Y’all, get ready for an eye-opening, educational adventure through our nation’s southern states! We’ve compiled a list of incredible historic sites for curious, wanderlust individuals to visit. You’ll not only get to learn about the homes and buildings that served our forefathers and other brave American souls, but you’ll also find suggestions for you when you’re visiting; site tour options, events, things to do nearby, and local restaurants to make your trip down yonder one you’ll never forget.

In this guide, we’ll cover:

The Powder Magazine

Charleston, South Carolina

Our road trip through the colonial south begins in Charleston, the oldest and second-largest city in South Carolina. Charleston was formerly a province of Great Britain between the years 1712 and 1776. The Province of Carolina, as it was called, was a bustling center of commerce. This was both a blessing and a curse, as the thriving Southern colony needed extra protection. Here’s where the first stop on our list, The Powder Magazine, comes in.

You see, the original town was surrounded by a wall that housed dozens of cannons. It served as a deterrent, perhaps to protect the town from pirates, the Spanish, and the French, or to keep in slaves. To defend the town during the Revolutionary War, it was necessary to have tons of gunpowder on hand – five tons to be exact. Thus, in 1713, the 27-foot by 27-foot Magazine was built to store it all. This strategically-crafted structure could smother a fire in case of an explosion thanks to the sand-packed arches in its ceiling. The Magazine is truly a work of architectural genius. The knowledgeable docents there can tell you how through the ages, the Magazine has served as everything from a wine cellar to a livery stable.

With such a wild history, artifacts on display, and colonial fife music playing in the background, you’ll feel like you’ve traveled to Revolutionary-era Charleston.

After wrapping up indoors, be sure to ask one of the tour guides for a lesson on how to fire an 18th-century musket! They may also demonstrate how a cannon was loaded and shot by our country’s forefathers.

Other attractions at The Powder Magazine:

Take a 30-minute-long tour of its exhibits:

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Hilltop House

Waycross, Georgia

Moving further south, we’ll make our way to the second stop: Waycross, Georgia. Established in 1732, Georgia was one of the original English colonies. The land is full of many types of fertile soil, which allowed the colony to emerge as a plantation society after the Revolution. Georgia is home to a National Wilderness Area known as the Okefenokee Swamp. The Okefenokee was inhabited by indigenous communities before the colonists settled here, from around A.D. 500 and 1200. The area has a rich history that reveals the American experience of both the Seminole people and African Americans.

The name “Waycross” stems from the city’s roots as a crossroads for southeastern travel. Today, Waycross is known as a jewel of the southeast United States with that wonderful small-town charm. After basking in the beauty of the scenic natural parks, head over to the Hilltop House, which is part of The Founders Exhibit at the Okefenokee Heritage Center. What you’ll see there is a marvelous reassembly of a portion of the first fine Victorian house built in Waycross. This was the home of Dr. Daniel and Susan Mobley Lott. You’ll get a chance to see some of the original architecture and authentic furnishings from the period, which were kindly donated by locals and relatives of the Lott family.

The Hilltop House exhibit includes part of the front porch, the entrance hall with a partial staircase, and the parlor. As you walk up to the display, you can imagine you’ve been invited to the couple’s home circa 1871. Who says time travel doesn’t exist?! Staff members at the Okefenokee Heritage Center can share more details about what life was like during this era. They’d also be happy to show you the seven other exhibits there!

Other attractions at Hilltop House:

Take a tour of its exhibits:

Things to Do Nearby:

Places to Eat:

Andrew Low House Museum

Savannah, Georgia

Then, drive on up to Savannah to see what British author William Makepeace Thackeray called “…the most comfortable quarters I have ever had in the United States.” This is none other than the Andrew Low House Museum in Lafayette Square. The walk up to the property alone is exciting, as you’ll be greeted by a garden full of vibrant green and purple plants and the home’s lovely facade. But when you step inside, you’ll be whisked away to another world. This was where the Low family and the enslaved men and women who worked here resided. Andrew Low had immigrated to Savannah from Scotland at the age of 17 and built a fortune by running a highly successful cotton firm. After the loss of his first wife, Sarah Cecil Hunter Low, Low remarried and welcomed more children into the world. Low’s daughter-in-law Juliette “Daisy” Gordon would eventually found the Girl Scouts of America in 1886. The carriage house on the estate served as the organization’s first headquarters in the U.S., so if you have any Girl Scouts in your family, this should definitely pique their interest!

The museum is decorated with the finest furnishings of the era, so you’ll get a feel for what life was like as the richest man in mid-18th century Savannah. Aside from the spectacular decor, the family enjoyed the latest conveniences. They also had a man named Tom Milledge, to thank. Tom was initially was bought as an enslaved man to act as a house servant, but eventually, he became a freed servant. He took care of the Lows and their home for years. Later on, Tom married a woman named Mosianna, who would cook for the younger generation of Lows. When you walk through the home’s main level, you can see the magnificent dining room where Mosianna served the Low family her impeccable Southern-style cooking.

One of the docents can tell you more interesting facts about the Lows and the Milledge family. If you’re fascinated by the paranormal, be sure to ask about the house’s visitors from the spirit world. Some say that the home is haunted, so you may be in for a surprise on the tour. Take pictures while you’re there!

Other attractions at the Andrew Low House:

Take a tour of its exhibits:

Things to Do Nearby:

Places to Eat:

Continue Your Journey South

These Colonial sites are wonderful for your trip Southbound. There’s something for everyone. Visiting these sites will shine a light on their residents’ unique stories and allow you to peer into the past.

If you’re fixin’ to see more, we’ve got you covered! Continue your journey South by checking out the next batch of sites Discovering the Deep South.