Thursday, April 28, 2011

Virginia to Texas, via Mississippi

Hi Jamie,

I'm a 19 year old college student, and planning a road trip for the month of July. I'm leaving from Newport News, VA and my first stop will be in Greenville, SC; then a small town in Mississipppi, then on to Austin, TX.

What route do you recommend for this? US-50 sounds really interesting, but I'm honestly intimidated by cliff and drop-offs. I don't think it should be a big problem, but what are your thoughts?

- Daniel


Hi Daniel --

Thanks for writing in to Road Trip USA, and I hope I can help you plan a fun road trip this July.

There are just about an infinite number of roads you could follow to get from Norfolk to Austin, but one scenic and historic route that might be very interesting came to my mind first: the Natchez Trace, a leisurely parkway built in the New Deal 1930s.

To get there from Greenville, I'd recommend looping a little ways north, through scenic Asheville and the Great Smokies National Park -- a beautiful spot, so long as you can avoid the crowds (this is the most popular National Park in the whole country!) None of the drives are very scary, if that's what you mean by being afraid of of "sky drives"...

The very peaceful and quiet Natchez Trace Parkway, which follows the much older route between Nashville TN and the great little Mississippi River town of Natchez, could get you most of the rest of your way. There are a lot of nice stops in interesting, lively cities like Jackson MS (and Tupelo MS, birthplace of Elvis Presley!), as well as "natural" and historic sights, like Emerald Mound.

From Natchez it's a nice run across the "Cajun Country" bayous of Louisiana into Texas and Austin.

Sounds fun? Hope you have a good trip!

Happy Trails,

Jamie Jensen
Road Trip USA

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