2 Week Road Trip, Miami - Texas and back
Replies: 17 - Last Post: Oct 4, 2012 5:13 AM Last Post By: bzookaj
Aug 28, 2012 4:11 AM
We've got 2 weeks, flying into and out of Miami, and are looking to see as much as we can around the South / South-East in that time.
There's 3 of us, so chances are we'll do the bulk of the long drives overnight and take turns between stops.
Route suggested as follows:
Miami - Savannah - Atlanta - Nashville - Memphis - Jackson - New Orleans - Houston - Corpus Christi - San Antonio - Dallas - Montgomery - Tampa - Miami
Map here: http://goo.gl/maps/sa4Fo
It's quite a long way at ~4000 miles, but I don't see the driving being a huge problem.
Do you think this is too far, or where would you suggest missing out / adding in along the way?
Aug 28, 2012 4:23 AM
And your route is not optimal, as is clearly evident from that map.
Aug 28, 2012 4:29 AM
2Those locations aren't necessarily where we want to go, but we want to do a trip covering that sort of area, so just chose big city names to make up a rough direction.
Within that area, we are looking for beaches, national parks, nightclubs/nights out, good driving roads, local food / music - less interested in museums, art, history.
We want to enjoy the driving, and avoid incredibly boring highways if possible...distance isn't really a problem, as between 3 of us, we're all very used to driving a long way. Happy for some nights to be spent sleeping in the car if it's worth getting straight to somewhere along a boring road!
Aug 28, 2012 4:35 AM
Consider this rough route instead.
Aug 28, 2012 5:07 AM
Aug 28, 2012 8:11 AM
The only fly in that ointment is the fact that you won't see anything driving at night.
If you are driving a rental you do know that there is an extra charge for additional drivers don't you?
Aug 28, 2012 10:41 AM
7if you are flying into Miami, and want to take in the beaches, clubs and nightlife Southbeach has to offer, say 3 nights, then move on, you now have 11 days. It is an entire days drive just get out of Florida to the west, not sure why you want to go to Tampa?
So to drive from Miami to New Orleans would be 2 days, now you have 9 days, NO deserves 2-3 nights, now you have 6 days. Driving to Memphis is 8 hours, Nashville is 12 hours. Now you have 5 days, visit the respective city 2 days. Now you have 3 days, and its a 2 day drive back to Miami.
So, I suggest the following- Skip Texas, not worth the long drive nor that great, though I love Austin. Culturally speaking and also a nice scenic drive overall, compared to the very boring drive in Florida/Alabama and Texas (super boring), I suggest you focus on going up the coast, from Miami to St Augustine, then to Savannah, Charleston is very nice and enjoyable, all 4 days there, then to Asheville, the Smokeys Mountains, and then back to Florida via Atlanta.
If you want to see New Orleans, then allow 2 days travel each way, then head to Smokeys via Memphis/Nashville and then Charleston and back down to Florida, but even that, is a lot of fricking driving on interstates, with nothing but McDonals and Burger Kings...
Driving at night, int he nice areas, would defeat the reason to drive all this?
Why are you going to Miami anyway, why not fly into NYC or Wash DC, far more to do and see in those areas, than Miami and Florida...that is very out of the way...
Aug 28, 2012 11:53 AM
Aug 28, 2012 6:34 PM
What are real 'must-sees' along each route?
#8 essentially described what I mapped.
Aug 29, 2012 2:27 AM
Aug 30, 2012 10:51 AM
11Beaches in Texas (except, perhaps, the southern tip of S. Padre) are ugly. Think dead seaweed and rotting fish. I have been to Corpus Christi many times, and can whole-heatedly say skip it.
While you are at it, why not skip Texas altogether? It is a very long way from Miami, and there are plenty of things closer by. There are some merits to it, but not enough to make it worth your limited time. It isn't worth the drive just to see Austin. Stop at New Orleans.
Aug 30, 2012 1:58 PM
12Beaches west of the Mississippi River are muddy and no surf to speak of.
Aug 30, 2012 4:37 PM
13East Texas has little to offer most travelers, and beyond Houston most of the state is culturally and geographically much more similar to the US Southwest than it is to the rest of the South. Austin is a magnificent city, but Texas generally doesn't seem to fit the vibe of the rest of your trip. I agree that you should truncate your trip and not try to push past the Mississippi.
Sep 1, 2012 11:50 AM
I have traveled extensively through 26 of the United States, and I must confess; driving from Texas to Florida isn't the idyllic road trip. You'll be driving through flat land the entire time, encountering pine forests and such. You'll have the most fun in Miami and Miami Beach - it's one of the wildest places I've ever seen, and if you're into partying, cultural vibrancy, a different variety of music, dining and dancing, Miami is for you. The ocean is beautiful and warm, the men sport six-packs, the women are sculpted and exotic in brilliantly-colored bikinis and the buildings are ultra-modern. I'd say, personally, forget the rest of Florida. My second favorite city there was Gainesville, a college city almost in the middle of Florida that had a pretty cool vibe. Panama City is alright.
(Please forgive me, audience, readers, writers and travelers, if my personal opinion doesn't coincide with your own vision, and feel free to paint the vivid colors of your locales and hot spots.)
And don't forget this - driving is never as easy as it may seem, even if the drivers switch places and take turns, and especially if you're looking at a staggering 4,000 mile trip. You are guaranteed to encounter boring highways. However, if you're still sticking by that statement, I recommend driving along the bridge that connects the Key Islands. Key West is at the end of the 130 mile drive, but I strongly recommend it. Duval Street offers everything you're looking for, and the drive itself isn't tedious for the encompassing view of the most beautiful waters North America has to offer. You could rent bikes for just $10.00 each for an entire day, and explore the island in that manner. It's also fun, and sports an extreme party vibe during Spring Break. I'm not sure of the partying during other times of the year, but Duval Street, the main drag, is always lively, and offers great restaurants, bars and clubs. It has a more Spanish feel to it, as it is only ninety miles from Cuba, and chickens and roosters are free to roam the streets; they're harmless and amusing to observe. Cruise ships come and go continuously, and it's fun to watch.
As for the rest of your schedule, you should enjoy each new city you see, but it certainly won't be as impressible.
There are some mountains close to Nashville, and encountering the stomping ground of legendary American musicians should be cool in Memphis.
Lousiana is very much like Texas, except in some respects, more green and muggy.
Austin and South Padre Island are my favorite places in Texas. Forget Corpus Christi and Galveston - those beach cities aren't worthy to call themselves beach cities. Spend your time in Miami for that. Austin is sometimes called the "Music Capitol of the World" and it's only, so far, proving to be true. (SXSW only the most prominent example.) Musicians abound in Austin, and even if you only go to an open mic, you're sure to see some up and coming talent. Austin is eco-friendly, intent upon education (UT Austin is in the middle of downtown, and the liveliness the students exude is catching!), art, humanities, literature, music, and much more - Sixth Street knows how to throw a party, and you can see history throughout the Texas's capitol, along with its modern developments.
As for sleeping in the car, it is doable. In fact, most Walmarts across the United States allow RVs and traveling vehicles, such as a lone car, to spend one night in their parking lot. Just buy a $2.00 sun screen for privacy, and if you're uncertain, feel free to ask the security guard driving about the premises. This is an excellent alternative to saving money by not spending it on a single night at a motel/hotel, and I think it's admirable in the passionate, young traveler opting for an authentic, expanded experience.
Motel 6 is also affordable, and very laidback. You could easily pay for a single adult, and the staff at Motel 6 would most likely not notice or care if all of you slept in the room, as long as you were discreet. The excellent thing about Motel 6 is that you can check in at any time (as early as 6 AM if there are clean rooms), and your checkout time would still be 12 PM Noon the next day. If you were tired from the driving and sleeping in the car, this is a good way to unwind and rejuvenate. Motel 6 offers free coffee in the morning (feel free to bring your own coffee cup/container) and generally, Motel 6 is safe and good quality for the price. A no-frills establishment.
Hope you have an awesome trip, and best of luck! :)
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