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  1. #1

    Default Solo road trip to Texas - Alabama - Texas - in 2 weeks, help please?

    Hi, this is my first post, i think this website is very helpful and has a lot of information, but if possible i would like some advice......
    I'm 24 and from England, i've been to NYC, Florida, North Carolina, Virginia, and Tennessee in previous trips, but never alone, this year i will be flying to Texas for just under 2 weeks. I am a huge NASCAR fan, so i have a ticket booked at Talladega, Alabama for the NASCAR race one week into my trip. Then the second week willl be heading back to Texas for my flight home. I have a hotel booked for my first night, then a hotel in Georgia (next to Alabama border) for the weekend the NASCAR is on. Apart from that i would like to explore the states i will be passing through, but not really sure what route to take for the best experience? I am a quiet shy person, a lot of people have been shocked i am traveling alone, i am now getting a bit worried about doing the whole trip with nobody to talk to, will i end up spending every night locked in my motel room waiting for daylight? lol! Whats it like being alone for a long-ish period of time?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Keithville, LA

    Default Where are you landing?

    What part of Texas are you landing in? Also, what are your interests other than Nascar? You can always stop in at Dallas and see the Texas Motor Speedway. I'm pretty sure that they give tours. Hmmm - I'm in Louisiana and have traveled/worked in Texas extensively. Are you interested in history, plantations, food (Louisiana is a must if you are), etc.

    On traveling alone. I completely understand. I took a 4100 mile/10 day roadtrip last summer. And I am flying to England on April 29th for 10 days alone. That one is starting to get me a bit frightened.

    Here's another field report from a fellow Brit about his trip to see Talladega last year starting with the Champ Car race in Houston.

    I'm a CPA - so you can judge based on the stereotype that I'm not the most gregarious person on the face of the earth. However, I notice that when I'm on the road I tend to relax and after a day or two start talking to anyone that crosses my path. I relish the opportunity to get to know myself better without others always being there to interrupt me. Also, I get to do whatever I want to when I want to. That, my friend, is awesome.

    Your accent alone will have people talking to you (especially here in the south). Even me, with my redneck accent, will have people stop and ask where I'm from when I'm in other parts of the country.

    Last edited by lhuff; 03-28-2008 at 08:07 AM. Reason: Added Link

  3. #3


    Thank you for your reply & advice Laura, I am landing in Houston, was planning on checking out the space centre on my first day, but i like the sound of checking out Texas motor speedway too :-) My other interests are cars/trucks and history/scenery of the areas i pass through, i love taking pictures, so plan on finding some great spots to capture plenty sunsets! As for food i like things pretty simple so it shouldnt be hard to please me! I have looked at plenty maps so have a rough idea of the route i would like to take to get me up to Talladega, but as i dont know much about the the places i'm passing through, i was planning on taking every day as it comes for places of interest and when to stop and rest.
    As you have done a fair bit of traveling around America i dont think you need get to frightened about coming to England! as long as you are prepared for the weather! Any places in particular you are interested in exploring over here?
    I know what you mean with the accent thing, last year in Charlotte a barman gave my friend and i free drinks all night because he said he enjoyed listening to us talk haha! The more stories i read on the forum the more excited for my trip i get, it has definately help put my mind at rest seeing what other great trips you and many others have had on their own.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Keithville, LA

    Default Two questions

    When are you coming and what route are you looking at? I'm going to guess since Talledaga is on April 27th that you'll be landing around the 13th?

    Hmmm - Coming from Houston you'll probably want to head north to Dallas and take I-20 towards Talladega. If so you'll be passing through East Texas and North Louisiana (my stomping grounds). If I've correctly guessed your route let me know and I can bombard you with things about those two states.

    My main questions about England now are food and off the beaten path places to explore. I posted my final (hopefully) rough outline on the last page of my post earlier, so if you have any suggestions I would greatly appreciate it. I really enjoy eating local cuisine when I can find it.


  5. #5

    Default Talladega

    Welcome to RoadTrip America. Good to have another fellow fan onboard. Who's your favourite driver?

    Nice one on getting along to Talladega. I've been to six or seven races now and after Bristol, of course, Talladega is right up there. I've been to the past two Spring races actually so it'll be a bit weird not to be there this time around. It is a shame that the Grand Prix of Houston has been canned for this year as that would have been a good stop also.

    Texas Motor Speedway is cool enough but make sure that they are running tours before you arrive. I went last year and they couldn't be bothered to get the bus out for me unfortunately!

    If you're interested in history then you could do far worse than follow the route I took. Houston up to Dallas to check out the JFK sites and museums then across through Little Rock for a quick look around the High School before heading on to Memphis. Quite apart from the obvious Graceland stop (which is surprisingly worthwhile!) you should visit the Lorraine Motel and spend time learning about MLK and the civil rights movement. From there I went down to Talladega by way of a stop in Birmingham - check out Kelly Ingram Park - a very interesting town.

    When you get to Talladega don't forget to visit the Motorsports Hall Of Fame & museum which is right near the main entrance adjacent to the will call ticket window.

  6. #6

    Default Mark from Newcastle

    PS Mark from Newcastle... that's not Mark Hewitt, is it?

  7. #7


    No i'm not coming as soon as that, i arrive on Monday 21st, so i planned on getting to Talladega for the Friday night to watch some racing at the Talladega short track. Then i have the following week to head back to Houston for my return flight on the Friday 2nd May. I would love to stay longer, but i am self employed, so the longer i'm off, the less money i'm making! As for my route, i had been thinking about heading east out of Houston, and head towards New Orleans, then follow the Gulf of Mexico on the I10 for a while, and follow the I65 up to Montgomery, then up to Talladega, after the racing on Friday night i need to head into Carrollton, Georgia for my hotel, unfortunately it was the closest i could find that still had vacancies! Then after the race on Sunday, head west past Birmingham, along the I20 towards Dallas then head south. Would like to go up to Memphis but didnt think i would have time. Also Would have liked to head back to Charlotte/Mooresville to see the race shops i didnt get a chance to last year but think that may be asking a bit much as well, giving my time restrictions.
    I guess it will depend on how much i stop along the way, and how many distractions i find!
    For the England trip, i noticed ukcraig recommended Edinburgh, i would also recommend it, as it is one of the nicest cities in the UK, yet it isnt huge, so most things are within walking distance, so no need to worry about transport. lots of tours available around the castle, and ghost tours at night around the old caves/sewers! Also if you are heading towards Edinburgh, You will be passing Newcastle, its the largest city in the north of the country, there is Hadrians wall which is a old roman wall that runs for miles starting just outside the city centre, the "Angel of the north" a big rusty statue of a angel that sits on a small hill looking over Newcastle, then of course all the bridges that cross the Tyne. About 20 mins outside Newcastle is a place called Beamish museum it is a great place, like stepping back in time for a day! would highly recommend visiting.
    Hi ukcraig, no my name is Mark Dews, and my favorite driver is Jeff Gordon! How about you? I went to the Pepsi 400 in 2006, then Martinsville spring race last year, i would love to go to Bristol, but tickets seem very hard to come by! I'm not suprised though, the atmosphere in that stadium looks amazing! Thank you for your advice, i will certainly check out the motorsport hall of fame!

  8. #8

    Default Ah, another Mark!

    Ah, okay, no problem -- thought it was quite a coincidence that Mark Hewitt would show up on this site!

    Yeah, your route is pretty much a reverse of the route I did last year (on the thread linked by Laura earlier in this thread) and is very doable. I think that I did it in 10 days or so but I do like to keep moving.

    Mooresville is, unfortunately, a long way in the wrong direction. Definately somewhere for another trip ;)

    I always cheered for Jr but my true favourite driver was always Juan Montoya. So I was absolutely delighted when he went to Nascar at the tail end of 2006. I was at Daytona earlier this year and the place went mad when he suddenly appeared in second place towards the end of the race... I was seriously proud of him but also a little scared if I'm honest! The rednecks dont take kindly to outsiders and anyone born outside the south or driving a Toyota is the devil to them. If he'd have won - which he stood a good chance of doing if he had any drafting partners - then I think the place would have erupted into scenes reminiscent of Talladega last year when Jeff passed the number of wins that Dale Sr had... :)

  9. #9


    Yeah i like Montoya too, but he certainly doesnt fit the profile of a "proper" NASCAR driver! although all the other open-wheeled drivers are finding the whole experience very difficult to master, which i think is getting Montoya a little more respect, as he is doing a good job. I would have liked to see him win the 500, but i think he has very few friends to give him a push like you say! At least a Toyota didnt win it though! It seems strange seeing Dario Franchitti's name out there, as when my dad raced karts in the late 80's - 90's Dario was just starting his career as a junior at the same tracks we raced at! I was at Rockingham (the one in England) when he won the champ car race in 2002.

  10. #10

    Default great fun alone

    Hey Mark

    You'll have great fun on your own. Before I hooked my girlfriend on this road trip lark I did 4 solo trips, one from Austin, TX to Key West and back again, one in the north east and two in the north west US.

    One piece of advice I wish I could have given to myself in the early days would have been to avoid interstate lodgings at all costs and head to downtown hotels. As a solo traveller these are the places you meet some great people. I've truly had some of the most fun nights of my life in downtown hotel bars.

    Anyway, have fun. You'll soon be addicted.


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