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  1. #1

    Default Chasing Cars: Talladega (and the South East)

    Hi there, been reading the site for ages and it has finally inspired me to make my first post! Was hoping to be spending approx three months doing a lap of the States but, due to circumstances beyond my control, this fell through this time. However I have booked two trips this year and can't wait to get going!

    The first of the trips will be in a couple of weeks time and will be pretty brief! We'll be flying from London Gatwick to Atlanta on 28th April and returning on the evening of the 7th May. 'We' is me and my friend Simon who is 25. We'll be hiring a car for the duration.

    We're planning on stopping in the Atlanta area until (very) early morning on the 30th when we'll be heading to the Nascar race at the Talladega Superspeedway. We also have booked tickets to watch some baseball in Atlanta on the evening of 1st May. We're gonna head to the Six Flags park on one of the days and would maybe like to go to a gig if there's any decent bands playing in the area.

    Rough idea is to camp in the Atlanta area for the first few days and then move on to the Great Smoky Mountain area for a couple of days and then Myrtle Beach before returning to Atlanta itself for the final night. We will be camping to save money and would welcome suggestions for decent campgrounds. We don't really need too many facilities but we would want somewhere with clean hot showers and, ideally a bar within a short walk :)

    We'd also welcome suggestions for places we 'must do' in the area - we're pretty open for suggestions!
    Last edited by UKCraig; 04-14-2006 at 05:17 AM.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 1998
    Location
    Las Vegas, Nevada
    Posts
    10,059

    Default Brits on a roll

    Quote Originally Posted by Craig Antill
    Hi there, been reading the site for ages and it has finally inspired me to make my first post!
    Well, that is very cool and Welcome to the Great American RoadTrip Forum. Thanks too for the info about the Cotswolds visit being planned by AZbuck.
    Was hoping to be spending approx three months doing a lap of the States but, due to circumstances beyond my control, this fell through this time
    There is always going to be a "next time".
    We're planning on stopping in the Atlanta area until (very) early morning on the 30th when we'll be heading to the Nascar race at the Talladega Superspeedway. We also have booked tickets to watch some baseball in Atlanta on the evening of 1st May. We're gonna head to the Six Flags park on one of the days and would maybe like to go to a gig if there's any decent bands playing in the area.
    Sounds like much of your time is already spoken for -- unfortunately, I have never been able to spend much time around either Atlanta or Myrtle Beach, so I hope one of our local members jumps in here soon.

    Here is a link to a map of the State Park system in South Carolina On your drive over to the coast the Lone Star Barbecue in Santee has come highly recommended and if you have time for a paddle you might find the trails along the Edisto trail a nice change of pace.

    Mark
    Last edited by Quebec Gen; 04-16-2006 at 05:14 PM. Reason: typo

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Tucson, AZ
    Posts
    9,358

    Default An Alternative Shoreline

    Welcome aboard the RoadTrip America forum.

    Is there a specific reason you're going to Myrtle Beach? It is, of course the centerpiece of the "Grand Strand" of South Carolina and relatively accessible from either Atlanta or the Great Smoky Mountains. But, if you are looking for camping near the beach and a quieter venue, I'd suggest Edisto Beach State Park with camping on the beach. The park does have minimal facilities, but these include showers and rest rooms as well as a small store and a few cabins available. It is also within easy day trip distance of Charleston, a uniquely charming southern city that would be a wonderful addition to any trip. There have been a number of threads on these forums regarding Charleston and you might want to use the 'Search' function to see what's been recommended for visitors.

    AZBuck

  4. #4

    Default

    Thanks to you both for your suggestions. I have just seen the weather forecast for Atlanta and I really can't wait to get away now -- I'm off to town shortly to buy some shorts! haha

    Will have a chat with Simon about the suggestions but they sound good. We did a similar trip to the Toronto area last June and pretty much made it up on the fly once we were on the ground. This idea of dedciding on the spur of the moment is something we'd like to repeat but I think it's perhaps important to have an idea what we're doing... but that's cos I'm the older sensible one... supposedly :p

    I have found a campground near Atlanta which looks good: Stone Mountain Park They talk of 'comfort stations' - do I understamd that right in that these would have showers? I'll contact the park directly but I am off out shortly and will not get a chance to call them for a day or so...

    Not overly sure why we're thinking of Myrtle Beach in particular - though it is possible my travelling companion has something specific in mind. Will report back :)

    So rough guide will be something like this:

    Fri 28th Apr - Arrive, pick up car, have brief look at Atlanta and then drive to Stone Mountain park to set up camp.
    Sat 29th Apr - Six Flags. Overnight back at Stone Mountain.
    Sun 30th Apr - Leave early and drive to Talladega Speedway for Nascar race. Overnight back at Stone Mountain.
    Mon 1st May - Visit Atlanta again for a proper look around. Atlanta Braves vs Colorado Rockies at 1930. Overnight back at Stone Mountain.
    Tues 2nd May - Break camp and drive to Great Smoky Mountain National Park (need to find campground)
    Weds 3rd May - Great Smoky Mountain National Park (need to find campground)
    Thurs 4th May - Break camp and head east. Set up camp at Edisto Beach campground.
    Fri 5th May - Visit Myrtle Beach & Charleston. Overnight at Edisto Beach campground
    Sat 6th May - Return to Stone Mountain campground. Lasershow at 2130
    Sun 7th May - Final look around Atlanta, shopping and head for airport.

    Please do feel free to chip in with suggestions/ideas - they'll be more than welcome :) The only dates set in stone so far are the two sporting events.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Keithville, LA
    Posts
    638

    Default Jealous of NASCAR Race

    I can't help much with that area of the country, but I'd suggest heading to Talledaga earlier than Sunday morning. There are usually so many things to do and see at races and you are also generally asked to be at the racetrack several hours before the race.

    Wave a big #2 for me!

    Laura

  6. #6

    Default

    Hi Laura
    Thanks for your note. Personally I agree that perhaps we're cutting it a bit fine there... but we were keen to base ourselves at one location for the first part of the trip due to the hassle of moving camp. We thought that leaving very early - perhaps 0400 or so - would be the best bet. Having said that I dont seem to actually know what time the race is flagged away right now :s

    I did the Daytona 500 back in 2002 and was staggered how easy it was to drive from Kissimmee to the parking lot at the venue... for someone who is more used to the British Grand Prix or Le Mans 24hrs it was a revelation! (although a rather stroppy State Trooper did try and ram our car after I did a U-turn in traffic...!) And this speedy journey to the circuit has influenced the idea of going on the day. If you really dont think it's do-able then we'll look at it again - the last thing we want to do is miss the start of the race having travelled so far!

    One other thing that jumps out at me - is it a bad idea to do Six Flags on Saturday? I can only really go on experiences with European parks but perhaps the queues would be excessive being that we'd be there on the weekend? Perhaps we should swap this for a day looking round Atlanta and hit Six Flags on Monday instead, before heading to the game in the evening?

  7. #7

    Default

    urgh! Just checked with Edisto Beach and they are booked for the dates that we'll be looking for :( Really like the idea of an oceanside site though - any other suggestions? I have found several campsites that have oceanside spaces in Myrtle Beach but they are just huge great places that appear to cram everyone in real tight. Would prefer somewhere a little quieter...?

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Tucson, AZ
    Posts
    9,358

    Default Camping Options

    Another state park with near-beach camping is Hunting Island State Park. This is a bit farther south on the coast, but is also very popular and may be fully booked, but is worth checking out. There are also a couple of state parks up near Myrtle Beach: Huntington Beach and Myrtle Beach State Parks, but these will almost surely be completely full-up. Other than these, you're probably left with commercial campgrounds that do tend to try to pack 'em in.

    AZBuck

  9. #9

    Default

    Thanks AZBuck.

    I have been looking myself and have literally just booked an excellent looking site which is right on the ocean at Huntington Beach... excellent stuff!

    So the slightly revised schedule is more like this:

    Fri 28th Apr - Arrive, pick up car, have brief look at Atlanta and then drive to Stone Mountain park to set up camp.
    Sat 29th Apr - Six Flags (1000-2100). Overnight back at Stone Mountain.
    Sun 30th Apr - Leave early and drive to Talladega Speedway for Nascar race. Overnight back at Stone Mountain.
    Mon 1st May - Visit Atlanta again for a proper look around. Atlanta Braves vs Colorado Rockies at 1930. Overnight back at Stone Mountain.
    Tues 2nd May - Break camp and drive to Great Smoky Mountain National Park (need to find campground)
    Weds 3rd May - Great Smoky Mountain National Park (need to find campground)
    Thurs 4th May - Break camp and head east. Set up camp at Huntington Beach campground
    Fri 5th May - Visit Myrtle Beach & Charleston. Overnight at Huntington Beach campground
    Sat 6th May - Return to Stone Mountain campground. Lasershow at 2130
    Sun 7th May - Final look around Atlanta, shopping and head for airport.

    I had, as per previous thought above, intended to move the Six Flags visit to the Monday but they are closed then. Hey ho.

    So it looks like we're getting somewhere with the help of this site - excellent! Please people keep the suggestions coming!
    Last edited by UKCraig; 04-15-2006 at 12:10 PM.

  10. Default

    I live in Atlanta so I can probably be of some help.

    I've been to Stone Mountain a few times (though not to camp) but from what i've seen of it I would highly recommend it as it is only about 30 minutes from downtown atlanta (depending on traffic of course).

    I personally am not a big fan of amusement parks so I have never been to 6 flags. Since you seem to be a fan of racing, you might want to check this out instead of going to 6 flags and Talledega http://http://www.roadatlanta.com/index.lasso?-database=road_events&-layout=ev_2&-response=eventdetail.lasso&-recordID=3&-search.
    Road Atlanta is within an hour north of Atlanta and this event is taking place at Road Atlanta the weekend of your arrival. You can camp there as well I believe.

    Again, speaking personally, I'm not a fan of NASCAR, although I am a big fan of automobile racing. I went to the Daytona 500 race this year and found it even more boring in person then watching it on TV. I'd also skip Myrtle Beach entirely. I've been there and yes the beaches are nice but there really isnt much else to do besides golf. I have been to Charleston, SC and would highly recommend that area. Dont know about the camping prospects though. There are nice beaches there and you would want to take a visit to downtown historic Charleston. I might even add a day for Charleston.

    Also, I've never been to the Great Smokey National Park, but if you want to save to save a little bit of driving time, you could always stay at the Chattahoochee National Forrest in North Georgiahttp://www.fs.fed.us/conf/. I have been on 2 hikes within the forrest within the last month and I would recommend both. One was at Brasstown Bald Mountain (the highest mountain in Georgia), the other hike was along the Broad River (VERY scenic in my opinion and relatively flat). I have pictures from both areas that I can forward to you if you'd like.


    So this would be my schedule:

    Fri Apr 28 Arrive and drive to Road Atlanta, camp at Road Atlanta
    Sat Apr 29 Road Atlanta
    Sunday Apr 30 Drive north from Road Atlanta to the Chattahoochee National Forrest
    Monday May 1st Chattachoochee National Forrest
    Tuesday May 2nd travel back to Atlanta, watch Braves vs Rockies, camp at Stone Mountain
    Wednesday May 3rd Travel to Charleston, SC (6 hours driving) set up camp somewhere
    Thursday May 4th Spend the day in downtown Charleston
    Friday May 5th spend the day at a Charleston area beach
    Saturday May 6th return to Stone Mountain....look around Atlanta
    Sunday May 7th look around Atlanta, go to airport.

    I think you'll find this schedule has far less driving and you'd actually be spending more times at your destinations, making for a more enjoyable trip.

    Regarding Atlanta, if you want any specifics about what to see or do, just give me an idea of what you are looking for ie shopping, tourist sites, restaurants, etc. and i'd be happy to make suggestions.
    Last edited by the_dude07; 04-18-2006 at 12:58 PM.

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