OK here is my proposed trip in April/May next year.
A lot of it is based on info from these forums already, but I think I"ve now got it to join up!
We have 23 days car hire booked - this is not set in stone - but is timed to get back to Phl before Memorial Day w/end to avoid the crowds. I can amend the booking prior to car pickup - we pick up/drop off at PHL
We have a base in Phl - with relatives. We need to spend about 3/4 night in New Orleans (more relatives)
We are a couple in our 50's / 60's We are experienced travellers and have done road trips before (Australia). We've both driven in the US before. If I can mainly find motels for under $100 night we are happy to stay in those, otherwise we may consider some camping gear.
Thanks to another thread I started here I think we will buy a cheap GPS
Our interests are history, outdoors, snorkelling (if the water is warm enough that time of the year?). Not interested in shopping or country music. My partner will want to see a battlefield or 3. I'd like to see some of those huge Southern Mansions (Gone with the Wind!). We both want to see the Outer Banks and the Appalachians. I used to be a geologist so rocks and fossils tend to attract me.
We don't really care where we stay, would rather spend the money on food, drink, and attractions.
We have zero interest in theme parks but I'd like to see Cape Canaveral (my partner has already) . I'd like to practice my Spanish in Miami and see how their Art Deco mesures up to NZ's Napier.
The basic plan is the to hug the coast south to Key West and north to New Orleanas, and then take the Natchez Trace north and somehow pick up the Smokies and Blue Ridge on the way back to Philly. Obviously we want to stick to the smaller roads where possible.
We've both been to the US before but not spent any time on the East Coast. I'm hoping to minimize the amount of booking we do in advance for this trip, so we can have flexibility, but is there anywhere that is going to be a serious issue please let me know?
Too much? Too little (I don't think so!). I'm struggling to get my head around the distances, they seem so short - in Australia 500km is a short day's drive, doing that in the US would mean we missed a couple of states :-) That said every few days it's nice to stay a day or 3 and have a base.
Our budget is $200/day (excluding the car rental) - is that reasonable?