Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Southern USA Road Trip - July

hi jamie,

thanks for all the great info on your site. we are planning a road
trip in july 2011.
we would like to experience the south (passing through new orleans,
etc) and have about a week or 2.
is there a good route you can recommend?



Hi there Lyall --

Thanks for your nice note, and glad you like the website. I hope I can suggest some good places to visit and roads for you to drive next summer -- the Deep South is a very rewarding and enjoyable place to explore.

One great route is the Great River Road -- which follows Highway 61 and a number of other fine routes, right along the Mississippi River. This is one of my main "Road Trip USA" routes, and I also just did an updated "mini-book" which has a lot more ideas and info than the website does. The stretch between Memphis and New Orleans is a classic ride, and you could spend your whole two weeks looping around the Mississippi Delta, the Cajun Country of Louisiana, and following the footsteps of Elvis. Highlights for me are Natchez MS, a lovely riverside town with a ton of history; also Baton Rogue and Vicksburg, much bigger cities with even more to see and do. Plus the famous "Plantation Alley" of fine riverfront homes, just upriver from New Orleans.

New Orleans itself is a great place to get to know -- my brother lived there for nearly 10 years, so I got some good insights (and I get more and more every time I've been -- it's unlike anywhere else in the USA, for sure!). And for driving, I also really enjoy the Natchez Trace Parkway, which runs from Natchez and Port Gibson diagonally across thru Jackson MS (a fine old city) and eventually to Nashville (which I don't really cover in Road Trip USA, but which is well worth a look, especially if you enjoy "country" music.)

For history and character, I have also enjoyed exploring the Alabama cities of Selma and Montgomery, which embody the story of the South, from before the Civil War thru the crucial years of the Civil Rights era. Montgomery also has a lot to offer in terms of food, and literature and yet more music -- Hank Williams is buried there.

Besides bustling Atlanta (which makes a good starting point if you're doing a fly-drive tour), a couple other cities to see are Savannah GA and Charleston SC, which I cover in my coastal tours in Road Trip USA. These are magical, beautiful cities with fine buildings and excellent restaurants -- and tons of character and personality.

You could visit just about all of these places in a 2-week trip, though a week would be a bit tight time-wise. Depending upon what you really want from your trip --- museums or BBQ? Baseball or Civil War sights?? -- there are 100 or so other places you might want to see, so please check out Road Trip USA, and feel free to write me again when you closer to hitting the road.

For now, Happy Trails,

Jamie Jensen
Road Trip USA


Post a Comment

<< Home