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Need help on a road trip - Austin to Chicago via New Orleans

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Need help on a road trip - Austin to Chicago via New Orleans

Hi all. Trying to work out an itinerary for a roadtrip for Summer 2018. Flying in from the UK. Found reasonably priced flights with Norwegian airlines. They fly direct both into Chicago and Austin. The rough itinerary for a 18/19 day trip is:

Austin - 2 nights

Houston - 2 nights

Youngsville - 1 night

New Orleans - 3 nights

Jackson - 1 night

Memphis - 2 nights

Nashville - 3 nights

Chicago - 2 nights

The above is only a very rough route. We also have 2-3 more days to fill. Any suggestions would be great.

Myself and my wife are young mid 50's. Love visiting different towns, cities, architecture, scenery and like all types of music and food.

24 replies to this topic
Tacoma, Washington
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1. Re: Need help on a road trip - Austin to Chicago via New Orleans

Vicksburg over jackson

Night in San antonio

Add rest in chicago.

Atlanta, Georgia
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2. Re: Need help on a road trip - Austin to Chicago via New Orleans

Yes add San Antonio! What do you want to see in Houston? Lots of traffic there.

Is Youngsville for Tabasco factory and New Iberia?

After New Orleans drive up MS river to Natchez for plantations and Vicksburg for Civil war park and great food.

If into music stop in Clarksdale on way to Memphis.

Be glad to give you restaurant recommendations for San Antonio, Houston, Vicksburg and Memphis.

Sedona
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3. Re: Need help on a road trip - Austin to Chicago via New Orleans

There was just major flooding in Houston, but hopefully this will not be a problem a year from now.

Agree about San Antonio as a stop.

Recommend the overnight in Vicksburg, Natchez or Clarksdale unless you have friends in Jackson.

You can find information on Natchez here:

http://visitnatchez.org/

The people at the Visitor Center there are very helpful too.

I suggest driving the Natchez Trace from Natchez to Clinton, then going west to Vicksburg. The Natchez Trace was originally an Indian and traders' trail, and there are a few historic stops along the way.

Edited: 19 September 2017, 06:08
Bangkok, Thailand
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4. Re: Need help on a road trip - Austin to Chicago via New Orleans

Hi,

As the above contributors recommend, I suggest 2 nights in San Antonio.

You could consider, 2 nights in Great Smoky Mountains NP and Blue Ridge Parkway.

Mammoth Cave National Park is worth visiting.

You could skip Houston.

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5. Re: Need help on a road trip - Austin to Chicago via New Orleans

No need to spend time in Jackson. I agree with the others - visit Natchez, VIcksburg, Clarksdale on the way to Memphis. If you are just wanting to go straight from New Orleans to Memphis, it is an easy six hour drive - no need to stay overnight on the way.

Chicago, Illinois
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6. Re: Need help on a road trip - Austin to Chicago via New Orleans

I would agree to add San Antonio.

Just a thought:

Amtrak train goes to Austin, San Antonio, Houston, New Orleans, Jackson, Memphis, and Chicago.

One way car rentals might have a high one way fee. You could always rent a car in Memphis to see Nashville.

…amtrak.com/2014/…

Lewes, United...
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7. Re: Need help on a road trip - Austin to Chicago via New Orleans

When in summer?

Much of the south could be not just very hot but also pretty humid. More so than most Brits would enjoy! Doesn't mean you can do it or should not go, but just a warning.

Yes, you will have a hefty one way drop fee for this type of trip. Expect to pay around US$500. The savings by using Norwegian will hopefully offset that!

Even before Houston got hit by hurricane Harvey, it's not the best choice, but you will need a night stop somewhere between Austin or San Antonio and New Orleans area. How far are you prepared to drive? Lake Charles area might work?

I agree to drop Jackson for any or all of the many options mentioned above. Just depends on whether food, history, architecture or music are what gets your vote! Some stops could cover all bases, actually!

You don't need a car in Chicago, so drop it on arrival. Take care with New Orleans hotel options as car parking can be pricey and you are likely to want to be in or very near the French Quarter. Again, Nashville need care with where you stay as it gets ever pricier.

SWT

Atlanta, Georgia
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8. Re: Need help on a road trip - Austin to Chicago via New Orleans

Yes Amtrak does go between New Orleans to Memphis and on to Chicago. No Nashville on the route and the route up thru MS is not scenic at all. It goes thru some industrial areas and down thru the middle of the state not along the scenic MS river route.

uk
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9. Re: Need help on a road trip - Austin to Chicago via New Orleans

Thanks for all your replies so far. Could I please have comments on the revised itinerary below.

Austin - 2 nights

San Antonio - 2 nights

Brenham - 1 night

New Orleans - 3 nights

Natchez - 1 night

Vicksburg - 1 night

Clarksdale -1 night

Memphis - 2 nights

Nashville - 3 nights

Chicago - 2 nights

I could possibly drop a night in either Natchez, Vicksburg or Clarksdale. Should I add another night in New Orleans or Chicago. What are your thoughts?

Atlanta, Georgia
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10. Re: Need help on a road trip - Austin to Chicago via New Orleans

Brenham? Only thing I know is that Round Top flea market is nearby.

I would try and drive I 10 in middle of day to Lake Charles. Eat at Steamboat Bill's for great Cajun food.

Think would do no night in Natchez but one night in Vicksburg then possibly a night in Clarksdale for iconic Shack up Inn and Morgan Freeman's blues bar. I would spend late afternoon and part of next day until after lunch in Vicksburg.

With driving you will only have 1.5 days in Chicago so possibly add a day there unless you have been before.

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