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Galveston, Texas
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Deep South Christmas Roadtrip

Hi, we've [Dad & DD21] got our flights booked for our Roadtrip this yr, flying in and out of Atlanta, early december in the states for christmas and new year's eve, flying home Jan 1. Now I'm trying to sort out an itinerary, but there's soo much to do in the south.

I'm thinking something along the route of this http://tinyurl.com/c4hbtqu We've got 24nights, the first night is already lost to Atlanta and we don't land until gone 6pm. I don't mind where we end up on Christmas, but we'll be in Atlanta for NYE as we fly out the next day, so I was thinking of saving the sights of Atlanta for the end of the trip.

Will we encur any snow anywhere on our travels, do you think we'll need snow tyres? We've never driven using snow tyres before, England just shuts down when it snows!

Atlanta [1 night] > Savannah [3 nights] > Charleston [3 nights] > Blowing Rock[1 night] > Asheville [2 nights] > Gatlinburg [2 nights] > Nashville [3 nights] > Memphis [3 nights] > Vicksburg [1 night] > New Orleans [3 nights] > Atlanta [2 nights]

This puts us in Memphis for Christmas Day & Atlanta for NYE.

Plan is at the moment,

Day 1 - Arrive late into Atlanta, spend the night

Day 2 - Get up next day drive to Savannah, Sightsee afternoon

Day 3,4 - Two full days in Savannah, including daytrip to Tybee Island: Is it worth seeing TI in decemeber?

Day 5 - Drive to Charleston, stopping in Beaufort

Day 6,7 - Two Full Days in Charleston

Day 8 - Drive to Blowing Rock

Day 9 - Day's drive on Blue Ridge Parkway to Asheville

Day 10 - Full Day in Asheville for Biltmore

Day 11 - Drive to Gatlinburg, go to Dollywood open 2-9pm

Day 12 - Full Day in Smokie Mountains

Day 13 - Drive to Nashville, arriving late. Stopping in Lychburg, TN for Jack Daniels' Tour, and Franklin, TN for wonder and probably dinner.

Day 14,15 - Two Full Days in Nashville

Day 16 - Drive to Memphis, Sightsee

Day 17,18 - Two Full Days in Memphis, over Christmas

Day 19 - Drive to Tupelo, Oxford, Clarksdale and finally Vicksburg [I realise this will be a long day, its Tupelo that makes the drive long, but my dad is a major Elvis fan]

Day 20 - Morning in Vicksburg, drive to Natchez and maybe even Baton Rouge, finally New Orleans

Day 21,22 - Two Full Days in New Orleans

Day 23 - Drive to Atlanta, via Mobile

Day 24 - Full Day in Atlanta [NYE]

Day 25, Jan 1st, majority of day in Atlanta, late flight home at 8pm.

Thoughts?

I hear that Gatlinburg goes all out for Christmas, and is a good place to stay when visting the Smokies and Dollywood. Unsure whether to do Dixie's Stampede? I know I havn't got much time for the Smokies, but it's better than nothing, and we have the full day to tours the parts of interest to us.

Thanks :D

Townsend, Tennessee
Destination Expert
for Townsend, Great Smoky Mountains National Park
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1. Re: Deep South Christmas Roadtrip

wow - great itinerary! You will see a lot in a short amount of time.

Mid to late December it is possible you could see snow coming over I-40 from Asheville or over 441 from Cherokee into the Gatlinburg area. But I would say it is unlikely to encounter snow so bad as to need snow tires. Ive made that trip in the snow and sometimes the trucks will chain up but cars do fine even if they do only keep one of two lanes open. And in the Smokies if the snow is too much they will simply close the roads that are affected. That would most likely only apply to 441 at the higher elevations - it would be unusual to have that much snow in Dec to have to close any of the lower elevation roads in the Park. And Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge should be fine.

I'm not a big fan of Tybee but I would suggest a trip over to the brick confederate fort (Ft Pulaski) that guarded Savannah Harbor. You can still see the places in the walls where the union shells exploded in the brick work.

Tennessee
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48 posts
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2. Re: Deep South Christmas Roadtrip

I was just gonna say you needed to go to Tybee while you were that close in Savannah and then saw you already had it planned! Oh my goodness, what wonderful memories just hearing the name again brings. Have a blessed and wonderful trip. Maybe you can ck out our town, Chattanooga, TN if you are ever in our neck of the woods again.

Rhonda

Florida
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3. Re: Deep South Christmas Roadtrip

On your way to Tybee Island from Savannah, on the right hand side of the road is a place called the Crab Shack. They do the MOST AWESOME low country shrimp boil. U-peel-em shrimp with tiny new red potatoes, corn on the cob and smoked sausage. Dripping with Old Bay Seasoning and butter. Eat outside and you toss the scraps in the holes in the center of the table. That and a cold beer or two (or more!) and you are set.

Alabama
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4. Re: Deep South Christmas Roadtrip

n8tive - thank you for the name of that place. My husband I ate there several years ago and I could NOT remember the name of the place. First time I ever at oysters was at that place. Yummy.

Alabama
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5. Re: Deep South Christmas Roadtrip

Oh and to the original poster, I'd figure out a way to spend Christmas in Gatlinburg instead of Memphis.

Tombstone, Arizona
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6. Re: Deep South Christmas Roadtrip

Northampton: You really have a busy schedule, especially the driving portion.

Hope your visit is the greatest experience you ever could imagine, the weather cooperates and the travel miles the safest.

Savannah, Georgia
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for Gatlinburg, Maggie Valley, Pigeon Forge
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7. Re: Deep South Christmas Roadtrip

I like Tybee a lot, and I agree that Ft. Pulaski should be visited while in this area. The Crab Shack is very good, and so is The Shell House. Also, please don't miss River St. in Savannah. It's a MUST.

And, as VeeBee said, Christmas should be spent in the Smokies!

Athens, Georgia
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8. Re: Deep South Christmas Roadtrip

Sounds like a great and busy itinerary. I live right outside of Atlant, just be prepared for possible problems at the airport. It is extremely busy always and even worse during the holdiays. Downtown Atlanta is very crazy during New Years Eve I would recommend staying within walking distance to the festivities.

The smokies does go all out for Christmas. We visit for Thanksgiving and it really gets us in the spirit. The dixie stampede is just O.K.. for us, we haven't been to it in a few years because we like to try a different show each time. Last year we went to the Christmas Opry show and it was fabulous. We will probably see it again this year. The comedy barn is hillarious if you need a good laugh. Neither of these are dinner shows which we like because there are tons of great restaurants in this area.

You should check in to the inn at the Christmas place, that would be a great place to stay. They do book up fast. http://innatchristmasplace.com/

About the snow tires, I would not worry about that. I would hope any rental car would have good tires. I doubt you will see any snow but possibly on The blue ridge pkwy. If it is dangerous the road will be closed. Here is the info line you might want to plug into your phone just in case. nps.gov/blri/planyourvisit/roadclosures.htm

Galveston, Texas
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9. Re: Deep South Christmas Roadtrip

Thanks for the suggestions guys, it's soo hard trying to decide everything! I think I either want to be in the Smokies or Charleston for Xmas, but it's hard to fit in the trip without increasing driving times!

I can't decide on route for the trip! I was thinking of reserving the trip round, which would start us off in New Orleans but I really wanted to end the trip on a high in NOLA!

I'm thinking maybe this route instead:

Atl [1 night] > Savannah [2 nights] > Charleston [3 nights] > Wilmington [1 night] > Asheville [2 nights] > Gatlinburg [2 nights] > Nashville [3 nights] > Memphis [3 nights] > Vicksburg [1 night] > New Orleans [4 nights] > Altanta [2 nights]

At the minute though puts us in Vicksburg for Xmas day, vica versa Charleston, but it would be driving from Memphis to Vicksburg on Xmas Day, or Wilmington to Charleston on Xmas Day.

I'd had a few people recommed I don't need 3 nights in Savannah, Nashville and Memphis. I'd decided I could probably cut a night from Savannah, but I need the 3 nights in both Nash & Mem, as I want to visit Jack Daniel's Distrilly & Franklin, TN and need time to do so, and Memphis I want to go the the zoo so will need a half day for this.

I've also cut Blowing Rock from the route, and Blue Ridge...and hopefully save that for another trip one day, as there could be snow, and icy closed roads, and don't want this to affect our trip. Instead I've put Wilmington, NC in, as I'm a One Tree Hill fan, and my Dad, Dawson's Creek.

If I don't do 4 nights in NOLA, I was thinking I could either add it back to Savannah, put Blowing Rock back in the mix, or add to either Asheville or Gatlinburg.

Soo confused!!

Georgia
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10. Re: Deep South Christmas Roadtrip

I think finising in NOLA and NYears in ATL is a nice way to wrap up the trip.

Let me ask...what are the ages and interests of the vacationers in your party? You've got a lot of music (country in Pigeon Forge/Nash, R&B in Memphis and jazz in NO) but you've also got civil war/history activities planned, beautiful homes to tour (Charleston, Ashveville) then on another thread you mentioned rollercoasters.

I can't really speak to Wilmington, but I don't know that there is much to do there, esp in Dec. Perhaps I'm wrong. Even the film-making will be shut down in Dec. You're kinda going out of your way for a place that I'm not sure is worthy. I would add Chattanooga for civil war history and beauty...or Valdosta at Wild Adventures theme park for the coasters and holiday theme (Wild Adventures is run by the Dollywood's folks now). You could hit Valdosta in south Georgia upon your return drive from NO to Atlanta. Just another thought if you're looing for coasters.

Also, since most everything is closed on Christmas Day...might not be bad do plan some serious driving that day...the roads will be dead.

Also, Zoo Atlanta is pretty nice...don't know how it compares to Memphis though.