11 Crazy Things About The South That Shock Tourists

The southern United States consists of 17 regions. Warm hospitality, diverse cuisine, and rich cultural heritage are some of the unique features of this area. The South offers a great blend of history, music, food, and natural beauty and can captivate travelers with its unique experiences.

However, there are certain things only a Southerner can truly understand. We looked at many online sources to find out what makes the South unique. We chose our list based on what real Southerners say are the most special things about their home.

How Ingrained Southern Hospitality Is

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Southern hospitality is famous all over the country. The residents show friendliness, politeness, and generosity toward guests. Their warm greetings and hospitable attitude make visitors feel at home. Whether it is a small town or a bigger city, you will find southerners with impressive etiquettes.

Southern History Is Pride

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The South played a significant role in American history with contributions  to the Civil War and the Civil Rights Movement. Charleston’s historic district showcases well-preserved architecture from the colonial and antebellum eras.

Savannah’s cobblestone streets and lush squares evoke the charm of the Old South. Gettysburg and Vicksburg are some important Civil War battlefields. These places allow visitors to explore pivotal moments in American history.

There Is Variety in Climate

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Despite the myths, The South is not only hot and humid. While the summer months are quite hot, winters have pleasant weather (sometimes even warm). The coastal regions, however, experience hurricanes during the late summer and early fall. The inland areas sometimes face tornadoes and severe thunderstorms. Overall, the varied climate conditions contribute to the lush greenery.

It’s a Food Paradise, and Not Everything Is Fried

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Southern cuisine is a melting pot of flavors. You can taste a great blend of Native American, African, European, and Caribbean culinary traditions. They offer many deep-fried options, but that is not all. Staples include fried chicken, biscuits and gravy, collard greens, shrimp and grits, and pecan pie. Besides that, the Southerners are particular about barbecues. So, you can have some of the best slow-cooked barbecued meat.

There Are Variety Of Refreshing Beverages

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The southern United States is famous for its sweet tea and bourbon. They brew their sweet tea with copious amounts of sugar and serve it over ice. One of the must-try southern cocktails is the mint juleps. This cocktail is quintessential during the Kentucky Derby season. Another refreshing drink is the Arnold Palmer. The drink’s combination of iced tea and lemonade seems perfect for hot summer days.

They Wave at Everyone

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In the South, people wave at everyone, whether they know them or not. It is a common courtesy to acknowledge your neighbors. You will randomly see folks waving from their front porches, cars, or roads. It’s a simple gesture that says, “Hey, I see you, and I hope you’re having a good day.” This attitude is common in every southern household. It is part of the great southern hospitality.

Southern Football Fever

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Southerners are incredibly passionate about football. They treat it more like a way of life than just a sport. Almost everyone spends Friday nights in high school games, while Saturdays are for college matchups.

People bleed their team’s colors, and rivalries run deep. It is a great way for the southerners to socialize.

South’s Vibrant Festivals

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Southern festivals and events bring thousands of locals and visitors together. These festivals showcase a mix of music, food, and culture. Mardi Gras in New Orleans is an iconic event in the South.

Similarly, the prestigious Kentucky Derby in Louisville brings a myriad of celebrations. Music and food festivals celebrate southern genres and cuisines. These festivities unite communities and showcase the vibrant spirit of the South.

Southern Music

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Southern music encompasses various genres, including blues, jazz, country, and rock. Legendary artists like Elvis Presley and Aretha Franklin hail from Southern cities such as Memphis and Nashville. These musicians have left an enduring legacy, shaping American music history.

Southern music’s distinct fusion of styles and influences has captivated audiences worldwide.

Southern Fashion Styles

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Southern fashion styles blend traditional charm with modern flair. Classic cowboy boots, denim jeans, and plaid shirts are staples in Southern wardrobes. Sundresses and seersucker suits are popular choices for warm weather.

Accessories like pearl necklaces and cowboy hats add a touch of Southern sophistication. Overall, Southern fashion reflects the region’s laid-back attitude and hospitality.

The Southern Way of Talking

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The Southern accent is distinctive, characterized by drawled vowels and dropped consonants. Common phrases include “y’all” for “you all” and “fixin’ to” for “about to.” They talk with utmost politeness and manners.

Phrases like “yes, ma’am” and “no, sir” are quite common in their conversations. This accent and these phrases reflect the warmth and hospitality ingrained in Southern culture. Making communication in the South can be a unique and charming experience.

Southern Family Traditions

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Family means everything in the South. Southern people hold our traditions close to their hearts. Sunday dinners after church and weekly fishing trips down by the river are part of Southern lives.

Rituals like gathering around the table for Thanksgiving bind people together. These traditions remind them of who they are and where they come from. These traditions weave the fabric of Southern lives across generations.

 There Are Major Industrial Hubs

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Cities like Atlanta, Georgia, and Charlotte, North Carolina, are major financial and business centers in the South. They attract companies from various industries. Birmingham (Alabama), known as the “Pittsburgh of the South,” has a long history of steel production.

Houston (Texas) is a global leader in energy, with its port handling vast amounts of oil and gas. These hubs drive innovation and provide employment opportunities. They contribute to the Southern economy’s strength and resilience.

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