USA - A Journey through the South.......What do you think?

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amaroo

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Planning a family holiday over the coming x-mas break.....4 weeks all up.

Arrive LAX mid Dec and have everything sorted until we check out of our Washington DC hotel on the 1st Jan.

Our flight back to BNE leaves DFW mid Jan therefore, we have more than a few days to enjoy the South. Thinking of hiring a car and start driving.....

Have never been to this part of the Country and have an interest in seeing:-

Charlestown
Savannah
Memphis
Lafayette
New Orleans
Interesting places in between.

Q's
Is winter driving a hassle?
Is it better to cut the trip into bits of driving and some flying?
Is it worth going to these places in winter?
Have I missed an obvious must see destination?

Hope to read many posts - your advice will make our trip so much better.
 

blackcat20

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Ive been to all but Lafayette, and can recommend all of them, however I've only been in summer. Savannah was definitely one of my favourites, it's just beautiful, and I wish I'd had more than a few hours to explore Charleston, the mansions are amazing!
 
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Boris spatsky

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Savannah and Charleston are great. Hilton Head in SC is worth a stop as it is a great resort town.

The deep South is an interesting area!
 

chrisb

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We did some driving in the USA, including between Miami and New Orleans, and it was some of the best parts of the trip. However, that was in Summer. (Even so, some of the Florida storms resulted in visibility dropping to about 50m on the interstate, thankfully that was very short lived. )

Getting to spend time in small towns and seeing regional areas that most wouldn't normally visit was interesting. One thing I found, especially in Florida, its easy to get wedged onto the Interstate and not really see anything. They're great for long distance travel but they do isolate you from what's around so planning is worthwhile, but so is randomly taking exits. :)

Oh, and my tip - five hours scheduled driving in a day is a long day, so don't get carried away.
 

cjd600

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Panama City Beach is a good stopover on the gulf of Mexico, between New Orleans and Savannah
Stay in a hotel on the beach, a few floors up, sit on the balcony and gaze at the ocean with a cool drink.
 

amaroo

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Thanks for the tips :cool:

Agree on the number of hours driving. Starting think we should focus on a few places rather than a few too many.

Leaning towards:-
Charlestown
Savannah
New Orleans

with stops between Savannah - New Orleans?

SWMBO wants shopping time in DFW or somewhere in Texas:(
 

ozbeachbabe

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Just be careful before swimming at any beaches near MSY courtesy of the BP oil spill.

60 Minutes had s story last werk about the clean up agent called Corexit & how the toxicity is multiplied x 52 when mixed with oil.

It has claimed many human lives as well as marine life. Australia has the chemical stored in DRW & GLT on standby.
 

Skyring

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DC in winter is cold. Bloody cold. The bonus is that visitor numbers are low and you can get to see some of the iconic sights without the crowds. Good idea to head south. So long as it isn't actively snowing, driving should be fine. Just remember that ice forms on bridges first, so if it's close to freezing, be wary.

Richmond, as the Confederate capital is full of history. The Civil War stuff was fine, but what really sent chills up my spine was to stand in the church where Patrick Henry gave his famous "Liberty or Death" speech.

Heartily concur re Charleston. Amazing place, though it certainly won't be at its best in January. New Orleans, likewise, but it should be warm. There's a place on Mobile Bay beside the Interstate east of Mobile. Felix's Fish Shack. Right on the beach, awesome seafood. Bourbon Street in New Orleans is great for people watching, but not great for the kiddies into the evening.

Memphis is fabulous for some great Southern sights. Graceland and the ducks at the Peabody. Beale Street can jump.

Disneyworld in Florida. And Kennedy. Both places that deserve a day. At least.

Dallas for shopping, Fort Worth for tourists. The Stockyards has a longhorn parade twice a day, with cheesey cowboys and sherrifs and baddies. The Kimbell is one of my favorite art galleries and the Asian Gardens just down the road a haven of tranquility.

I love road-tripping in the USA. Check the internet for dining recommendations, so you aren't stuck with the chains. Oh yeah, and you have GOT to eat at an Outback Steakhouse at least once. The Blooming Onion is about a bazillion calories, but soooo tasty!

The Interstates are good for quick and boring driving, but the "blue roads" will get you closer to the real small-town America.

Have fun and post lots of happy snaps.
 

Skyring

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Oh, and my tip - five hours scheduled driving in a day is a long day, so don't get carried away.
Thoroughly concur. America isn't going to go away - you can always come back and see stuff on the next trip. Take it easy, stop at the National Parks and historic sites for a look, a stretch, a pit stop and a stamp in the National Park passport. The kids will love these places.

It's too easy to get carried away with driving long distances and those Interstates are booooooring. Get a van with plenty of room and stop every hour or so. Keep a tally of the tags you see - Hawaii will be very tricky, but there will be a few in DC from service personnel just posted home - the military pays for vehicles to be shipped back. Likewise the State quarters. There are collector albums, and the kids will scrabble over the change at every stop.

And, if you love coffee, abandon all hope. I typically carry my AeroPress overseas and make my own.
 

Boris spatsky

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Thanks for the tips :cool:

Agree on the number of hours driving. Starting think we should focus on a few places rather than a few too many.

Leaning towards:-
Charlestown
Savannah
New Orleans

with stops between Savannah - New Orleans?

SWMBO wants shopping time in DFW or somewhere in Texas:(

I would include Atlanta (great city, used to work there a few years ago) and Destin, FL. Drive from Destin along the coast to Pensacola (home of the Blue Angels, US NAVY jet display team, and a great aviation museum) then on to New Orleans.
 

amaroo

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Thanks to all for the comments/advice.

We have decided on the following.

Hire car from DC to Savannah, stopping...

1 night at Pittboro
3 nights at Charleston
2 nights at Savannah

Fly AA to San Antonio via DFW

3 nights at San Antonio.......late change after reading turtlemichael excellent TR - again.

Fly AA to DFW

2 nights at DFW before flying home.

Planning on doing a TR so stay tuned.
 
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