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Trip from texas to williamsburg VA with kids

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We are looking as a family to drive to visit friends and are trying to find ideas on food and points of interests in July. We are planning on taking a southern route and a northern route to and from. Leaning towards southern route first to hit New Orleans during 4th of july. We are looking for fun stops to break up long drives and food places that are good places for my wife's foodie cravings but my hole in wall stops as well. Planning on trying to eat a good meal more upscale in NO and Williamsburg area and likely Memphis area. Thougths also on kid friendly (ages 9,6 and 3) activities along the way. The route we use to and from is very flexible.

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    First of all, if you drove straight through, that's a 19-hour drive. With kids, I would say to do it in no less than 3 days so you can stop along the way. (DH and I made that drive 3 times last year...ugh...) If you have any interest at all in Civil War battlefields, you will be driving past some of the best aside from Gettysburg!

    Personally, I did not like the southern route as much as the northern route. The entire state of Alabama is extremely boring to drive through. Other than Birmingham and Tuscaloosa, its 6 hours of trees. We drove all the way to Atlanta the first day, and we really should have stopped in Birmingham or Talladega. Be VERY careful of the 55 mph speed limit from Talladega to the Georgia line. It's a notorious speed trap! If you insist on doing the southern route, there are lots of things to see and do in both Vicksburg MS and Atlanta.

    On the northern route, there are quite a few good places along the way to stop that you and your kids will enjoy. Memphis has the Pyramid, Mud Island and plenty of good BBQ restaurants. Just east of Knoxville is Gatlinburg, which has all sorts of shows, dining, hiking, nature, etc. (That's now on our list of places we want to vacation!)

    Definitely take NO OFF your list. If you look at a map, its a huge detour, and way off your beaten path. Also, NO in July is absolutely miserable. It's extremely hot, muggy, and Bourbon Street is less family-friendly than Las Vegas! If you and the wife want to go back without the kids, that would be a much better option. We spent a week there pre-Katrina, and its a really great place for adults who like fine dining and drinking and dancing 'till dawn!

    Colonial Williamsburg itself was really neat. Sadly, the dining in the taverns and even at the Inn wasn't gourmet, although the prices were. Look for my review here; we rented a Colonial House and absolutely loved it! You might also look at joining the Duke of Gloucester Society at Williamsburg to get 20% off your lodgings. It certainly came in handy for us!

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