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  1. #1
    Unlikely Tripper Guest

    Default Carolina Countdown

    In September of 2010, my wife and I are moving to South Carolina. We have decided since we will be empty nesters we are going to ship our stuff there while we take a road trip.

    As I'm a major planner, I've developed a website that has our entire trip plotted out. We have done some research and found places we want to stop at along the way. With that said, we would LOVE to have any input on the attractions we have found and also any that you think we should hit.

    Y'all are a LOT more informed about roadside attractions and we're hoping to tap your wisdom.

    I should point out that while we have an rough itinerary, we do not plan on getting hotels before we leave. We're completely flexible to ... take a completely different route. This 4,200 mile, 13 state route seemed the best to us.

    Thanks in advance.

    The Carolina countdown.
    Last edited by Southwest Dave; 02-21-2009 at 07:54 AM. Reason: Preferred link format.

  2. Default

    I'd move Alcatraz to Day 3. It's right there at Fisherman's Wharf, so it's a sensible use of your time. There isn't a lot else to do at Fisherman's Wharf -- just shopping and restaurants.

    I'd add a redwood stop to this area's travels.

    Are you going through Baton Rouge? My husband LOVES a certain seafood place there -- I'm pretty sure Mike's is in the name. It's a hole in the wall; the type of place with newspaper instead of tableclothes, but it's his ultra-favorite. He goes to that area for work frequently, and he always eats there at least once.

    Don't miss the old fort in St. Augustine -- I can't think of the name. That's a nice little town.

    Forget about the dinner cruise in Savannah, GA. Instead eat at Paula Dean's Lady and Sons Restaurant -- if you can get in, that is. It's really hard to get in during the summer tourist season (hard to park your car too), but you should be fine in September. You'll be walking distance from City Market, which is a good place to pick up your ghost tour. You can choose a walking tour, a horse-drawn carriage tour, or a tour in a remodeled hearse. I've done several, and the walking tour was the best by far, but that's because I had the good luck to get an excellent tour guide that night; you just never know.

    Are you going to be near Beaufort, SC? Don't miss Hunting Island State Park.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Melbourne, Australia
    Posts
    6,936

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Unlikely Tripper View Post
    ..... and also any that you think we should hit.
    On your way to Santa Rosa, do a tiny detour to go and see the Geyser of California at Calistoga. One of only three in the world.

    Well worth a visit!

  4. #4
    Unlikely Tripper Guest

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Lifemagician View Post
    On your way to Santa Rosa, do a tiny detour to go and see the Geyser of California at Calistoga. One of only three in the world.

    Well worth a visit!
    Great suggestion! Thanks so much. It's on our list now. Aside from the Geyser, I won't mind seeing the fainting goats. <grin>

  5. #5
    Unlikely Tripper Guest

    Default

    @MrsPete-
    Thanks so much for your suggestions ... I'm working through them now. This is exactly the kind of feedback I was hoping for ... thank you!

    I think we're going to move/remove the Fisherman's Wharf as a discreet stop on our trip, especially if we're going to see it when we do the Alcatraz tour. We specifically planned the "early-bird" Alcatraz tour in the morning of the fourth day so we could miss a lot of the other tourist (so says their website).

    We've got a redwood stop on Day 2 ... the drive-thru redwood. Is there another redwood stop we should make?

    My wife would go crazy for Paula Dean's restaurant and a carriage ride. I'll certainly keep those in mind.

    Thanks so much for your suggestions ... and, if you have any more, keep 'em coming!

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    South of England.
    Posts
    10,748

    Default A belated welcome.

    Firstly I would like to apologise for the delay in greeting you to the forums, it would appear you "arrived un-noticed".

    So, Hello and welcome to the R.T.A forums, that's some trip you got going on !

    Firstly I would just like to point out that while planning take into account that mapping programs are very optimistic in there travel time estimates and do not take into consideration slower traffic and the need for food,gas, bio and rest breaks. For instance on day 4 it has you averaging almost 70 mph from leaving San Fran untill you get to Bakersfield. It's not going to happen without a police escort, Lol ! We work to an average on main routes of about 57mph so that may help with your timing a little. Of course the exceptions would be like day 6 where they are estimating approx 60 mph average, but with a visit into the Grand canyon and 25mph speed limits it's not going to happen. With a bit of time in the park it's going to be a min 10 hour day.

    Now for a couple of suggestions.

    Day 1] If you had an early start then Crater lake is always worthy of a detour.

    Days 4 and 5] Rather than head for Bakersfield an option would be to take the opportunity of going through Yosemite and over the Tioga pass on HWY 120 which is a wonderful drive and head towards Vegas across Death valley. It'll add some time but boy is it worth it if you can find some.

    Day 6] You have mapped going in and out of the Grand canyon by the same entrance [South] but if you leave by the East entrance on the 64 you will complete the Desert view drive which has many scenic viewpoints and the old watchtower just before you exit. This drive is a big part of the Grand canyon experience. You then head south on the 89 towards Flagstaff. For your Heli tour that you are considering there is a company called Papillon at the Grand canyon airport in Tusayan which does a 50 min flight over the canyon. If you have the time it is an amazing experience.

    Day 7] You will driving right by the Petrified forest NP which you might want to stop at. Also if you carried on a little the night before you could find yourself waking up in a Wig-Wam in Holbrook as a novelty.

    Have fun with the planning and keep asking questions as you go along.

    Dave.

  7. #7

    Default Welcome to the Carolinas, in advance!

    Hello Unlikely,

    By all means I second Southwest Dave's recommendation to exit Grand Canyon National Park from the East Entrance and follow AZ 64 to US 89 and thence back to Flagstaff and I-40. There are some views of the upstream tributary canyons, viewed from the highway between the East Entrance and Cameron, AZ, which are quite memorable.

    There is a loop thorugh a volcanic cinder cone area just to the east of US 89 a fairly short distance north of Flagstaff which is probably worth a look, too.

    I am of course biased in expressing curiosity as how you chose "the other Carolina", but I welcome you nevertheless!

    Foy

  8. #8
    Unlikely Tripper Guest

    Default

    @Southwest Dave
    Thank you very much for the welcome. I usually do enter places unannounced ... I find they don't kick me out quite so quickly. <grin>

    You bring up very good points about the projected speed of the trips. I'm embarrassed to say that I never did the math. Boy ... was that going to be a bad realization on the road. I tried to anticipate "unknowns" like this with only travelling 6 hours a day, but I think this problem is bigger ... I'll need re-project the routes. ACK! Thanks for bringing this to my attention now.

    Quote Originally Posted by Southwest Dave View Post
    Day 1 - Crater lake
    CHECK. We've got plans to do that prior to this trip. One of two mini-roadtrips before we leave the Pacific Northwest.

    Quote Originally Posted by Southwest Dave View Post
    Days 4 and 5 - ... go through Yosemite and over the Tioga pass on HWY 120 which is a wonderful drive and head towards Vegas across Death valley.
    Thank you very much for this suggestion and insight. I think, though, we're going to pass on Yosemite. Not because it's not everything you claim it to be, but I really, REALLY, REALLLLY want to see the Airplane Graveyard in Mojave, CA (I'm a private pilot and it's like my Graceland).

    Quote Originally Posted by Southwest Dave View Post
    Day 6 - ... leave by the East entrance on the 64 you will complete the Desert view drive which has many scenic viewpoints and the old watchtower just before you exit.
    See ... this is EXACTLY why I asked here. I knew you guys would have wonderful nuggets like this. It's going on the list. Also, thanks for the Papillon name for the heli-tour ... we'll look them up.

    Quote Originally Posted by Southwest Dave View Post
    Day 7 - You will driving right by the Petrified forest NP which you might want to stop at. Also if you carried on a little the night before you could find yourself waking up in a Wig-Wam in Holbrook as a novelty.
    My wife, fortunately or unfortunately, wrinkled her nose at the possibility of a Wig-Wam. In my best interest, I think we'll hit the forest and pass on the Wig-Wam. Thanks again!


    As we go through the process of planning our road trip and learning more about what is available to see, I'm increasingly aware of the mounting pile of things we'll not see. I wish I could see everything ... I geuss it's an opportunity for a second (or third ... or fourth) trip.

  9. #9
    Unlikely Tripper Guest

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Foy View Post
    I second Southwest Dave's recommendation to exit Grand Canyon National Park from the East Entrance and follow AZ 64 to US 89 and thence back to Flagstaff and I-40.
    Done and done! <grin>

    Quote Originally Posted by Foy View Post
    There is a loop thorugh a volcanic cinder cone area just to the east of US 89 a fairly short distance north of Flagstaff which is probably worth a look, too.
    We're looking for this now. Do you happen to have a link or name of the park where this loop is?

    Quote Originally Posted by Foy View Post
    I am of course biased in expressing curiosity as how you chose "the other Carolina", but I welcome you nevertheless!
    Ha! Certainly no intended offense to our future neighbors to the north. We chose South Carolina for many reasons, not the least of which is the fact that our kids are moving there for life and college.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Green County, Wisconsin
    Posts
    13,063

    Default another detour

    If you really like the idea of visiting an airplane boneyard, then you might also think about taking a detour to Tucson and checking out the Air Force boneyard, as well as the museum there. You might want to check out this thread with has lots of information about other airplane graveyard.

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