Must-Do South - Atlanta Magazine

  • Masters Golf Tournament at Augusta National

    Bobby Jones helped found and design Augusta National Golf Club, then launched the Masters Tournament in 1934. Read More
  • Oktoberfest in Helen

    A six-week festival in a logging town that reinvented itself as a Bavarian village in the 1960s. Now in its forty-fifth year, the event attracts around 50,000 annual visitors. Read More
  • Veterans Day at Andersonville

    During fourteen months of the Civil War, about 45,000 Union soldiers were held in the Confederacy’s military prison at Camp Sumter in Andersonville, Georgia. Read More
  • Art Basel in Miami Beach

    Since 1970 Art Basel has staged modern and contemporary art shows each year in Basel, Switzerland; Miami Beach; and Hong Kong. Read More
  • Fall foliage along Blue Ridge Parkway

    This 469-mile scenic highway, a New Deal project to provide Depression-era jobs, connects the Great Smoky Mountains National Park in North Carolina to the Shenandoah National Park in Virginia. Read More
  • Bonnaroo in Manchester, Tennessee

    This four-day, sweaty, multistage music and camping festival started out as a laid-back jam-band gathering but now attracts more than 80,000 revelers for performances. Read More
  • Football between the hedges in Athens

    When prospective students tour UGA’s campus, they are paraded past Sanford Stadium and told, “This is the largest classroom on campus; other schools come here and we teach them how to play football.” Read More
  • Savannah Tour of Homes and Gardens

    Wonder what it’s like inside Savannah’s moss-draped historic homes, with their Ionic columns and gabled porticoes? Read More
  • Memphis in May

    The Beale Street Music Festival, World Championship Barbecue Cooking Contest, Sunset Symphony, and international education programs all happen in May. Read More
  • Kentucky Derby in Lousiville

    Billing itself as the most exciting two minutes in sports, the Run for the Roses is a one-and-a-quarter-mile race held at Churchill Downs. Read More
  • Christmas at Biltmore in Asheville

    On Christmas Eve in 1895, George Vanderbilt opened his 250-room French Renaissance–style chateau for the first time to friends and extended family. Read More
  • Selma Jubilee

    The event was conceived to commemorate Bloody Sunday, the Selma-to-Montgomery March, and the struggles and victories of the civil and voting rights movements. Read More
  • Drama in Cherokee, North Carolina

    The home of the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians upped its ante with a $650 million casino and resort expansion. Alcohol sales and live gaming also raised Harrah’s Cherokee’s cred on the gambling circuit. Read More
  • Azalea season at Callaway Gardens

    Callaway Gardens’ 20,000 azaleas, not to mention dogwoods, crabapples, daffodils, and tulips, are in top bloom during April. Read More
  • New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival

    A horse-racing track hosts this forty-five-year-old music festival, better known as Jazz Fest. It began as a celebration of Louisiana musicians and now includes folk, rock, rap, country, and gospel acts. Read More
  • NASCAR race at Talladega Superspeedway

    This motorsports complex hosts NASCAR races on a tri-oval track outside of Lincoln, Alabama. Camping can start as early as the Tuesday before a Sunday race. Read More
  • Spring break on the Florida Panhandle

    Atlanta families flock to these pristine white beaches as surely as birds migrate south in the winter. Rowdier sections have become a rite of passage for students. Read More
  • Spoleto in Charleston

    An internationally renowned seventeen-day performing arts festival featuring opera; theater; dance; and chamber, symphonic, choral, and jazz music in historic theaters, churches, and outdoor venues. Read More
  • Southern Foodways Symposim in Oxford, Mississippi

    The Southern Foodways Alliance is a national authority on our region’s cuisine, and nowhere is this more apparent than at the nonprofit’s annual symposium. Read More

Twenty iconic events
Like it or not, certain occasions define us as Southerners. Annual traditions keep us tied to our roots, reminding us of the Native Americans who were here first, of Civil War and civil rights, of our region's food and culture—both high and low. You've probably been to some in Atlanta, say a concert at Chastain Park or the MLK Day of Service. But how well do you know the rest of our region? Here are twenty quintessential events you have to experience in person to appreciate; virtual reality saps all the magic. Get ready to say you've been there.



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Events in green take place in spring; yellow take place in summer; orange take place in fall; blue take place in winter


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