Southern East Coast road trip

Old Aug 8th, 2011, 08:41 AM
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Southern East Coast road trip

Hello all. I am planning a road trip with my Mom (I am 27, she is 53 but our interests are very similar) in April of next year. I'm trying to be as prepared as possible so looking for help and ideas. We will be driving from central Oklahoma where we live to St. Louis first, then through Kentucky and on to Virginia Beach, VA. From there we'd like to drive down the coast and see NC, SC, GA, and from Jacksonville, FL go to Panama City then New Orleans then back home. I'm at the very beginning stages of this trip so any suggestions would be fantastic! Am I being unrealistic to think we can actually drive down the coast? From what I've seen so far I need to avoid I-95 but the other maps I've seen show me plenty of ways to head south. We will have 10 days total for the entire trip from start to finish.
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Old Aug 8th, 2011, 09:06 AM
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Drive down Cape Hatteras from Kitty Hawk to Okracoke including a couple ferries. From Okracoke take the ferry to Cedar Island and take US 17 south from there.
You won't be able to spend much time in any one place.
Flying to BWI renting a car and driving south would save days of driving from OK. Fly back to St. Louis if you want to see the city and the Gateway Arch.
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Old Aug 8th, 2011, 09:58 AM
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Thank you! Our original plan was to fly to save time but I don't think it is within my budget. What is BWI?
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Old Aug 8th, 2011, 01:48 PM
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That is a LOT of driving. I really like a good road trip, but if you want to really see any of these places you'll need more time. BWI is Baltimore. I think I'd pick flying into Raleigh to avoid DC traffic.
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Old Aug 8th, 2011, 02:46 PM
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10 days ? You aren't going to see much except freeways & gas stations. That has to be (@ least) 3000 miles. If Virginia Beach is a must, I would concentrate on that immediate part of the Coast & include OBX or NC beaches & perhaps Asheville or Louisville, en route & that will still be a long trip for that time frame.
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Old Aug 8th, 2011, 02:46 PM
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That equates to roughly 6 hours of driving, every single day.
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Old Aug 9th, 2011, 05:59 AM
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I agree--lots of driving! 10 days is all we will have because of kids/grandkids etc. so maybe we should change our plan? What do you all suggest to cut time and see as much as possible? The must-sees for us are along the coastline so any of the other stops can be sacrificed. I figure 4 of the days will be solid travel from home and back to home...
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Old Aug 9th, 2011, 06:51 AM
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Oh my. You are going to be doing nothing but driving. I'm not one to usually say you're doing too much but in this case you really are trying to do too much.

First of all decide on what area you want to concentrate. If you want to see the NC and SC coast then focus on that. If you want to see a little history and some nice beaches then perhaps throw in Williamsburg, maybe Richmond and Jamestown along with the Virginia Beach area and then explore the North Carolina coast. You can probably get into South Carolina, too. There are some nice beaches in South Carolina.

If you're interested in Florida then focus on Florida and hit New Orleans on the way home. I don't think you can do everything on your list in 10 days. Drive time from Oklahoma to the east coast is probably 2 days each way so you're down to just 6 days.

I would start checking for cheap flights. You might be surprised at how inexpensive some flights are. For example I'm looking into a Boston to Charlotte round trip. It's $82 each way. So there are deals out there and with the price of gas it might not be that much more money to fly. Of course then you have to rent a car but again there are deals. I think you can even rent a car through Priceline. Look at flying into Dulles or Richmond if you're interested in starting in Virginia.
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Old Aug 9th, 2011, 10:44 AM
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I'm starting to think so too. I have looked for flight deals and the cheapest I have found is $390 per person round trip from OKC to Raleigh. We could rent a car there and drive down the coast and back but my Mom is not too keen on that idea. I'll be honest with the fact that my budget is only $2500-so that also puts a huge gap in the plans. Maybe this is not even possible which makes me so sad
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Old Aug 9th, 2011, 12:01 PM
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Don't despair! Amtrak can get you from OKC to Rocky Mount NC for $290 per person. OKC to FTW, FTW to CHI, CHI to WAS and WAS to RMT. You get into Rocky Mount about midnight on the Silver Meteor on the third day. You would have layovers in Chicago and Washington DC. If you wanted to return by Amtrak it might pay to get a 15 day USA Railpass for each of you. Amtrak.com
I am widely traveled on Amtrak but never traveled the Heartland Flyer to Oklahoma City
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Old Aug 9th, 2011, 01:37 PM
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Get on kayak & start looking @ flights to RDU (I believe Southwest flies there), ILM (Wilmington), CLT or Charleston. It is only a little over 3 hours to the beaches from CLT. That time of year, many places to stay will be inexpensive. I would also explore cottages and such via vrbo.com. That would also be a cheaper alternative & allow you the ability to cook your own food, etc.
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