Road trips topped the list when we asked our readers to share their travel plans for 2021 so we are highlighting all of the great journeys that our writers have curated for you as you begin to plan your summer trips. During our recent road trip series, we have focused on the Southwest states of Arizona and New Mexico. Today, we will explore the entirety of the Southeast, from the Mississippi River to the Florida Keys and up to the Appalachians. For many, a road trip through the Southeast elicits memories of a sweet Stuckey’s pecan log roll in one hand and an ice-cold thermos of sweet tea in the other. So load up on your must-have car snacks and enjoy a sweet road trip on the open road!
Memphis To New Orleans: Musical Mississippi River Road Trip
This Mississippi River has long stood as the dividing line between east and west in the U.S., and as the western boundary of what many consider to be the “Southeast,” it seems like a great place to start. Enjoy a jazzy road trip along the mighty and musical Mississippi River, savoring Memphis, New Orleans, and all that small-town America has to offer in between as you explore Erika Ebsworth-Goold’s must-see stops along the Mighty Mississippi.
New Orleans To Avery Island: Spicy Cajun Road Trip
Once in New Orleans, don’t be too quick to head further east. Spend some time exploring all that cajun Louisiana has to offer. From the big city to the bayou, here are Roxie Yonkey’s picks for the best stops during a spicy cajun road trip from New Orleans to Avery Island.
Natchez Trace Parkway: Must-See Sites
A scenic drive with centuries of history, the Natchez Trace Parkway is a scenic byway maintained by the National Park Service running through parts of Tennessee, Alabama, and Mississippi. A Presidential home, Helen Keller’s birthplace, and a well-known bourbon distillery all lie within reach as you explore near this ancient trail. Enjoy these must-see sites and more along and near the Natchez Trace Parkway.
Anniston To Selma: Alabama Civil Rights Road Trip
Alabama has deep connections to the Civil Rights movement as the location of numerous well-known protests, many of which came at the cost of life. This road trip may be a somber and sobering one, but it is rich in history and a journey that shouldn’t be missed for those seeking to avoid repeating history. Explore Civil Rights history on the road between Anniston and Selma with these suggestions from Robyne Stevenson on making the most of the trip.
While you are in the area, make time for these other interesting stops along a weird and wacky Alabama road trip. From a monument honoring a crop-destroying insect to the grave of a NASA monkey-naut, Alabama has a treasure trove of interesting — and some outright bizarre — finds scattered around the state if you only know where to look, and Joe Cuhaj has provided the roadmap.
Bay St. Louis To Port St. Joe: Scenic Gulf Coast Road Trip
Enjoy mile after mile of turquoise water as you embark on a trip along the Gulf Coast. Our path will take you through three states: begin in Mississippi, traverse all of coastal Alabama, and then finally meander across the picturesque panhandle of Florida. Here are Sara Broers’s suggestions for the best stops between Bay St. Louis and Port St. Joe during a scenic Gulf Coast road trip.
Amelia Island To Vero Beach: The Perfect Coastal Florida Road Trip
Once in Florida, there is no more iconic road trip than a leisurely journey down the Atlantic coast. Begin near the Georgian border on Amelia Island, and slowly make your way two-thirds of the way down the coast to Vero Beach, about 150 miles north of Miami. If you are looking for the best stops on the perfect coastal road trip through Florida, Sandi Barrett has got you covered.
Miami To Key West: Epic Florida Road Trip
Speaking of Miami, no roundup of road trips in the Southeast would be complete without enjoying the awe-inspiring trip between Miami and Key West. The Overseas Highway is an engineering marvel connecting 34 keys to mainland Florida with a series of more than 40 bridges. Enjoy our top picks for stops along an epic Florida road trip between Miami and Key West.
Asheville To Myrtle Beach: A Beautiful Road Trip Through The Carolinas
From picturesque peaks to miles of charming Carolina coastline, you won’t regret taking your time to enjoy every mile through the Carolinas. Begin near the Blue Ridge Parkway in Asheville, North Carolina, and complete your journey in magnificent Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. Here are Jill Dutton’s picks for the must-see stops along a beautiful road trip through the Carolinas.
Asheville To Roanoke: The Perfect Blue Ridge Parkway Itinerary
Once again, start in Asheville but this time you will journey north — away from the Southeast — to appreciate the awesome views throughout the awe-inducing Appalachians. As you leave the Southeast and enter Appalachia, Carol Colborn has provided the perfect 5-day itinerary to enjoy the sites along the Blue Ridge Parkway.
I hope at least one of these great road trips through the Southeast has inspired you to take a trip of your own soon! If you are not from the Southeast and are looking for something a little bit closer to home, our team of travel writers has spent years crafting the perfect road trip content, whether you are looking for something in North America or around the world. Our team creates new content daily, so keep checking back for your dose of daily travel inspiration!