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  1. Default

    Phew, I've finished a very rough plan of my trip (hard when you don't know half of where you want to go!). I've not researched many places to visit in GA/ SC/NC yet, so have left these blank and just guessed how much time I'll need/ left room for padding. I want to spend a good week in the Keys at least. I've never been anywhere like that before so really want to take some time to get a feel for it. I also want to spend a lot of time in and around the Smokies, because I get the feeling I'll love it there too, visiting all the craft workshops etc. I might compact everything and push it back a couple of days to give me more time in the Keys. This is just a very rough outline because I would love some input and suggestions on places to visit etc.

    12 Arr MIA - Book hotel near Miami to rest
    13 Miami hotel, buy food/ camping supplies, get adjusted
    14 Drive to Key Largo, Camp or Motel
    15 Bahia Honda, Camp
    16 Bahia Honda, Camp. Explore Key West?
    17 Key West, Camp. Snorkelling activities
    18 Key West, Camp. Dolphin tour/ activities
    19 Key West, Camp. Activities
    20 Keys OR Drive up west coast, far as poss.
    21 Continue on to GA via Ichetucknee springs river tubing.
    22 GA
    23 GA
    24 GA
    25 Athens
    26 Athens/ Tour of University
    27 Camp Stone Mountain?/ Visit Atlanta
    28 Camp Stone Mountain?/ Visit Atlanta
    29 Chattanooga
    30 Nashville
    1 Nashville
    2 Nashville
    3 Nashville
    4 Pigeon Forge - Cabin
    5 Pigeon Forge - Cabin
    6 Pigeon Forge - Cabin. PM Knoxville - Sugarland concert (booked).
    7 Pigeon Forge/ Gatlinburg. Explore. Camp?
    8 Football in Knoxville? OR Visit Asheville. Camp.
    9 Drive up Blue Ridge Parkway as far as I can. Camp.
    10 Take I81 back to VA Creeper Trail. Camp somewhere in Cherokee NF or Bryson City
    11 Bryson City - Ceramics Workshop PM and explore
    12 Bryson City - Ceramics Workshop AM and explore
    13 Bryson City - Ceramics Workshop AM
    14 NC/ SC
    15 NASCAR Charlotte??
    16 NC/SC
    17 SC
    18 Charleston SC and Cypress Gardens
    19 Savannah Travel south / Orlando Hotel v late PM
    20 Orlando - Sugarland concert (booked)
    21 Orlando Shopping
    22 Orlando see attractions/ book activity/ explore
    23 Orlando see attractions/ book activity/ explore
    24 - MIA Dept

  2. Default

    Hello everyone,

    Quick update - I have now booked my flights!! I arrive on 14th Sept and leave on 21st Oct (LHR to MIA). I've cut the trip down to 5 weeks, due to other commitments. I've been too busy with work to plan itinerary but now the flights are booked it all seems so scarily real! No longer a pipe dream I've had for the last few years!

    I have a question, however. In regards to Florida weather in Sept/ Oct: I'd read originally (and been told by a travel agent) that October was hurricane season (hence me travelling over in September to explore FL and leaving at the end of the month). My mum's been informed that actually September is hurricane season. Are both months high risk? Which is the better month to go? She wants to pop over for a week with my sister to see me and visit the Keys. Would be a shame if her holiday was ruined due to bad weather.

    Realistically she can only travel in the 3rd week of Sept or the 2nd/3rd week of Oct, just before I fly home.

    If worst comes to worst I'll have my car so I can drive us up the coast to somewhere with better weather, but ideally they'd love to have a nice holiday in the Keys and see the dolphins.


  3. #13
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Green County, Wisconsin


    Hurricane Season actually runs from the beginning of June all the way until the end of November!

    August, September and October are the peak within that time.

    However, you do need to keep in mind that even in peak season your odds of seeing a storm during your specific trip are really quite small. First, storms that do hit land are relatively few. Its rare for more than 2 or 3 to hit the US, even in a bad year. Second, the storms that do hit affect a relatively small area. While you can have a larger area that will be warned, the areas severely impacted by a storms landfall are pretty small.

    Specifically, I remember traveling in South Florida as a family trip back in October 1992 - not long after Hurricane Andrew (one of the worst storms in US history) hit. Homestead was leveled, and it was amazing to see the destruction, but in Miami and in the northern keys, there was no noticeable damage.

    There is a risk, but I'll tell you that I've made trips to other Hurricane affected areas in the fall and haven't had a problem yet. If you have some flexibility, that's even better, because if you are traveling on a time when a storm is approaching, airlines and other places will often waive fees for changing to a different date.

  4. #14
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Melbourne, Australia

    Default I wouldn't worry

    As Michael said, the chances of seeing a hurricane are extremely slim. My last four visits to Florida have all been during August, and I am yet to see a storm.

    Go and enjoy your trip in the full knowledge that in the very remote chance that a storm approaches, you will hear about it well in advance.


  5. #15

    Default Interest in crafts

    Hello again tikki18,

    I'm just now noticing your interest in crafts, so I call your attention to the Penland School of Crafts, located at Penland, NC, just outside of Spruce Pine. Spruce Pine lies near the Blue Ridge Parkway and the Museum of NC Minerals is at the Spruce Pine exit.

    The Penland school offers classes and workshops and has an excellent gallery on campus. Their website is at

    Keep having fun with your planning.


  6. Default

    Hello everyone!

    Hope you are all well and have had a lovely summer.

    So, it's not long until I leave for my first trip! 8 days in fact. I am VERY scared but soooo excited! Just thought I'd drop you all a note before I left to say thanks for your help in planning. I have a rough route planned out, still a few holes in it but I think that's for the best: I have no idea what to expect so don't know how long I will want to spend in each area. I have a lot of research left to do but I have the main points mapped out.

    I'll try and post updates when I'm over there, or maybe even start a blog with some photos (possibly a little organised for me, but I will try...)

    Here's my current plan:

    14 Arrive LHR-MIA.
    15 Drive to Keys. Swim with Dolphins in AM, continue to Key West PM
    16 Key West
    17 Key West
    18 Key West
    19 Key West
    20 Key West
    21 Key West
    22 Drop family off at MIA, drive up to Orlando
    23 Activities in Orlando, shopping, zipwire in St Cloud etc
    24 Visit Ichetucknee Springs. Drive up through FL.
    25 Drive up through GA. Arrive at Decatur for 7pm show at Eddie's Attic
    26 Atlanta Braves game
    27 Look round ATL. Night in Peachtree Plaza.
    28 Drive up through GA. Via Marietta. Stay in Chattanooga?
    29 Meet friend in Nashville
    30 Nashville
    1 Nashville
    2 Drive down to ATL with friend, stay in Decatur
    3 Visit Athens
    4 Visit Athens
    5 ?
    6 Drive to Knoxville for Sugarland concert
    7 ?
    8 ?
    9 Visit Gatlinburg area, stay in cabin
    10 " "
    11 " "
    12 Check out of Cabin, Drive to Bryson City. Pony Trek? Train ride through Smokies?
    13 Pottery class, Bryson City
    14 Pottery class, Bryson City AM. Asheville PM
    15 - Blue Ridge Parkway ?
    16 - Start to drive back through Carolinas ?
    18 Cypress Gardens, Nr Charleston SC
    19 Savannah, GA
    20 Sugarland concert, Orlando
    21 Home.

    It's a little bit higgledy piggledy as I've had to work around some fixed dates (shows, meeting a friend in Nashville etc) but I'm hoping it will all work out fine.


  7. #17
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Melbourne, Australia

    Default RoadTrip Field Reports

    Quote Originally Posted by Tikki18 View Post
    I'll try and post updates when I'm over there, or maybe even start a blog with some photos (possibly a little organised for me, but I will try...)
    That sounds great Steph. You can post a report here, when you are on the road, or after you get back. You can also upload photos by going to the Members tab on the green bar above, and select Photoshare. You can then post them in your report. I for one, look forward to reading it.

    And as for being both scared and excited... yeah! that's quite normal. Heading out into the unknown can be daunting, but is a great adventure.

    Take care.


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