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  1. Default Durham NC, to ?? in 10 days

    Hi everybody!
    Firstly, I want to say how helpful this site has been for me.
    I am an international student going to college in Durham, NC and I am trying to figure out what to do for spring break with my girlfriend (also international) and maybe some friends.
    We have about 10 days in the middle of march and would like to go on memorable road trip that wont be too tiring. Right now, we have been considering to drive down to florida or maybe go to the grand canyon;
    does any one have any suggestions for good routes, destintations, etc. that would work well for a ten day road trip out of durham for some kids who want to see some american sites or just go to a beautiful relaxing place, that wont cost too much (we have our own car).

    I hope that made any sense :D.

    I really appreciate it!

    Thanks
    Mikey

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Tucson, AZ
    Posts
    9,358

    Default Circuits

    Welcome aboard the RoadTrip America forum.

    Quote Originally Posted by overbliss
    Firstly, I want to say how helpful this site has been for me.
    Well, thank you very much.

    Quote Originally Posted by overbliss
    We have about 10 days in the middle of march and would like to go on memorable road trip that wont be too tiring.
    In that case, I'd rule out the Grand Canyon as that would take you 4 days out and 4 days back, making for a lot of time on the road for just a couple of days at your destination.

    Quote Originally Posted by overbliss
    (What) would work well for a ten day road trip out of durham for some kids who want to see some American sites or just go to a beautiful relaxing place?
    So let me suggest some closer-in sites that are truly American and can be seen at a relatively relaxed pace. You could make a loop of Great Smoky Mountains National Park, Nashville and Memphis, Tennessee, the Ozarks of southwest Arkansas including Hot Springs National Park and Branson, St. Louis MO, Mammoth Cave National Park in Kentucky and back to Durham. This trip combines some scenic locales with a sampling of some uniquely American music venues.

    Another possibility would be to head east to the Outer Banks of North Carolina and then head north up the Delmarva Peninsula to New York or Philadelphia and then work your way back down through Baltimore, Annapolis, and Washington to see a bit of American history and urban life, and then finishing by coming down the scenic Skyline Drive and Blue Ridge Parkway, seeing some of the caves along the way, and including the Great Smoky Mountains National Park if time permits before you return home.

    If you want to head south, try making some stops in Charleston, SC and Savannah, GA to experience the charm of some well preserved southern cities, spend some time on the Florida beaches, visit Cape Canaveral, and then head back up through western Georgia to Chattanooga, TN so you can see some of the Appalachians as you complete the circuit.

    Hope one of those, or some combination meets your needs. Let us know what you decide and how it goes.

    AZBuck

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Green County, Wisconsin
    Posts
    13,063

    Default Endless possibilities

    Welcome to the RTA Forum. 10 Days from NC would let you comfortably head pretty much any direction in the Eastern half of the U.S.

    Florida would certainly be one good option, plus at that time of year you could see what an "authentic" american spring break beach parties are like. I can't think of something more american than baseball, and in Florida in March, you'd have plenty of choices from regular Grapefruit league spring training games to the "World Baseball Classic" this year with the National teams from all over the world playing in Florida. Not to mention all the things like Disney and the Kennedy Space Center that you can see in Florida year round.

    You could also head towards the cities, and check out Washington and New York. This would be more expensive than a lot of other choices, but they are two cities unlike any other 2 in the world.

    If you want to head west, that's an option too. I don't think you could make the Grand Canyon with just 10 day to work with, at least not at a relaxing pace. But you could probably head to Texas.

    There's also Niagra Falls, Gettysburg, Boston, Chicago, the Smokey Mountains, and dozens of other possibilities. 10 days give you a lot of flexability and the potential to see a lot of things even at a relaxing pace.

  4. Default

    Quote Originally Posted by AZBuck
    Welcome aboard the RoadTrip America forum.

    So let me suggest some closer-in sites that are truly American and can be seen at a relatively relaxed pace. You could make a loop of Great Smoky Mountains National Park, Nashville and Memphis, Tennessee, the Ozarks of southwest Arkansas including Hot Springs National Park and Branson, St. Louis MO, Mammoth Cave National Park in Kentucky and back to Durham. This trip combines some scenic locales with a sampling of some uniquely American music venues.

    Another possibility would be to head east to the Outer Banks of North Carolina and then head north up the Delmarva Peninsula to New York or Philadelphia and then work your way back down through Baltimore, Annapolis, and Washington to see a bit of American history and urban life, and then finishing by coming down the scenic Skyline Drive and Blue Ridge Parkway, seeing some of the caves along the way, and including the Great Smoky Mountains National Park if time permits before you return home.

    If you want to head south, try making some stops in Charleston, SC and Savannah, GA to experience the charm of some well preserved southern cities, spend some time on the Florida beaches, visit Cape Canaveral, and then head back up through western Georgia to Chattanooga, TN so you can see some of the Appalachians as you complete the circuit.


    AZBuck
    The three sugestions sound great!! I really appreciate all the help. I am wondering how much accomodation would be along the way. Are there 'mom and pop' type motels along these routes that would be cheaper to stay in but still okay? Does anyone have an actual itinerary that they have used before that ends up in florida? I am just worried about the cost of accomodation along the way.
    Also, what do you think the best way is to drive down to florida? Would be nicesest to head east to the coast and then drive down?

    Thanks again - I appreciate all the help I can get to make this road trip great!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Location
    The Great Midwest, Illinois to be precise
    Posts
    527

    Default Florida Keys and Islamorada

    Florida Keys, Florida Keys, Florida Keys. America's own tropical paradise other than Hawaii.

    This is great place to go, but bring lots of money as it is high season. We like Key West, but part way down is Islamorada, and that is every bit as much fun.

    A personal favorite there is Hog Heaven with its drink and food specials. The small plane crashed into the building pretty well sums it up. They used to have (we haven't been back in five years) their own version of the mechanical bull, a big barrel suspended over the water. A live hog used to have residence there as well, but they had to remove it.

    Then there is Holiday Isle with its World Famous Tiki Bar, possibly the first one in Florida. The tallest structure on island is their hotel and there is a restaurant/lounge at the top with a daily sunset celebration. The Tiki Bar claims their rumrunners are the best in the world.

    Other places to check out are Whale Harbor on the Atlantic side and Woody's for night time entertainment.

    Also, there is a daily sunset celebration and live entertainment at the Lorelai I have partucularly fond memories of one of the final four basketball games that I watched at the Lorelai at their bayside bar. Sitting out in the sun, watching the game with other fanatics, drinking $1 ice cold drafts, and listening to a band. Now how do you get better than that?

    Of course, Islamorada bills itself as the fishing capital of the US and I don't doubt that. Take a deep sea fishing trip.

    Gettin' That Keys Disease. -- RoadDog

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Tucson, AZ
    Posts
    9,358

    Default The Coastal Option

    Quote Originally Posted by overbliss
    I am wondering how much accommodation would be along the way.
    This will, of course, vary, but in general motels will run you anywhere from about $40/night at the low end to about $80+/night at the higher end. Most major chains will give you the price on line for each of their locations.

    Quote Originally Posted by overbliss
    Are there 'mom and pop' type motels along these routes that would be cheaper to stay in but still okay?
    Here are a couple of threads (Thread_1. Thread_2) where this question has also come up and where there are some links to some resources. Another great resource for the better Mom & Pop's are the AAA TourGuides which only list motels that meet certain standards.

    Quote Originally Posted by overbliss
    Would it be nicest to head east to the coast and then drive down?
    By all means, make the drive along the coast. Make sure that you find some of the quieter beaches along the way that are not being overrun by college students. Such a drive might take you first to Wilmington, NC and then down through Myrtle Beach and Charleston, SC and Savannah, GA, along US-17. Poke into some of the side roads and smaller islands along the way. If it gets to be too much or you run out of time, you can always hop back onto I-95 for a quicker run to Florida. A couple of the more traditional Spring Break destinations are Daytona Beach and Fort Lauderdale, where you'll find lots of people and activities.

    AZBuck

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