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  1. Default Brits driving from Chicago to Miami

    Two Englishmen in their mid-thirties - old college buddies - have been given 'pink tickets' by their wives for a two week road trip in the US. Very exciting!

    We're thinking about the last two weeks in April this year (08).

    And we've settled on Chicago to Miami (via Louisville , Memphis and Atlanta ideally), and wondered whether any forum members had good advice on great roads, siteseeing and fun stopovers (party places) en route.

    Also, we'd like to do the trip in a cool, head-turning rental car. I've spotted the Hertz Fun collection (Shelby Mustang, Hummer etc), but they don't seem to offer them for one-ways - only bog-standard models.



  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Tucson, AZ

    Default A Few Options

    Welcome aboard the RoadTrip America Forums!

    Just a few of the many stops possible along your route include the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, Mammoth Cave, and Tupelo (if Graceland is why you're going to Memphis). Memphis is also a great party town with many good blues and jazz joints, particularly along Beal Street. For smaller pub-style stops along the way check out what are called micro breweries in the States. Unfortunately, specialty cars are just that and unlike the bog-standard types they can't just be transferred form one location to another. The hire companies also wouldn't like how many miles you'd have to put on it to get it there either.


  3. #3


    Hi guys, sounds like a great trip! What are your interests apart from scenic drives?

    If you think you'll love Memphis (be sure to visit the Lorraine Motel for a real contrast to the over-the-top glitz of Graceland) then you really should do a small detour to Nashville after you leave there. I can thoroughly recommend an evening enjoying the sights and sounds of Broadway and would suggest you spend at least a couple of hours in the fabulous Tootsies Orchid Lounge. In Bowling Green KY you can visit the National Corvette Museum before heading over the road to the factory where you can do the fascinating factory tour (reservations required - cost $5 each). The Jack Daniels Distillery is in nearby Lynchburg TN and they also do a very interesting factory tour. (no reservations required - cost $free).

    Chattanooga is actually quite a cool little town and a real nice place to spend an evening. A great vibe around the place and some nice chilled bars and restaurants. They have a fantastic aquarium which you may or may not be interested in (I wasn't but went anyway and thoroughly enjoyed it!) and the fantasticly touristy Ruby Falls which offered a really good fun tour. Completely different to the presentation of the cave tours at Mammoth Cave National Park but still very much worth a stop. I really enjoyed it.

    I also liked Birmingham AL which had a lot of history to soak up. Very though provoking. Near Birmingham you will find the huge Talladega Superspeedway which just happens to be hosting one of the most spectacular races to be found anywhere in the world on April 27 - tickets are still available - if you could push your trip back a week I would seriously recommend you hitting that race. Even if you're not a racefan then you'll love the sights, sounds and sensations created by 43 cars racing past at 200mph. Not to mention the crowd. You have to do it!

    Through into Atlanta - why not take in a game at Turner Field - and then south towards Miami. Why not stop at the Museum Of Aviatiom at Warner Robins Air Force Base? There is free entry and you can easily spend a whole day there exploring.

    So much to see and do along that route. Come back and let us know a little more about your interests and I'm sure there'll be some more suggestions forthcoming.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Toronto Ontario Canada

    Default For Consideration

    Based on personal experience, if you like varied scenery and like to roadtrip USA style I'd nudge your compass a bit and go Chicago to Las Vegas, north route down and route 66 back. Driving Chicago to Miami is very similiar to driving London to Glasgow and lets face it Vegas is the ultimate "let loose destination". I do this trip every year from Toronto Canada in a muscle car and the scenery in the desert still blows me away every time.

  5. Default Thanks for advice

    Thank you for all the advice so far. This is a great forum.

    You've hit the nail on the head with suggestions about car museums, race tracks, distilleries, Graceland (and surrounds), great bars, restaurants and music venues.

    We're just experience junkies, and will throw ourselves into the local culture, booze and parties!

    We will definitely try to co-ordinate the trip with major sporting events: motor racing, football (your American version, rather than our soccer!), golf, baseball, hockey etc. When do the seasons run?

    I appreciate the suggestion about Vegas, but we've both been there a few times (love it, of course!) and want to try something new. Though I'm slightly concerned about Livetodrive's suggestion that Chicago-Miami is like London-Glasgow!

    Just to give something back... The UK's top motoring programme Top Gear recently set out to find the best driving road in Europe, and settled on Davos to Stelvio (through Northern Italy). That's our next stop - classic Alpine scenery, twisting roads, high bridges etc. Think the opening scenes of the original Italian Job film. Will have to be done in an Alfa Romeo (or Maserati or Ferrari if I win the lottery) for true authenticity, methinks.

  6. #6


    I honestly think it'll be as far removed from driving London - Glasgow as it possibly could be. I wouldn't worry about that too much. Of course there may be stretches or areas which aren't as great as others but, hell, it's still 100% different to driving through Rotherham, Barnsley, Sheffield, Birmingham and the like ;)

  7. #7


    Quote Originally Posted by BobbyPacket View Post
    We will definitely try to co-ordinate the trip with major sporting events: motor racing, football (your American version, rather than our soccer!), golf, baseball, hockey etc. When do the seasons run?
    ALMS: March to October
    Champcar: April to November
    IRL: March to September
    MLB: April to September
    MLS: April to November
    Nascar: February to November
    NBA: November to April
    NFL: September to December
    NHL: October to April

    Anyone care to add any others?

  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Green County, Wisconsin

    Default Post season

    Craig, you left off the post seasons on your list.

    NFL playoffs run into January.
    MLB playoffs take place in October. MLB also has spring training games in March in Florida and Arizona.
    NBA and NHL both are playing into June.

    You might also want to include major college sports.
    NCAA football runs from September to November, with bowl games in Dec/Jan
    NCAA Basketball starts in November and ends with march madness
    NCAA Hockey starts in October and ends with the frozen four in late March/early April.

    If you are traveling in late April, I'd have to think that a baseball game will be your best bet. Since you are starting in Chicago, a game at Wrigley Field would be about the perfect setting. It should also be pretty easy to find a basketball or hockey game during your trip. Major football is done for the year, although I believe Arena League Football (a minor league version of US Football, played indoors on a basketball court sized field) would be an option if you wanted to see something that is like American Football.

  9. Default Expressing gratitude

    Saving me a lot of research, guys. Many thanks.

    And UKCraig - I might just make that trip through Rotherham, Barnsley, Sheffield, Birmingham etc one day... if I lose a bet!

    Having said that, I spent a great night in Birmingham just before Christmas in bar just off Broad Street called Mitchu. The city is a lot smarter than it was a decade ago, when I last spent a night out there.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Toronto Ontario Canada

    Default Reflection

    All, upon review proposing an alternate destination was perhaps a little rude. Chalk it up to infatuation with the desert or possibly brain cell damage from muscle car exhaust fumes. This trip is shaping up so well I might do it again myself this summer. A couple of additional suggestions I would add are the Volo classic car museum just south of Chicago and the Floyd Garret Muscle car museum in Pigeon Forge Tennesee and the incredible Cavern tours. Depending on your route, there is an excellent two lane twisty road that takes you through the smokey mountains. Depending on your sensibilities, you may want to make Pigeon Forge a morning visit as it is still classified as a "Dry Town". A wonder in itself in this day and age but there are no bars, I do believe that they may now allow wine/beer to be sold in restaraunts. The irony is that Tennessee is the birthplace of the world famous Jack Daniels sipping whisky! Funny story, I restored a Dodge Challenger similiar to the one used in the movie Vanishing point that I use for roadtrips. When we arrived in Pigeon Forge after traversing the Smokies we did the Cavern tour parked the car and walked away from the motel to find a cold beverage. Two hours of walking later, still no cold beverage and I learned all about the "Dry Town" way of life. A few hours rest and we headed out on the open road again missing the car museum. Guess whats in the museum but the "Vanishing Point" Challenger used in the movie. Duh!
    Last edited by AZBuck; 01-11-2008 at 08:45 AM. Reason: Preferred link format

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