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DC to Nashville or Nashville to Houston?

Melbourne, Australia
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DC to Nashville or Nashville to Houston?

Hi all

We have approx 4 days to do a little road trip after time in Washington DC and need to be in Houston at the finish. We are trying to decide between these two options, any advice/thoughts appreciated.

Option 1 -- Drive from DC, take route encompassing Blue Ridge Parkway (couple nights along the way) and finish in Nashville for a couple nights. Fly to Houston.

Option 2 -- Fly from DC to Nashville, spent a night or two in Nashville then take route to Houston via Memphis and Little Rock (maybe spend a night in each of those).

Appreciate any help, tips, recommendations etc!!!

Norwich, United...
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1. Re: DC to Nashville or Nashville to Houston?

When do you plan to take this trip? In winter your second option would be far more appropriate.

Washington DC to Nashville is about 670 miles by interstate, probably a bit more than that via the BRP. The Parkway is magnificent but it's not a fast road, and it's best appreciated taken slowly with numerous stops for the overlooks and various exhibits along the way. However, with four days you could include at least a fair bit of the Parkway if not all of it. A couple of alternatives would be to largely forego the Parkway (use the interstate instead) and spend some time in either Shenandoah National Park or the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. IMHO all three options would be highly enjoyable but I think on balance I'd probably opt for the Parkway. I've yet to find a good video of the Parkway but here are ones of the national parks:

Shenandoah https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7BFuJcxexSM

Great Smoky Mountains https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DVq5Vu3J2sY

Nashville > Memphis > Little Rock > Houston is about 785 miles. I'm not very familiar with that area so I'll have to leave it to other people to comment, except to say that it's generally much flatter and therefore less scenic terrain but no doubt it has other positive features.

Hope this helps.

Melbourne, Australia
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2. Re: DC to Nashville or Nashville to Houston?

Thanks for the prompt reply. Regarding the time, it will be early October

Atlanta, Georgia
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3. Re: DC to Nashville or Nashville to Houston?

Early to mid October in Great Smoky Mts. NP is prime leaf season so book early if doing that.

If decide to do the Nashville, Memphis, Vicksburg, Natchez route on to Houston- it is very historic, great food and music, etc. Have driven that multiple times a year to visit family in Houston area.

Tacoma, Washington
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4. Re: DC to Nashville or Nashville to Houston?

Early October---blue ridge wins.

Shenandoah is usually peak color around October7-10.

Aubrey, Texas
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5. Re: DC to Nashville or Nashville to Houston?

A third option with a music focus through the heart of the South is Nashville, Memphis, Clarksdale and the rest of the Blues Highway down to Vicksburg and on to New Orleans. Then drive or preferably fly to Houston. October usually sees cooler temperatures in the South. At Vicksburg you can self tour the site of a significant battle in the 19th century Civil War.

…nationalgeographic.com/travel/…

conn
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6. Re: DC to Nashville or Nashville to Houston?

its also much easier to plan a trip on the Blue Ridge Parkway info and links are right on the park service web sight. If you do the Nashville to Houston you have do a lot more of the planning yourself not a big deal but just somwthing to think about.

Houston, TX
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7. Re: DC to Nashville or Nashville to Houston?

Re the Blue Ridge Parkway--it is a beautiful, scenic drive, no doubt about that. However, we find that a bit goes a long way. It is winding and the pace is slower--nothing wrong with that, but I would suggest that if you decide to drive that route you pick a certain section, enjoy the drive, then back to the main roads.

If you go through Vicksburg and Natchez, you can take a route to Houston that will not include I-10 from the east. Head toward Alexandria, LA then along highway 28 toward Jasper, TX then pick up highway 59/69 south to Houston. A bit more scenic, you see some small towns, and it is a good alternative to just interstates.

The Clinton Presidential Library in Little Rock makes an interesting stop.

Edited: 19 June 2014, 19:48
Norwich, United...
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8. Re: DC to Nashville or Nashville to Houston?

Here's a very useful mile-by-mile guide to the Blue Ridge Parkway:

http://www.blueridgeonline.com/MilePost

Atlanta, Georgia
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9. Re: DC to Nashville or Nashville to Houston?

Here is something I did to help people planning a trip from Memphis and on thru Mississippi-

tripadvisor.com/…58460160

Melbourne, Australia
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10. Re: DC to Nashville or Nashville to Houston?

Thanks all, much appreciated for your advice! We'll have a chat about it and decide.