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  1. #11
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Green County, Wisconsin


    If you've abandoned the RV idea, I think you might have the one situation where I would consider just renting a car in NYC.

    You will have to deal with traffic and tolls as well as parking, however, I could see when traveling with an infant that having a car nearby, even if just as a place to put your stuff, could have some advantages over having to lug around a diaper bag everywhere.

    If you go that route, I'd download a parking app, like SpotHero that can help you find more reasonable parking rates, especially in urban environments.

    For renting the car, I'd look at picking up in Newark. One way rentals often have to start at an airport, and not only is Newark on your way out of town, unlike JFK or LGA, rates and taxes in New Jersey can be less than in New York.

  2. #12
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Tucson, AZ

    Default Now the RoadTrip Portion

    Once you leave Washington, you're going to be more often than not in rural settings rather than urban ones, so the tenor of your trip will change. Since this portion will be more 'linear', you may indeed find that it is to your advantage to spend just one night in some places as you move on down the road stringing together interesting sites as you progress towards New Orleans. Again, that's up to you. One thing you should be aware of is the existence of the annual national parks pass.. This allows free admission to all parks and monuments that charge an entrance fee, and pays for itself if you visit four or more such facilities. Since they're for sale at every gate that charges admission, if you think it will be worth your while, just buy one at the first place that asks you for money.

    Most of what I wrote in my initial response to you still holds. Head inland to the Skyline Drive/Blue Ridge Parkway, now using I-66 from Washington DC. From Asheville take I-40/US-19/US-441 to and through Great Smoky Mountains National Park. US-441 reconnects with I-40 at Knoxville and that Interstate will take you to Nashville and the start of the Natchez Trace.

    Now, as noted, this is the 'linear' portion of your trip, you have indicated a strong desire to set your own schedule, and you have given us a list of types of things that you'd like to see. So I think the best thing I can do is just point you to places that I think would appeal to you, either on or quite near the basic routing outlined above, present them in a sequential list, and let you pick those that you will...

    Manassas, VA: Manassas National Battlefield Park
    Luray, VA: Luray Caverns
    Harrisonburg, VA: Shenandoah National Park
    Charlottesville, VA: Monticello
    Lexington, VA
    Natural Bridge, VA: Natural Bridge State Park
    Along the Blue Ridge: Breweries, Wineries & Vineyards
    Asheville, NC: The Biltmore
    Asheville, NC: Hiking
    Asheville, NC: Chimney Rock State Park
    Great Smoky Mountains National Park
    Pigeon Forge, TN: Dollywood
    Nashville, TN: Grand Ole Opry
    Nashville, TN: Food and Drink
    Nashville, TN: Lane Motor Museum
    Natchez Trace Parkway
    Shiloh, TN: Shiloh National Military Park
    Shiloh, TN: Pickwick Landing State Park
    Tupelo, MS: Elvis' Birthplace
    Flora, MS: Mississippi Petrified Forest
    Vicksburg, MS: Vicksburg National Military Park
    New Orleans, LA: Lake Pontchartrain Causeway
    New Orleans, LA: Preservation Hall
    New Orleans, LA: Gulf Islands National Seashore (MS Section)
    New Orleans, LA: French Quarter
    New Orleans, LA: Jean Lafitte National Historical Park and Preserve
    New Orleans, LA: Bayou Sauvage National Wildlife Refuge

    There are, of course, many more attractions than listed above. As you continue to plan your trip, if you feel you're shortchanging one of your interests, just come back and ask for things to fill that gap and we'll do our best to make relevant suggestions.


  3. #13
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Southern California


    Of the places that AZBuck mentioned that are national parks and historic sites, the ones that actually DO charge an admission are Shenandoah National Park, Vicksburg NMP and Gulf Islands National Seashore -- a total of $70. Bayou Sauvage NWR is still debating whether or not to charge. Manassas, Great Smoky Mountains, and Shiloh are all free.

    State parks and some of the other places will not accept the federal pass.


  4. Default

    @AZBuck, I now understand your point regarding the "linear" part of the trip, and advantage of staying one night in some places. Changing places everyday is exhausting, that's why we wanted to spend more nights in some places, travelling around them.

    Currently we are not sure about our stops in two areas: The Appalachian part, and Natchez Trace

    Here is our basic plan:
    Washington DC - 2 nights: Great Falls Park, Smithsonians
    Waynesboro? (Shenandoah) - 1 night: Monticello, Luray Caverns
    ? - 1 night: Natural Bridge State Park
    ? - 1 night: Blowing Rock
    Ashville - 1 night: The Biltmore, Chimney Rock State Park
    Galinburg (Smokey Mountains) - 3 nights: Hiking trails, Dollywood
    Nashville - 2 nights: Music, Rooftop bars, Whiskey distilerries, Downtown Sporting Club, Five Daughters Bakery, Farmers Market, Grand Ole Opry
    ? - 1 night: Shiloh National Military Park, Pickwick Landing State Park[/B] - lake, golf, picnic
    ? - 1 night:
    Jackson - 1 night: Buddy Butts Park, Mississippi Petrified Forest
    New Orleans - 3 nights: Oak Ally Plantation

    We prefer to drive maximum of 4 hours a day.
    Any suggestions of where to stay? changes?

    Thanks again everyone for the great info :)

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