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Deep South road trip ideas

Deep South road trip ideas

Old Jan 30, 2023, 7:58 pm
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Deep South road trip ideas

Hello everyone,

My wife mentioned several times that she wants to see Deep South, where we have not been yet. She primarily has her impressions from watching documentaries and reading history books, so wants to experience and see the places.

On other hand, looking at what has happened to San Francisco, Seattle and especially - Portland (*), we really do not want to end up in a place(s) where it is really not safe. Plus we are going to have overseas female guests with us and that's an additional responsibility.

What would you advise/suggest? If you would given an option to have 10 days road trip, what would you suggest, given the priority - history, nature, food. What safety situation looks like in the places you are going to recommend?

Thanks

(*) We are very familiar with Seattle, Portland (we have a rental property there for >17 years) and lived in Bay Area for >15 years. Portland now is is drastically different from Portland as I remember from 2010-15s, and not a good way - unless forced, I would not go there now.
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Old Jan 30, 2023, 8:26 pm
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Not really enough info in your request to spec out a trip. Sounds like reading has stimulated curiosity, but what reading? Flannery O'Connor? Zora Neale Hurston? I have enjoyed trips where I visited locales in movies, TV shows, and books, but maybe some more ideas on specific places that arouse your curiosity. General suggestions:
- Go in Spring or Fall if possible. Many places are very beautiful and comfortable in the Spring and Fall. Summer can be uncomfortably hot.
- Maybe consider a loop that includes Atlanta, Asheville, Charleston, Savannah, and back though that might be too much driving.
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Old Jan 31, 2023, 8:49 am
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What exactly do you mean by Deep South? This is a broad areas. How long is this trip.

yes you will find ptproblrm areas in cities snd outside the cities thry think Covid was fake.
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Old Feb 1, 2023, 11:06 am
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Originally Posted by xooz
- Go in Spring or Fall if possible. Many places are very beautiful and comfortable in the Spring and Fall. Summer can be uncomfortably hot.
- Maybe consider a loop that includes Atlanta, Asheville, Charleston, Savannah, and back though that might be too much driving.
We spent 10 years in Singapore, so got acclimated to the heat there. I can also do one way drive flying to point A and leaving from Point B. Except what you mentioned, would you add anything else?
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Old Feb 1, 2023, 11:10 am
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Originally Posted by djp98374
What exactly do you mean by Deep South? This is a broad areas. How long is this trip.
I am coming from the definition from the wiki article :
Most definitions include the following states: Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia, and South Carolina
We are planning 7-10 days on trip, and it does not need to be looping back - we can fly in one place, take car, go on trip and leave from another place.
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Old Feb 1, 2023, 11:29 am
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If I were looking for a blend of history and culture, I could see two options; One SE Coastal, and the other being the interior Deep South.

SE Coastal: Start in Savannah and head up the coast to Charleston, then Wilmington Cape Fear area. Maybe end up in Raleigh.

Deep South Interior: Atlanta over to Birmingham for the Civil Rights Museum, down to Jackson maybe through Tuskegee and Natchez MS, then up to the Delta and Memphis. Or straight from B'ham to Memphis through Tupelo.

It all depends upon what you are looking for. Civil War battlefields? Natural History? Natural Scenery? Plantations? Musical Heritage? Seashores? Cities? Small towns? Hiking? Mountains?
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Old Feb 1, 2023, 12:44 pm
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Originally Posted by invisible
We spent 10 years in Singapore, so got acclimated to the heat there. I can also do one way drive flying to point A and leaving from Point B. Except what you mentioned, would you add anything else?
That advice, to do it in spring or fall, is really good advice. I dont know why anyone would want to do it in summer. Here is a loop, it is too much for the time you have so decide which parts you like best. Atlanta, Asheville, Charlotte, Savannah, Jacksonville, Pensacola, Mobile, New Orleans, up the Mississippi River to Memphis, Nashville, Chattanooga, Atlanta. Down the Atlantic coast there are lots of nice islands to visit, such as Hilton Head and Amelia Island. Along the Gulf coast places like Panama City, Destin, Fort Walton, Pensacola, Mobile, Biloxi have wonderful beaches. Up the Mississippi there are plenty of interesting towns less than one hour drive from the river. You can look up The Great River Road and Natchez Trace, those are great road trips.
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Old Feb 1, 2023, 1:30 pm
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Originally Posted by invisible
We spent 10 years in Singapore, so got acclimated to the heat there. I can also do one way drive flying to point A and leaving from Point B. Except what you mentioned, would you add anything else?
Well, still not clear on how active you and the ladies want to be, but here is something I would do:
  • Start in Atlanta: Do the Atlanta things of interest
  • Go north. Spend a night or 2 at Brasstown Valley Resort. Play golf or just relax. Buy some boiled peanuts
  • Go rafting on the Nantahala River. Maybe head from there to Bryson City NC for the night
  • Head to Asheville. Spend a couple of nights there. Visit some breweries. Join the Friday drum circle. Get a pint of bacon at the Thirsty Monk
  • Head to Greenville SC for the afternoon/night. Charming little center of town
  • Go on to Charleston SC Splurge on accommodations (Wentworth Mansion). Do the Charleston things
  • Go to Savannah and/or Hilton Head. See the Savannah downtown/river area. Play Harbour Town golf course
  • Then...back to ATL to return. Alternatively, head south to Fernandina Beach FL for some laid back beach time before flying back from JAX
An alternative start to the trip would be to go from ATL to Madison GA and see some ante bellum homes. Maybe stay at BnB there, check out Athens GA on the way north towards Asheville/Greenville... bypassing North GA.
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Old Feb 1, 2023, 6:41 pm
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For 10 day trip these are some options

day 2 fly into nashville
day 3 nashville
day 3 to Memphis
day 4 Memphis
day 5 to vicksburg
day 6 to new Orleans
day 7-8 New Orleans
day 9 fly out

day 1 fly into houston
day 2 to new orleans
day 3-4 New Orleans
day 5 to Panama City, fl
day 6 to Savannah
day 7 Savannah
day 8 to charleston
day 9 charleston
day 10 fly out


you can do an atlanta loop
day 1 fly to stlanta
day 2 to savannah
day 3 savannah
day 4 to charleston
day 5 charleston
day 6 to Asheville
day 7 to Smokey mts
day 8 Smokey mts
day 9 am to Atlanta, pm stlanta
day 10 fly home

you can also do a loop

day 1 to Atlanta
day 2 to New Orleans
day 3-4 New Orleans
day 5 to Memphis
day 6 memphis
day 7 to nashville
day 8 nashville
day 9 am to Atlanta, pm there
day 10 fly home

you coukd also do a Dallas- Atlanta meandering route

day 2 fly to dallas
day 2 to New Orleans
day 3-4 New Orleans
day 5 to Birmingham or montogo ery or Vicksburg
day 6 to nashville
day 7 nashville
day 8 nashville, pm to atlanta
day 9 to Atlanta
day 10 fly home

if you have more time you can do a big loop where you do 2-2 days in new orkeans, Memphis, nashville, Atlanta, Savannah, and Charleston thrn other days are doing days

secondary sites are places like Vicks park, Montgomery, crntral gulf coast between Biloxi and Panama City , Asheville, Smokey mts national park. St Augustine which could be done in FL was the first settlement by Spain in USA. Thrn you have texas locations of Dallas, austin, San Antonio, and Houston.

austin, new Orleans, Memphis, and nashville are known for music scenes.
there are civil war historic sites in Vicksburg, Shiloh near Natchez trace at around tenn and miss border east of Memphis. Georgia has a bunch of sites. Natchez trace was a historic road used.

national parks are congaree in South Carolina, Smokey mts , and mamoth caves about an hr+ north of nashville. Jack daniels has a plant you can tour south of nashville and Kentucky has a bunch of bourbon shops.

spring and fall would be better than summer. September you have real hurricane risks. If you travel in May you will run into college graduation season. Best is April and late October- mid November
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Old Feb 2, 2023, 7:15 am
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A trip like this really depends on what you want to focus on.

History? Montgomery AL (and nearby Selma) should be on the list for the civil rights museums and monuments, Whitney Plantation in Louisiana for a balanced view of plantation life, Charleston for architecture and Civil War history.

Music? New Orleans, Memphis, Nashville.

Outdoors? Northern GA mountains, Natchez Trace Parkway, Alabama state and national parks.

Obviously there are many more places that could be added to each of these lists, but this is a starting point.
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Old Feb 2, 2023, 7:21 am
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Originally Posted by xooz
Well, still not clear on how active you and the ladies want to be, but here is something I would do
  • Go rafting on the Nantahala River.
I have a friend that works on the Nantahala. She would love that you suggested this.
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Old Feb 2, 2023, 10:55 am
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Originally Posted by wrp96
I have a friend that works on the Nantahala. She would love that you suggested this.
It's a fun trip. Not really technically challenging, though better on a hot day. That water is cold!!
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Old Feb 4, 2023, 10:21 am
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Thank you all - very good suggestions and ideas. Will take this to the ladies and let them decide.

One more thing - my wife cooks a lot at home -because she likes it and always tries local/regional foods in a new place we travel.

Looking at List of foods of the Southern United States - where are places in the South where we can try good quality local cuisine?
And it does not have to be a fancy place - the best food experience we had when tried street food all over the world.

Thanks again.
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Old Feb 5, 2023, 8:04 am
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Originally Posted by invisible
Looking at List of foods of the Southern United States - where are places in the South where we can try good quality local cuisine?
New Orleans (Creole and many other things, including Vietnamese and Viet-Cajun fusion). The small towns around Lafayette, LA (Cajun). Louisiana in general for insanely tasty food at gas stations. Memphis (BBQ). Charleston (Low Country). Lexington, NC (east Carolina BBQ) and western NC (west Carolina BBQ).

I can go on for weeks about the wonders of small-town dining in the South, including crazy good BBQ in tiny spots in Alabama and south central TX, hot tamales in Mississippi and Louisiana, etc., but that’s a whole thread in itself.
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Old Feb 5, 2023, 9:27 pm
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I can almost guarantee that wherever you decide on for a trip, there will be a ton of options and suggestions here on restaurants. Certainly, New Orleans is a no brainer for food. But Atlanta has some amazing restaurants. As noted above, almost every little town will have a good southern or local fare option.

When you decide a route, tell us and you will likely have more than enough suggestions for food.
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