Wednesday, October 12, 2011

NYC to Savannah, via the Appalachian Trail

Hi Jamie,

We are Australians who have 10 days to travel between NYC to Savannah Georgia and back we would like to take the Appalachian Trail route on the way south and the Atlantic coast on the way back to New York. I have looked at your website and got a reasonable idea of what the routes are like - thank you!!!

However, we know we only have a short time, we like to hike and are interested in culture and food - not into touristy towns (and not so much the Civil War).

We would love to hear your recommendations as we know there is a lot to see and our time is limited.

Thank you for your help in advance!

Van and Prabha


Hi Van & Prabha --

Many thanks for writing in to Road Trip USA -- that sounds like a great trip! You don't have a huge amount of time, but enough to have some great experiences -- especially if the weather cooperates.

Even avoiding Civil War sights, there is a lot to see and do. And depending upon what you mean by "culture", you'll probably want to add in some of the bigger cities which I tend to miss out in Road Trip USA -- Philadelphia for one has a couple of great art museums, great food, and tons of "culture", and of course the nation's capital, Washington DC, has even more of all the above.

As the focus of your trip, Savannah (and nearby Charleston, too) are both great places to get to know, so you'll want to have a few days for each of them. A few other towns you might like include Harpers Ferry, a historic town in Appalachian foothills, Charlottesville VA, home of US President Thomas Jefferson, and Asheville NC, where the Biltmore estate shows off the highpoint of upper crust American "culture", and the Maggie Valley / Great Smokies area shows off some lovely scenery.

The food options are pretty good all over this "Mid-Atlantic" region, so you should be fine, and again Savannah and Charleston has everything you could want (Conde Nast Traveler just rated Charleston the "Best City" in the USA for visitors...!).

And since time is tight, while my Road Trip USA "scenic routes" are highly recommended, don't worry too much about using the fast freeways like I-95, which can get you between NYC and Savannah in 12 hours or so. Charlottesville VA would make a good "halfway" stopover on the way down, and if you feel like seeing some "natural" beauty the Outer Banks are a great place to get away from it all -- I love the small town of Ocracoke NC, which is a good half-way point for your return trip.

Hope you have a great trip,

Jamie Jensen
Road Trip USA

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