Hi, I'm a newbie here. I will drive in two week for work from Frederick, MD to Houston, TX for about 4 days and I want to pick out a convenient route so this can be doubled as a vacation road trip. I might have my girlfriend coming along with me in this trip and fly her back later. Can you guys show me the places along the way that we can stop by for food, lodging, and explore for just a few hours?
Google map shows that I will pass Virginia on I-81, then I-75 from Knoxville, through Cleveland, then I-59 through Birmingham, AL; and then Meridian, AL. Should I continue down to New Orleans or go West through Jackson, MS and come down on I-55?
All of your inputs are appreciated.
I suggest you go through New Orleans (Bourbon Street, plantations, voodoo places, French Market, Jackson Square, and great restaurants like Paul Prudomme's place) on the way there, and then come back via Texarkana and Little Rock, with stops in Memphis (Beale Street and Graceland) and in Nashville (Grand Ole Opry, Opryland, County Music Hall of Fame, The Hermitage and Wild Horse Saloon).
Alternatively, go to New Orleans--then after your time in Houston, take one day to go see the Riverwalk in San Antonio and 6th street in Austin--then return back the way you came through Houston or else through Dallas.
Or combine the two routes--depends on how much time you have.
Other interesting spots along (or not too far away) for your trip;--Harpers Ferry, WV (a famous civil war town and historical town), the Luray Caverns in Virginia, or the Great Smoky National Park (east of Knoxville). Also Dollywood--Dolly Parton's Amusement Park--is just west of the Great Smoky National Park.
Calcruzer, thanks for the advise. I'm originally from Houston though so I'm familiar with the surrounding cities. I also went to New Orleans last year. I'm interesting in driving through Washington National Forest just to enjoy the scenic drive but how further/longer it takes compare to driving straight down on I-81? Is there any parallel drive to I-81 through the forest? Same with the Great Smoky Mountains? Which route should I take?
What about famous local food joints along the way? What should I be looking for?
Thanks for helping me
There is a road that goes north to south through the Shenandoah National Park. Other possible side trips would be to Charlottesville, Virginia to see Jefferson's Monticello or to Ashland, North Carolina to see the Vanderbilt estate.
This is BBQ area, so here's some spots:
There are lots of great BBQ places in Memphis on Beale Street--and Memphis hosts a BBQ contest/festival in early May. Best spot is A&R on Elvis Presley road and their rib-tip sandwich.
In Nashville, go to Jack's BBQ right downtown and get beef brisket or St. Louis style ribs, or go to Mary's Old Fashioned BBQ (just northwest of downtown) for short ribs.
For fish fry:
In Paris, Tennessee, 100 miles northwest of Nashville (but only about 30 miles off the main road), they hold the world's biggest catfish fry in late April (over 5 tons of catfish served last year).
[ Edit: . ]
Why would anyone want to leave Frederick in the first place?
[ Edit: Edited on 11-Apr-2010, at 06:22 by DaveinMD ]