N174UA
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Posts: 1010
Joined: Thu Jun 01, 2006 4:17 pm

Planning a trip to the U.S. South in November

Fri Apr 26, 2019 5:21 am

I just came back from my first trip to New Orleans a few days ago, and am now planning a trip to see more of the South, in November 2019. I'm planning to fly (on Delta) from PSC Friday 11/8, and return on Saturday 11/16. I haven't booked my flights yet, as I'm working on my route. Additionally, I would rent a car as well, and am also open to picking it up/dropping off in different cities.

My initial thought is to fly into CHS, and fly home from MEM.

Cities I'm interested in seeing:
- Charleston, SC
- Savannah, GA
- Atlanta, GA
- Nashville, TN
- Memphis, TN
- Huntsville, AL

Questions:
What other cities should I consider adding or subtracting from my list?
How much time should I consider spending in the list of cities listed above?
What are some "must see" sights and activities in this region?
What type of weather should I reasonably expect during early November in this region?
What else should I consider when planning this trip?

Thank you!
N174UA
 
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Moose135
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Re: Planning a trip to the U.S. South in November

Fri Apr 26, 2019 5:42 am

If you are in the region, you might want to add Charlotte, NC to your list. You can hit the Carolinas Aviation Museum and see US1549 up close and personal, as well as a little spotting at the CLT overlook. Charlotte is about a three hour drive from Charleston. When you are here, there is a big warbirds air show in Monroe, NC, just outside of Charlotte. It is usually held the Saturday and Sunday of Veterans Day weekend, so it should be November 9 and 10. Don't know how that fits your plans, as it is an all-day thing, and if you are flying into CHS, you probably will be down that way for a couple of days.

In Charleston, across the harbor is Patriot's Point, with the aircraft carrier USS Yorktown open to the public. In Savannah, the Mighty Eighth Air Force Museum is worth a visit. It is mostly WWII focused, but also includes some exhibits on more modern history of the 8th AF, including a B-47 on display - which you can see from the interstate as you go by.
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zakuivcustom
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Joined: Sat Jun 10, 2017 3:32 am

Re: Planning a trip to the U.S. South in November

Fri Apr 26, 2019 2:44 pm

Isn't Charlotte somewhat out of the way for the OP, though?

For the current list, I can see Charleston -> Savannah -> Atlanta -> Huntsville (via Chattanooga or Birmingham?) -> Nashville -> Memphis. You can stop at Beaufort SC between Charleston and Savannah just for a little bit if you're going that route.

If you're going to through Charlotte you might as well just go across the Smokies also (Although IIRC Nov. 8-16 would be a little bit late for the foliage season), i.e. Charlotte -> Asheville -> Knoxville and continue from there.

On a side note - I'm not sure whether you can really visit all those place in 9 days if you're just driving. It's still 2.5-4 hrs drive between all the cities on your list. So basically you get to spend a day in each place and not much more.
 
UALFAson
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Re: Planning a trip to the U.S. South in November

Sat Apr 27, 2019 5:10 am

I live in Nashville and I agree with zakuivcustom's point: 8 days is not much time to try to visit all of those places, and frankly, I'm not sure it's worth exhausting yourself to try to see all of that in one trip.

I would start by thinking about what it is you are most interested in--music? Food? History/culture? Nature? And with that, forests or beaches? Etc.

Depending on what you are interested in, I would suggest flying in to Nashville and making it your base camp for 3-4 days, then flying Southwest nonstop to Charleston and doing 3-4 days there in some combination of CHS/SAV/HHH, then flying home from there.

Huntsville has the Space Museum, which is interesting, but I'm not sure I would make it my top priority unless you're into that subject. Likewise, while there are things to see and do in Memphis, unless you're just dying to see Graceland or some of the historic sites, most people I know (myself included) were not really that impressed with the city.

I would suggest starting in Nashville versus ending here so you will be here for a weekend when a lot more activities happen. If you do want to drive, the Asheville/Smokey Mountains/Dollywood corridor can be fun, if not a bit chilly that time of year, but, again, it depends what you want to get out of your trip.

Feel free to PM me with further questions.
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StlHsvSfoSan
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Re: Planning a trip to the U.S. South in November

Sat Apr 27, 2019 4:58 pm

Huntsville has the Space Museum (mentioned by UALFAson) which is the main attraction there. When I lived in Huntsville I liked to go over to Lake Guntersville (state park). In early November the trees may still be changing. I also liked going northeast through Chattanooga (there is an excellent aquarium in Chattanooga) and then on towards Knoxville and the southern end of the Appalachian Mountains and Great Smokies National Park (with the same comment about the changing trees)
 
IAHWorldflyer
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Re: Planning a trip to the U.S. South in November

Sat Apr 27, 2019 6:32 pm

I think you should split out the Savannah/Charleston part from the Tennessee part into 2 separate trips to be honest. They are pretty far apart, and as others have said, you would not have much time in each place to see much. The low country others can talk about, so I'll say a little about Tennessee. I'd throw in Chattanooga to see Lookout Mountain and the Aquarium there. Nashville is full of live music venues, and you can see the Hermitage, Andrew Jackson's home. Memphis is probably worth 2 days at least. There's Blues clubs on Beale Street ( much different than what you will find in Nashville), The National Civil Rights Museum, the Stax Records Museum, and the Mud Island Museum. Graceland is actually really cool. I'm not a huge Elvis fan, but the house is interesting. It's not much larger than a McMansion in today's suburbs, so it's somewhat modest in size.There is an attached museum on the property with all his gold records and awards that is eye-opening if you didn't follow his career. Early November weather is pretty nice, with daytime highs probably in the low 60's. Some Fall foliage will be present in Memphis and Nashville.
 
N174UA
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Re: Planning a trip to the U.S. South in November

Sun Apr 28, 2019 4:14 pm

IAHWorldflyer wrote:
I think you should split out the Savannah/Charleston part from the Tennessee part into 2 separate trips to be honest. They are pretty far apart, and as others have said, you would not have much time in each place to see much. The low country others can talk about, so I'll say a little about Tennessee. I'd throw in Chattanooga to see Lookout Mountain and the Aquarium there. Nashville is full of live music venues, and you can see the Hermitage, Andrew Jackson's home. Memphis is probably worth 2 days at least. There's Blues clubs on Beale Street ( much different than what you will find in Nashville), The National Civil Rights Museum, the Stax Records Museum, and the Mud Island Museum. Graceland is actually really cool. I'm not a huge Elvis fan, but the house is interesting. It's not much larger than a McMansion in today's suburbs, so it's somewhat modest in size.There is an attached museum on the property with all his gold records and awards that is eye-opening if you didn't follow his career. Early November weather is pretty nice, with daytime highs probably in the low 60's. Some Fall foliage will be present in Memphis and Nashville.


Thanks everyone who has replied so far! Appreciate your insights and advice.

I decided to cut out Savannah and Charleston this time, as they are more beach locations and something I could tie into another trip later on. I always fly Delta (close to Gold Medallion!), so I'm flying into ATL and staying two nights there, which basically gives me that Friday night and all day Saturday to see it. On Sunday, I'm driving to Nashville, with a stop at Lookout Mountain and lunch in Chattanooga. In Nashville, the Johnny Cash museum is highest on my list, along with a trip to Huntsville and possibly either Jack Daniels or Kentucky bourbon distilleries. After Nashville, it's on to Memphis, since I LOVE BBQ! Not sure yet on Graceland...I really want to enjoy some good BBQ and music. I fly home from Memphis.

N174UA
 
PI4EVER
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Re: Planning a trip to the U.S. South in November

Sun Apr 28, 2019 5:14 pm

A smart move to break up your trip and concentrate on the cities in line with flying into ATL.
The coastal tour could have you fly into CHS and drive on to SAV. Definitely plan a visit to Hunting Island State Park near Beaufort, SC.
After visiting SAV, drive south and visit Jekyll Island, and on to JAX, Amelia Island, Fernandina Beach, Ponte Vedra and St. Augustine.
Fly home from JAX.
There are a ton of BBQ choices in MEM, but I personally recommend the Rendezvous downtown and in BNA several locations for Whitt's.
watch what you want. you may get it.
 
PSAatSAN4Ever
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Re: Planning a trip to the U.S. South in November

Mon Apr 29, 2019 7:21 pm

Memphis, Tennessee, is a REALLY happening place on Saturday nights, as Beale Street downtown is closed off for the weekly street fair, where one can walk from place to place with your adult beverage (you can return that at another place!), with incredible live music all night long. Get there early and there's no security checkpoint, but later in the evening it gets REALLY crowded. Parking is readily available and very inexpensive. Have dinner, stroll around, and give us a good trip report!!
 
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AirAfreak
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Re: Planning a trip to the U.S. South in November

Mon Apr 29, 2019 8:01 pm

If you begin your journey in Charleston, you could easily rent a car there and drive to Savannah. On departure from Savannah, I recommend flying to Atlanta because the drive is quite long and dull. Moreover, attractive one-way fares from Savannah to Atlanta are available on the several daily nonstop flights between SAV and ATL on DELTA. I’m my experience, I have never paid more than $84 for a one-way nonstop flight to ATL. Flying from SAV is a non-issue, so don’t worry about long TSA checkpoints and/or ticketing queues. Savannah can be easily done in a day with an evening departure to ATL. And yes, just one day is all you need during your travel period - I lived in Savannah for two years and let me tell you that much doesn’t happen during that time period you plan to travel. Head over to Historic Downtown and to River Street for some great Southern food and atmosphere while you’re there. Once you take your late evening departure from Savannah, you will land in Atlanta in less than one hour. Upon arrival, you can explore some fun nightlife in ATL or rest at your hotel to prepare for a full day of entertainment in Atlanta.
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