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mamabearUK Jan 3rd, 2015 12:05 AM

Roadtrip in the deep south in August?
HI guys.....we are seasoned road trippers who enjoy putting in the miles to explore a region. We are planning flying to Atlanta and driving through Nashville, Memphis, Natchez. Lafayette, New Orleans, Montgomery, and possibly Savannah and Charleston taking three weeks. The distance is Ok as we're used to it but what worries me is the heat and humidity and the hurricane season. We've been to Utah and Arizona at that time of year which was fine apart from Las Vegas! Are we bonkers?

Ackislander Jan 3rd, 2015 03:27 AM

Unless you are very unlucky you are not very likely to have to bother about hurricanes. If they are around, you will know their likely track days in advance and ca get out of the way. Do not decide that it would be great to experience the thrill of a hurricane. It might be deadly, and it will certainly be inconvenient as power and roads will be disrupted, so you can't really "enjoy" the storm, then get away.

Every place you mention on your trip will have tropical humidity and daily thunderstorms, after which the sun comes out and makes it more humid. Nashville is the one exception. It has a very pleasant climate.

How do I know this? I lived in Mississippi for 7 years. In Jackson, it was roughly 93 F (31 C?) every day from June through mid-September with humidity to match. Natchez, Birmingham, and Memphis will be about the same, New Orleans, Savannah and Charleston will be more humid though Charleston may have a sea breeze, for what it is worth.

Gretchen Jan 3rd, 2015 03:46 AM

If you are doing a RT from Atlanta, you might check on Charlotte as a hub instead. I think with that "loop" you would do less backtracking to get back to Atlanta. You also might see about an open jaw to Memphis or Nashville and out of Charleston or even Charlotte (3.5 drive from Charleston).
There are a number of threads with this basic itinerary on the site at the moment.
If you start in Charlotte you can add Asheville to your tour for a day or so.

Ackislander Jan 3rd, 2015 04:23 AM

Good advice from Gretchen.

Asheville, western North Carolina, north Georgia, and the piedmont and Blue Ridge Mountain areas of South Carolina (Greenville and the parts north and west of there) also have decent summer weather, particularly above 1500 meters. You can see a lot of mountains in these areas and Nantahala National Forest without venturing into the tourist hells of Gatlinburg and Cherokee.

The music tradition is Bluegrass rather than Country or the Blues, so you might google for Bluegrass festivals.

thursdaysd Jan 3rd, 2015 05:19 AM

I live in central NC and there is absolutely no way I would do the route you outline in August. Or June or July, for that matter. If it has to be August in the south, the suggestion of visiting the mountains is good, although you do need to be high enough. Drive the Blue Ridge Parkway instead of the Natchez Trace Parkway - the views are better, anyway.

janisj Jan 3rd, 2015 06:59 AM

>>We've been to Utah and Arizona at that time of year which was fine apart from Las Vegas!<<

Absolutely NO comparison. It is actually hotter in the Southwest . . . BUT there is usually little to no humidity

Where you want to tour will feel 30 or 40 degrees hotter because of the humidity. Not kidding. It is MUCH more miserable @ 85F/85% humidity then @ 110F/15% and you could very well get 95F/90% which is absolutely enervating.

I'd never do that trip at that time of year . . . ever.

starrs Jan 3rd, 2015 07:10 AM

"Are we bonkers? "


Maybe in the days before A/C, but "bonkers" to take this trip today? Not at all.

I think your original routing is fine. I'd add Chattanooga on the way to Nashville. I agree with others to add Asheville to your loop after Savannah/Charleston. Spend some time in the north GA mountains in the higher elevations before you fly out of Atlanta. Lots to see and do. Less than 2 hours from the airport the temps never got over 80 degrees last year - with virtually no humidity. Savor the differences and enjoy the breezes in the coastal cities.

The mileage is not out of line for three weeks. Hurricanes won't be a problem. It will probably be hot with high humidity but that's life for a lot of us. We survive...and have great skin too. :-)

"I'd never do that trip at that time of year . . . ever."
There's a lot of trips that janisj would not take...ever.
Different strokes for different folks. :-)

janisj Jan 3rd, 2015 07:16 AM

This trip would be fine if you never step outside of air conditioning.

>>There's a lot of trips that janisj would not take…ever.<<

Very few actually --

thursdaysd Jan 3rd, 2015 07:34 AM

If you spend all of your time indoors or in a car with AC it is certainly possible to survive a southern summer in reasonable comfort. But it is not fun. Last year the summer wasn't as bad as usual, but my British sister who visited me at the end of July certainly found it far too hot and humid.

starrs Jan 3rd, 2015 07:49 AM

It is possible to enjoy a southern summer AND go outside. Yes, it is hot and humid. Somehow we survive, just as others survive cold and rainy.

mamabearUK, I hope you don't cancel your trip. You'll have a good time and you'll survive. We all do. Despite what others say, you'll also enjoy your trip. Save any hikes you do for the cooler, higher elevations. Otherwise, just enjoy.

starrs Jan 3rd, 2015 07:58 AM

If you don't take this trip because of that reason, whatever you do DON'T go to Mexico, the Caribbean or anywhere in the tropics! Beware! Danger, Will Robinson!

Ackislander Jan 3rd, 2015 08:27 AM

Starrs, I almost always agree with you, but there is such a thing as acclimatisation and our many British visitors are simply not acclimated to the kinds of temperatures one experiences in the Deep South .

Gretchen Jan 3rd, 2015 09:37 AM

central NC and there is absolutely no way I would do the route you outline in August. Or June or July, for that matter.
I also live in central NC == silly.

Please. Yes, hot and humid is possible, and maybe even probable. Not taking a great trip because of that IS bonkers, IMO, and I HATE summer heat!! What about the heat of NYC--inescapable!!
Honest, living in it, and choosing to tour in it I think is different. There is plenty of AC and ways to get out of the heat on a trip like this.

starrs Jan 3rd, 2015 09:40 AM

Ack, righto.
India comes to mind.

starrs Jan 3rd, 2015 09:41 AM

Africa too.
Virgin Islands

kayd Jan 3rd, 2015 10:03 AM

An English visitor to Virginia in an especially steamy August told me it was the worst weather he had experienced since his WWII service in the jungles of Southeast Asia.

thursdaysd Jan 3rd, 2015 10:22 AM

Seems to me that living in it is <i>preferable</i> to touring. If you're touring places like Savannah and Charleston and New Orleans you're going to want to be outside.

starrs Jan 3rd, 2015 12:42 PM

I change my mind. Avoid it. Avoid it like the plague!

starrs Jan 3rd, 2015 01:12 PM

Someone needs to tell Walt he was bonkers for buying all that acreage in an orange grove. NO one in their right mind will come to WDW (or any additional parks) in the Deep South in the summer! Bonkers!

flpab Jan 3rd, 2015 02:33 PM

We have the beach, cool pools, rivers and oceans. Many restaurants that have outside seating have misters. All our stores, cars and hotels have great ac. If you can take Vegas you should have no problem with the south. Vegas is dry but like my head is in an oven hot in May. We also have great soft skin from our humidity. I live on the coast of Fl and have not seen a tropical storm in years let alone a hurricane. We do get some horrible thunder storms but so do you. I just hate bugs so get bug spray. Savannah has the lovely Tybee Island a few miles from the city. Go there for sure. I am not so crazy about Mississippi or Alabama but not because of the heat.

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