Philadelphia to New Orleans in October
Replies: 12 - Last Post: Jun 15, 2012 5:15 PM Last Post By: bzookaj
Jun 14, 2012 11:56 AM
My friend (25) and I (24) are going on a road trip from Philadelphia to New Orleans from (flying in to Philadelphia from Heathrow)12th October - 26th October (Flying out from New Orleans to Heathrow). This is an early proposed map of our road trip map:
A lot of our stop off points were selected at random so we're looking for some advice on tactical yet fun places to stop on the way.
Jun 14, 2012 1:11 PM
1You need to post this on the USA Branch, as this is Guatemala to Panama...I asked the moderators to move it for you, hopefully they will get to it.
But looking at your planned route, I would suggest skipping Lexington, and focusing on the Asheville NC area, Biltmore Estate, then one of the prettiest drives in this area of the US, and the Blue Ridge Parkway, via a night and a day drive thru the Smokey Mountain National Park. This park is best visited on weekdays and weekends in the fall with the fall foliage and colors makes it a popular place to say least in Oct. You can still hit Memphis from there if you're wanting a fix of Elvis and Mississippi blues...
The other area you may be interested in as far as the American Civil war would be Gettysburg PA, but there are also other important battle sites and historical markers on this route as well. The Appalachian train which basically runs along the route from PA/NJ to the Smokeys, is some stunning scenery and state and national parks. Camping could be an option tough it can be a tad cold in the elevated areas in Oct, you never know, but thought I would I would throw that out there.
One of my favorite areas in the Blue Ridge Parkway is Asheviile, this is a rather trendy and hip liberal town with lots of good places to eat and drink, in addition to the formal estate of the Biltmore, also, the Mt Pisbah area and lodge, great hiking along the highest point on the drive is a postcard of scenery and vistas, make your way to Bryson City and then drive the Smokey Mountain Park from south to north, and if you really want to have good drive, is the Tail of the Dragon, the most curvy road in the eastern USA, drive it back south, with a ton of motorcycles, then head west/southwest from there...
Have fun, thats is prime time for fall colors in the mountains...
Jun 14, 2012 1:39 PM
We are definitely going to do the Blue Ridge Parkway. I have been to Gettysburg a few times so I think we are going to give it a miss this time around. We're looking into renting a cabin for a couple of days as it may work out less expensive than buying all of the camping gear when we get out there (http://www.rockyknobcabins.com).
I have altered the map a little after your recommendations:
Let me know what you think
Oh and sorry for posting it in the wrong section, I could have sworn I clicked USA!
Jun 14, 2012 1:43 PM
3Just read that Asheville has 6 breweries, we'll have to spend the night there!!
Jun 14, 2012 1:58 PM
4You might want to consider getting off the interstate once you close in on the W Virginia and N Carolina areas, the side roads are really a nice drive, takes more time but also takes you into the backcountry and culture...
Bluegrass music from the old days is still performed live in many areas too, in addition to Rockabilly, lots of picking and fiddling...
Jun 14, 2012 7:19 PM
Jun 14, 2012 11:15 PM
Jun 15, 2012 7:15 AM
7Some random observations about things you may not know about, in the approximate order you encounter them:
Near Hagerstown is Antietam (which I'm sure you know about) and Harper's Ferry (which I'm not sure that you do).
Ever been to Charlottesville, Virginia, home of Jefferson's Monticello and the University of Virginia? Those two together constitute the other UNESCO heritage site on your route.
I take it you're driving past Shenandoah National Park rather than through it for a reason. (If you're going to the Smokies, Shenandoah would be a bit duplicative, I admit, but unless you've been there before there's no reason not to detour into the park and do a stretch of Skyline Drive. There's also no reason to do the entirety of Skyline Drive; one scenic overloook starts looking just like the next after about an hour or so. Just look at your map and plan ahead.)
I ditto the suggestion above regarding Mammoth Cave.
My usual Mississippi advice is to go Clarksdale - Vicksburg - Natchez - New Orleans. Vicksburg and Natchez are both interesting.
Edited by: mrpenney (to correct brain fart)
Jun 15, 2012 11:06 AM
8What is "fun" to you? History? Art? Hikes? Bikes? Music? Food? Night clubs? Strip clubs? Remember, we don't know you, and what we like may be what you hate.
History, Food, Music, Bars Night clubs in no particular order. I lived in Plattsburgh, NY for a year and I would like to experience something totally different. I am definitely booking an apartment at the Ground Zero Blues Club in Clarksdale for one of the nights and we are going to stay in a lodge on the Blue Ridge Parkway. I also would like to go to Asheville, NC due to a previous recommendation by SoloHobo. We only have 14 days there so we really need to make sure that we don't make our 'things to do list' unattainable.
Jun 15, 2012 11:21 AM
Mammouth Cave sounds good and we'll look into the skyline drive. I know some people in Hagerstown, that's why I put it on the map so I'll look into Antietam at the same time.
Vicksburg - Natchez - New Orleans. Vicksburg and Natchez are both interesting. I'll look into these!
Jun 15, 2012 12:04 PM
10Did you say how much time you have?
Frederick, Maryland is worth a stop (over Hagerstown), and it's near Cunningham State Park (waterfalls, swimming hole, hiking) and Catoctin National Park (they're adjacent). There's a museum of Civil War medicine in Frederick, along with nice shops and restaurants/bars.
Try to avoid Route 81 as much as possible. It's dangerous--full of big trucks--and boring. Meandering through Virginia on smaller roads is beautiful and fun.
Jun 15, 2012 2:10 PM
Jun 15, 2012 5:15 PM
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