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  1. Default Itinerary Help! Austin - New Orleans (?), Nashville and flooding.


    We're a couple of Aussie students who have been living in DC since August for grad school and are now looking to tie together a few places still on our 'to-do-list' between now and graduation.

    On Sunday we'll fly to Austin, TX arriving at noon.

    On Wednesday night (18th), we need to be in Nashville because we have tickets to see the Flaming Lips.

    And by Friday night (20th) we have to be back in DC for graduation festivities.

    So we have about 5 1/2 days to play with. I realize that's a very short and non-descript itinerary that potentially involves a LOT of driving, which is why I'm seeking advice.

    My overly-optimistic friend originally wanted to go Austin/New Orleans and up to Nashville and driving all the way back here to DC, but to me that doesn't sound like a lot of time to actually enjoy the process, especially given the current Mississippi flooding situation.

    I hoping for suggestions of experienced Road-trippers or local advice on what might potentially be a fun way to drive and/or fly part of this trip (fly from Nashville back to DC maybe?) taking in some interesting places. Would we be better off, particularly with the flooding for example, to head North straight from Austin and avoid N.O. this time around?

    Any help would be much appreciated!

    [and yes, I realize this isn't a very practical or well-planned trip, nor the best way to do any of these places justice, but this time is all we've got - so any tips on how to make the most of it would be gratefully received :)]

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Tucson, AZ

    Default Making the Best Use of Your Time

    Welcome aboard the RoadTrip America Forums!

    Five days (that 'half' day ill simply evaporate on you) is sufficient for a very nice RoadTrip covering the ground you've indicated, but you don't have a lot of wiggle room to go heading off in multiple or random directions. New Orleans, however, is not that big a detour. You can easily head out of Austin on the morning after your arrival, take some time to see the bayou country along the Creole Nature Trail, make an overnight stop somewhere short of New Orleans, and spend the next morning and afternoon in New Orleans. You'll want to at least get started north and lay down maybe one or two hundred miles before bedding down for the night so that you have time to enjoy Wednesday's drive up to Nashville, for which I recommend you follow the Natchez Trace Parkway as much as possible.

    The drive up to DC, over two days, should include at a minimum some time in Great Smoky Mountains National Park, a bit of a drive on the Blue Ridge Parkway. and maybe a Civil War battlefield or two.


  3. Default

    Hey AZBuck,

    I'm planning a trip from DC to Houston (leaving tomorrow) and although I'm not going to be doing any sightseeing, I'm also concerned about making the cross over the Mississippi. Is there another thread that talks about the floods you can point to or give you're opinion of making the southwest route from DC to Houston via New Orleans? Should I think about a major reroute or do you think I can drive through this mess?


  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Joplin MO


    There doesn't appear to be any issues at this time on I-12 or I-10 in LA. However, I wonder what's going to happen when they open the Morganza Spillway. Your best bet is use to get links to the DOT sites for all the states and keep a close eye on the situation. I do not think I-40 is a good bet - they've already been having problems in AR between Memphis and Little Rock. I think I-20 is okay at this time.

    If you have to, head for St. Louis, then take I-44 into OK and US-69/US-75 to the DFW area, then down to Houston on I-45. Unfortunately, that would add 270 miles to your trip.

  5. #5


    I don't have any advice about your route that Az or glc didn't cover, but the coolest thing we ever did in Austin was watch the Mexican free-tailed bats at the Congress Ave Bridge. Millions of them fly out just before dusk to feed. Oh, yes, and we ate at Threadgills, the place where Janis Joplin got started singing when it was a beer joint. Austin is a great town, lots of character, so if you have any time explore it a bit.

  6. Default

    Thanks for everyone's replies. I am relieved a little that i didn't get a bunch of 'you are crazy to try and do that trip in that short time' comments. I'll keep looking into the flooding situation with crossed fingers!

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