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Southern Road Trip

Darwin, Australia
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Southern Road Trip


My sister and I are planning a massive road trip from the end of august to mid sep. We start in San Fran drive down have 3 days in LA (Santa Monica, Hollywood, Disneyland) then head off to Vegas for a few nights.

We are then going to head across country, from Vegas to Oklahoma City thru Dallas, Houston to New Orleans back thru Tennessee end up in Georgia.

So we are just really after some ideas for things to see or do that may or may not be in the guides, or interesting little places off the interstate with a bit of character - quirky diners, towns or exhibits. We will only do this once and want to have fun without wasting our time on attractions that are talked up but not worth the time or $$.

We aren't really traditional museum types or into hiking, but we don't want to sit all day either. We are in the 25 - 30 year old bracket. No set budget yet, obviously cheaper is better!

Any ideas would be brilliant.

Thanks!!!!!! = )

Atlanta, Georgia
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1. Re: Southern Road Trip

We have driven this route and these are my suggestions-

From Vegas head to Sedona and the Grand Canyon NP- lots of beautiful scenery and Pink jeep tour over the red rocks in Sedona is a great experience

Then head to Petriefied Forest and on thru New Mexico

Stop in San Antonio for great food, riverfront and Alamo then head to Houston

Go to New Orleans, then head up Natchez Trace to Memphis, Nashville, and then to Chattanooga- Natchez Trace you will find Civil War history, old homes, Memphis- Graceland- Nashville- country music and Grand Ole Opry- Chattanooga- aquarium, riverfront

Then it is down thru Georgia to Atlanta and then consider going down to Savannah for history, riverfront, old homes, and great low country food.

We had about a month to do a road trip like this years ago.

Enjoy your trip planning.

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2. Re: Southern Road Trip

You probably saw this thread, but just to make certain:


After leaving Las Vegas, have you considered visiting national parks that you might never visit again. E.g., explore the attractions in Page, AZ. You might want to explore national parks and even state parks located in states on your planned itinerary.

Here's two websites that might fit your stated needs.



Good luck in your planning!

Uden, The...
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3. Re: Southern Road Trip

Let me see:

2 days San Francisco, 2 days between SF and LA, 2 days LA, drive to Las Vegas and a day Vegas also makes 2. Drive to GCNP plus short stay (1). Then from GC to Atlanta . That's 1800 miles shortest way but much longer if you drive via Dallas and Houston. You also need several days in New Orleans to explore and also some great places in Oklahoma City (Memorial Side, Cowboy Museum). Also maybe check www.historic66.com With the countless places worth a visit, one month already will be short. Keep an eye on drop off charges for the car between SF and Atlanta.

Also keep in mind it will be very hot at places, and also humid heading east but you're used to that in Darwin ;)


Edited: 5:42 am, February 14, 2011
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4. Re: Southern Road Trip

What to do after NOLA really depends on how much time you have and what sort of Southern experience you're looking for: big cities, nightlife, and music, or the older historical South of scenic views and battlefields. Because one really does come at the expense of the other when you're planning an itinerary. And you can really spend some time vegging out in Nashville hitting up live shows, or you can spend day after day exploring some remote section of the mountains finding stuff only the most detailed guidebooks will let you know about.

The Natchez Trace is a really good idea. Chattanooga in any format is a really good idea, and catching a good spit of the mountains before dipping down into Georgia (and let's include the gorgeous enormous North Georgia mountains in that) is recommended. And then the seaward Georgian towns make sense for an endtie.

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5. Re: Southern Road Trip

Hi SistaMatic-

Lots of great suggestions here. Your road trip sounds wonderful! Hope you've given yourself enough time for this trip? A month or more would be ideal. I second Savannah - Atlanta has a lot of "sights" to see/museums and touristy stuff, but it's not the most attractive city. Savannah will really give you that "Southern" feeling as will New Orleans (focus your time in the French Quarter).

As you mentioned quirky diners, you've got to check out the site "Road Food" - here's the link: http://www.roadfood.com/

It's such a great site as you can select the area and then find all the fun and funky "road food" eateries along your route, plus read all the reviews. So cool! Also, for quirky/strange sites, I second RoadsideAmerica.com - wild and wacky and kitchy - they've got it all!

Hope this helps-


Kilmore, Australia
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6. Re: Southern Road Trip

Hi SistaMatic. I'm doing almost the exact same trip in May (less than 2 months now, yay!) except starting in LA and after Tennessee I wind up in Chicago. Hoping for the same tips (so I may just bump this thread up every now and then) and hopefully may be able to provide some of my own tips shortly.

Great call on the roadfood website Tara, you've just cost me hours wading through there!

Darwin, Australia
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7. Re: Southern Road Trip

Thanks everyone for your help!!! It will be a bit rushed I guess but we are pretty confident in my nerdy itinery spreadsheet - yes VERY nerdy but was good to stop us stressing about time.

Tara those web sites are exactly what we are after. Stops like that are most of the attraction. My waist line might not like it tho. = )

We are definately going to see Chatanooga and Savannah to experience some southern hospitality!!!!

Glad to help Mick!!! Would be great to get some info after you get back.

8. Re: Southern Road Trip

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