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Civil War & BBQ Driving Tour of South

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My Dad (he's 72) would like to go on a 2-week trip through the "South" in April 2014. He thought that the visit would encompass Kentucky and Tennessee, but he wasn't exactly sure what made the most sense, but we might also want to consider the Carolinas and Georgia. We're originating the vacation in Palm Beach, so we can either start driving from there, or fly to a city from there. My Dad's interests are food (BBQ) and Civil War history.

If possible, we'd like to see if we can create a "base" where we can stay for a few days and have day trips from that location. There will be 7 people in total traveling (5 of us in our 40's) and we're all from the West Coast, so not very familiar with the area and how to best structure a trip.

So Southern USA experts, what's your advice? BTW, my Dad and I have been on a trip to New Orleans in the past, so we can leave that part of the "South" out.

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