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  1. Default First Road Trip: South Eastern States

    Hi All,

    We're planning a road trip from Hamilton, Canada to Memphis, Nashville, Knoxville (Great Smokey National Park), and Charleston in South Carolina.

    We would love some tips on:

    - Where to stay (camping is a definite option to save money)
    - Good routes (including or especially for the trip home from South Carolina to Canada)
    - Any must-see attractions on the way.
    - Any tips on how to balance driving and sight seeing (how much is too much?)



  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Tucson, AZ

    Default Matters of Taste

    Welcome aboard the RoadTrip America Forums!

    Each of your questions can really only be answered by you, as they all involve matters of highly personal choices. If finances are tight, then camping is certainly an option with state parks usually being your best value and other than on the weekends they are typically booked up - although there will be exceptions. Low cost motel chains in the US include Motel 6, Red Roof Inns, Super 8, Econo Lodge, and others. There are simply too many of them and too many variables for us to recommend particular motels.

    'Good routes' depends on what you mean by 'good'. Fast? Scenic? Historic? The Interstates represent your fastest and safest roads and are what any on-line mapping routine will suggest as your primary choice. If you're looking for scenic, however, you should get a good atlas and look for the roads so marked (typically by a dotted green line running parallel to the road). Your drive home is a good example. The most efficient route is up the Interstates, I-26/I-77/I-79/I-90, and portions of that are certainly scenic enough, but some alternatives worth looking at are: WV-20/US-60/US-19 between Princeton and Sutton, WV and US-62 from Clarks, Mills, PA to Buffalo, NY. Similarly, 'must-see attractions' depends entirely on what interests you, and I have no idea what that might be. Maybe if I knew why you chose this particular corner of the continent to explore I might be able to offer some suggestions.

    Striking the right balance between driving and sight seeing is yet another personal choice, and so as long as you mix the two to your own satisfaction you'll be fine. I find that I no longer consider a day where I just cover miles to be a success unless that is the sole purpose of the drive. I can't tell you how much I regret not having stopped more often, and for longer, on some of my early cross country RoadTrips. Such a waste. I now like to stop at least once every three ours or so just to get out of the car and take a walk around through a state park, small town, local history museum, etc, as well as mix up days where driving is the highest priority with days where little if any driving gets done at all. You'll find your own mix, and you're already well on your way simply by recognizing that it's not all about putting down mile after mile.


  3. Default Our Road Trip Priorities

    Thanks for your response,

    We'd like to fill our trip with lots of history (we are hoping to get a sense of musical history in Memphis - Johnny Cash, and Nashville) both musical history but also into civil rights history, American Revolutionary and Civil War Histoy (in Charleston). We're looking to also mix that with some beautiful sceney (great smokey national park), and beautiful drives. We would like to do a bit of hiking (nothing too aggressive), and maybe try horseback riding along the way. My husband loves biking (I like to bike but do not have a lot of experience on trails) so that might be nice to try as well.

    Finally, we wouldn't mind stopping at a beach area along the Carolina Coasts (any suggestions?). We are thinking that Myrtle beach seems a bit congested, so maybe a slightly less busy beach?

    Finally, just wanting to get a taste for "the south" as it were, as I've never visited the states much.

    Any suggestions are welcome!


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