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Things to see between New Orleans & Atlanta

Vancouver, Canada
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Things to see between New Orleans & Atlanta

Hello everyone,

Is there anyone who is familiar with the drive between New Orleans & Atlanta and can let me know of any points of interest that we can stop and see? I'm thinking cute towns, random landmarks (kitschy or historical), interesting views - really, whatever. Last year a friend and I drove Atlanta - Charleston - Savannah - Atlanta and we saw so many amazing things in between - stopping in at Social Circle, Madison, the Old Sheldon Church ruins, a visit to Oyotunji, Macon, the Whistle Stop Cafe in Juliette... And lots of other things in between. We are from New Zealand (me) & Australia (her), so we really enjoy seeing and experiencing these sights and foods and the Southern way of life.

We arrive in Atlanta at about 11am, and understand it takes around 7 hours to get to NOLA. We plan on spending the day meandering our way to New Orleans, so it doesn't matter about how long it takes us. I just thought I would start here, although many people have said that there is not much in between.. I just don't believe this! I'm sure there are some hidden gems.

Thanks so much :)

Daphne
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1. Re: Things to see between New Orleans & Atlanta

Drive through Mobile and make a quick trip from Mobile to Fairhope, Alabama. Beautiful little area that you will love.

Birmingham, Alabama
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2. Re: Things to see between New Orleans & Atlanta

The Barber Motor Sports Museum outside Birmingham is great - it's just off I-20. http://barbermotorsports.com/park/

The Civil Rights Institute in Birmingham is also worth a trip. http://bcri.org/index.html

Sloss Furnaces in Birmingham would also be worth a visit.

Depending on when you are traveling, maybe stop at the Talledega Speedway for some red neck fun? www.talladegasuperspeedway.com/?homepage=true

Birmingham, Alabama
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3. Re: Things to see between New Orleans & Atlanta

Here is Sloss' website: http://slossfurnaces.com/

A few other quirky things around Bham: Vulcan and related mining museum...small but Ok. Vulcan is the world's largest cast iron statue and is on a tower with a nice view of the City below in Jones Valley http://www.visitvulcan.com/

The new Barons baseball park (White Sox AA team) http://www.milb.com/index.jsp?sid=t247 and Railroad Park might be worth a trip. http://www.railroadpark.org/

They are near Good People Brewing. http://www.goodpeoplebrewing.com/

Other micro breweries include Cahaba Brewery http://www.cahababrewing.com/ and Avondale Brewery. http://www.avondalebrewing.com/

Believe it or not, but one of the great restaurants in the country, Highlands Bar and Grill, is in Bham. http://www.highlandsbarandgrill.com/ Who woulda thunk it? There are several really good restaurants - again who woulda guessed?

Nicki's West is a cafeteria line meat and three - just north of downtown. http://www.nikiswest.com/

The Whistlestop Cafe in Irondale just east of the city is a meat and three and subject of a Fanny Flagg book. http://www.irondalecafe.com/

Robert Trent Jones golf courses are in the area. http://www.rtjgolf.com/

Though maybe something like Highlands Golf Course - a public course in the city - would be more attractive? www.highlandparkgolf.com/highlandpark.asp…

The University of Alabama is just off I-20 in Tuscaloosa.

Arlington is an antebellum house in Bham. informationbirmingham.com/arlington/index.htm

You will pass the only operating steel mill left in Birmingham as you head west out of the city - in Fairfield - easily seen from the highway. There is a Mercedes Plant in Vance AL where they have tours.http://vance.alabama.com/attraction_details.html?detailsListingId=ATTRACTIONS_937c823ebb84af41c51c51710a7509ad

Edited: 13 June 2013, 21:34
Birmingham, Alabama
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4. Re: Things to see between New Orleans & Atlanta

A little more off the beaten path are the covered bridges of Blount County north of Bham:

http://co.blount.al.us/documents/Covered+Bridge+Trail.pdf

little rock arkansas
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for Little Rock, Arkansas
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5. Re: Things to see between New Orleans & Atlanta

Closer to New Orleans, if you like art, pottery, & architecture try the nice little gulf town of Ocean Springs Mississippi, where Shearwater Pottery and the Walter Anderson Museum are located; and the Biloxi coast where the you can visit the Frank Gehry designed museum honoring the mad potter of Biloxi, George Ohr.

City of Ocean Springs on the Mississippi Gulf Coast

ci.ocean-springs.ms.us

Ohr-O'Keefe Museum of Art

https://www.georgeohr.org/‎

Walter Anderson Museum of Art

walterandersonmuseum.org/‎

Shearwater Pottery Home

www.shearwaterpottery.com

Houston, Texas
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6. Re: Things to see between New Orleans & Atlanta

We lived in Auburn, AL and have made the Atlanta to Alabama( in general) and Auburn to Birmingham and Aubutn to Montgomery and down to New Orleans trips MANY times! There is really nothing worth taking the time to stop and see along the way really. With the exception of a detour for a few days to the Gulf beaches( Panama City, Destin, Gulf Shores, etc) if beeline to New Orleans because there is plenty to see and do in and around that area! The Eastern coast driving trip offers quite a bit in terms of scenery and experiences and the Atlanta to New Orleans trip does not. If you want to experience the Southern way I would HIGHLY suggest exploring the area 1-3 hours west of New Otleans instead. That is true Cajun Country and there will be many more things of interest there! I'd drive the straight 7 hours, maybe stop in the Biloxi area and then just use New Otleans as your hub to explore the area. If you still have time on the rear if the trip, then plan to stop along the way back at some of the places mentioned above. I would much rather spend the time on the end doing that instead of wishing that I had more time in the New Orleans/Cajyn country area because I wasted time in Alabama on the front end if the trip...... Just my opinion of course!!!

New Orleans...
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7. Re: Things to see between New Orleans & Atlanta

If you went West from Atlanta to Anniston, AL there's a crazy museum there w/ such things as spy gear and Hitler's tea set. Of course the time we went by there it was Sunday and a weird time and they were closed, so be aware of that sort of thing. The Barber Museum is something I hear A TON about where I work, which is in Warm Springs GA at an Americana museum. Our museum is actually 3 museums that specializes in vintage motorcycles and from the way people describe it, Barber is the Smithsonian of the vintage bike. We have a lot of different stuff like you'd see on American Pickers but it sounds if bikes are your thing Barber is where you should go.

If you are between Montgomery and Mobile there is basically NOTHING, just a few gas stations, far flung hotels and maybe a Subway sandwich shop or two--not much, so be aware. Mobile probably has some cool stuff--I remember reading something about a Hurricane Katrina memorial. We always drive like crazy for NOLA w/out stopping though...the zoo in Montgomery is cool, and there are some great Civil Rights attractions, but it's New Orleans...we always just want to get THERE.

Maryland
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8. Re: Things to see between New Orleans & Atlanta

Between Montgomery and NOLA: Just south of Montgomery on 65 is the Hyundai plant - they have an amazing (free!) tour at set times but you have to sign up in advance. Maybe a stop at Priesters pecans also just outside Montgomery. It's pretty touristy, but you can see them processing the pecans and they have lots of free samples. The USS ALABAMA is a cool battleship to se in Mobile. You can tour it, or just enjoy the view from the causeway (Hwy 90, just a bit out of the way) - there's some good restaurants along there too. As previously recomended, Ocean Springs MS is a great small town, and it's a beautiful drive between there and Bay St Louis (another great small town) on Hwy 90 along the MS coast. There a lot of trees carved into amazing sculptures along the Hwy 90 median that were destroyed in Katrina then turned into works of art. At Bay St Louis (either Hwy 607 or 603) pick up I-10 again to head into NOLA.

Florida
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9. Re: Things to see between New Orleans & Atlanta

Also check out downtown Montgomery. They have an old train station there where you can get on a trolley for 50 cents and ride all around the historical landmarks including Rosa Parks Museum, Dr. Martin Luther King's Dexter Street Church, Dr. King's homeplace, the First White House of the Confederacy, Oakwood Cemetery where Hank Williams is buried, and many, many more historical sites. It is well worth the visit.

Vancouver, Canada
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10. Re: Things to see between New Orleans & Atlanta

Thank you so much for all your great suggestions - I should add that we are gals in our late-20s in case that makes a difference for your suggestions :)

I think we will be taking the most direct route from Atlanta, so perhaps Birmingham will be a little bit further out of the way, unfortunately? It looks like the best route takes us via Montgomery and Mobile, would that be right?

We will be gunning it to get to NOLA, of course, but just thought that there might be some interesting things to see along the way - of course we'll need to stop for rest breaks and lunch, etc.. If we could coincide those breaks with interesting things, then so much the better!

I think we'll have to stop in Montgomery, Mobile, and Ocean Springs, for sure.. Would you recommend Ocean Springs over Biloxi? I saw Biloxi recommended elsewhere, too. The trees between Ocean Springs and Bay St Louis sound interesting!