Monday, March 19, 2012

Top road trip drives in the south

Here are some of the top road trip drives in the south. Summer is almost here. If you are like me, the highway is calling your name. These drives are gems for those who prefer a trip off of the beaten path. If you are taking a summer road trip, then this list have you packing up the kids in a flash.

Natchez Trace
Theoretically, you can drive this route in one day. I think it's a little unrealistic to cover 400 miles in such a short time. Historic sites and archeology combine with scenic views to make this a road trip to be savored. Look for the Old Trace signs on the parkway. These point the way to trailheads where visitors can hike on the historic trail. The road trip holds the Meriwether Lewis Monument, views of the Tennessee River, Elvis Presley birthplace and more.

The mountain crests of the Blue Ridge Parkway is a road trip that you will never forget. It's been called 'America's Favorite Drive' for a reason. The park serves as a scenic roadway but is also a safe haven for plants and wildlife in this part of the Appalachian Mountains. This article by the National Parks Service is one of the best that I have seen.

Great Smoky Mountains
Call me biased and I'll admit it. A top road trip in the south is in my front yard. The Great Smoky Mountains cover parts of East Tennessee and North Carolina. Whether you want to enjoy the slower pace of mountain scenery, become mesmerized by a waterfall or catch a glimpse of wildlife in Cades Cove, this drive will leave you spellbound.

Creole Nature Trail
This All American Road was designated as a scenic byway almost 10 years ago. This Louisiana road trip centers in the Lake Charles area. It carries travelers through historic districts, the Cameron Prairie National Wildlife Refuge, recreation areas , the Sabine National Wildlife Refuge and a long list of other attractions. Click this link for more on the Creole Nature Trail road trip.

Additional reading
Cades Cove Loop photo movie
Fall color drives in East Tennessee