The Deep South
The drive into the deep south was more promising than originally thought. Asheville, NC was the first stop. This up and coming town features a hip atmosphere and cool summers up in the mountains. The drive on Blue Ridge Parkway is similar to the 2 hour drive through the Smoky Mountains National Park, full of mist and beautiful trees starting to change colors for the fall. Only in the cloud forests such as in Costa Rica is the smoke never ending and random. Gatlinburg sits directly North of the park, a small tourist-centered town with many activities. Knoxville turned out to be a small city with not much to do. BBQ here is pretty average after being spoil by Texas BBQ. Outside of Texas, the BBQ meats taste the same, overdone, with a lot of sugar in the sauces. In Texas, each place does the meats differently, making the BBQ truly amazing. Chattanooga turned out to be a transit town, between Nashville and Atlanta. Birmingham, AL was disappointing, a very small city with large suburbs. After speaking with the locals, I found out that crime has become more rampant. Jackson, MS turned out to be a small city. The downtown had large buildings but pretty abandoned as it was Labor Day weekend and the commercial zones were clearly separate from the residential zones. Memphis is known for producing famous country singers like Elvis and Dolly P. Beale Street is equivalent to Bourbon Street in New Orleans, full of drinking and partying. Overall, people are nice and humble. Mississippi and Alabama can be skipped but all of the other destinations are recommended, for the glory of being able to say you have visited the real South.