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  1. #1

    Default East side Roadtrip

    So, I finally told my boss I'm taking two weeks off to go on a roadtrip (yay!) I have basically planned out the route and timing as follows:
    (I'll be starting in Long Island, NY and the places stated is where I'd like to end up by nightfall.) Our major stops would be Charlotte, Atlanta and Boca Raton.


    June 29- Richmond, VA
    July 1- Hiddinite, NC
    2- Charlotte, NC
    3- Smoky Mountain NP, NC/TN
    4- Charlotte, NC
    5- (Franklin for the day,NC) Atlanta, GA
    6- Atlanta, GA
    7- (LaGrange for the day,GA), Atlanta, GA
    8- Jacksonville, FL
    9- Boca Raton, FL
    10- (Everglades NP for the day), Boca Raton FL
    11- (Miami for the day), Boca Raton,FL
    12- Jacksonville, FL
    13- (stop for a while in Savannah, GA) Myrtle Beach,
    14- Virginia Beach, VA
    15- home :)


    What I need help with is what we can see in the areas we stop or along the route. I don't know too much about any of them.
    It's my boyfriend and I, and we're interested in hiking, museums, national parks, surfing spots along the east coast. outdoorsy things and cultural festivals. and local food!! ( and yes, we're very compatible roadtrippers :)

    Specific info needed:
    - what can we see in Richmond and inexpensive places to stay there?
    - the best place in the Smokies to see them 'smoky' :) and a campsite that
    doesn't have a lot of RV's - no offense! and best short hiking trails. I know
    there's Clingman's Dome, are there any by waterfalls?
    - best places to go in Charlotte, and to see fireworks!
    - food spots in all areas!
    - best historic sites in Atlanta ( in association with MLK)
    - what's in Jacksonville to see and good surf spot.
    - Best part of Everglades to visit. I've done research on the airboat rides and
    would like to do a couple hours with only about 6 people. Could anyone
    suggest a good company? (there's a gazillion!)
    - what to see in Miami? best part to see the cuban culture or eat cuban food
    - camping spots along the coast
    - what to see in Savannah, Myrtle Beach and Virginia Beach?

    hit me with all the tips, trips and info you got!
    Last edited by Mark Sedenquist; 03-08-2007 at 11:13 AM. Reason: So, readers will know the reason for the comment!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 1998
    Location
    Las Vegas, Nevada
    Posts
    10,060

    Default Air boat tours

    Quote Originally Posted by mikphire View Post
    - Best part of Everglades to visit. I've done research on the airboat rides and would like to do a couple hours with only about 6 people. Could anyone suggest a good company?
    It is hard to beat going to Flamingo and hiring some local talent for boat trip. In the summer time, it is often easy to find a guide and share the boat with no one else. As far as an alterntative to airboats goes, I would use the advice of Dave Hunter and hire one of the native american guides through the Billie Swamp Tours.

    Mark

  3. #3

    Default Billie Swamp tours

    thank you! I checked them up and they seem pretty good. It's like killing two birds with one stone- you get the culture and outdoors :)

    also, do you have any links or threads that people have posted before about these topics?

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 1998
    Location
    Las Vegas, Nevada
    Posts
    10,060

    Default Southern Oracle is on the case!

    Quote Originally Posted by mikphire View Post
    also, do you have any links or threads that people have posted before about these topics?
    I asked Southern Oracle to do some looking and report back. She is currently a resident of southern Florida and has a wealth of local knowledge. I am sure she will post soon. One thing you could do is read through her most recent posts...

    Here is another post about the 'Glades and if you do a search with everglades as the key word, you will find some more.

    Mark

  5. #5

    Default To reserve camp or not?

    wow! I checked out the links and there is a lot of info! I want to try the authentic food, but gator?... we'll see.
    Also checked out that book you recommended- seems very detailed, a little complicated, but that's just from sneaking flips in the bookstore.

    Also, would it be better to book camping reservations or just come on the day, for camping along the east coast?

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    South FL for now, but in June 2007 - the Pacific NW!
    Posts
    23

    Default Go on and get comfortable, reading this will take awhile!

    Hi! I apologize for taking a bit to reply, but I was trying to get all the info together first. Ok, shall we start at the beginning?

    1. Atlanta. La Grange is such a pretty little town! I house sat for about 2 weeks there and just fell in love with it. I am not familiar with the MLK sites specifically, but while in the ATL I would definitely check out the World of Coca-Cola and the new Georgia Aquarium, which are conveniently right next to each other. I would also make time to visit Stone Mountain, especially at night when they do the awesome laser show. You might even want to see the 4th's fireworks here instead of Charlotte, if that's not too many extra miles that day. While you are in Atlanta, ya gotta eat at least once at The Varsity. It’s an Atlanta institution!

    2. Savannah. Another beautiful city. The main things to see in Savannah are the squares, (full of oak trees dripping with Spanish moss and buildings with ornate wrought iron fences and balconies), the Forsyth Park fountain, and the Bonaventure Cemetery, (especially if you are a fan of Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil). Savannah is full of places to eat great Southern cooking. Paula Deen has her restaurant there, but it's always about a 2 hour wait. I much prefer Mrs. Wilkes Boarding House. Just take note of their hours, it's not always open. Also, there is a praline shop on River Street (the main area for bars) that gives out free praline samples. Just walk by and follow your nose.

    Interesting side trips would be to Wormsloe Plantation, (the ruins aren't that special, but the tree-lined entrance is one of the most photographed spots in the state), and to St. Simon's and Jekyll Islands, (Christ Church, the lighthouse and Jekyll's historic district.) On the way back to I-95 from Jekyll Island is The GA Pig restaurant, some of the best barbecue in the state. Trust me, it looks like a beat up old shack, but the food is awesome. You also should try the Brunswick stew while you are in the Brunswick area!

    3. Jacksonville. I don’t really think there is much to see here. What I would do is plan to visit Cumberland Island. You have to reserve in advance and it takes some planning, as the ferry only runs at certain times. But the reward is you get to camp overnight on an almost deserted island, with wild horses running around, a beach to yourself and some historic ruins to tour. This is one of my favorite spots in the South. Planning is essential though, as the island has almost no amenities. I am not sure about the surf in Jax, but the best surf spot in FL is at the Sebastian Inlet.

    I think I will cut this off here and make a second post. I don't want to break the server with this post being too long or anything!

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 1998
    Location
    Las Vegas, Nevada
    Posts
    10,060

    Default So, we are waiting with bated breath

    Quote Originally Posted by SouthernOracle View Post
    I think I will cut this off here and make a second post. I don't want to break the server with this post being too long or anything!
    We are looking forward to what else you have! So far -- excellent!

    Mark
    Last edited by Mark Sedenquist; 03-14-2007 at 07:31 PM.

  8. #8

    Default thank you!!!

    Thank you sooo much for all the information!

    Cumberland Island sounds like a dream! Think I'll make extra time to camp out there, (wild horses?! really?)What about Amelia Island and Little Talbot Island- are they worth checking or just concentrate on Cumberland?

    I will definitely try to stop at all the eating places mentioned (esp that free praline place ;), think I should stock up on food in Savannah. I thank you most heartily for the foodie tips! (keep it coming!) This is the one area I completely rely on local knowledge, I can google it, but can't sample it :(

    Do you know of any more ruins in the south? I wasn't very aware that there would be- but it would be a pleasant surprise.
    -thanks for the photography tip- love anything moss-grown, overgrown, crumbling and aged :)

    Thanks again for sharing your knowledge! I eagerly await your future posts :)

  9. Default GSMNP info for your trip

    If you planning on a trip to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, take a look at ActivityGuidebook... more specifically the GSMNP data at this link.

    It is a Google map site with all sorts of items marked for the park. You may be most interested in the points of interest... lots of historic buildings, waterfalls, Fontana Dam, etc.

    Cheers... Pike
    Last edited by Mark Sedenquist; 03-19-2007 at 08:29 AM. Reason: Very close to being advertising (& not allowed)

  10. #10

    Default Smokies and Savannah

    Thank you very much Pike, I checked the link and it had a ton of information that I'll be able to use.

    I also changed my plan a bit- based on what Southern Oracle said, think I might devote more time to exploring Savannah and skip Jacksonville on the way back.

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