Sometimes we all need to get away. We need somewhere that welcomes us with a little peace and quiet, while offering the charm and contentment we didn’t know we were missing. That’s small town life.
These small towns are just big enough for a weekend away. They might not offer large amusement parks, rows of outlets, or even the chain restaurants you’ve become accustomed to. But that’s where their beauty lies. Laid back, forgetting the hustle and bustle of big city life. That’s a getaway. And here are a few places to try out for the perfect Southern weekend small town getaway.
- Abbeville, LouisianaBuilt in 1907, The Caldwell House is the premiere bed and breakfast in Abbeville, and highlights many of the architectural features of homes in Louisiana at the turn of the century (photo courtesy of The Caldwell House)
Just a short drive south from Lafayette, this Cajun Country getaway offers all the charm of a Southern small town mingled with the spirit Louisiana is known for.Founded by Pere Antoine Desire Megret in 1843, the Capuchin missionary named the new town for his home town in France, Abbéville. Only two people inhabited the area at the time, Joseph LeBlanc and his wife Isabelle Brousard. Their home became St. Mary Magdalen Church. Although the church burned in 1854, today’s church stands in the same spot, preserving its place in Abbeville history.
There is a handful of places to stay in Abbeville, but The Caldwell House by far outshines the competition. Built in 1907, the bed and breakfast features many architectural gems of Louisiana homes after the turn of the twentieth century with all the amenities you need to be comfortable during your stay. That said, you won’t need much as you stroll through the gardens or slowly rock on the porch swing in the evenings.
Just a stone’s throw away from The Caldwell House is Louisiana dining at its finest. Abbevile is brimming with Cajun fare worthy of the likes of the Big Easy. Think gumbo, bisque, boudin, etouffee, oysters, and crawfish. And no other place quite pulls this off as well as (and for as long as) Dupuy’s. Joseph Dupuy opened this Abbeville treasure nearly 150 years ago in 1869. Dupuy’s oysters on a half shell have made headlines around the country and put the small Southern getaway of Abbeville on the food-lover’s map.
- Aberdeen, North Carolina Aberdeen has a long history with the railroad and the best way to experience it is at the Union Station Railroad Museum, complete with a caboose from the Aberdeen & Rockfish Railroad
This Southern getaway hidden among the leafy pines of the North Carolina Sandhills was settled by Scottish Highlanders in the 1700’s. Once known as Bethesda and Blue’s Crossing, Aberdeen is a town that cherishes its past while creating something new to share.
And the artists’ community in Aberdeen is ready to share what they create and even help you make your own. In the early 1990’s a group of artists came together with a common goal of creating a community where artists can thrive with the support of other artists. The city of Aberdeen donated an old railroad storage terminal, and within its walls the Artists League of the Sandhills was born. The terminal has become a place where artists come to create, teach, and show their work. But you don’t have to go to the terminal to see what these artists have to offer. Take a stroll through an art exhibit or one of the shops in Aberdeen’s National Register historic district. The charming district is also a hot spot for antiques and out-of-the-way cafes.
To really breathe in the history of this quaint little North Carolina gem, take a walk through Aberdeen’s history on the rail and see where it is taking the city today. The Union Station Railroad Museum was built circa 1900 and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The museum highlights the history of the Aberdeen & Rockfish Railroad along with other railroad companies that passed through Union Station. Several exhibits are on display including a renovated caboose and one of only two inspection cars left in the United States. For the true railroad buffs, come in the late fall. Not only will the foliage be breathtaking, but the city has an annual train show in November.
It’s also worth noting that Aberdeen is less than ten miles from the legendary Pinehurst Resort. Make sure to bring your clubs on this weekend away.
- Senoia, Georgia Downtown Senoia is home to museums, antique shops, candy shops and enough Southern charm to draw in a Hollywood film or two (photo courtesy of Mike Fairbanks)
This picturesque Southern town has taken the notice of Hollywood more than once, with Fried Green Tomatoes and The War filmed just outside Senoia (Seh-noy, as the locals say) limits. But not to worry, this getaway has kept its small town feel and historic charm protected far beyond the cinema lights.
Senoia looks and feels much like a storybook town. The yards stay perfectly manicured, and the homes have been immaculately preserved. Even most of the residents can likely trace their roots back through Senoia’s history. And fitting right in with these Southern small town expectations is the Culpepper House Bed and Breakfast. Built in 1871, the house has retained much of its splendor and charm and welcomes guests to sit on the wraparound porch, sipping sweet tea, watching the world slowly go by.
Historic homes throughout the city tell the stories of its former residents and the days gone by. The Veranda, a Greek Revival mansion, was once the Holberg Hotel. Now an 8,000-square-foot inn, the rooms have welcomed former Confederate soldier reunions, and Margaret Mitchell interviewed Confederate veterans for Gone With the Wind on the Inn’s exquisite—you guessed it—veranda.
Just a block from The Veranda is Historic Senoia’s Main Street. In addition to the antique shops, candy and fudge stores, clothing boutiques, and more, both the Buggy Museum and the Senoia Area Historical Society Museum make their home here. It’s a stroll back in time to walk the sidewalks of Senoia, a small town with more than 113 sites on the National Historic Register. A small town with a lot of appeal just waiting to show what they can offer on your Southern small town weekend getaway.
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