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  1. Default cross country trip

    hi,
    I'm planning a cross country road trip with at least one other person through a southern route.
    We know that we want to see different deserts in Arizona, New Mexico, Utah, Colorado and California. We also know that we want to travel the deep south; mostly for it's music and southern culture.
    I heard that traveling by train can be an exciting experience but then again, by choosing to do so we won't be able to reach all our destinations.
    Does anyone have any tips on how to travel, what trails and sites we should see at our destinations, preferably places that aren't bombarded by tourists.
    Any other recommendation from your personal experience in these specific areas or any other area in the southern region of the u.s will be greatly appreciated.
    thanks,
    abby

  2. Default

    I have travelled by Amtrak once...that being from Greenville, SC to New York City. In my opinion it (was scenery-challenged)... It took forever, it went through the worst part of each city, and you really couldnt sleep that well. I'd recommend flying in to say las vegas, rent a car and then go to all your western stops (maybe minus Colorado), then fly into a southern city and rent a car, etc etc. However you didnt mention your time frame so you could always just do it by car if you have many weeks.

    As far as which southern city for music the only well known one I've been to is Memphis, and quite honestly I was not at all impressed with Beal Street. I'm sure someone else on here can give their opinion on Memphis or another southern city with a musical culture. I can tell you Atlanta is not known for its southern musical culture although I have seen a few southern blues bands play around town.

    Maybe try someplace like Charleston or Savannah. I'm not sure about the quality of the music, but I've been to both of these towns and as far as southern culture goes, it would be hard to beat either in my opinion. If staying in either of these cities, spend the few extra bucks and stay at a bed and breakfast downtown. I did that while in Charleston and everything was close by (except the beach). In Charleston there are carriage tours you can take of the city, you can walk through the old slave market area where vendors have items for sale, there are a number of antique shops, and of course the seafood restaurants...I'd recommend Hymans on Meeting Street.
    Last edited by Mark Sedenquist; 04-19-2006 at 07:57 AM. Reason: good neighbor rules

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 1998
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    Las Vegas, Nevada
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    Default Westerners and the South

    Quote Originally Posted by Abby
    I'm planning a cross country road trip with at least one other person through a southern route.
    Just a little inside tip -- folks who live in California, Arizona, New Mexico, Utah and Colorado will be quite amused, (maybe), to learn that they live in the south. It is true that those states could be considered to be in the southern section of the USA -- but they are as about as removed from the southern outlook as someone living in Seattle.

    Perhaps I missed it, but how long will this planned trip be?
    I heard that traveling by train can be an exciting experience but then again, by choosing to do so we won't be able to reach all our destinations.
    I am a fan of rail travel -- but it is true that the tracks are laid in the industrial sections of nearly all USA towns and so you would see sights not seen by most tourists. I actually like the pace of train travel, but it is not a fast way to get to anywhere.
    preferably places that aren't bombarded by tourists.
    Not sure how to respond to this one -- you, as a tourist, are wishing to see places that other tourists don't go? There are thousands of places in the United States that you can go and never seen anyone else. But is your preference for solitude a higher priority than seeing natural wonders and other tourist locations?

    As a start you might find our section about planning helpful.

    Happy Planning!

    Mark

  4. #4

    Default Austin

    Stop by Austin Texas. Austin is known as the "Live Music Capitol." The down town area has about 5 square miles of bars, clubs and restaurants. Its all blocked off on weekends for easy drinking with pedicabs to get you back to a hotel safelty for a few bucks. As well as horse drawn carrage rides and various other vendors. And plenty of tatoo shops to remember your time in the Capitol of Texas. Great music and entertainment. A must see if you are passing through Texas.

    California, visit the Sunset strip in Hollywood. There is the Roxy, Cat Club, House of Blues and several other famous music joints. oh and you cant forget the Hustler Store across the street. Santa Monica, 3rd street Prominade. Lots of shops and street vendors. As well as the board walk on the beach in Venice. Culture, music and shopping.

    In Orange County there is Seal Beach (LA County but on the border of the OC). Quaint main street off the beach and pier with cute shops and great pubs. Try Cold Stone Creamery on the corner for some great sweets. Or Ruby's on the pier for a great burger and $5 shakes. Its a 50's style diner. Absolutly beautiful. And there is Clancy's for a pint and some music.

    You also have Huntington Beach main street and peir. Younger party crowd. This is where surf legends like Kelly Slater, Michelle Turner and Corky Carroll are honered by the Huntington Beach Surfing Walk of Fame in front of Jack's on main street. And US 5 time champ Corky Carroll has a surf school in HB. You can have breakfast at Sugar Shack with their awesome pancakes and sidewalk tables. Be sure to get their early as the wiat can be long on weekends. BJ's is a local brewery and restaurant with great pizza and their own brand of beer. Have a pizzokie (a cookie in a personal pizza dish hot and covered with icecream! Yummy!!) And Wahoo's fish tacos. their Ahi rice and cajin white beans are awesome.

    And there is also the Disney Center. Disney Land, Disney's California Adventure and Down Town Disney are all located in Anaheim California. Land and CA Adventure are pricy to get into but DT Disney is an open mall type place. Lots of shops and great resaurants. House of Blues and the Rain Forest Cafe are a must see. ESPN zone is an arcade for drunk adults that is centered around Sports.

    There is just so much to do in Southern California. If you need more ideas I can absolutly be of assistance as I am from there. Most these places i listed will cost some to a lot of money, but there are plenty of things to do for free and cheap. Let me know if you need more ideas!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 1998
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    Default Austin is one of our favorites!

    Quote Originally Posted by kcstockdale
    Stop by Austin Texas. Austin is known as the "Live Music Capitol." The down town area has about 5 square miles of bars, clubs and restaurants.
    Austin is one of our favorite hang-out places in the country. I get here as often as our travel schedules allow.

    [Excellent post about other venues, too.]

    Mark

  6. #6

    Default Cali and Texas

    I am from Orange County and now live in Austin so I can be very helpful in these 2 areas. When I go back to Cali I act like a tourist and go do all the things I never did when I lived there.

    Hopefully I will have a more to contribute to this forum as the years go by. I plan to do a lot more traveling.

    Props to the guys that created this site. Its addicting!!!

  7. Default deep south and the west

    dear mark,
    I'm aware that the south western culture isn't like the culture in the deep south but I do want to travel the deep south; Mississippi, Alabama, Louisiana and Tennessee on my way to the west. I was wondering what places I should visit if my interest is absorbing a genuine southern culture.
    I plan on starting my trip around the beginning of September, Starting on the east coast. The length of the trip is pretty flexible, somewhere between two weeks and two months.
    In addition, we love deserts,so if you any recommendations for sites in the west I'd love to hear them!
    Thanks again.
    abby

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 1998
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    Default Absorbing Cultures?

    Quote Originally Posted by Abby
    I do want to travel the deep south; Mississippi, Alabama, Louisiana and Tennessee on my way to the west. I was wondering what places I should visit if my interest is absorbing a genuine southern culture.
    Sorry, but I have never understood what this means -- the only way I know to incorporate ("absorb") culture is to live someplace for a while. Every single town, place, farm, etc. is a source of inspiration and I really don't know how to respond to your query. Pretty much you have to go there and discover for yourself.
    I plan on starting my trip around the beginning of September, Starting on the east coast. The length of the trip is pretty flexible, somewhere between two weeks and two months.
    That sounds idea for the type of in-depth observation it sounds like you are seeking.
    In addition, we love deserts,so if you any recommendations for sites in the west I'd love to hear them!
    Again, I don't really know what sorts of critiera would constitute deserts -- but let's see I really like Terlingua, Texas -- here are some local hot springs in the area -- Death Valley is just about my favorite place on earth and the Mojave is a great place for sunsets, solitude and seeking inspiration.

    Hope this helps!

    Mark

  9. Default

    thanks for your help!
    so what can i do that won't cost me a lot of money? i don't have a large budget and in caliofornia my main goals are to see as many deserts and have fun in San Francisco.
    abby

  10. #10
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    Jan 1998
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    Default RoadTrip Tips

    Quote Originally Posted by Abby
    so what can i do that won't cost me a lot of money? i don't have a large budget
    Your main expenses will be (in order) Fuel, food, lodging, others. You can use the Fuel Calculator to gain an idea about how much fuel will cost on this adventure. Here are some tips for eating well out of a cooler, here are some general cost-saving roadtrip tips and the rest you will have to experiment with as you go.

    Mark

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