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  1. Default 2,5 week road trip from Nashville, TN

    Hi there,

    What a great site with lots of stories. However as a result of so much stories and possibilities I can't make up my mind.
    From March 17 - March 21 2012 I'm attending a conference in Nashville. And as I don't want to visit the US just for business, I would like to stay another 2 - 2,5 weeks to explore the country. My plan is to do a road trip from Nashville to any other city in the US where I can hop on a plane to get back to Amsterdam (on April 7 or 8).

    My interests:
    - scenery (lakes, forests, mountains)
    - hikes
    - cosy villages
    - great cities

    I don't like to be in a hurry. So I'm not planning to drive from Nashville to Seattle in 2 weeks for instance.

    Can you give me some advise to make the trip worthwile!

    Thanks in advance.

    Michiel from Amsterdam

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

    Default the good and the bad

    Welcome to the RTA Forum!

    The good news is that with 2-2.5 weeks, you really have a lot of time available. In fact, that's enough time where if you wanted to go from Nashville to Seattle, you really could without being rushed! Of course, if you like to move at a much slower pace, that's certainly not a bad thing.

    The bad news is that also means its nearly impossible for us to narrow things down for you. Really, your first step should be to figure out a couple of stops that are really "must sees" for you. Once those are in place, it will be much easier for others to help you connect the dots and fill in the gaps. I suspect based on your comments, that the ideal trip could very much be spent slowly meandering through the Southeast, and then fly home from someplace like Washington DC, Atlanta, Orlando, or Miami. If that's what sounds appealing to you, I'd start by looking at places like the Great River Road, Natchez Trace Parkway, Land Between the Lakes, Mammoth Cave, the Great Smokey Mountains, the Blue Ridge Parkway, and then the Carolina/Georgia coasts.

    Those are just a few of the major potential stops, and some of them are in opposite directions, so some picking and chosing is still needed, but that should give you at least a start on your research, and a starting point in which to build the rest of your trip.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    South of England.

    Default .........Or turn left.

    An alternative would be to head west and be amazed by the beauty and the diversity of the scenery. The Four corners region [Colorado, New Mexico, Utah and Arizona] could satisfy all your needs ! The lakes and mountains of Colorado, the charm and old Pueblo villages of New Mexico, the Red rocks of Arches and Canyonlands NP's [possibly Zion and Bryce canyon] in Utah, Monument valley and the Grand canyon in Arizona. With lot's of small town America, great driving roads and open spaces to enjoy and maybe finishing up in the bright lights of Vegas before flying home. You could possibly cover the distance in 4 or 5 days, [depending on route] leaving you time to hike and enjoy the sights along the way.

    As well as this and Michael's suggestions, there are many more options. Have a look around RTA and take a look at a good map and once you have the basics sorted we can help fill in the blanks.

    Enjoy the planning.

  4. Default

    I did a road trip last year that I loved. I started off in the Great Smokey Mts which I highly recommend. Then I went to Nashville, Memphis in Tn and up to Arkansas to Hot Springs and Blanchard Caverns. Then I made my way to Mississippi, Alabama and back home. Loved Arkansas. Friendliest people ever. I loved Hot Springs and the caverns. There is a cool folk center near the caverns. I was only gone for about 10 days.

  5. Default

    Thanks so much guys for your replies. I'll get into it and get back to the forum once I have my trip figured out (a bit). Thanks again!

  6. Default

    Hi guys,

    I think I found our destination. That would be Boston or Bangor. Any suggestions for things to see on our way and the itinerary (no highways/interstates) would be appreciated. After Nashville we're heading for the great smoky mountains.



  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Tucson, AZ

    Default Great Choice

    I love the Appalachians and New England so, although there were certainly a number of other good choices you could have made, this one meets with my approval. A couple of general suggestions... With 2½ weeks and leaving from Boston (assuming your basic plan is still the same) you have lots of time to meander and see 'cozy villages' and everything else on your list. I would highly recommend that you start by traveling some of the 'back roads' up the Appalachians to begin with and eschew the Interstates in general. After Great Smoky Mountain National Park, try following US-11/US-19/US-219 and even some of the Blue Ridge Parkway for the most part up through Tennessee, Virginia, and West Virginia. This will keep you close enough to the east coast to head in to Washington, and the Eastern Shore of Maryland and Delaware beaches, should that strike your fancy, but still leave you outside the main traffic corridor of I-95 up through DC, Baltimore, Philadelphia, New York, etc.

    North of Washington, US-30/US-222/US-209 is another set of great 'shunpike' roads that will take you through some history, Amish country, scenery and the Delaware Water Gap and put you in shape to either drop into New York for a visit or continue on around it through West Point and the Berkshire Mountains of western Massachusetts on your way to Boston on MA-2, the Mohawk Trail. There are, as noted, plenty of the sights you say you're looking for along those routes. You'll find some of those between Washington and Boston listed here, and some of those in New England listed here.


  8. Default Second thoughts....

    Hi guys,

    Thanks for all the information and advise. The last couple of days I am in doubt what to do.

    Two itineraries:
    Nashville - St Louis - Chicago - Detroit - Niagara Falls - New York - Boston
    Nashville - Knoxville - Raleigh - Richmond - Washington - New York

    Any thoughts what fits us best?
    My interests:
    - scenery (lakes, forests, mountains)
    - hikes
    - cosy villages
    - great cities

    Thanks again!!!!

  9. #9


    If you go the first route, be aware that some of those places can be bitterly cold in March. If you do go to Boston, and don't mind heading a little bit north of there along the coast, I love the small towns of Rockport (very scenic), Gloucester (fishing town), and Newburyport (full of gorgeous old sea captain's homes).

    If you go the second route, between Knoxville and Raleigh is the Great Smoky Mountains NP, which has some great hiking. Asheville, NC is also a nice city to visit. If you can detour to coastal North Carolina, both Southport and Okracoke are also nice small towns. Cape Hatteras National Seashore & Cape Lookout National Seashore are beautiful beaches without the commericalism or crowds.

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