The South's Best Walking Tours 2021
Take to the sidewalks to explore the sights of the South. One of our favorite ways to explore a new place is with a walking tour. Led by knowledgeable guides armed with fun facts, fascinating stories, and lots of experience, these tours share new perspectives on spots we know and love. Whether it’s a tour about country music in Nashville, architecture in New Orleans, or culture and commerce in Atlanta, there’s one for every interest and everyone. Nature, history, art, architecture—the South’s best walking tours both educate and entertain. There are also self-guided options for sightseers who like to move at their own pace. If your idea of a good tour is one that ends with a glass of wine, well, we’ve included one of those too.
(Some tours may be postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Check with locations and tour companies for updated information and safety guidelines.)
Atlanta Preservation Center’s Sweet Auburn Walking Tours
Explore this historic section of Georgia’s capital city (including stops at key civil rights sites Ebenezer Baptist Church and Big Bethel A.M.E. Church) with a Sweet Auburn Walking Tour, hosted by the Atlanta Preservation Center.
atlantapreservationcenter.com, 404-688-3353, 327 St. Paul Avenue S, Atlanta, GA 30312-3129
Bonaventure Cemetery Tours
Walks through Bonaventure Cemetery, a fixture in the city for more than 150 years, feature the sculptures and natural beauty of the area. Storytellers accompany groups through the grounds, which are shaded by moss-covered oaks.
bonaventurecemeterytours.com, 912-292-0960, 415 Bonaventure Road Suite B, Savannah, GA 31404
Fredericksburg Walking Tours
Take a leisurely trip through the dynamic architecture of Fredericksburg with a self-guided exploration of the town’s historic district, with more than 700 notable structures. The area is home to log cabins and stone houses dating back to the 19th century as well as Craftsman cottages from the early 20th century.
stayfredericksburg.com, 325-247-0098, 512 West Main Street, Fredericksburg, TX 78624-3130
Historic Charleston Foundation Self-Guided Tours
Charleston, South Carolina
See the Holy City with the help of the free Historic Charleston Foundation app. It has hundreds of locations with text descriptions and audio stops calling attention to destinations, architecture, and stories of preservation. It also highlights the history of women, African Americans, immigrants, and the LGBTQ community in the city.
historiccharleston.org, 843-723-1623, 40 East Bay Street, Charleston, SC 29401
The South's Best Walking Tours
Lake Ouachita State Park Guided Tours
Mountain Pine, Arkansas
Discover natural wonders and get your fill of fresh air with free guided hikes at Lake Ouachita State Park. (The 4-mile jaunt along the Caddo Bend Trail is a popular route.) To see the sights via the water, take advantage of the snorkeling programs or the picturesque kayaking and barge tours.
arkansasstateparks.com, 1-888-287-2757, 1 Capitol Mall, Little Rock, Arkansas 72201
Montaluce Wine Hikes
Led by trained outdoor guides, the Montaluce Wine Hikes introduce visitors to this landscape by traversing the vineyards of Montaluce Winery & Restaurant and exploring the nearby trails along the Etowah River. Each excursion is followed by a celebratory wine tasting.
montaluce.com, 706-867-4060, 501 Hightower Church Road, Dahlonega, GA 30533
The National Memorial for Peace and Justice Self-Guided Tours
The National Memorial for Peace and Justice opened in Montgomery in 2018 as a space to remember victims of lynching in the United States. There are self-guided experiences of the site’s art and sculpture installations, which examine history as well as contemporary issues.
museumandmemorial.eji.org, 334-386-9100, 417 Caroline Street, Montgomery, AL 36104
New Orleans Architecture Tours
New Orleans, Louisiana
The partnership of these tours with the New Orleans Architecture Foundation allows guests to learn all about the distinct designs of NOLA landmarks and neighborhoods, including the French Quarter, Marigny, Garden District, Tremé, and St. Louis Cemetery No. 1.
nolatours.com, 504-355-1213, Washington Avenue, New Orleans, LA 70175
Book a spot on the Walkin’ Nashville Music City Legends Tour for an afternoon filled with country music history and little-known details about icons from the genre.
walkinnashville.com, 615-499-5159, 414 Union St, Nashville, TN 37219
Worth Avenue Association Historic Walking Tours
Palm Beach, Florida
A guided stroll down Palm Beach’s Worth Avenue reveals leafy courtyards and inviting shops along with stories about some former frequenters of the area, like President John F. Kennedy; Grace Kelly, Princess of Monaco; and the Duke and Duchess of Windsor.
worth-avenue.com, 561-659-6909, Worth Avenue, Palm Beach, FL 33480