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  1. #1
    kitsune Guest

    Default Without Interstates - Tampa to Atlanta and Beyond

    The majority of my childhood was spent with my face pressed to the passenger window of a car, eager to view the broad expanse of the east coast and midwest via the "scenic" Eisenhower Interstate System. The rolling hills and distant ridges viewed from the sweeping curves of a guardrail-lined, access controlled, non-stop super highway were all I knew -- my family planned routes and went out of their way to avoid everything else for the sake of getting there sooner. As an adult, I feel cheated because I know, now, that there is more, much more, to be seen along the two lane highways that weave together and connect towns outside major cities. I want to correct this deficit in my roadtrip journal and I plan to start with a trip from Tampa to Atlanta that will not include I-75 this summer. I also want to continue north after that for several days and explore the Carolinas, although I don't currently have an idea of where I'm going just yet.

    ...the only problem is, I'm not exactly sure how to go about this. My brain is still wired to look for the familiar blue "lodging" sign when I get tired and simply scout for a hotel from the top of an exit ramp. Is it still possible to do "random" trips without the interstate, or is careful planning, research, and reservation required before one heads out? Is finding available lodging on the back roads an easy task?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Western/Central Massachusetts
    Posts
    1,703

    Default Welcome!

    Welcome to the RoadTrip America Forum!

    I wouldn't underestimate the scenery of the Interstate - while many folks only have experienced their local Interstates (and, yes, familiarity can breed contempt), there are many great views to behold along the Nation's Interstates.

    Is it still possible to do "random" trips without the interstate, or is careful planning, research, and reservation required before one heads out? Is finding available lodging on the back roads an easy task?
    It is definitely possible to do random trips without the Interstate - "let's see where this road goes", and follow it.
    While you may have a little bit more difficulty finding lodging off the Interstates, I don't think you will have a problem finding availability. To increase your chances, you will want to be closer to a town or city of some size. That is not to say that you won't find lodging in the smaller towns, just that your chances will be better. I have been seeing more signs on the two-lanes that point to local lodging, food, and points of interest, generally within a couple of miles of the actual location.

    ...my family planned routes and went out of their way to avoid everything else for the sake of getting there sooner. As an adult, I feel cheated...
    Sometimes getting to a place quicker has its merits, other times, not so much. I wouldn't fault them too much for this, though I understand what you mean. The great thing about Interstates is they help alleviate traffic on these smaller roads, which means you not only can travel at high speed to another part of the country, but once you are there, you can meander and really explore the area. That would have been extremely difficult before.

    Here is a thread that may answer some questions for you about traveling along two-lane highways.
    Last edited by AZBuck; 03-31-2007 at 01:14 PM. Reason: Cleaned up Link

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