The Fab Fam just took another successful road trip! This was a Southern U.S. road trip, taking us from Texas through Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, and Florida. We then looped back by going through Georgia, Tennessee, and Arkansas before making our way back home to Texas. Overall we covered eight states, about 3,000 miles, and 46 hours of drive time over the course of nine days. I am pleased to say that the whole family did great. If you want to see my tried-and-true tips for surviving a long road trip with young children, click here.
Last week I shared our driving playlist for the journey. Today I am sharing our itinerary and reviews of the sight-seeing and food stops we made along the way.
|We had the chance to see my granddaddy in Houston on our way from Central Texas to Lafayette during the first leg of our road trip|
- Lunch: Olde Tyme Grocery (218 W St Mary Blvd, Lafayette, LA 70506) - Note: cash only
- Recommendations: Po-boys
|You haven't had a po-boy until you've had one in the heart of Cajun Country. One of the best I have had to this day is at Olde Tyme Grocery in Lafayette near the U-La-La campus.|
- Check-in to hotel: Hilton Garden Inn New Orleans French Quarter/CBD (821 Gravier Street, New Orleans, LA 70130)
- Misc. sight-seeing opportunities: Jackson Square, Mississippi River, cemetery, Voodoo Museum, French Market, etc. (for more detailed reviews and tips for a trip to NOLA, click here and here)
- Dinner: Mr. B’s Bistro (201 Royal St, New Orleans, LA 70130)
(see my review of Mr. B's in this post)
- Breakfast: Café Du Monde (800 Decatur St, New Orleans, LA 70116) - Note: cash only
- Recommendations: Beignets and chicory coffee (see my review of Café Du Monde in this post)
- Visit USS Alabama Battleship (2703 Battleship Pkwy, Mobile, AL 36603)
The boys could barely contain themselves when we arrived at the Memorial Park
- Lunch: The Hungry Owl (7899 Cottage Hill Rd, Mobile, AL 36695)
- Recommendations: Seafood pizza, gator cakes
- Visit Gator Alley Farm (19500 Co Rd 71, Summerdale, AL 36580) - Note: Alligator feedings at 11:00 am, 1:00 pm, 4:00 pm
- Dinner: Beef O’Brady’s (4944 Malloy Plaza, Marianna, FL 32448)
- Recommendations: Burgers, wings, nachos, craft beers
Drive to Tallahassee (1 hr.)
- Check-in to hotel: Hampton Inn Tallahassee-Central (2979 Apalachee Parkway, Tallahassee, FL 32301)
- Breakfast: CanopyRoad Café (1913 N Monroe St, Tallahassee, FL 32303)
- Recommendations: Breakfast skillets, sweet potato pancakes
- Drive around FSU campus
- Visit Johnny Donutseed roadside attraction (2804 Gamble Rd, Monticello, FL 32344)
Drive to Gainesville (2 hrs.)
- Planned lunch: Satchel’s Pizza (1800 NE 23rd Ave, Gainesville, FL 32609) - Note: Cash only
- Recommendations: Eat in the van
- Actual lunch (Satchel's was closed): Crane Ramen (16 SW 1st Ave, Gainesville, FL 32601)
- Visit University of Florida campus
- Visit Florida Museum of Natural History (3215 Hull Rd, Gainesville, FL 32611) - General Admission is free!
We couldn't leave without playing on the ant sculptures one more time!
- Visit concrete monoliths roadside attraction (park at Sheriff's South Multi District Office, Ocala, FL 34480). The remnants of supports for a bridge that would have crossed a never-built cross-Florida barge canal stand over-grown in the woods. More on this project from the 1930's can be found in this article.
- Check-in to hotel: DoubleTree by Hilton Universal Orlando (5780 Major Blvd, Orlando, FL 32819)
- Dinner: NYPD Pizza (9900 Universal Blvd #100, Orlando, FL 32819)
- Recommendations: Sicilian pizza
- Visit LEGOLAND Florida (1 LEGOLAND Way, Winter Haven, FL 33884)
It was a warm day, but ice cream definitely helped!
The Chima ride was another way to beat the heat - you get literally soaked with the ride's water features, and other riders spraying you with water guns!
One of the things I appreciated about LEGOLAND was their mix of rides for both younger and older children, along with many fun interactive displays and Lego brick sculptures
- Swimming and enjoying the hotel amenities
Drive to Jacksonville (2.25 hrs.)
- Dinner: Beach Road Chicken Dinners (4132 Atlantic Blvd, Jacksonville, FL 32207)
- Recommendations: Southern fried chicken
- Spend the night with friends
- St. Patty’s Day Parade. We happened to be in Savannah for St. Patrick's Day this year (more on that in a future blog post). For more Savannah tips and recommendations, click here for my previous posts on a long weekend in Savannah and a DIY walking ghost tour in Savannah.
My boys reunited with friends to celebrate Savannah-style!
The boys got to walk in the parade with our friends' family
- Dinner: Green Truck Pub (2430 Habersham St, Savannah, GA 31401)
- Recommendations: El Jefe burger
- Go out for drinks on the Riverwalk
- Lunch: The Varsity (61 North Avenue NW, Atlanta, GA 30308)
- Recommendations: Chili dog, onion rings, frosted orange drink
- Drive around Georgia Tech campus
- Visit College Football Hall of Fame (250 Marietta St, Atlanta, GA 30313)
- Visit Georgia Aquarium (225 Baker St NW, Atlanta, GA 30313)
- Drive by Margaret Mitchell House (990 Peachtree St NE, Atlanta, GA 30309)
- Visit Incline Railway at Lookout Mountain (3917 St. Elmo Avenue, Chattanooga, TN 37409
- Visit Chattanooga Choo Choo Hotel (1400 Market St, Chattanooga, TN 37402)
- Recommendations: If you are there around a meal time, eat pizza in the Silver Diner dining car
- Dinner: Mas Tacos Por Favor (732 Mcferrin Ave, Nashville, TN 37206) - Note: Cash only
- Recommendations: Unique taco combinations, soups
- Check-in to hotel: Hampton Inn Nashville/Vanderbilt (1919 West End Avenue, Nashville, TN 37203)
- Misc. sight-seeing (Honky Tonk Row, Country Music Hall of Fame, Ryman Auditorium, etc. For more reviews and recommendations for Nashville, see this post)
- Drive by Graceland (3734 Elvis Presley Blvd, Memphis, TN 38116)
- Lunch: Interstate Barbecue (2265 S 3rd St, Memphis, TN 38109)
- Recommendations: BBQ pork sandwich, ribs, BBQ spaghetti
- Visit Beale St.
- Visit National Civil Rights Museum at the Lorraine Motel (450 Mulberry St, Memphis, TN 38103)
Drive to Little Rock (2 hrs.)
- Dinner: Cotham’s Mercantile (5301 AR-161, Scott, AR 72142)
- Recommendations: Hubcap burger, onion rings, fried green tomatoes, fried pie
Drive to Arkadelphia (1.25 hrs.)
- Check-in to hotel: Hampton Inn Arkadelphia (108 Malvern Road, Arkadelphia, AR 71923)
- Breakfast: The Honeycomb Restaurant and Bakery (705 Main St, Arkadelphia, AR 71923
- Recommendations: Desserts
Drive to Texarkana state line (1.25 hrs.)
- Half-n-Half Post Office photo opp (500 Wood St., Texarkana, AR)
- Visit Fouke/Boggy Creek Monster (Bigfoot of the South) roadside attraction at Fouke Monster Mart (104 US-71, Fouke, AR 71837). Click here to learn more about this local legend.
- Photo opp at tripoint monument (near Magnolia Club House, 22300 LA-1, Rodessa, LA 71069)