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Road Trip from Houston, TX to Orlando, FL then to Durham, NC

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Hi everyone! I'm planning on a big road trip from Houston, TX to Durham, NC with my girlfriend in mid June, and I need some help on planning the routes as well as recommendation for attractions along the way.

My girlfriend will depart from Australia and arrive in Dallas around the first week of June.
It would probably take her a week to recover from the flight so I plan to start the trip around the 15th of June. I have to be in Durham,NC before July 8th, so we have about 21 days to waste. I will stay in Durham and she will fly from Durham back to Australia.

Our first destination would most likely to be Houston since she has some relatives there. The drive from Dallas to Houston is fairly short and we've done it before so it's not a big deal. We may spend a few nights in Houston at the relatives' place then continue to Orlando, FL.

From here, I'm pretty clueless on which route should we take to Orlando. Any advice on places to stop and economic hotels to stay would be greatly appreciated. We're universities graduates and energetic. My girlfriend is very into pets, adventures and photography, so I hope there are attractions on the way that can get her excited.

I've done some research, and so far here are possible places to stop:

New Orleans, LA
- French Quarter

Mobile
-U S S Alabama Battleship Commission (Not sure if my girl would like it)
-The Battle House Renaissance Mobile (Lots of recommendation to stay here, but it seems quite pricey though)

Pensacola
-Destin beach

Orlando, FL
-Disney World

(Could'nt find any recommendation for place to stop between Orlando and Durham)
Durham, NC


Let me know what you guys think. Thank you all in advance!

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