By Tori Linville
Summer is already half over and time is running out. The family is restless and all the hometown haunts are getting old. The fix? Climbing in the car for a road trip to change the scenery. Check out some of the top road trip destinations we’ve listed here to switch up your summer.
(via I-65 N, about four hours)
Nashville is best known for its musical roots and cowboy boots are easily seen on tourists everywhere. Whether it’s catching a show at The Bridgestone Arena, visiting a famous restaurant on Broadway or downtown, there’s something worth checking out in every corner. Promising tunes flood the streets as songwriters and singers try to make a name for themselves. If that’s not enough, The Country Music Hall of Fame and the Ryman Auditorium beckon music lovers to walk through the storied buildings. Though music is king in Nashville, the Frist Center for the Visual Arts and the Tennessee State Museum offer up their own slices of history and art.
(via I-59 N and I-75 N, about six hours)
The scenery alone is worth the trip to east Tennessee’s entrance to its Great Smoky Mountains. As one of the most visited vacation spots in America, it’s easy to find something to do as soon as feet hit the pavement. The tiny town of Gatlinburg boasts beautiful downtown riverwalks, the Great Smoky Arts and Crafts Community and a night life that is hard to forget. The arts and crafts community alone is home to an eight mile stretch of specialty jewelry, scented candles and other hand crafted items. The Gatlinburg Sky Lift and the Space Needle are must-dos and catching a magic show, comedy show or any other kind of show is never hard.
(via I-20 E, about seven hours)
Heading even further east, more mountains and good times can be found only car drive away. Perhaps the most well-known destination of Ashville is the Biltmore Estate, America’s largest home that swells with a historic 250 rooms and an 8,000-acre backyard. Beautiful views, horseback riding and other activities can all be found at the memorable estate. Ashville’s music scene can be found around town in places like Isis Music Hall. And if the itch to drive lingers, the Blue Ridge Parkway is always a great way to catch some breathtaking drive-by scenery.
(via I-20 E, about three hours)
As one of the largest cities in the South, Atlanta definitely has no shortage of things to experience. Atlanta’s Six Flags Over Georgia visitors from all over the region to ride its crazy coasters. Closer to the city itself are experiences such as the Atlanta Beltline, the College Football Hall of Fame and more. Sports fans can also head over to Turner Field to see the Atlanta Braves. Handfuls of museums and tour providers focus on topics from puppetry to dinosaurs to the movies and television filmed in Atlanta. If you aren’t having fun in Atlanta, it’s probably because you’re still in the traffic.
(via I-10 E, about nine hours)
Orlando screams Disney World, so there’s no problem finding some family fun here. If Disney has already been done, don’t just cross the city of your list yet. There’s Universal Studios, Sea World and more. If you’re not in the mood for theme parks, ghost adventures, shopping and even a Shakespeare theater await. Dolphin watching, whale watching, kayaking and canoeing are all open to wildlife lovers. Home to some of the most family oriented places, Orlando never runs out of things to do.
(via I-59 S, about four hours)
New Orleans offers so much visually, that you could drive right through the city without stopping and still feel like you’re on vacation. But stepping out on to the famed Bourbon, Frenchmen and Royal Streets, among others, is only the start. The French Quarter alone offers unforgettable food and shopping that is worth the drive. Branching out into the Big Easy only gets, well, easier. Jazz clubs like The Bombay Club offer a musical tradition synonymous with NOLA itself. If sports are more your thing, head on over to Smoothie King Center to catch a Hornets game, or check out one of the many golf courses and racing tracks. Good times are to be had in New Orleans and having the good times roll is just a side effect.
All times and routes were taken from Google Maps. Google uses real time traffic information and the times above do not account for specific rush hours. Travel times will vary based on your day, times and other factors.
from Birmingham: via I-65 N, about three hours
from Huntsville: via I-65 N, about two hours
from Mobile: via I-65 N, about six hours
from Birmingham: via I-59 N and I-75 N, about five hours
from Huntsville: via US-72 E and I-75 N, about four hours
from Mobile: via I-65 N, about eight hours
from Birmingham: via I-75 N and I-40 E, about five hours
from Huntsville: via I-20 E, about five hours
from Mobile: via I-65 N and I-85 N, about eight hours
from Birmingham: via I-20 E, about two hours
from Huntsville: via I-75 S, about three hours
from Mobile: via I-65 N and I-85 N, about five hours
from Birmingham: via I-75 S, about eight hours
from Huntsville: via I-75 S, about nine hours
from Mobile: via I-10 E, about seven hours
from Birmingham: via I-59 S, about five hours
from Huntsville: via I-59 S, about seven hours
from Mobile: via I-10 W, about two hours