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NEED IDEAS for Road Trip From MN to FL (Pan Handle)


Oct 25th, 2007, 05:32 AM
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NEED IDEAS for Road Trip From MN to FL (Pan Handle)

Hello All-

I will be taking a road trip from Minnesota to Panama City Beach, Florida the end of January and I am trying to figure out what way to go and what to see along the way. I don't know what there is to see along the way that would be fun. The only thing I thought of was going to the Jack Daniels Distillery (sp?) and taking that tour.

I need help with ideas PLEASE

Thanks All!
sweetsmn is offline  
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Oct 25th, 2007, 06:01 AM
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I did the Jack Daniels Distillery years ago and loved it. I would definately recommend that.

One thing we like to do is travel to different college campuses - college towns always have great restaurants and interesting sites.

Memphis is right on your route. If you haven't done Graceland - you have to do it. Really high on the cheesy-scale - but you will have great stories to tell everyone.

Also - going up in the Arch in St. Louis is fun - probably a nice stop on a road trip. Also try St. Charles - right near the St. Louis Airport - it's the lauching point of the Louis & Clark Expedition - cute little town to wander around in .

If you are interested in the Civil War - once you get down South to Mississippi or Alabama there's lots of battlefields and musuems to visit.

Birmingham has a pretty good art musuem and botanical gardens.

There's a million things to do!

SavTrav is offline  
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Oct 25th, 2007, 06:51 AM
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If you do pass near Birmingham (and the museum is very nice) go to Montgomery and visit the Southern Poverty Legal Center and its civil rights memorial designed by Maya Lin. It is probably one of the most effective memorials I have ever experienced/seen.
Gretchen is offline  
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Oct 25th, 2007, 06:59 AM
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I would suggest going to freetrip.com for routing, mileage, and hotels along the way. Then you can look into points of interest where you may want to stop.
ronkala is offline  
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Oct 28th, 2007, 12:49 PM
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It kind of depends on where you are starting, how much time you have, and how far off a direct route you want to travel. Depending on where you are starting in Minnesota going through Chicago may or may not be the best way to go. If it is convenient, I would definitely recommend it. While it might be a bit cold in Chicago in January, it is a fantastic city with a lot to offer any time of the year. You could also stop in Milwaukee, WI, which is quite pretty.

If you do go through Chicago, you could then go east and pick up I-65 in Gary, IN. There is no reason to go to Gary, IN, but if you go to Chicago, then this is the most direct route to Panama City from there and youíre passing through Gary almost immediately when you leave Chicago so you would not be stopping at this point anyway. This route would take you through Indianapolis, IN, Louisville, KY, then into Nashville, TN. There are things to do in all three of those cities.

Alternative, you could stop in Chicago and then go to Memphis on I-57, or even go through St. Louis first. But, if you are in Chicago, this is definitely not the most direct route.

If you travel from Minnesota through Madison, WI, and stay on the western side of IL, on I-55 an I-57, then at the southern tip of IL you must either go west to Memphis or east to Nashville. If you want to go to the Jack Daniels Distillery, choose this latter option.

Jack Daniels Distillery is in Lynchburg, TN, just south of Nashville. If you go here, youíll be on I-65 from Nashville, TN to Montgomery, AL, where youíll probably exit I-65 and head east for Panama City. You could also continue on I-65 to Mobile and then take I-10 to the panhandle. In addition to the other suggestions for Birmingham and Montgomery, Birmingham has a decent Civil Rights Museum. Also, you might want to stop at the Space and Rocket Center in Huntsville, AL.

If you choose to go through Memphis instead of Nashville, then you could continue on from Memphis to New Orleans, stop in New Orleans and then take I-10 from New Orleans to Panama City Beach. You would pass through Mobile, AL and not be far from the beautiful panhandle beaches such as Destin. This is definitely not the most direct route, but if you do choose to go through Memphis you might want to do this. The other alternative is taking 78 from Memphis to Birmingham, then I-65 from Birmingham to Montgomery. Or going to Memphis, and then driving east to Nashville from there so you can go to the distillery, and then getting on I-65. This would be my last choice. If it were me, I would not include both Memphis and Nashville.

Tell us where you are starting in Minnesota, how many days you have for travel from there to Panama City Beach and how much driving you want to do per day. For example, if youíre starting in Minneapolis, want to get to Panama City as quickly as possible, but want to limit your driving to around 8 hours a day, your first stop might be St. Louis (around 9 hours), and you skip Chicago. Your next stop would be Nashville (4 hours) and then south on I-65. Or your first stop might be Chicago (even though it would be somewhat out of the way, itís only around 6-7 hours from Minneapolis) and your next stop Nashville, around 7 hours drive from Chicago. That would break up the drive equally between your first two days. That is, if you donít stop in between, although there are a lot of options for that as well.

Give us some more information and weíll give you some more advice. I grew up in Chicago, lived in New Orleans for 8 years, and now live in Birmingham. I have also spent a lot of time on the beaches in the panhandle.

Good luck with your planning.
Dana_M is offline  
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Nov 28th, 2007, 05:33 AM
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Hello sweetsmn,

I hope this is not too late to make some recommendations about your trip to Florida.

I recently took my family on a great road trip from Atlanta GA down to Florida.

We took the road through Destin, which we instantly fell in love with - definitely worth a few days if you can afford the time.

We have used a great road trip planner by TripWiser - which really made the whole trip planning a fun experience.

Hope this helps,
Tomer H.
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Dec 9th, 2007, 11:30 AM
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Other things to do in St. Louis:
--STL zoo is great. Free admission.
--Art museum. Also free.
--Tour of Budweiser brewery. Might be a nice compliment to your tour of JD.
siena1 is offline  
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Dec 9th, 2007, 01:43 PM
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If your travels take you thru STL here are a couple of places.


RedRock is offline  
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Dec 11th, 2007, 08:49 AM
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In lieu of Jack Daniels, stop in Bardstown (Ky.) & check out Jim Beam & Makers Mark. Between the two you will see the entire spectrum of bourbon making & frankly the Jack Daniels tour isn't much. There is also the Corvette Museum near Bowling Green, Ky. Also like Danas suggestion of cruising down to NOLA.
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Dec 11th, 2007, 03:13 PM
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St.Louis!! Dear heavens. Just go ahead and make a loop through SanFran while you're headed west!!
Gretchen is offline  
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