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Road Trip FL to New Orleans


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#1 dadwasathome

Posted 22 October 2019 - 08:42 AM

OK, still haven't settled the theme park thing, or the flights to the south, but we've booked the tickets to Boston so I'm getting on with this.

We quite like road trips, and are also interested in New Orleans. We could just pound the interstate and do Daytona (or east coast anyway - still haven't quite settled) to New Orleans with one stop.

But that seems like a waste. We could the coastal route, but perhaps that's not so good in early January. I've had it suggested to me that heading north to Savannah GA and then across GA to Mobile AL then around the coast might be a more scenic option.

Anyone here done this area before? Any thoughts on the drive? Any tips on cities town or other things - especially New Orleans at the end?

#2 Cimbom

Posted 22 October 2019 - 10:10 AM

So you’re leaving from Daytona Beach? How much time do you have?

#3 dadwasathome

Posted 22 October 2019 - 10:19 AM

View PostCimbom, on 22 October 2019 - 10:10 AM, said:

So you’re leaving from Daytona Beach? How much time do you have?

Still not entirely settled on DB but probably yes. Likely up to 7 days for the trip plus a couple of days in New Orleans. Savannah looks to be 3ish hours north, so could be an interesting first stop, as long as we then slogged out a little across the rest of GA.

#4 Cimbom

Posted 22 October 2019 - 11:16 AM

St Augustine is one hour north and worth a visit as the oldest city in the US. You could then head up to Savannah from there.

One possible route (quite indirect) could be Daytona Beach - St Augustine - Savannah - Montgomery (maybe with Birmingham) - Vicksburg - Natchez (and the parkway) - New Orleans. These stops would be one to five hours drive apart totaling about 17 hours all together. You could keep these as your bases and make other stops along the way. We really liked Memphis too but that is quite far out of the way I think as is Charleston. Others may be able to suggest some stops in Georgia. Fort Valley may be worth a couple of hours before you get to Montgomery if you wanted to stop somewhere.

Roadtrippers is a great website that allows you to plot in your route and it shows you places of interest along the way to break up the drive.

For New Orleans, I would recommend at least four nights.

Edited by Cimbom, 22 October 2019 - 11:24 AM.


#5 dadwasathome

Posted 22 October 2019 - 11:24 AM

Thanks!

I've heard Montgomery mentioned too, so will do a bit more reading.

We could possibly make New Orleans 4 nights, but will have to read up on how to keep the kids occupied (Jazz and paddle steamer is what I have at the moment, perhaps a cemetery). Can you survive there with public transport - dropping the car at the beginning of the stay rather than the end would be a useful saving, although we don't really have a set budget.

We had to add a couple of days at the end of the trip for flight availability/cost and DP doesn't necessarily want to spend another 4 or 5 days in Boston.

#6 Lucrezia Borgia

Posted 22 October 2019 - 11:52 AM

we did NO without a car - it was fine. we stayed in a beautiful hotel right in the French quarter - from memory it was an Omni....but it may not be there anymore (this was a month before Katrina) - it had beautiful opening french doors onto this little Juliette balcony and we sat there and listened to a street busker play the sax ...we got around on street cars and taxis. i recommend a lunch or dinner at Commanders Palace - even with kids it will be fine..we had crawfish and grits - but all fancy like! from memory it is near the cemetery that Ann Rice made famous.


#7 Kiwi Bicycle

Posted 22 October 2019 - 11:55 AM

Mum and dad didn't have a car in New Orleans, they loved taking the tram around and looking at the great houses. Regarding the graveyard tour, they were there in May/ June and they said it was sooo hot and humid walking around the concrete graveyards ( lots of concrete as the graves are raised due to flooding). Was really interesting and I think they do an after dark on as well. Hopefully it would be cooler when you go. Eating was the other thing to do New Orleans, but dad wasn't too impressed with gumbo, but they loved the little powdered sugared doughnut like cakes.. apparently they were eaten quite a few times.
Can you tell I live virtually through their travels? They are off to do a cruise of South America next year starting from Fort Lauderdale.

#8 Lucrezia Borgia

Posted 22 October 2019 - 11:59 AM

yeh the Beignets are good ....although we made the mistake of going to some tourist-y spot that all the guide books seemed to recommend - with a view of the Mississippi etc....but it was overrated and the coffee was cold....


#9 dadwasathome

Posted 22 October 2019 - 12:11 PM

I'm thinking the first week of January will be reasonably cool weather, so should be OK.

Great to hear that PT should be OK in NO, as there is a rental drop-off near the river downtown.

Montgomery was throwing me as I was thinking GA, but you mean the AL one I expect - too many place names exactly the same in the US. Birmingham would be cool, only because Tuxedo Junction :)

Looking at the map, perhaps just cutting diagonally from Montgomery to Mobile and relaxing a little more each day would work, rather than west and then south.

Kiwi Bicycle - I think I'm enjoying planning as much as the trip itself, where the boys will be complaining about occasionally having to bunk down in the same bed.

#10 Cimbom

Posted 22 October 2019 - 12:53 PM

If you do the diagonal route to Mobile, I would see if you have space to add Charleston after Savannah if you haven’t been there before. It’s a really nice city with so much character

#11 overlytired

Posted 22 October 2019 - 01:04 PM

I'll second PPs recommendation for St Augustine.

Savannah is quite a bit further north / out of the way. If you're planning on visiting that's great, but I wouldn't recommend it as a waypoint from Daytona Beach to New Orleans; it makes more sense to turn west in Jacksonville (FL). I-95 traffic can be unpredictable and I would suggest you build some buffer time in your schedule for traffic slowdowns.

You could cut NW from DB toward Ocala where there are some snorkelling options in freshwater springs.

#12 dadwasathome

Posted 22 October 2019 - 01:12 PM

View Postoverlytired, on 22 October 2019 - 01:04 PM, said:

I'll second PPs recommendation for St Augustine.

Savannah is quite a bit further north / out of the way. If you're planning on visiting that's great, but I wouldn't recommend it as a waypoint from Daytona Beach to New Orleans; it makes more sense to turn west in Jacksonville (FL). I-95 traffic can be unpredictable and I would suggest you build some buffer time in your schedule for traffic slowdowns.

You could cut NW from DB toward Ocala where there are some snorkelling options in freshwater springs.

Cimbom - thanks for the Charleston suggestion. Will look.

Overly tired - the i95 appeared to be the obvious direct route . Thanks for the traffic tip.

On the springs, any idea what it would be like in early January? We are a snorkelling family and, if we don’t do it on the trip, will as soon as we get back home

Edited by dadwasathome, 22 October 2019 - 01:13 PM.


#13 steppy

Posted 22 October 2019 - 03:42 PM

New Orleans is fine without a car. You could maybe keep the car for one day to go to some out of town places but for anything in town you don't need one.

For kids, there are some swamp and bayou and plantation tours around and also ghost tours and such.

#14 overlytired

Posted 23 October 2019 - 12:21 AM

View Postdadwasathome, on 22 October 2019 - 01:12 PM, said:

Cimbom - thanks for the Charleston suggestion. Will look.

Overly tired - the i95 appeared to be the obvious direct route . Thanks for the traffic tip.

On the springs, any idea what it would be like in early January? We are a snorkelling family and, if we don’t do it on the trip, will as soon as we get back home

I've never snorkeled there, perhaps this site can help: https://www.floridar...t-cool-springs/ (scroll down to Alexander Springs Rec. Area).

I-95 is the most direct route, but my point was that it's [edited:] not on the way – unless you're specifically looking at Savannah as a destination. I don't recall a time we've driven on I-95 where there wasn't an accident with a traffic backlog (we live in Canada and drive to Florida on average every 18 months (2300 kms one way), joining I-95 south of Washington DC). There are usually parallel side roads / secondary highways that are a good option as well.

Florida has tolls roads – clearly marked and avoidable if you want. Some accept cash, others don't https://www.visitflo...toll-roads.html

Edited by overlytired, 23 October 2019 - 09:17 AM.


#15 dadwasathome

Posted 23 October 2019 - 07:18 AM

We usually only do interstates if it's the only route or there are time constraints. The I-95 from Buffalo to Boston (mostly a toll road) is a recent example. I'll check other routes, although we won't make for long days as I'll be the only driver (maybe I should push DP harder to try, but my only experience as passenger on the front right with her was unpleasant).

Cimbom - Dp and I checked out some St Augustine pics last night and will deffo be a visit one way or another.

Hoping to book the flights tonight, then we can move to accommodation (prob airBnB for the multi-nights in FL and for NO). I mentioned both the Mobile and Birmingham/Vicksburg routes to DP as well, so a little thinking needed.

I was shocked that she wasn't as excited as I was about Tuxedo Junction :(

#16 Cimbom

Posted 23 October 2019 - 08:46 AM

That’s great - have fun planning 🙂

#17 dadwasathome

Posted 23 October 2019 - 08:59 AM

View Postoverlytired, on 23 October 2019 - 12:21 AM, said:

I've never snorkeled there, perhaps this site can help: https://www.floridar...t-cool-springs/ (scroll down to Alexander Springs Rec. Area).

Mmmm. Constant 72degrees. Might need to put DS16 and my prescription goggles in, especially for a day trip from DB (did I mention that theme parks aren't enthusing me?

On the tolls, it's a pity the link to the sunpass.com site doesn't work, but Hertz seems pretty up-to-date with its toll pass policy.

Edited by dadwasathome, 23 October 2019 - 09:01 AM.


#18 dadwasathome

Posted 04 November 2019 - 12:40 PM

I think we might do the Spring on our way form Orlando to New Smyrna Beach.

As for the road trip, we've decided to head to Savannah via St Augustine, then across Georgia and down to Mobile before New Orleans. Take 2-3 days with no firm plans.

Have booked a place in NOLA for 4 nights, might keep the car for the first night only. Will do a riverboat cruise, some jazz and open to tours or musea - any good experiences?




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