If there is one thing (and trust me, there's more than one thing) I've discovered in my two months interning in Southern Living travel headquarters, it's that these people know the South. Seriously--any one of the editors can rattle off where locals dine on the freshest seafood, the personality of City A compared to City B, and how on earth to pronounce that little island of the coast of Carolina.

These erudite scholars of the South were prime suspects for assistance in compiling a Southern Bucket List. Here's their Top 40 Things to Do in the South Before You Die.What have you done? What would you include on a Southern Bucket List?

Not for the faint of heart1. Try hang-gliding at Jockey's Ridge in Nag's Head on the Outer Banks area of North Carolina.
2. Take an adventurous whitewater rafting trip down West Virginia's Gauley River.
3. Hike the Appalachian Trail--or at least part of the 2,000 mile trail.
4. Compete in the Texas Water Safari, the world's toughest canoe race—"even if you only make it to the first rapids," Les Thomas says.
5. Brave the zipline adventure at Historic Banning Mills, GA.
6. Raft in Olympic glory down the Ocoee River in southeast Tennessee.
7. Swim across the Mississippi River.8. Hike to Laconte Lodge in the Smokies. "It's a lodge that you can only get to by a pretty intense hike," Taylor Bruce says.9. Island hop as you sail down the Carolina coast. Simply southern10. Sit on a screened porch on a summer night and "just listen to the music made by the bugs and the night birds," Nick Patterson says.
11. Stroll the Alamo plaza on a moonlit night or the River Walk as the sun rises in San Antonio, TX.
12. Experience Washington D.C. in its element on the Fourth of July. "Watch fireworks, hear speeches, witness parades and feel the patriotism," Joe Rada says.
13. Catch an iconic southern sunset.

30. Visit an iconic sculpture in the South.

  • Castings in the battlefield at Vicksburg, VA
  • Monument Avenue in Richmond, VA
  • The Vulcan in Birmingham, AL "I live in Vulcan's shadow and know his personal charm, his park, his awesome view at night, and what he means to the history of Birmingham," Carolanne says.
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