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  1. #1

    Default First Solo Road Trip, Georgia & the Carolinas

    I am planning what might be an ambitious road trip... I am flying into and out of Atlanta, and have about a week to drive (plus a few days in Atlanta), in late September.

    I am planning to spend nights in Savannah, Myrtle Beach, Outer Banks, Winston-Salem (or thereabouts) and Asheville. I don't have any stops planned along the way, other than the Golden Isles, Hilton Head and Charleston (possibly for a night). I'm just going to stop when I see something of interest or need a break.

    My interests are historic homes and beaches. Is this as crazy as some people seem to think? Any general advice for a first-timer? Any advice for the region?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Melbourne, Australia
    Posts
    6,936

    Default Great way to travel, but don't miss anything.

    Hi and Welcome to the Great American Roadtrip forum.

    I'm just going to stop when I see something of interest or need a break
    That is a great way to travel, and something I do a lot of. However, there is a downside, especially if you cannot return to the area frequently, and that is that you could bypass something which would interest you, but of which you are not aware.

    One way to minimise this is to go to the CAA and get some good detailed maps (free to members) of Georgia and the other States through which you plan to travel. If you are a member, bring the membership with you, so that you can get maps from the AAA, in case you can't get them locally. Good maps have all points of interest marked on them, including nature, historical and touristy. They also hilight scenic routes.

    Lifey

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Tucson, AZ
    Posts
    9,358

    Default Balancing Act(s)

    As Lifey points out it would be a shame to miss something that you'd really enjoy simply because you were winging it and didn't know it was there or hadn't left enough time to get to it. Trips such as the one you are proposing are always a balancing act between seeing as much as you can and spending sufficient time at the places you do choose to visit. Note that if you only have a week for the RoadTrip portion of your journey, excluding time spent in Atlanta, then you'll need to split your time roughly 50/50 between driving from place to place and actually spending time in the places you do drive to, and that you'll only have about three and a half days, total, to enjoy all those places.

    So how to make the best use of that limited time? What to see is entirely up to you but I would urge you to do considerable homework between now and your trip determining what's available to you. You don't necessarily have to decide what to see now, but you shouldn't waste time during your actual trip figuring out what's down the road. Work up a list of things that you might want to see. That list should clearly contain more sites than you can possibly get to, but then you are free to choose what to see on any given day depending on how you feel, what the weather's like, and what you've already seen. Each choice will still be spontaneous, but it will still be an informed spontaneous choice. And you will still leave sights unseen, but you won't be leaving any major things behind due to ignorance. Everything unseen will be that way because there were better things to see or do.

    A few things that I'd be sure are on your list of possibilities, given your stated interests, would include a tour of some of the squares around which Savannah is built and for which it is justly famous. then check out some of the antebellum plantations along River Road outside Charleston as well as the homes in the old harbor area. There are horse-drawn carriage rides through the later that you might enjoy. Almost anywhere along the Outer Banks (OBX), most of which is part of the Cape Hatteras National Seashore, will give you access to unspoiled beaches. I'd suggest taking the ferry from Cedar Island to Ocracoke at the southern end and driving the entire length of the OBX ending up with possible visits to Fort Raleigh National Historic Site and Kitty Hawk at the northern end. In Winston-Salem, my wife and I particularly enjoyed our time at Old Salem Museums and Gardens. And, of course, in Asheville there's the Biltmore Estate as well as the nearby Blue Ridge Parkway.

    AZBuck

  4. #4

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by AZBuck
    A few things that I'd be sure are on your list of possibilities, given your stated interests, would include a tour of some of the squares around which Savannah is built and for which it is justly famous. then check out some of the antebellum plantations along River Road outside Charleston as well as the homes in the old harbor area. There are horse-drawn carriage rides through the later that you might enjoy. Almost anywhere along the Outer Banks (OBX), most of which is part of the Cape Hatteras National Seashore, will give you access to unspoiled beaches. I'd suggest taking the ferry from Cedar Island to Ocracoke at the southern end and driving the entire length of the OBX ending up with possible visits to Fort Raleigh National Historic Site and Kitty Hawk at the northern end. In Winston-Salem, my wife and I particularly enjoyed our time at Old Salem Museums and Gardens. And, of course, in Asheville there's the Biltmore Estate as well as the nearby Blue Ridge Parkway.

    AZBuck
    AZBuck, you've essentially listed my planned itinerary (except for BRP). For the OBX, is it just a drive or any recommended stops? Have you been to Bethania too? If so, how does it comparr to Old Salem?

    Good to know that I shd put more on the list than I can see. That's kinda how this trip ballooned (everything was just a couple hours' drive away). Also good to know the proportion of driving to visiting.
    Last edited by AZBuck; 03-22-2015 at 09:59 PM. Reason: Fixed formatting

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Tucson, AZ
    Posts
    9,358

    Default Outer banks, etc.

    There are several places to stop on the Outer Banks if they appeal to you. The Banks are really about the beach since they are some of the largest barrier islands around, but places that might appeal to you (other than those already mentioned) might include the Hatteras Light and museums devoted to shipwrecks and local legend, Blackbeard. I have not been to Bethania, but from what I can tell of it on-line, it would be roughly comparable to Old Salem.

    AZBuck

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