Bright, sunny days, lush green landscapes, evenings of cicada sounds, and lightning bugs; it's summer in the South! For some of us, it's time to pack up the kids ourselves and head to a summer destination. While there are countless places to escape to, there is one thing they all share in summer: it's hot out there ya'll!
Where can you go this summer to enjoy your vacation and beat the endless summer heat? Is it even possible in the South? It is! Especially if you find the perfect oases with a cool, refreshing body of water to dip into during the sticky-sweet humid temps. Here are some of our favorite refreshing places to help cool off from the endless sun.
Lake Lure, North Carolina
One of the most beautiful artificial lakes in the country, Lake Lure, nestles within the foothills of the stunning Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina. Roughly 27 miles from Asheville, the lake sits in the Hickory Nut Gorge, surrounded by lush mountain tops and sheer granite cliffs. Lake Lure also boasts the famous Chimney Rock, where from the top of the rock, you can enjoy spectacular views of the lake and gorge, as well as visit several filming locations from movies such as Thunder Road, Dirty Dancing, A Breed Apart, The Last of the Mohicans and Firestarter.
Lake Lure's white sandy beaches include a waterslide into the lake and a water park, perfect for cooling off on a hot summer's day. Lake Lure Tours offers guided boat tours and boat rentals; there are mountain biking and hiking trails, a golf club, an adventure company that provides watersport trips, and even a toy museum. It is a perfect summer vacation spot for nature lovers and beach-goers alike.
Lake Cumberland, Kentucky
One of the largest and possibly most visited lakes in the U.S., Lake Cumberland has rightfully earned its reputation as one of the perfect Southern vacations for families looking for a haven for outdoor adventures.
Lure Lodge, with 63 rooms, overlooks the beautiful lake and offers full amenities and an indoor pool complex. The Lake Cumberland State Resort Park also has 26 cottages with wireless internet access, 75 campsites, and is pet-friendly. There is also a wealth of interesting and exciting things to do! PERCH (Park's Environmental Recreation Conservation Headquarters) offers interactive nature displays and can help with last-minute recreational items needed for camping, swimming, hiking, and fishing—including renting fishing poles.
As Lake Cumberland is also known as "The Houseboat Capital of the World," this may be the Southern vacation spot to beat the heat as it is considered a paradise for those who love water sports.
Are there other areas in the South with milder temps?
Yes! If you're looking to vacation this summer within the South that will keep you from overheating, look for great getaways in Georgia, Tennessee, North and South Carolina, Virginia, Kentucky, and West Virginia for cooler summer temperatures but plenty of good weather and gorgeous sunshine.
There are so many stunning places to visit this summer; we hope we've been able to spark ideas for the perfect escape from the heat!