Get the most out of your holidays by getting out of Dodge. Instead of slaving over a stove, let a restaurant whip up your Thanksgiving feast. Instead of teetering on a ladder to hang Christmas lights, relax as a lighted boat parade illuminates the night. And instead of sitting at home to watch a ball drop on TV, ring in the new year with thousands of new friends at a party so hot, you’ll only find it in the South.


Give Thanks for No Cooking

At Blackberry Farm, Jekyll Island Club Hotel, Chetola Resort, and Royal Sonesta, impressive Thanksgiving spreads are just a reservation away.

Make Room for Seconds

Get your Thanksgiving fix at Bright Star in Bessemer, Alabama; Parizade in Durham, North Carolina; and Loveless Cafe in Nashville, Tennessee.

Tuck into a Turducken

Behold, the Cajun poultry trifecta: turkey stuffed with duck and chicken, served with cornbread or rice stuffing between each layer.

Earn Your Turkey

Make room for the mashed potatoes by running one of the South’s many Thanksgiving races.

Christmas Vacations

Take Santa's sleigh for a road trip. From a gilded homestead in Asheville to a tree farm in Gilbert, there's a new Christmas tradition waiting in the South.

Christmas in Dixie

If you call yourself a Southerner, then Alabama’s “Christmas in Dixie” is certainly on your holiday playlist. Now, let those same lyrics fill your calendar.


Eat poor on New Year’s Day, live rich the rest of the year. Hoppin’ John, a Southern dish of black-eyed peas, rice, and bacon—typically served with collard greens—is thought to bring wealth and luck to its eaters. It traces its roots to West Africa and makes the menu in restaurants across the South, including Cochon in New Orleans (, Mary Mac’s Tea Room in Atlanta (, and Hominy Grill in Charleston ( So popular is the dish, the latter two restaurants serve it year-round. –Becky Hardy

Hangover Helpers

Should you awaken on New Year’s Day with a splitting headache, a strong drink is a surefire cure. We canvassed the South for some of the best hair-of-the-dog pours.