Travel South: Immersed in Southern Culture and Flavors
I’ve spent the past few days immersing myself in all things Southern here in Myrtle Beach SC at the Travel South Conference, bringing in tourism people and journalists from southern states.
From fried seafood and veggies to strip malls and endless, nearly identical beach supply stores, I’ve sunk myself into this world and have enjoyed learning things about the history and modern cultures here.
I met with more than two dozen tourism boards and asked a lot of questions. In fact, one of the women in a booth told me that I asked “the Best Questions!” Here is a sampling of some of my fun facts.
The signature food in West Virginia is the lowly Pepperoni roll. You can find them with and without cheese, and with either sliced or a huge chunk of the meat inside. There are people on both sides of the cheese vs no cheese issue.
Despite taking place in a red as red state, South Carolina, nobody at the conference espoused the views or supported our very much hated President Trump.
Nope, they just told more stories that horrified, like the woman from NC whose husband is a college professor who was told that in his scientific reporting, he is prohibited from using the words “climate change.” Chilling.
In this part of South Carolina, Chicken Bog is a popular dish. This is chicken with sliced sausage and chicken stock in rice, and often comes as a part of a BBQ combo platter. It’s pretty good, especially notable was the hop at the Wholly Smokin BBQ in Florence SC.
In the Outer Banks, way back in 1557, settlers from England tried and failed to create a colony. They fought with the Natives, most of them got sick, and they gave up after less than a year, hitching a ride back to England on a passing clipper ship. In 1604, Jamestown was settled, equally difficult but lasting longer.
There is a new museum opening in Alabama, that was started by a pest control company. It was originally a way to train their employees about which bugs to kill, but over time it became so popular that now they’ve just about finished in a $12 million natural science museum called the Cook Natural Science Museum, Decatur Alabama.
There are now many flights direct from London to smaller cities like Nashville and Charleston then ever. The city of Nashville was thrilled in May 2018 when the daily service started on British Air. The tourism board said that many Brits are coming to Nashville and a soccer game was played between two Premier League teams in the city and it drew 56,000 fans, the most ever for a soccer game in Tennessee.