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What to see and do - off the beaten track

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What to see and do - off the beaten track

We are 3 Australian adults that are going to be travelling to the USA in May 2013

Our flight will be landing in Dallas on 1st May 2013 and we are planning to stay 2 nights in Fort Worth before flying to New York.

We will be staying 10 nights in Brooklyn and 1 or 2 nights in Hummelstown (PA)  it's from here that we would appreciate any advice re where to go, what to do and see.

We have 3 weeks before we have to be back in Dallas. We are not committed to any single place, just wishing to drive and enjoy the sights, sounds and the foods that the country has to offer.

Our last trip - 2 years ago - took us to Camden (Maine) and the  main cities (Boston, New York, Washington, Chicago, San Francisco, Los Angeles and Las Vegas) we flew or caught a bus or train to most of these places.  This time we want to take our time and explode the South. 

We will be driving and want to stay away from the main highways.

We  hope to be able to experience the more local experiences. (preferably off the beaten track) and stay away from the 'cheesy' tourist attractions.

A rough outline of our route is: 

Brooklyn - Hummelstown (PA)

Hummelstown - Richmond (VA)

Richmond - Petersburg (VA)

Petersburg - Raleigh (NC)

Raleigh - Fayetteville (NC)

Fayetteville - Wilmington (NC)

Wilmington - Myrtle Beach (NC)

Myrtle Beach - Charleston (SC)

Charleston - Columbia (SC)

Columbia - Charlotte (NC)

Charlotte - Knoxville(TN)

Knoxville - Nashville (TN)

Nashville - Memphis (TN)

Memphis - Little Rock (AR) 

Little Rock - Dallas (TX)

Any advice re places to visit or things not to miss.

La Plata, Maryland
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1. Re: What to see and do - off the beaten track

Some suggestions - click on each of these:

























Edited: 29 July 2012, 04:24
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2. Re: What to see and do - off the beaten track

Why not kick your route thru VA a bit to the west and hit Shenandoah NP and the Blue Ridge further south? It'll make for much prettier driving than the eastern portion of the state. Also, I think Charlottesville would be worth spending a night...its a neat town and there are some nice wineries nearby.

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3. Re: What to see and do - off the beaten track

Thank you all for your fantastic advice,

We will definitely have to reconsider our route with all this wonderfull advice.

We are planning to plot all of the places recommended on a map and then reassess. We would love to see everything, but that is just not realistic.

Our interests definitely relate to the food, the culture, sport (my husband wants to catch a baseball game if possible), shopping as well as the scenery.

Whilst we are not specifically wanting to see where certain movies or TV shows were filmed, we do love the look of some of the locations used in movies such as "The Help" "Forrest Gump" and "Bull Durham" to name but a few

For those of you who asked why we chose the towns/cities that we did, this relates mainly to the maps we were using - they did not drill down to the smaller locations, and websites such as the local tourist information sites can be very overwhelming at times.

Re the distances we are travelling - we dont mind this, its common place in Australia to be driving these distances.

Thank you again to all. We will update this forum of our plans once we have plan no. 2 in draft form.


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4. Re: What to see and do - off the beaten track

Your husband is not going to have any problem catching a baseball game with your proposed itinerary. Every one of the cities you listed has either a major league baseball team (Texas Rangers in Dallas), a minor league team or even a collegiate summer league team.

We are big fans of minor league baseball. The tickets are cheap, the atmosphere is fun and the baseball can be really good. (The minor leagues are ranged from A to AAA. The AAA teams are just one level down from major league baseball.) Also, what's not to like about team names such as the Richmond Flying Squirrels or the Carolina Mudcats?

Once you have your itinerary firmed up, you can Google "(City name) minor league baseball" and find the team that plays in that city with their schedule. I think attending a minor league baseball game would be a great experience for an overseas visitor.

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5. Re: What to see and do - off the beaten track

MarylandMist, check a couple of your links - amishactivities and nationalcivilwarmuseum don't seem to be working correctly.

We did a minor league baseball tour in North Carolina/Tennessee a few years back. The Durham Bulls, Durham, NC, have a new ballpark now, but the new one is a great venue for the game!

The Museum of the Civil War Soldier just south of Petersburg, VA, is an excellent place to explore the history of the Civil War soldier; it's about the common man rather than famous battles or generals. MarylandMist gave you the link; it's the one for Pamplin Park.

I'd stop at Gettysburg on the way to Richmond, if you're at all interested in the American Civil War. Also on your way south, I recommend a stop at Cozy's Inn & Restaurant in Thurmont, Maryland. Good food and a fun little museum of Camp David, the American Presidential retreat just a few miles away. It may be a tiny bit cheesy, but it is off the beaten track, too!

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6. Re: What to see and do - off the beaten track

Thank you all for your fantastic advice,

We have reconsidered our route based on a lot of the fantastic advice received from this website and all of the forum advisors.

So following is draft version 2. 

We recognise that we have just 5 weeks, and there is only so much you can pack into that time and still call it a holiday.

So here goes:

Day 1 - fly Sydney to Dallas stay Dallas (2 days)

Day 3 - Fly Dallas to new York (staying in Brooklyn for 10 days)

Day 13- Drive to Hummelstown PA (2 days)

Day 15- Drive to  Charlottsville VA  (2 days)

Day 17- Drive to Durham NC (3 days)

Day 20 - Drive to Edenton NC (2 days)

Day 22- Drive to Wilmington NC (1 day)

Day 23- Drive to Beaufort SC (3 days)

Day 26 - Drive to Asheville NC (2 days)

Day 28- Drive to Nashville TN (4 days)

Day 32- Drive down 'Natches parkway' to Tupelo MS (1 day)

Day 33- Drive to Memphis TN (3 days)

Day 36- It's time to go home - flight Dallas to Sydney.

In each of these area's there appears to be so much to explore, and we thank you for all of your advice.

PS.  Departure date from Sydney is not till May 2013, so our next plan is to identify our accommodation and where to catch a baseball game.

We have discovered a website - Select Registry - (www.selectregistry.com) that provides for some amazing B&B's and similar style accommodation.

Please feel free to comment and advise further


3 Aussies

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7. Re: What to see and do - off the beaten track

The Edenton Steamers are a college-age, wooden bat baseball team, playing in the Coastal Plain League. Their season doesn't start until near the end of May, but that level baseball can be a lot of fun. Their website is: www.edentonsteamers.com/index.php…

and here's a little bit about the CPL: http://www.coastalplain.com/cpl_08/page/today

Asheville has a minor league baseball team, the Asheville Tourists. http://www.milb.com/index.jsp?sid=t573 While in Asheville, we toured the Biltmore mansion and grounds. The restaurant at Biltmore was very good, and we also enjoyed a wine tasting there. Then we also attended a baseball game in Asheville. http://www.biltmore.com/

8. Re: What to see and do - off the beaten track

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