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  1. Default North Carolina to Tennessee and Alabama

    Hey Everyone,
    We have finally got some money together for another american road trip. This time we have booked flights to Charlotte NC and are staying for 16 days in July. We are hoping to get to see the following places on our trip: Chatanooga, Nashville, Memphis and maybe some places in Mississippi or Alabama before making our way back towards Charlotte.
    We'd love to hear some suggestions and/or experiences from other trippers.

    Many Thanks in advance,
    Irish tripper

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Tucson, AZ

    Default Cad Chuige?

    Céad Míle Fáilte! Welcome aboard the RoadTrip America Forums!

    There's really not much (because there's really too much) we can do with a simple list of places. It would help a great deal if you let people know why you were making this trip. Why to these particular places? What are your interests? What do you hope to accomplish? Exactly what kind of help are you looking for?


  3. Default

    Hey thanks for the reply,
    We are interested in doing a fair bit of driving through scenic areas with also a mix of good night life and eating out along the way. We were particularly interested in Nashville to experience the Music scene for a couple of days so any recommendations there would be great. From looking at maps Nantahala national park looks interesting but not sure if we would need 2 or 3 days there.

    We are not into any extereme hiking or anything maybe just nice evening walks.

    In Memphis we are looking to visit Graceland maybe also stay a couple of days if there are other interesting things to see or do.

    After that we are pretty open minded and would love to hear suggestions.

    We are both early 30's and not afraid to try new things....

    Go raibh míle maith agaibh

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Tucson, AZ

    Default In That Case...

    ...and assuming that "we" is again yourself and your girlfriend, then you might want to aim for a relaxed mix of some forested mountain retreats, vibrant nightlife, and Deep South river experiences. From Charlotte start out headed west for Great Smoky Mountains National Park. As with all National Parks, they have hikes of all lengths and strenuousness, so I'm sure they'll have something to suit your desired activity level. The same is generally true of National Forests, such as Nantahala, but they are generally much less developed than National Parks and Ranger Stations may be much more difficult to find for information. Another national resource are the National Recreation Areas (NRAs) such as the Big South Fork National River and Recreation Area which would also be on your way, more or less, across Tennessee.

    In Nashville, you'll want to check out both the current Grand Ole Opry and its former traditional home at the Ryman Auditorium. Then in Memphis, plan on spending at least one evening strolling along Beale Street and taking an auditory sampling of the many clubs. Another spot you may want to visit is the old Sun Studios where Elvis, Johnny Cash, Carl Perkins, Jerry Lee Lewis and others got their starts.

    Of course, you should take advantage of the freedom of the road and take a completely different route back to Charlotte. US-78 east out of Memphis will take you to Tupelo, MS and another Elvis shrine. Then a place that might surprise you, the U.S. Space & Rocket Center on Huntsville, AL. From there, you can follow the Cherokee Foothills Scenic Highway across northwestern South Carolina and back into the Charlotte area.


  5. Default

    Thanks for that - We will definetely take in a few of those suggestions. Also you are right I'll be travelling my girlfriend... well fiancé since last week :-)
    Any suggestions on where to spend the 4th July? - looking to sample authentic american experience maybe some outdoor BBQs and open air music. We would probably be on our way through the great Smoky Mountains National Park at that stage.
    Thanks again

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Tucson, AZ

    Default Get Close to the Action

    Well, congratulations to you, then. As far as where to celebrate the Fourth of July, pretty much any small town in America will offer some celebration: a parade, a fireman's breakfast, a town band concert, fireworks. Not every town will have all of them, but just about any town of a few thousand or more will have most of them, particularly in the Appalachians. Just keep your eyes open for fliers and ask around. You may find bigger fireworks displays in larger towns, but for my money, I think you'd like a smaller display in a smaller town.

    Last edited by AZBuck; 04-16-2011 at 08:41 PM.

  7. Default

    It sounds like you really want to go to Tennessee, so I 'm a little confused why you're flying into Charlotte unless you got an especially cheap rate there.

    Charlotte is not generally regarded as a scenic tourist destination. It's more highly regarded as a good place to raise a family (and watch NASCAR). In North Carolina, the scenic tourist destinations are the mountains and the coast. Charlotte is a little bit closer to the mountains, but I would also highly recommend a trip to the beach in July. For the mountains you should check out Asheville. There are many romantic getaways around there and lots of nightlife and music and great restaurants as well. Lots of people in NC and throughout the eastern part of the US go to Asheville or the NC beaches for vacation, but Charlotte is not a real vacation hotspot. July is high tourist season for towns in the mountains and along the coast, both, so I wouldn't wait until the last minute to book a hotel.

    If you're interested in the Nantahala you might like to check out the Joyce Kilmer Forest in the Slick Rock wilderness near Robbinsville. It's old growth forest with huge trees for the eastern part of the country. Google for pictures. I think it has some easy, short hikes/walks.

    As far as Nashville, Music Row, is a big draw. Memphis has Beale St and, of course, Graceland.

    I've been through Mississippi, but I'm not super familiar with it. You might like to check out Oxford or Tupelo, though. Oxford is historic and home to Faulkner and Ole Miss. Tupelo is where Elvis was born. If you want to make it a real music trip you could go to Muscle Shoals in Alabama.

    I'd really try to hit the beach for a few days if you can. It will be _very_ hot in July in all the areas you've mentioned with the exception of the mountains where it will only be hot and not _very_ hot. It will also be very humid and it won't cool off at night. In Charlotte in July you're looking at 90F+ temps in the daytime, only cooling down to the 70s at night if you're lucky. It could easily reach 100+ and will be hotter in MS and AL than in Charlotte. The mountains in higher elevations (the Boone area) will probably be in the low 80s for highs, but in lower elevations (like Asheville) high temps can flirt with the 90s. The beach is usually a few degrees cooler than inland, but the ocean breeze and jumping in the water makes it much more tolerable. Water temps in July will probably be in the low 80s as well, so very comfortable for swimming.

  8. Default

    Thanks - Flying into Charlotte purely due to flight costs. We were considering the beach also if we have time maybe towards the end of the trip. Joyce Kilmer Forest looks incredible, we will definetely try and get that in. Thanks for the tip on booking hotels, we had been planning on booking something only in Nashville but will rethink now.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    The Great Midwest, Illinois to be precise

    Default Gulf Coast

    My wife and I enjoy the Gulf Coast of Alabama and Mississippi.

    Plus, Mobile, Alabama, is a trip in itself.

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