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Unread 3 Nov 14, 01:38 PM  
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#1
Lola
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Join Date: Jan 05

Lola's Reviews
Hotel Reviews: 1
18 days 10 hotels - a Southern US Road Trip

Just returned from a road trip, total 2,600 miles round Southern USA. Fantastic weather and Main stops, highs and lows included here, mainly highs with just a few niggles. Any questions please ask.
October 2014
Day 1 Manchester Airport, Crowne Plaza
Booked with Avios points
High: Full breakfast included. They did leave us a bottle of wine and a card saying 'Congratulations on your recent wedding' in the room, strange as we've been married for 34 years.
Low: the smallest King Bed room ever.
Day 2 Direct flight to Atlanta with Delta in Economy. Direct flight, great inflight entertainment and food. Much better than Virgin in my opinion
Hampton Inn North, Atlanta Airport overnight stay and car pick up from Alamo.
High: free parking and Hampton Inn breakfast choice.
Low: Atlanta airport, very complicated system to travel around with buses, shuttle trains. Leave plenty of time for these.
Day 3 Chattanooga and the Jack Daniels Distillery Tour
High: Saw the Choo Choo at the station, Fantastic free tour of the Jack Daniels Distillery. Low: The distillery is in a dry county. Problems finding a hotel for the night as there were conferences everywhere and we hadnt booked this night in advance. Stayed in the Hampton Inn Fayette, new hotel with friendly helpful staff but hard to find due to no signs from the main road
Days 4 & 5 Nashville
Gaylord Opryland Resort. Huge atriums, much larger than the Gaylord Palms in Florida. Nashville; Grand Ole Opry, Wild Horse Saloon,
Highs: The shuttle service to Downtown. Opry tour, the Gaylord Resort itself
Low: The resort fee at Gaylord, staff seemed to be more conventioneer orientated.
Days 6, 7 & 8 Memphis
Comfort Inn Downtown. Reasonable price for the city hotels, short walk to Beale St etc. Road trip to Clarksdale and Rosedale to see the Crossroads on the Blues Trail. Visited Graceland, Sun Studios and the Rock and Blues Museum.
Highs: BB Kings on Beale Street, the fantastic view of the river and the bridge from our room, Sun Studios Tour and the brilliant girl who hosted the tour.
Low: Rip off food at another bar on Beale Street
Day 9 Tupelo & Natchez
Went to Elviss birthplace on route to Natchez via the Natchez Trace Parkway.
Highs: Seeing the tiny shack where Elvis was born, The rest of the place is a bit boring. The Trace Parkway is a road that runs from Memphis to Natchez. Very quiet and peaceful and a rest from the Interstates. Stayed at the Hampton Inn, Canton.
Low: No real low but the Hampton Inn was a bit run down. Ok for a quick overnight stop.
Days 10 & 11 New Orleans
Stayed in the Holiday Inn Downtown. A shortish walk to the French Quarter and reasonable price for New Orleans. Did the River Steamboat trip.
Highs: the French Quarter and Jackson Square were a lot better than expected and the street buskers were excellent
Lows: Parking fee of 28 dollars at the hotel, the need to take a cab when returning at night for safety reasons.
Days 12 & 13 Pensacola Beach
Stayed at Hampton Inn Pensacola Beach, a return stay from 18 months ago.
Highs: Fantastic location on the beach and the ocean view room. Beach and Pool time
New restaurant, Red Fish Blue Fish across the road from hotel
Day 14 Jacksonville
Long driving day with an overnight stop, again at a Hampton Inn.
High: Good roads and low traffic
Low: Change oil light now appearing on the car. Checked the book and rang Alamo, they were fine and we took the car to Hilton Head Airport the next day where they gave us another car. All sorted quickly, good service from Alamo.
Days 15, 16 & 17 Hilton Head Island
Stayed at the South Beach Inn at the Salty Dog. Return visit from 13 years ago. Much needed rest and relaxation being the order of the days here, with a little added shopping.
Highs: the place itself, our loft style apartment, only having to pay for two of the three nights we stayed as there was some maintenance work going on.
Low: Having to leave
Day 18 Return Flights
We flew back indirect via Amsterdam as this saved us around 250 each. Good flights all on time.
Low: the security at Amsterdam airport was strange with the scanning, bag checks etc. Taking place at each individual gate. Consequently the queues were enormous as the gates only opened one hour before take off. 300 people in a line at once and unhelpful, abrupt staff. This was totally opposite to Atlanta airport. Very little, and I mean very little, seating in the airport as a whole meant that with some mobility problems due to arthritis I was uncomfortable most of the time in the airport. Not likely to travel via that airport again.

Finally. A fantastic trip with many highlights. Being on the wrong side of 60 it is unlikely we will plan such a whistlestop tour again, although we have done similar distances and overnight stops on other trips. We will take our time more in future and try to remember which city we are in or what day it is more often. Now to recommence planning for our next which is home to Walt Disney World again at Coronado Springs and the Animal Kingdom Lodge booked for March 2015.
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Unread 3 Nov 14, 01:49 PM  
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ayles300
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Join Date: Jan 11
Sounds like you had a lovely time!

Would love to do a road trip, especially the Deep South, DH has always wanted to go to Graceland, will have to look into it now the kids are getting a bit older and should be able to cope.
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Florida road trip!
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Unread 3 Nov 14, 03:04 PM  
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Lola
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Imagineer
 
Join Date: Jan 05

Lola's Reviews
Hotel Reviews: 1
The Graceland mansion is a really good tour. The rest of the displays are a bit of nothing really, although the automobile display was ok. The tour has an interactive ipad and headphones for each person with photos, videos and information. These were good however as most of the visitors are quite elderly (to say the least) it does hold up the proceedings a bit. The gravesites are presented with dignity and in a quiet garden, if you can get round the 'old ladies' who tend to monopolise the space. It is very busy with tour parties.
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Unread 4 Nov 14, 05:38 PM  
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k4ti3-x
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Join Date: Mar 11
Location: Glasgow

k4ti3-x's Reviews
Restaurant Reviews: 1
Sounds like you had a great trip! Looking at planning a Southern US road trip for 2016 so this has given me some ideas so thank you
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Unread 4 Nov 14, 08:21 PM  
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#5
Lola
Thread Starter
Imagineer
 
Join Date: Jan 05

Lola's Reviews
Hotel Reviews: 1
We do like our road trips and have done California twice, Vegas and the Grand Canyon and National Parks. New England and the Carolinas a few years ago. We will take it more slowly in future though.
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