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Southern USA Road Trip

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My boyfriend and I are planning a southern road trip mid April.
We have 19 days and are planning to start in Charleston and end in New Orleans.
So far we have identified a route of sorts and we were hoping that people on the forums could give us some feedback and advice.
The route so far is:

• Charleston, SC
• Savannah, GA
• Great Smoky Mountains, TN (around Gatlinburg)
• Nashville, TN
• Memphis, TN
• Vicksburg, MI
• Natchez, MI
• Lafayette, LA
• New Orleans, LA (we have this locked in for 4/5 days for the Jazz Fest)

What do you think? How many days should we give each stop? There are obviously some big destinations I am missing, namely Atlanta and all of Alabama! Are there any changes you would make? Replacements?
We are also toying with Mammoth Cave in Kentucky.
What about driving routes? Are there any you recommend that have stops of interest? We know we’ll be doing a lot of driving but we’re Australian’s and used to long hauls!
We are big on food when we travel and history and adore American National Parks though having said that I don’t think any of my stops really cover the civil rights movement.
Any feedback appreciated and if you have any suggestions of where to eat good Southern food along the way let us know.
Cheers, Gemma

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