856. It includes activities and events for all ages: musical performances, livestock shows, talent shows, and rodeo. The fair also features some unique food choices. I love the idea of being at such a historically significance event. The entire region of Southern Tennessee and Northern Mississippi come out to the fair. Admission to the fair costs $25, but you are able to take in the sights and sounds of a tradition that has been around for over one hundred years.