Monday, January 23, 2012

Memphis TN to Clearwater FL -- Missisppi Delta with DeSoto

Hello Jamie,

In August 2012 my family and I are flying to Memphis to start a 2 week holiday in the US with the 2nd week of the holiday starting and ending in Clearwater, Florida. The problem is I'm struggling to find the best route. My itinerary is basically 3 nights in Memphis, moving onto Chattanooga for 1 night, then to Childersburg for a further night and its after here i'm finding it difficult. Please can you suggest some places between Childersburg and Clearwater or indeed a better overall route to see real, historic America.

Many thanks



Hi Ryan --

Many thanks for writing in to Road Trip USA. I'd never heard of Childersburg, but now I know it claims to be the Oldest Town in America, with Oldest Caves -- so I'll have to add it to my list.


Memphis is great, for sure, and Chattanooga is a very interesting place (Lookout Mountain is a classic road trip destination -- See Rock City!) , and if you had some spare time on your way there I would strongly recommend a visit to Oxford Mississippi (historic college town and home to writer William Faulkner), and maybe also to Tupelo (birthplace of Elvis Presley!)

After Chattanooga, I would recommend a trip to Montgomery, which is a fascinating city -- lots of gracious old homes, Capital of the Confederacy, hugely important in the Civil Rights struggle, and (last but not least) burial place of Hank Williams, my all-time fave songwriter.

Nearby Selma Alabama is also very interesting -- and if you bear a biggish detour, the two most "historic" and beautiful towns in the USA are sort of on your way: Charleston South Carolina, and Savannah Georgia. And maybe St Augustine, too. I cover all 3 in my "Atlantic Coast" road trip.

And if you like "ancient" history, there is a well-preserved restored Mound City outside Macon Georgia, called Ocmulgee (a National Historic Park). Fascinating to think about -- and if you don't already know, your trip traces in reverse a lot of what the Spanish Conquistador Hernando De Soto explored, way back in ~ 1540!

Travel these days is considerably more comfy, plus you've got plenty of time to see all of these places, and there's a wide enough variety of sights and attractions to make for a great trip.

(PS: You didn't say how old or how numerous your "family" is, but this trip will have something for everyone.)

Hope this helps!

Jamie Jensen
Road Trip USA


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