Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Antebellum Deep South - in October ?

Hi Jamie,

We are planning a road trip in October, we live in Ontario, Canada and want to come down thru the states.

We aren't exactly sure where we want to go. We can take up to 2 weeks for this trip, We have been to Nashville before, would love to go again, but only for a few days, can you suggest what route, places, attractions,etc. we could take that would incorporate Nashville on our trip. We love driving thru little towns, checking out the shops, staying over if interested or just movin' on to the next place...

We are also interested in seeing the old plantations of the South etc. so any advice , tips you could give would be most welcome..



Hi Jan --

Many thanks for your message, and I hope I can help you plan a great trip. Depending upon where in Ontario you start and finish, there are a number of places I suspect you'll enjoy. In October, the "obvious" place to head would be the Appalachian mountains, where the hardwood trees should be in their full "fall color" glory at the end of the month, up thru the first week in November.

If you travel via Niagara Falls, you could join what I dub the "Appalachian Trail" (a driving tour, not only for hikers!) around the pretty little town of Harpers Ferry, West Virginia, about 2 hours west of Washington DC.

And if you do a big loop, you could also tour thru the splendid landscapes of the "Upper Peninsula" of Michigan, west of Sault Ste. Marie (the town of Marquette Michigan is very pretty, and there are hundreds of miles of delightful country roads).

A 2-week trip would let you see al this, and also explore the many great small towns along the way -- I like Charlottesville Virginia, and La Crosse Wisconsin, and Madison Indiana, just to name three possibilities. Charlottesville will give you a great sense of antebellum America, but if you really want to see plantations there are a two other places you should also look into:

The "Plantation Alley" stretch of the Great River Road in Louisiana, near New Orleans, is truly magnificent (and if you make it that far south, also check out Natchez Mississippi, which is a lovely small town with fantastic old homes -- not plantations exactly, but from that era.) I cover this in my Great Rover Road book and chapter.

Another area to look at is eastern Virginia (along the James River, downstream from Richmond), and there coastal areas of North and South Carolina. Savannah Georgia and Charleston South Carolina are perhaps America's most beautiful cities, and all around them there are many preserved plantations in the old indigo and rice-growing coastal lowlands - which are very very pretty, with fine beaches, as well. This is all covered in my "Atlantic Coast" sections of Road Trip USA.

Hope this helps -- let me know what all you decide to see and do!

Happy Trails,

Jamie Jensen
Road Trip USA


Anonymous Alison Winston said...

Hi Jamie, after checking out your website before my long awaited trip to Plantation/River Road in Louisiana, you stated that several of the main plantations were $10 to get in. I was suprised when almost all of the grand houses were $18-20!. Maybe update this on your site. Or advise to go directly to the websites of the houses for up to date information.

You were right in the driving is horrible. I got lost and be prepared to find very little exits, food, gas, etc. Interstate 10 West on the way to Hwy 18 is the worse anyone might experience. And even with GPS, folks got mixed up. Dont depend on those.

Locals just say, well, welcome to Louisiana!! Guess they dont believe in signs!!!

6:55 AM  

Post a Comment

<< Home