Road Trip from NOLA to Charleston?


May 30th, 2017, 09:42 AM
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Road Trip from NOLA to Charleston?

Hi. I am toying with the idea of a road trip from NOLA (flying into NOLA from West Coast) and experiencing from there to Charleston (and flying back West from Charleston).
Am curious how long such a drive would take and what is recommended to see and stop along the way. I think I'd like to stop in Nashville, Memphis (but I don't know if there are hidden gems that I should stop and see). I've always wanted to check out the South and history is of interest, too. Likely less music/jazz and more history and food centered.
Any "must sees" along the way? Would it be doable in a week or how long would it take to get a taste of the area?
Thank you, in advance!
chaggers is offline  
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May 30th, 2017, 11:17 AM
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Do you have google?

Map your trips from destination to destination.

It's a lot of driving.

And no one knows what a "must see" is for you.

The South is not a monolith, despite what much of the rest of the country may believe, the history of each state is different.
BigRuss is offline  
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May 30th, 2017, 04:20 PM
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If you truly want to enjoy Charleston and NOLA just do them in the week you apparently have.
Gretchen is online now  
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May 30th, 2017, 07:37 PM
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A week is barely enough time for NOLA and Charleston, connected by plane. If you have more time consider driving the Natchez Trace Parkway.
thursdaysd is online now  
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May 31st, 2017, 02:55 AM
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The problem with sites that depend on crowd wisdom is that tastes differ.

Thursdaysd, with the greatest good will, tells you to drive the Natchez Trace Parkway. I find it one of the most tedious and artificial highways i have ever driven: no scenery but trees, no towns, nothing. I'm not putting her down. We just have different tastes.

I agree with those who say you don't have time for seeing NO and Charleston and driving between them.

You can see the two cities in a week (4 days NO, 2 days Charleston, 1 day flying) but the only way to do it by car would be road trip style:
Day 0 Arrive NO
Day 1 Mississippi and the Delta
Day 2 Memphis
Day 3 drive to Nashville
Day 4 Nashville
Day 5 Drive to Smoky Mountain NP
Day 6 Asheville, NC
Day 7 Drive to Charleston Airport, fly home
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May 31st, 2017, 05:22 AM
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@Ackislander - well, I certainly much prefer the Blue Ridge Parkway to the Natchez Trace, but I didn't find it true that there was nothing to see/do along the way, and I infinitely preferred it to interstates.
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May 31st, 2017, 09:26 AM
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Concur with Thursdaysd on the Natchez Trace AND the Blue Ridge Parkway, and concur with all that the OP really doesn't have time to see much in a week. However, if the idea is to get to Memphis, then the Natchez Trace would not be a good route, while the Blue Ridge would be a very good way to get from the Smokeys to Asheville.

However, Ackslander's itinerary would work if the OP had, say, two weeks--a few days in NOLA, driving per the above, then a few days in Charleston.

BUT the OP says he or she is not so interested in music, so let me suggest an alternative that concentrates more on history:

Day 1: Drive to Baton Rouge from NOLA and tour the state capitol, where Governor Huey Long was shot. You can still see the bullet marks on the marble walls. Take US Highway 61 to St. Francisville, LA. Charming little town. James Audobon spent a summer at nearby Oakley Plantation. Overnite in St. Francisville.

Day 2: Continue up Highway 61 to Natchez, MS---lots of Ante-Bellum homes. Then to Vicksburg and tour the Vicksburg National Battlefield site. Overnite Vicksburg.

Day 3: Take I20 to I55 at Jackson and go north to pick up the Natchez Trace Parkway. Continue northeast on the Parkway, crossing into Alabama until you come to US72. Then to Florence, Al. Lots to do around there, the top thing IMO is the Helen Keller Birthplace.

From there, take ALT72 to Huntsville, ALA, and tour the Huntsville Space and Rocket Center. Overnite in Huntsville or nearby.

Day 4: Continue to US72 to Scottsboro (nothing to see but it is historic) to Chattanooga, TN. Civil War battlefields, an Aquarium, a nice old southern city.

Then take US 75 south (stopping at Chickamauga National Battlefield or Kennesaw National Battlefield if you feel like it) and paralleling Sherman's March to Atlanta. Overnite Atlanta.

Day 5: Explore Atlanta. Nice History Museum, Civil Rights Museum, College Football Hall of Fame, another aquarium, Piedmont Park, Stone Mountain. Overnite Atlanta. My home.

Day 6: Take I20 east to Madison, GA: more antebellum homes. Then continue on I20 through Augusta, GA. If you are a golfer, you might stay and play at Augusta National.
Otherwise, continue on I20 to Columbia, S.C. Lots of history around there. Then either stay in Columbia or continue east a bit and stay where you can.

Day 7: Take I26 (or one of the parallel US highways) down to Charleston--several nice plantations around there, as well as Edisto Island, a secluded beach on the Atlantic Ocean. And lots of historical things in Charleston itself.

That's just one itinerary for you. You could also go to Montgomery, Selma, and Tuskegee Alabama, a bit farther south and then I85 to Atlanta or to Birmingham, AL, stopping at the Indian mounds nearby. Either of those would take about one overnite after leaving Vicksburg until arriving at Atlanta.

Or east on I10 to Mobile--a very charming southern town on the Gulf of Mexico--then along the Florida Panhandle clear to St. Augustine, FL and then north roughly parallel to the Atlantic Coast to Amelia Island, St. Simons Island, Savannah, Georgia, and then Charleston. That too you could do in a week.

Haven't said anything about food: most smaller towns have a "meat and three" (more usually two today) downhomey type restaurant, and most every smaller town has a barbecue place. And Mobile and the Florida Pandhandle has lots of seafood. If you decide to go through Atlanta, check back and I can give you my recos.
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Jun 1st, 2017, 02:12 AM
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Dwdvagamundo, that is a great trip!

The Louisiana State Capitol is not only historic, it is unexpectedly Art Deco.

We "discovered" Madison, GA on a "no interestate" trip from Florida to the Blue Ridge on US 441.

It was like Brigadoon. It was like the South of my childhood but better kept up. I was ready to move there. And there was a fantastic meat-and-three on the square with excellent food and a complete cross section of local people of both races, a major improvement over similar towns and cafes in my youth.

When we lived in Mississippi, we also enjoyed the Helen Keller birthplace in North Alabama. My wife lived in Chattanooga as a child and has lots of happy memories. Who can forget "See Seven States from Rock City?"

Your suggestion of a Civil Rights tour is also a good one and makes Atlanta a logical destination.
Ackislander is offline  
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Jun 1st, 2017, 03:54 AM
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If it's a civil rights tour then Montgomery has to be on it. Go to the Southern Poverty Law Center there and see Maya Lin's civil rights monument. I think it is the most effective use of a monument to tell the story of a movement--and the most moving.
Chattanooga is a great city to visit--not just for Rock City!!
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