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Historic hospitality

In addition to great resort properties, the South has many wonderful hotels that give visitors a taste of historic hospitality, albeit without the golf or gaming.

The National Trust for Historic Preservation maintains a list of hundreds of great historic hotels around the country, calling them Historic Hotels of America.

The historic hotels list includes numerous properties in the Southern states. Here’s a sample of some of the great hotels to stay in — or even just visit — for a luxurious, historical experience.

St. James Hotel, Selma, Ala. — The only surviving hotel in Selma’s downtown historic district, this lovely property was constructed in 1837. In 1997, after more than a century of vacancy, the property reopened after a $6 million restoration.

Capital Hotel, Little Rock, Ark. — When it opened in 1870, the Capital Hotel was famous for being the first hotel in Little Rock to have electricity, as well as an elevator large enough for a horse. Today, the high-end hotel has two restaurants and 94 guest rooms with custom-designed mattresses.

Woodlands Inn, Charleston, S.C. — Charleston is known for its historic homes and hotels, but none compares to the elegance of the Woodlands Inn. Originally opened in 1906, this inn is one of only four hotels in America to earn five-star and five-diamond awards for both lodging and dining.

Peabody Hotel, Memphis, Tenn. — Originally opened in 1869, the Peabody Hotel was once regarded as the place to see “everybody who is anybody in the Delta.” Today, visitors flock to the hotel lobby for twice daily marches of the famous Peabody Ducks.

Brian Jewell

Brian Jewell is the executive editor of The Group Travel Leader. In more than a decade of travel journalism he has visited 48 states and 25 foreign countries.