Join Early Retirement Today
Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Travel Virgins Need Your Help
Old 09-22-2012, 12:27 PM   #1
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
packrat44's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: near Canadian border and near Mexican border
Posts: 1,142
Travel Virgins Need Your Help

DW and I are leaving on a 4/5 week trip starting 1 Oct. Starting in WA state we will stop in Bozeman MT to visit FIL and MIL, then travel through Custer's Battle Field and the Bad Lands on the way to Dayton OH to visit DD. After several days (when our welcome becomes stale) head toward the Appalacians in a generally southern direction. DW has cousins near Nashville and Charleston who we will stop and see. Then, it is south to Florida and west to southern Arizona where we will winter.

Since we have not traveled much; and never back East or in the South we are virgins and need help. We are looking for what are "must see" and "must do" along the trip. Things we think we want to see/experience are the Appalacian trail; Southern plantations/old mansions; the Everglades; Key West (the bridges); New Orleans. NOT interested in Dollywood; Graceland; Disney World or places like that. Also, interesting/good (but not expensive) places to eat local cuisine. We like to explore natural wonders and are interested in history of farming, industry, hot rods and distilleries. Bottom line, we would like to have a cultural experience of the South East. Being retired military, we may look for lodging at military bases (frugal and they are a gated community with armed guards).

I know it is late to start planning this trip, but retirement keeps us so busy we hardly have free time. Besides, why do today what we can put off until tomorrow. All help/ideas/guidance would be appreciated. Also, any advice for a couple of green-horns as what and where to avoid would be helpful.
__________________

__________________
Pigs get fat, hogs get slaughtered. That's my story and I am sticking to it.
packrat44 is offline   Reply With Quote
Join the #1 Early Retirement and Financial Independence Forum Today - It's Totally Free!

Are you planning to be financially independent as early as possible so you can live life on your own terms? Discuss successful investing strategies, asset allocation models, tax strategies and other related topics in our online forum community. Our members range from young folks just starting their journey to financial independence, military retirees and even multimillionaires. No matter where you fit in you'll find that Early-Retirement.org is a great community to join. Best of all it's totally FREE!

You are currently viewing our boards as a guest so you have limited access to our community. Please take the time to register and you will gain a lot of great new features including; the ability to participate in discussions, network with our members, see fewer ads, upload photographs, create a retirement blog, send private messages and so much, much more!

Old 09-22-2012, 12:38 PM   #2
Moderator Emeritus
 
Join Date: May 2007
Posts: 11,044
Plantation-wise, President Andrew Jackson's home called The Hermitage (just outside of Nashville) is a nice place to visit. To the Southeast of Nashville, in Lynchburg, you will find the world-famous Jack Daniel's distillery which you can tour for free. If you do, make sure to stop by Miss Mary Bobo's, an old style boarding house located next to the distillery, to sample some traditional Southern cuisine (you must reserve in advance). If you make it to Northern Alabama and you like space-related stuff, give the US Space and Rocket center in Huntsville a try.
__________________

__________________
FIREd is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-22-2012, 12:57 PM   #3
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
packrat44's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: near Canadian border and near Mexican border
Posts: 1,142
Thanks FIREd

Those all sound interesting. We appreciate the suggestions.
__________________
Pigs get fat, hogs get slaughtered. That's my story and I am sticking to it.
packrat44 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-22-2012, 12:58 PM   #4
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
 
Join Date: Mar 2004
Posts: 1,988
Sounds like a fun (though long) trip.

In Dayton, OH , be sure to visit National Museum of the Air Force (free admission, BTW) National Museum of the USAF - Home More like a history of aviation. They often have retired guys giving tours and telling some interesting stories.

If you're willing to drive 3 hours north of Dayton to Dearborn, MI -- Henry Ford Museum and Greenfield Village. Both are part of The Henry Ford... Museums, Things to do in Dearborn, Detroit Michigan

The Smokies Great Smoky Mountains National Park - Great Smoky Mountains National Park and any section of Skyline Drive Skyline Drive - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia is worth a visit.

Southern city homes (from the time of the plantations) in Charleston SC Visit Charleston, SC | Charleston Vacation Planning & Charleston Tourism Info | Charleston Area CVB and visiting Savannah, GA Savannah GA Hotels Restaurants Visitor Information for the beautiful old city with its squares and homes are well worth it. (Savannah is where "Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil " was filmed.) I love the ambiance there.

Many more plantations along the Mississippi River between New Orleans and Baton Rouge are worth a visit as well.

You'll love the drive through the Florida Keys. The views along the way are fabulous.

omni
__________________
omni550 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-22-2012, 01:27 PM   #5
Full time employment: Posting here.
JakeBrake's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Southeast USA
Posts: 548
Don't know if you are 62 yet. If so, be sure to pick up a senior pass. It's a great investment.

America the Beautiful - National Parks and Federal Recreational Lands Pass
__________________
JakeBrake is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-22-2012, 02:08 PM   #6
gone traveling
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Posts: 333
I found it well worth the time to visit the Jack Daniel's distillery and take the guided tour but be sure to get a good map/directions when heading out there from Nashville. Since you mentioned "hot rods", while you are in the Nashville area you might want to head up to Bowling Green KY and visit the Corvette museum. While in Key West you might want to check out the Ernest Hemingway home and museum.
__________________
HighRoller is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-22-2012, 02:11 PM   #7
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
Nemo2's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2011
Location: Belleville, ONT
Posts: 4,331
Quote:
Originally Posted by omni550 View Post
In Dayton, OH , be sure to visit National Museum of the Air Force (free admission, BTW) National Museum of the USAF - Home
+1
__________________
"Exit, pursued by a bear."

The Winter's Tale, William Shakespeare
Nemo2 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-22-2012, 02:33 PM   #8
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
MooreBonds's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: St. Louis
Posts: 2,091
Quote:
Originally Posted by packrat44 View Post
Also, interesting/good (but not expensive) places to eat local cuisine. We like to explore natural wonders and are interested in history of farming, industry, hot rods and distilleries. Bottom line, we would like to have a cultural experience of the South East.
Wow - sounds like it could be the makings for quite the memorable, epic adventure!

I don't have any specific recommendations off of the top of my head for restaurants, but I'd strongly recommend searching for places on your route that have been profiled on shows like Guy Fieri's Diners, Drive-ins and Dives....or Adam Richman's Man V. Food.

They typically profile a ton of restaurants, and they usually are on the cheap to moderate price level....along with (usually) great local flavors/cuisine. Man v Food often involves massive eating challenges, but usually those places are the 'down home' type local joints with great food, with or without the 7 lb burger, 96 oz steak, or 10lb pizza challenge.

As far as alcohol goes, I'm sure there a ton of microbrews along the way, along with even various wineries (just about every state has at least some, and should have a handy web map showing their locations) and local distilleries.
__________________
Dryer sheets Schmyer sheets
MooreBonds is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-22-2012, 03:15 PM   #9
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
Nemo2's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2011
Location: Belleville, ONT
Posts: 4,331
If it isn't out of your way, I've always enjoyed the Natchez Trace
__________________
"Exit, pursued by a bear."

The Winter's Tale, William Shakespeare
Nemo2 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-22-2012, 03:28 PM   #10
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Posts: 2,556
One of my favorite places out west was Yellowstone National Park. We went to the Badlands, but I don't remember how far it was from one place to another. I definitely want to go back someday.
__________________
Dreamer is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-22-2012, 03:50 PM   #11
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
Lsbcal's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2006
Location: west coast, hi there!
Posts: 5,696
Quote:
Originally Posted by packrat44 View Post
DW and I are leaving on a 4/5 week trip starting 1 Oct. Starting in WA state we will stop in Bozeman MT to visit FIL and MIL, then travel through Custer's Battle Field and the Bad Lands on the way to Dayton OH to visit DD. After several days (when our welcome becomes stale) head toward the Appalacians in a generally southern direction. DW has cousins near Nashville and Charleston who we will stop and see. Then, it is south to Florida and west to southern Arizona where we will winter.
...
Sounds nice. Hopefully the weather will cooperate for you. If you have a laptop or tablet that would come in handy to check out stops along the way. Tripadvisor is a good resource for hotel/motel and maybe even restaurant ideas.
__________________
Lsbcal is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-22-2012, 04:37 PM   #12
Dryer sheet aficionado
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Posts: 32
+1 on Yellowstone (also nearby Grand Tetons and Glacier National Parks), Air Force Museum in Dayton, OH, Skyline Drive in VA, and the Smokey Mountains National Park.

I also highly recommend the Blue Ridge Parkway - particularly in late October for the leaves. It starts in VA and ends in NC -- close to TN, and you can jump on/off at several points in between. Also, in Richmond, VA is the James River Plantations -- some of the very earliest plantations in America. Monticello, Thomas Jefferson's home, in Charlottesville, VA and Mount Vernon, George Washington's home near DC are not to be missed. If you have never visited Washington DC area, I highly recommend a few day stop there - national monuments, Smithsonian museums, White House, Capital, etc.

Once you get to Florida, stop in any CVS, Publix Grocery, etc and buy a Sunpass Mini Transponder -- I think they are ~ $5, and then add money on line for tolls. Florida, and South Florida in particular, has NUMEROUS toll bridges and highways, and in the Miami area, there are no toll booths and they will bill your license plate full charge + admin costs. Tolls paid by transponders are less than paid by cash -- you'll easily pay for the transponder in savings.

I loved the Everglades, and plan to return in January/February 2013. You'll probably need strong insect repellant visiting in Oct though. Don't miss the Anhinga Trail! We loved the beauty of Sanibel Island, and in particularly, the Ding Darling NWR near Ft Meyers, FL. In Tampa, the Yuengling Brewery has a free tour with samples. We really enjoyed this (the tour and the beer). Also, the Gulf Islands National Seashore near Gulf Breeze, FL (Pensacola) is my favorite beach -- very peaceful, left in its natural state and beautiful! You won't find the "disneyland beaches" here.
If you like the military museums, the Navy Museum in Pensacola is also spectacular.

As your heading from FL to AZ, a stop in the French Qtr in New Orleans is always fun. The NPS has a free walking tour which is very informative on the history of the city. We also enjoyed the WWII museum in additional to the other "traditional" highlights.

I haven't been, but I understand the National Corvette Museum in Bowling Green (60 to 90 minutes north of Nashville) is not to be missed.

We are retired military and frequently stay in Space A -- including in Key West (within walking distance of Duval Street), Homestead (south of FL and close to the Everglad NP) and close to New Orleans in Belle Isle (a 20 minute drive with a free pedestrian ferry to the qtr). We use DOD Lodging for reservations. Also, you may want to consider getting a book on Space A Lodging from your BX/PX as these books include many of the reserve and guard bases which are not yet entirely on the above website. Using Space A works very well for us. We also use Trip Advisor to find good local restaurants when traveling.

Enjoy your trip!!! You will have a lifetime of memories!!
__________________
RoccoPacco is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-22-2012, 04:41 PM   #13
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
Moemg's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Sarasota,fl.
Posts: 10,038
In Key West stay in a B&B . B&B online has a good selection . Make sure it is close to Duval street as you will need to park the car & walk.On your way back from Key West you could stop at Cape Canaveral I believe there is a military base nearby .
__________________
Moemg is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-23-2012, 07:41 PM   #14
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
packrat44's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: near Canadian border and near Mexican border
Posts: 1,142
DW and I are very appreciative of everyones input. We have copied all suggestions and are listing them in order of travel. Any othe suggestions would also be appreciated.

Interested in any historical re-inactment farms such as cotton or tobacco. Any museums; etc about bootlegging and whiskey running? I like early hot rods and old school stock cars.

There was mention about toll roads. Those are foreign to us. Can someone enlighten us on how to proceed/avoid/etc?
__________________
Pigs get fat, hogs get slaughtered. That's my story and I am sticking to it.
packrat44 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-23-2012, 07:56 PM   #15
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
 
Join Date: Mar 2004
Posts: 1,988
Quote:
Originally Posted by packrat44 View Post
There was mention about toll roads. Those are foreign to us. Can someone enlighten us on how to proceed/avoid/etc?
Depending on what roads you are taking across which states, there are toll roads. They are usually limited-access and well-maintained (a plus) but they charge a fee (a negative). At most locations you can pay in cash...and you either get a ticket as you enter the toll road which lists the toll fee for each exit, so you know how much you owe when you exit OR there will be a highway sign saying something like "Toll $1, Pay in 1 mile". Then in 1 mile there will be a toll booth and you give the toll taker $1.

You can choose to avoid toll roads with judicious planning. However, sometimes toll bridges are just hard to avoid.

Florida has done away with toll takers and has converted to SunPass (which you can buy for about $5 at CVS drugstores in FL, and affix to your windshield, and preload via the internet with $10 -$20) Florida's Turnpike - The Less Stressway™. Without a SunPass, if you use a Florida toll road you will get a bill in the mail for the toll(s) owed plus an administrative fee. This must be paid within 30 days. Easier to get the SunPass.

For tolls in most other states...make sure you've got the cash in the car, as IIRC they don't usually take credit cards.


omni
__________________
omni550 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-23-2012, 08:06 PM   #16
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
packrat44's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: near Canadian border and near Mexican border
Posts: 1,142
Quote:
Originally Posted by omni550 View Post
Depending on what roads you are taking across which states, there are toll roads. They are usually limited-access and well-maintained (a plus) but they charge a fee (a negative). At most locations you can pay in cash...and you either get a ticket as you enter the toll road which lists the toll fee for each exit, so you know how much you owe when you exit OR there will be a highway sign saying something like "Toll $1, Pay in 1 mile". Then in 1 mile there will be a toll booth and you give the toll taker $1.

You can choose to avoid toll roads with judicious planning. However, sometimes toll bridges are just hard to avoid.

Florida has done away with toll takers and has converted to SunPass (which you can buy for about $5 at CVS drugstores in FL, and affix to your windshield, and preload via the internet with $10 -$20) Florida's Turnpike - The Less Stressway™. Without a SunPass, if you use a Florida toll road you will get a bill in the mail for the toll(s) owed plus an administrative fee. This must be paid within 30 days. Easier to get the SunPass.

For tolls in most other states...make sure you've got the cash in the car, as IIRC they don't usually take credit cards.


omni
Does Florida send out the hounds and track down out-of-state visitors for collection of tolls?
__________________
Pigs get fat, hogs get slaughtered. That's my story and I am sticking to it.
packrat44 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-23-2012, 08:21 PM   #17
Full time employment: Posting here.
BTravlin's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2010
Posts: 994
If you do find yourself in Yellowstone NP, I recommend taking the Avalanche Peak Hike. The trail will take you to the top of a 10,500' peak in a relatively short 4.2 miles. One of the nicer views you'll ever get that is that accessible on foot. You look out all across Yellowstone Lake and the rest of the park. Make sure to have a warm windbreaker for the peak.


The trailhead is on the road leading to the eastern exit from the park.

Avalanche Peak - Yellowstone National Park | EveryTrail
__________________
Wherever you go, there you are.
(In other words, no whining!)
BTravlin is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-23-2012, 08:22 PM   #18
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
 
Join Date: Mar 2004
Posts: 1,988
Quote:
Originally Posted by packrat44 View Post
Does Florida send out the hounds and track down out-of-state visitors for collection of tolls?
Dunno.

Florida gets a huge number of tourists (87 million in 2011) and, according to their state tourism site, is the top travel destination in the world. Tourism is their #1 industry.

I can't imagine that they won't pursue scofflaws.

omni
__________________
omni550 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-23-2012, 08:27 PM   #19
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
 
Join Date: Mar 2004
Posts: 1,988
Toll road - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia is the Wikipedia entry for "toll roads'.

It covers them from ancient times to modern day.
__________________
omni550 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-23-2012, 08:36 PM   #20
Full time employment: Posting here.
JakeBrake's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Southeast USA
Posts: 548
I hate toll roads and I will go miles out of my way to avoid them. However, on a recent roadtrip to the Northeast USA, we found it impossible to avoid some toll roads.

Fortunately, for that trip we were driving a Hertz rental car that had a small box in the front windshield ( I forget what it was called). That box allowed us to pass through automated toll stations. The toll was billed to the same credit card we had used to rent the car.
__________________

__________________
JakeBrake is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


 

 
All times are GMT -6. The time now is 03:23 AM.
 
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.