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  1. Default Road Trip: New York City to New Orleans

    Hi there,
    This summer I am going on my first road trip. It's also my first time in the USA. We are leaving from New York and we want to work our way down to New Orleans taking around 3 or 4 days.
    It's a really short amount of time given the distance but unfortunately that's all the time we have.
    I would like to know what sort of stops we should make? Nothing overly crouded and overly touristy but interesting (sort of like weird and wonderful road side things) I think we might want to stop at one beach but otherwise nothing too complicated where we can get ridiculously lost.
    All I really want to know is what there is to see briefly on our way down so that we can make the road trip fun.
    Thank you in advance!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Green County, Wisconsin


    Welcome to the RTA Forum!

    The biggest problem is that you really don't have much time to work with here. It's pretty close to 3 full days just to drive between those two points. Your best bet for beaches would likely be the Gulf Coast - perhaps the Florida Panhandle - but even adding that detour does make it a full 3 days.

    The direct route does take you through the Mountains, and a detour onto the Blue Ridge Parkway or through the Smokey Mountains would make some sense, but your time for any detours will really be quite limited.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Tucson, AZ

    Default That 'Extra' Day Makes a Big Difference

    Michael is right in pointing out that you don't have a lot of time to play with if you only have three days for your drive. You have some, just not a lot. Your basic route would be I-78 out of New York to I-81 south, then I-40 west and I-75 south through Tennessee and using I-24 to cut across Chattanooga to I-59 south. At Birmingham (AL) you could either continue on I-59 to New Orleans or, if time permits, take I-65 down to Mobile and than into New Orleans on I-10. This later 'detour' adds minimally to your mileage but would let you get some beach time at Gulf Islands National Seashore. However, note that most of the beach in this area is on offshore barrier islands requiring either a very ride or use of a few bridges which can get clogged with traffic, especially on nice weekends.

    Now, if you only have three days, your stops will have to be limited to a few sites near those highways, including some less frequently visited, but still intriguing, venues such as Fort Frederick State Park and nearby Chesapeake and Ohio Canal National Historical Park, Shenandoah National Park, maybe a very quick peek at Great Smoky Mountains National Park, the Little River Canyon National Preserve, and the Grand Bay National Wildlife Refuge . The problem is that you can't see all of them, or even more than one or two a day, and none of them in any depth. If you can add that fourth day, then you can pick a couple of sites to really explore and also stop and sample several more in a much more relaxed drive.


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