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HELP! Solo road trip - the Deep south - Hints & Tips needed!

Travel Forums North America HELP! Solo road trip - the Deep south - Hints & Tips needed!

1. Posted by Lauren87 (Budding Member 5 posts) 1w

I would really appreciate any help from locals or seasoned travellers.
I am a 29yo from Australia and am beyond excited to be planning my first ever trip to America and Canada!!!
I am looking to travel for about 5 weeks in April 2017, alone! I have experience in travelling and living abroad though never completely solo.
I will stay with friends for about a week in Toronto & Niagara Falls, then New York city for about a week to visit more friends.
If you have any advice for that time it would be appreciated but where I really need guidance is the final leg...

I will fly into South Carolina (possibly Charlotte in NC) and drive through the deep south - South Carolina, Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana and finish & fly home from Texas.
I know I want to see the "real"America, I am not interested so much in big cities, a lot of partying etc I want to see history, culture, traditions etc. Such as food, music, civil war history, local celebrations, sporting events etc. Though don't get me wrong - I am not opposed to a great night out!!!
If anyone can give some guidance on this; on things I definitely should see or others that may be popular but could miss etc I would really really appreciate it!!!

2. Posted by berner256 (Travel Guru 526 posts) 1w

You'll save lots of money if you can stay with friends in the U.S. and Canada. There aren't many hostels in the U.S., but try Airbnb and motels. From NYC, suggest you take the train (Amtrak) to Washington, D.C., and spend a few days there. There is no charge to visit many of the museums and monuments; and spring is a nice time to visit. From there fly perhaps to Atlanta, rent a car, then drive around the states of the Deep South, perhaps going first towards the Atlantic coast to places such as Savannah; Beaufort, S.C.; Charleston, S.C.; Wilmington, N.C., then continue towards Great Smoky Mountain NP, and onwards to various places before reaching New Orleans; drive along the Gulf coast, then head back towards Atlanta to return your rental car (you'll likely pay more if you return a car to a place other than its origination point). Fly home from Atlanta. With five weeks, I don't think you have enough time to tour around Texas. Atlanta's airport is the largest in the U.S. and is served by many carriers. Suggest flying Southwest Airlines, which offers reasonably priced fares, particularly if purchased in advance. Southwest does not charge for two checked bags. You can only buy tickets online from the carrier. Other participants on this forum can provide additional information, or suggest alternatives. For example, if you don't want to rent a car, try public transportation (where available) and augment short trips with Uber or Lyft. I currently live in Atlanta; and have traveled throughout the South. Sorry I can't be of more help. I leave Friday for two months in Central and West Africa.

3. Posted by Lauren87 (Budding Member 5 posts) 1w

Hi Berner256
Thanks for your response! I appreciate it!
Money isn't a huge issue for me - I'll just travel until I run out but obviously any way I can easily save is always a bonus!
My main goal is to see as much of the deep South as I can - the only reason I'm going North at all is to see friends. I've actually been thinking about it and I think I'll cut down the time in Niagara Falls & NYC to 4 days each then head south.
I have checked out Air BnB & found some really great places which, travelling alone i think it'd be really nice to stay with locals, so I can experience different customs, get ideas about their favourite places etc!
At this stage - being so early in planning I am thinking once I start my road trip I won't book accommodation until I need it because I don't want to be limited in what i do. At the end of the day, if i don't see everything, which i have no doubt i won't, it's just a great excuse to make another trip! So i will move when I want to etc & if i really like a place I can stay there longer. I just want ideas on things to see that I might not be able to find myself or online. The kind of place that someone might stumble upon accidentally & shares with their friends! Like a cool bar, some beautiful ruins, the best diner, amazing horse trails, a touching monument or battlefield etc That way I can have ideas for each area & keep my eye out for things!!

4. Posted by berner256 (Travel Guru 526 posts) 1w

There are Web sites, such as the Bitter Southerner, that can give insight into life in the South.

5. Posted by Lauren87 (Budding Member 5 posts) 1w

Thank you! I will check it out

6. Posted by katzgar (Full Member 178 posts) 1w

civil rights trail Mississippi delta for history and music Frogmore is a must see The Louisiana river road has many plantations. The Vicksburg battlefield is interesting. When you look at a map you will see the old wander through the small towns often parallel the inter state freeways.

7. Posted by zzlangerhans (Budding Member 11 posts) 1w

One cool place a lot of people don't know about is the Georgia Guidestones. Look it up.

A lot of the best food and history in the South is in the big cities like Atlanta and San Antonio. You might be a little disappointed in what small town Americana has become - lots of strip malls. Athens, Georgia is also good.