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13 Outdoor Adventures Only The South Can Offer

It's undeniable: The American South has some of the most badass natural wonders on the planet. From hiking to surfing, there's a legit thrill around every corner.

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Where: Breaux Bridge, Louisiana.

What: Lake Martin offers two-hour boat tours, complete with almost-guaranteed alligator sightings and gorgeous views of stunning flora and fauna. It's totally acceptable (and encouraged) just to walk around on your own though.

Why: Because you're in the market for a new desktop background that you can finally say you photographed yourself.

2. Ride the waves in the Outer Banks.

Karen Blaha / (CC BY-SA http://2.0) / Via Flickr: vironevaeh

Where: North Carolina.

What: An unexpectedly radical place to surf in the summer; a surfing spot for the strong and fearless in the winter.

Why: Because California and Hawaii are so over.

3. Two Words: NATURAL WATERSLIDE.

Where: Sliding Rock, Pisgah National Forest, North Carolina.

What: A natural waterslide. We aren't going to say anything else.

Why: A. Natural. Waterslide. ANATURALWATERSLIDE. A natural waterslide. Goodbye.

Mrs. Gemstone / (CC BY-SA http://2.0) / Via Flickr: gemstone

Where: Accomack County, Virginia.

What: As if the gorgeous beach weren't enough, at Chincoteague Island, one can shed tears of joy as one gazes upon truly spellbinding wild ponies. Remember ponies? You love ponies.

Why: Because your inner child will stop talking to you if you don't do this.

ksteryous / (CC BY http://2.0) / Via Flickr: 10589372@N02

Where: Catawba, Roanoke County, Virginia on the Appalachian Trail.

What: McAfee Knob offers one of the best views, ever.

Why: You haven’t truly hiked in the South until you have a photo of yourself on that rock.

6. Bow down to the sunset on Hawksbill Mountain.

brownpau / (CC BY http://2.0) / Via Flickr: brownpau

Where: The border between Madison County and Page County in Virginia.

What: Hawksbill is a practically perfect hike with the best views in all of the Linville Gorge. Convinced?

Why: You have a huge crush on someone. And you need to take them here.

Where: The Georgia–Florida border.

What: A shallow, peat-filled, alligator-infested swamp filled with water that legit looks like a witch's potion.

Why: Because you enjoy feeling as if a swamp witch were about to keep you prisoner in her swamp hut.

8. Freak out as you realize trees are amazing in Joyce Kilmer.

Where: Graham County, North Carolina.

What: Named after the famed poet with an affinity for nature, Joyce Kilmer Memorial Forest will most likely inspire poetry in you too.

Why: It's hardly ever crowded, and it's the perfect spot for turning your phone off and thinking about untouched, unrefined nature.

Justin Askew Photography / (CC BY http://2.0) / Via Flickr: 111690964@N02

Where: Northwest South Carolina.

What: In addition to breathtaking views and perfect kayaking water, you can find some of the best trout fishing in South Carolina at Lake Jocaseee.

Why: You're ready to be one of those people who can list "kayaking" as a legitimate interest.

10. The Cumberland Falls

Sevie Kenyon / (CC BY http://2.0) / Via Flickr: netagra

Where: Southwest of Corbin, Kentucky, contained entirely within the Daniel Boone National Forest.

What: Good hike, good falls, good time.

Why: Because you've seen the Cumberland Gap, and you are damned hungry for MORE MAJESTY.

11. Brace yourself for some whitewater rafting on the Ocoee River.

Torrey Wiley / (CC BY http://2.0) / Via Flickr: pocketwiley

Where: Cherokee National Forest in Chattanooga, Tennessee.

What: This is some of the best whitewater rafting in the country.

Why: After you've been physically and emotionally changed for good by the rapids, you can head to downtown Chattanooga to unwind with a drink and a meal and...wow, you've been changed forever. And there's no going back.

12. Have an epic bike ride along the Natchez Trace Parkway.

Where: Natchez, Mississippi.

What: A historic 444-mile route with brilliant scenery (from rolling meadows to swamp-like terrain), once used by Native Americans.

Why: The entire parkway has been designated as a bike route. Cyclists: This is heaven.

So, what are you waiting for? Pack your bags.

And follow the cast of Party Down South on each and every adventure, for better or for worse, on the super-Southern new season.

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