I'm about to graduate from college and I'm trying to plan an early June 2011 road trip from Washington, DC to Greenville, MS. According to Mapquest/GoogleMaps, the drive takes approximately 16 hours and the best route runs south along the western part of Virginia, then into and across essentially the entire state of Tennessee, then down into the Mississippi Delta region. I'm open to other more scenic, interesting routes, if you guys know any. I should have a couple days to do the drive, and I welcome detours. I'm hoping to do the drive with one or two family members.
I need some input though: I have NO CLUE where to stop along this route. What are the best cities/towns to make sure to see? What are specific attractions I shouldn't miss? Civil War history? Beautiful natural wonders? Music (blues, jazz, rock, country) related stuff? And perhaps most importantly, where should I make sure to eat? I love all types of food, but would love to experience authentic southern cooking.
Please let me know if there are any ideas out there! Thanks!