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Jazzfest side trips

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I'm excitedly planning my first ever trip to Jazzfest in 2017. My wife and I are from Melbourne, Australia, and will be celebrating our 30th wedding anniversary in New York City in late April, then heading in different directions to tick a couple of things off our respective wishlists. Mine is Jazzfest, with a cherry on top of catching the City of New Orleans from Chicago to New Orleans. I intend to go to both weekends of Jazzfest, with a road trip in between, and another road trip after the second weekend. I fly out of LA the Friday after Jazzfest.

I'm a big music fan and have been to some of the South before. I've already seen Memphis, Nashville, Tupelo, Muscle Shoals, Clarksdale and a good part of the Mississippi Blues Trail. I've seen a lot of Mississippi, a little of Louisiana, a tiny bit of Alabama (basically just Muscle Shoals) and none of Texas.

So I'm thinking that the first road trip is going to be primarily to Alabama. I'm contemplating a 3-night loop that would take in Meridian MS (night 1), Selma and Montgomery (night 2), then Monroeville and somewhere around Mobile (night 3) before heading back to New Orleans.

For the second trip, I'd like to take a couple of days to get to Austin TX, then spend a couple of nights there before flying out to LA. I'm thinking the two nights to get there could be spent in Lake Charles, then Houston but I'm looking for any suggestions about places worth visiting or staying at along the way. I kind of like the idea of seeing Galveston, for no reason other than I'd like to "hear those sea waves crashing"! (Pathetic, I know, but you're corresponding with a guy who once wasted a few hours driving to Nutbush just to see if the people really did keep the city clean).

Any suggestions for either trip would be most welcomed. Apart from music, I like sites of historical interest and nice scenery. I know it won't be summer but I'm also a beach dweller, which is why I'm considering Mobile and to a lesser extent Galveston. If there are towns with notable boardwalks or beach walks, I'm interested.

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