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Driving from Florida to New Orleans

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We are planning on spending 3 days driving from Homosassa to New Orleans and would like to avoid the Interstate as much as possible and stay in places with character like local B&Bs. So far, we're thinking of driving along the coast and breaking our journey with overnight stays in Apalachicola, FL and Fairhope, AL (or maybe Magnolia Springs nearby).

However, being a Brit and knowing very little about the area at all I have a few questions for any people with local knowledge that might be able to help please!

1) Does the journey sound 'do-able' in the 3 days and would those towns be appropriate stop off points along the way?
2) Any suggestions of things to see/places to stop and see during the drive?
3) It is likely we would arrive in Fairhope on a Sunday. Will places be open?
4) We'll be there in December. Are we mad?

Any advice gratefully received! Thanks!

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