My 2 week itinerary for a southern US road trip

My 2 week itinerary for a southern US road trip!

I’m pretty damn excited to be heading south tomorrow for an epic Christmas/New Year road trip!

I’ve never explored the true American south before. The southernmost point I’ve been in the US is Fort Lauderdale, but according to the Americans that I hang out with on a regular basis, Florida isn’t really considered “the south”.

The South generally refers the states that go by the southern way of life rather than the states themselves, and Florida doesn’t really have that stereotypical southern-ness.

While my road trip will be starting in Florida, it will also be taking me through a few of those stereotypical southern states, including Georgia, Louisiana, and Texas! Here’s the itinerary for my 2 week southern US road trip.

Southern US road trip map


I’ll be starting in Miami, and aside from hitting up the famous South Beach, I’ll also be exploring Little Havana and the Art Deco District, then posing with murals at Wynwood Walls.

Miami is featured in so many movies that I’m pretty excited to play out all the scenes from Scarface, There’s Something About Mary, and Casino Royale. Robert has also informed me that he’ll be playing out all the Grand Theft Auto Vice City challenges while we’re there (not for reals, don’t worry).

After Miami, we’ll pick up our rental car and start driving west through the Everglades. We’ll do an airboat tour to see some ‘gators, then head onwards to St Petersburg to check out St Pete’s Beach and the famous Loews Don CeSar Hotel (though we won’t be staying there! We ain’t that rich).

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Our trip to Georgia has ulterior motives – we’ll actually be heading to a town near Atlanta to crash a friend’s family Christmas dinner! Seeing as we would otherwise be spending Christmas sitting boredly by ourselves in New York, this sounded like a great option for us to experience a traditional American Christmas.

Hopefully we’ll have time to check out Atlanta, too. I’ve heard that the Botanical Gardens are pretty nice, and I’ve got a bunch of recommendations for bars, restaurants, museums, and suburbs to check out if we get the time.


On our way south from Georgia, we’ll stop for a night in Mobile, Alabama on the way. This little city is supposed to be charming, and who could say no to crossing another state off the list?

We’ll take Highway 90 along the coast of Mississippi to spot some of the famous stilt houses, and then take a few days to explore New Orleans. I’ve heard so may good things about NOLA, so I’m really looking forward to some good southern music, food, and atmosphere.

As we head west from New Orleans, I’m suuuper excited to be stopping in at some Louisiana plantations along the way. The plan is to see Evergreen Plantation, which was used as the filming location for Quentin Tarantino’s Django Unchained, and the famous Oak Alley Plantation.

We’ll also stop in at Baton Rouge, and drive through Cajun Country near Lafayette.

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Texas is somewhere I’ve wanted to visit for ages! We’ll start with an overnight stop in Houston. I’m not particularly interested in seeing the city but I’ve found a bunch of public art activities to take a look at around west Houston before moving on to our last stop.

As Robert and I actively choose to visit the most alternative destinations, we’re finishing it all off in Austin! This is where we’ll be spending New Year.

After we’ve recovered from our hangovers, I’m keen to get the full weird and wacky Austin experience so I’m pretty sure our days will be spent admiring street art and drinking copious amounts of coffee at all the uniquely decorated coffee shops.

We’ll also check out the HOPE outdoor gallery, as well as eat some vegan food and get snap happy at the Texas Capitol.

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20 Responses to “My 2 week itinerary for a southern US road trip”

    • Ashlea Wheeler

      Thanks Charmaine, I’m sure I’ll have a blast 😀 I’ll be posting about my trip on the blog and on Instagram so hopefully can inspire you to do your own US road trip!

  1. Jane

    Great itinerary! I’ll be interested in your “postcards” from the road!

    Safe Travels!!

  2. LisaLDN / Fjords & Beaches

    I lived in Florida for a year, and was so disappointed that the typical ‘southern charm’ that you think of when you talk about the South wasn’t there! Would love to go on a road trip like this, both NOLA and Atlanta are high on the list! 🙂

    • Ashlea Wheeler

      Oh wow! It’s great that you got to live in Florida, but you’re right about the lack of southern charm! I’m really looking forward to actually seeing the proper south this time around. I’ll be sure to post about NOLA and Atlanta so that you can be inspired to plan your own trip there 😉

  3. Dana

    If you have a chance, check out the Postcard Inn in St. Pete. Just down the road from the Don Cesar. It’s retro surf-inspired with a tiki bar poolside/beachside. Our favorite place in St. Pete. 🙂

  4. Karisa @ Flirting with the Globe

    I love that St. Pete is on your list! I travel there once a year for work and try to tack on a couple days because it is so cute and relaxing! Check out Gulfport for a very cool alternative, boho vibe! (And of course, let me know if you have time while in ATL)!

    • Ashlea Wheeler

      I wish I had more time to see St Pete! we were on a pretty tight schedule to get to Atlanta before Christmas! 🙁

  5. Meghan Oaks

    You will be passing right through my town! I’d say stop in for a drink, but we will be visiting family in Michigan for that week. Enjoy! Looking forward to reading about Baton Rouge and NOLA – both places I want to visit!

    Oh, and if you’re taking I-10 from Baton Rouge to Houston, there is a cool “bridge” you’ll drive across that’s something like 20 miles long called the Atchafalaya Bridge.

    If you’re driving from Houston-Austin during a weekday, you could also check out the Shiner Brewery. It’s pretty much legendary Texas beer (in case you haven’t heard of it).

    • Ashlea Wheeler

      I’ve heard about that bridge! Really looking forward to driving over it 😀 I hadn’t heard of Shiner – definitely going to give that beer a try. Thanks for the recommendations, Meghan!

  6. Angela

    Funny, my friend and I basically did this last year, except we drove from Miami to the Grand Canyon. Very fun. Have a blast 🙂

  7. Alissa Jones

    Houston is full of lots of diverse things to do and even better things to eat. One of the food capitals of America, frankly. I’m from there so I’m a little biased but tweet me if you need suggestions @alissa_joness
    I suggest Pho Saigon, The Hay Merchant, 13 celsius and the museum district. The downtown nightlife is quite good as well. If you’re into beer, try The Flying Saucer.
    Have a great time here! It may not seem appealing at first but it’s a great, diverse and kind city.

    • Ashlea Wheeler

      Wow, I didn’t know Houston was such a foodie destination – thanks for the suggestions, Alissa! I’m really looking forward to my stay in Houston, even though it will be a short one!

  8. Laure | A Journey Away

    Interesting (and inspiring!) road trip, I’m sure you had a lot of fun! I see you spent some time in Texas. I’ve just moved to Austin and will be spending my first new year’s eve here this year, any recommendations?

    • Ashlea Wheeler

      Thanks Laure! It’s great that you’ll be spending New Year’s Eve in Austin. I’m not sure that I could give any recommendations for party spots, but if you hang out at any of the bars along South Congress Ave or in East Austin then you’ll definitely have a good time counting down to new year with the other patrons 🙂


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