Southern USA travel in March with a 2 year old?
February 25, 2014 7:09 AM   Subscribe

We want to travel somewhere warm in early March for a week, so the Southern US is on our list. Help us determine where to go with an almost-two year old.

We're looking to go for around a week, give or take. We don't need to stay in one place, but can drive between cities if it's close enough and can fly in to one and out of the other (we're coming from Toronto, so direct flights are preferred but not necessary).

We'd like to do a nice combination of kiddie and adult things on the trip, and we are big on scouting out nice meals on Chowhound (although it'll have to be lunches instead of dinners, most likely). Would love the ability to swim outside, and while beaches seem unlikely, we'd settle for outdoor swimming pools. We're also fans of just picking a neighbourhood and wandering. Could do either big cities or smaller places if there's enough to do there.

Note: We've spent a bit of time in Arizona and Florida, so those are off the list. We're choosing the US to burn travel points, so no suggestions outside the US please.

Looking forward to hearing your thoughts. Thanks!
posted by evadery to Travel & Transportation (8 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Charleston would fit the bill. Great food, and lots to see on the various walking tours.
posted by jquinby at 7:16 AM on February 25, 2014 [1 favorite]

We spent a lovely week in Savannah, GA and Charleston, SC with a young toddler. Highly recommended.
posted by DarlingBri at 7:18 AM on February 25, 2014 [1 favorite]

Charleston and Savannah are both great.

The Triangle in NC (Raleigh, Durham, Chapel Hill) is good too, though I'm not sure if it will be warm then, given what the weather's like right now.

Greenville, SC has recently experienced a revitalization; there's a good amount of cool stuff to do there.

Oxford, MS (home of Ole Miss) is actually a pretty cool little town with a number of good restaurants (and William Faulkner's house), though probably not enough to fill a week—but it could serve as a jumping-off point for driving around.

Oh, and New Orleans, of course—though depending on who you ask (e.g. me) the culture is its own distinct flavor and as such I'm not sure I'd really consider it the south-south. Still, though, it's warm, the food is good, and it's super walkable. Just keep the wee one off Bourbon Street.
posted by Maecenas at 7:32 AM on February 25, 2014

How about here in Atlanta!

There are tons of neat things to do here, and FOOD! OMG! We are so freaking llucky!

First of all, get a Citipass. This will really help defray the entry costs of all the different attractions.

Georgia Aquarium
Altanta Zoo (Pandas!)
Fernbank Museum of Natural History
World of Coca Cola

Stone Mountain Park and Legoland are other options for fun.

I'd recommend cruising Buford Highway for little hole in the wall joints for lunch. And hitting the more upscale places for dinner.

Neighborhoods that are a hoot, Virginia Highland, Decatur and Little Five Points.

A weekday treat would be to tour Your Dekalb Farmers Market. It's insane on the weekends, but nice on the weekdays. They have a pastry counter, fresh ground coffee, and a wonderful hot buffet featuring items from all over the world! I'm so lucky this is my supermarket!

Come to Chamblee, for Vintage Pizza, then across the street to the Frosty Caboose for ice cream.

Here's a list of playgrounds in Atlanta. Here's a bit more info on the top ten parks.

The Staybridge Suites in Buckhead is a fantastic location, and they have an indoor pool. They have studios, 1 bedrooms, plus kitchens, which will be good for your little one.

The weather is dodgy here. Two weeks ago we were Hothlanta, but the past week has been gorgeous, warm and sunny. You just never know.

At any rate, there are tons of things to do and explore. Plus it's an easy flight from pretty much anywhere, and most places are kid friendly!

Have a great time, no matter where you choose!
posted by Ruthless Bunny at 7:34 AM on February 25, 2014 [3 favorites]

Oxford, MS (home of Ole Miss) is actually a pretty cool little town with a number of good restaurants (and William Faulkner's house), though probably not enough to fill a week—but it could serve as a jumping-off point for driving around.

While I probably would have recommended Charleston or Atlanta before Oxford (I've lived in/around all three), if you do decide on Oxford (probably via Memphis, which itself has some fun stuff, but also probably not a week's worth), and if you like Elvis Presley at all, or honestly even if you don't, you absolutely should check out Graceland Too in Holly Springs, about halfway between Memphis and Oxford (Hwy 78 to Memphis, Hwy 7 to Oxford). It is an experience like no other.

Really though, if you want to hit that area, I'd recommend postponing your trip so that you could hit the Double Decker festival in Oxford and/or Memphis in May.
posted by solotoro at 7:51 AM on February 25, 2014

As a former Memphian, I'd recommend New Orleans.
posted by woodvine at 8:12 AM on February 25, 2014 [1 favorite]

As a former Memphian, I'd recommend Oxford - it is very family-oriented, with Holly Sweet Tooth, and one of those Cloud Nine (?) kidplay places, parks. Not sure how warm it will be the first week of March, though.
posted by mmiddle at 2:06 PM on February 25, 2014

I'll throw you a wildcard - Mobile, AL has been on my to-do list for awhile now, and early March means you can be down there for Mardi Gras, which is said to be more family-friendly than New Orleans. March should be in the high 70s.
posted by jquinby at 2:11 PM on February 25, 2014

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