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  1. Default Trip from NJ to New Orleans, LA around Christmas

    The day after Christmas (Dec. 26th) I will be leaving northern NJ in the mid-late evening and driving to New Orleans, LA, through the night and day, hoping to arrive the next day and do the trip in about 22-23 hours.

    I will be staying in New Orleans for a little over a week and making some side trips to Lafayette and Cajun country scattered throughout. After it's time to start heading back, I plan to stop in Natchez, MS for a day and see some of the historic sights and perhaps Pigeon Forge, TN for a day (I've already been; it would be to break up the ride as I'm not sure I will desire to do a straight-through run on the way back). I was wondering if there's any advice someone could give about stops along the way in Mississippi, Alabama, and northwest Georgia? Any tips/reccommendations will be appreciated.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Tucson, AZ
    Posts
    9,358

    Default So...

    Welcome aboard the RoadTrip America Forums!

    You plan to start out at night, after a couple of days of holiday festivities, and drive 1300 miles in 22 hours. Is that about the gist of it? I'm sorry, but trying that is not a very good idea. Even if it were physically possible (It's NOT!), it would leave you a danger to everyone else on the road over the holidays and in no shape to enjoy your time in Louisiana. You need to seriously reconsider this trip and come up with a much more realistic time table before we can be of any help to you.

    AZBuck

  3. Default

    Thank you, AZBuck!

    As for the drive, I still have to map it out fully, but is it much further than Tampa, FL? I thought it was about the same distance, but perhaps more, as I did the Tampa trip a few months ago in June. You may be right about the mileage and I may consider a stop on the way down as well if the trip seems overwhelming, but I would like to plan my stops/breaks near something historic in preferrably the states of Mississippi, Alabama, and Georgia. Besides the stop in Natchez, MS and Pigeon Forge, TN on the way back from LA to NJ, I have nothing else planned, and I do have an extra week and a half available that month (January) after my time in New Orleans is done, so I'm open to suggestions.

    I want to get there in a timely manner, but I do want the trip to be safe and not feel rushed of course. Basically I did Tampa in a day, but I'm not sure about the difference between central FL and southeastern LA (I'll have to check that out).
    Last edited by AZBuck; 10-30-2009 at 02:53 PM. Reason: Quote of entire previous post removed

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Tucson, AZ
    Posts
    9,358

    Default Russian Roulette

    Although northern New Jersey to New Orleans (~1300 miles) is about 200 miles longer than northern New Jersey to Tampa (~1100 miles), that is hardly the point. Both drives are well beyond any safe limit and would be illegal even for a professional driver. Just because you got away with it once is no guarantee that you can do it again, and even farther and on less sleep. Unless you plan to sleep most of the day on the 26th, then leaving in the evening is worse than pointless. It will take two full days, driving 650 miles each day (more than is particularly pleasant), to make it to New Orleans. Halfway is roughly Morristown, TN. If you can't devote at least two full days to the drive down and two full days to the drive back, then you should reconsider the trip.

    AZBuck

  5. Default

    I've been mapping it out further and dividing times/distances, and I think what I might do, AZBuck, is perhaps leave a bit earlier on the 26th (late morning) stop in Pigeon Forge, TN, on the way down, spend the night, then drive to New Orleans, LA, the following morning, which would put me there the night of the 27th. I will arrive roughly the same time, but by leaving a bit earlier I think it might allow me more relaxation time. For example, I'm on a long-term (though hopefully not too long) mission to see/experience all 50 states and I've decided that what I might start with this trip is stopping at each state's visitor's center and taking pictures of the welcome signs. If I start this plan on my trip in December, I can pick up a decent number of states (PA, MD, WV, VA, TN, GA, AL, and MS, with the route I'm taking).

    Even though I think I'm going to go with this two-day travel plan, beyond stops at the welcome centers (as well as gas stops), these will be pretty straight travel days as I want to get to LA by the 27th and reserve time on the way back for more stops/meandering. As I said, I plan to stop in Natchez, MS, on my return journey, but I'm interested to hear if anyone can recommend interesting cultural stops (state culture, local culture, history, even nice shops/restaurants) in MS, AL, and northwest GA. There are things that I would like to do in all these states (I would love to spend a week in Mobile, AL, for example), but I'm thinking more in terms of stops that are suited for an experience of a few hours to a day.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Green County, Wisconsin
    Posts
    13,067

    Default better, but

    Your two days are much better, but they are still going to be very long days on the road. Expect to be on the road for at least 12-13 hours for each of those days. Leaving late morning, is going to put you into Pigeon Forge around midnight even if you only make stops at rest areas and for fuel. This of course, assumes you don't hit much traffic or weather.

    That also means that you'll likely be taking several "welcome to" pictures at night. With state budget cutbacks, welcome centers have been taking a hit, so you will likely find that many of them are open only weekdays and business hours (or less!)

  7. Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Midwest Michael View Post
    Your two days are much better, but they are still going to be very long days on the road. Expect to be on the road for at least 12-13 hours for each of those days. Leaving late morning, is going to put you into Pigeon Forge around midnight even if you only make stops at rest areas and for fuel. This of course, assumes you don't hit much traffic or weather.

    That also means that you'll likely be taking several "welcome to" pictures at night. With state budget cutbacks, welcome centers have been taking a hit, so you will likely find that many of them are open only weekdays and business hours (or less!)
    I've familiar with the first half of the drive, as I drove to Pigeon Forge, TN, in August and spent a week in Pigeon Forge, Gatlinburg, and Knoxville. It took me about 11 1/2 hours to get down and 13 hours to get back (because of traffic in NJ), which is what I would consider a decent driving day. I may leave around 9AM. I left around 5AM last time, but there is no reason to get there that early.

    The news about the welcome centers is disheartening. I suppose on the way down I could hit PA's, MD's, WV's, and possibly VA's, but will probably miss TN's.

    Is there anything of note along the way you can recommend in the way of historic/cultural sites and other points of interest? I'd really like to find something to do for a day in the Gulf south and especially northwestern GA.

  8. Default

    Please, is there any support? I realize the states I mentioned may be some of the less-traveled ones, but I am really desperate.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    South of England.
    Posts
    10,749

    Default It's all there.

    Hi Edward,

    I have no experience of the places in question but I would recommend searching the forums using key words and you will find lots of info from the past.

    This one thread contains plenty on every State and just by typing in Georgia.

    Happy hunting.

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