Southern Belles get their Gilmore on

Real Simple Gilmore Girls
Credit: Getty Images / MITCHELL HADDAD

Once in a blue moon, a girl just wants to pack away her Lilly Pulitzer dresses, ditch her beauty routine, bow out of her social commitments, and "go off on a toot," as "Mama" Vicki Lawrence used to say on the old Carol Burnett Show.

Where, we pondered, might our Southern Rory—let's call her Rory Grace—go? Which roads would she ramble? What escapes would she seek? If we all put our heads together, we should be able to map out some killer stops for her:

  1. The South has its own Mother Roads, including U.S. 82, an east-west highway that cuts all the way across the South, from Brunswick, Georgia, on the east to Alamogordo, New Mexico out west. Then there's the Great River Road, hugging the Mississippi and dotted with historic Southern mansions. (Heads up, Rory Grace: Don't miss Nottoway Plantation House, a Southern stunner in White Castle, Louisiana, where you can book a room and stay for a night. Or two. Remember, you're On the Road-ing.) Or how about the Overseas Highway (U.S. 1), which will land our girl in Key West, from which she might never choose to return.
  2. Restless Rory Grace might need to forego traditional transportation altogether and saddle up for a horseback adventure in Texas. Big Bend should do the trick. Afterward, R.G. can swing by Waco and hang out with Chip and Joanna Gaines. (Yo, Ror: Shoot to get there on demo day.)
  3. Our rambling belle might strike out for New Orleans. Like the literary greats who have preceded her, she could meander the French Quarter for a few days . . . or a few years . . . or her whole life.
  4. Her writing can only improve with a Delta immersion experience, including juke joints like Po Monkey's and lots of catfish and tamales. (R.G.: Ask the Delta folks what a Koolickle tastes like. Then run.)
  5. Our wayfarer might go for contrast with a shopping spree in Atlanta followed by solitude on Jekyll Island. Then she can hide away in one of Savannah's historic inns (preferably a haunted one).
  6. If she's still not homesick, she might try oystering in Virginia, hitting the whitewater in North Carolina and Tennessee, or blending in with the locals in some picture-postcard town like Manteo, North Carolina, or St. Michaels, Maryland. She might even stay long enough to run for public office.
  7. We see R. G. taking a cooking class at the Breakers in Palm Beach; doing that spa thing; and sipping gourmet coffees and handcrafted adult beverages.
  8. Somewhere along the way, she'll probably adopt a Walker Hound and explore the pet-friendly South.
  9. She might become a riverboat captain, an outfitter, or learn to make dulcimers somewhere in Appalachia. And if all else fails to satisfy her wanderlust . . .
  10. There's always Graceland.