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Old 12-21-2016, 02:43 PM   #1
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Winter Respite by Car

OK, hive brain, we're thinking about a two week driving excursion from Philly southwards in February. We want to see natural lands, unspoiled landscapes, historic places, towns or cities. In the interests of warmth, we're thinking of going hell bent for leather at least to North Carolina. That said, we don't want to see any more of the Interstate-big box-roadside rubbish-McMansion side of US culture than we have to. And no Deliverance- or Easy Rider-style adventures; perhaps we should rent a Dodge Charger and leave the Volvo home. We're thinking about the coastal lands of NC, SC, GA, and the panhandle of FL. We've seen a little of Charleston, SC and Savannah, GA.




Ideas? Scenic Routes? Lovely destinations?
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Old 12-21-2016, 03:17 PM   #2
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Head for St. Marks, Fl.
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Old 12-21-2016, 03:33 PM   #3
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Folly Beach, nice costal town / resort.
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Old 12-21-2016, 03:38 PM   #4
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"Lobstah" is right about St. Marks. While you're in that neck of the Florida panhandle, also see Carrabelle, Appalachicola, and Port St. Joe. In general, get yourselves to Perry Florida and then just head west on U.S. 98. You'll know the fun's over when you get to Panama City. From there, just leapfrog everything all the way to Pensacola, whose charms can still surprise. (Homemade sign observed on a front porch: "ASAP - As Southern as Possible").

On Florida's east coast, Fernandina Beach is worth a day or two's exploration. It has pockets of McMansions, but the old town is intact, and by God the shrimp are fresh and local.
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Old 12-21-2016, 04:00 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DHeckrotte View Post
Ideas? Scenic Routes? Lovely destinations?
In my opinion, don't miss the Outer Banks NC, ferry to Ocrakoke Island, ferry to Beaufort SC.

It's stunning.

Attached some photos of my last trip there.
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Old 12-21-2016, 04:06 PM   #6
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#2
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Old 12-21-2016, 04:08 PM   #7
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#3
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Old 12-21-2016, 04:10 PM   #8
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Old 12-21-2016, 05:01 PM   #9
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Lot of out of the way places in the Big Bend of FL in addition to St. Marks. Cedar Key, Steinhatchee, Carrabelle, Apalachicola are a few along the coast.

We have some interesting places along the St Johns too like Welaka.
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Old 12-21-2016, 05:50 PM   #10
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I took a month off and drove a loop around the whole continental US. Two rules: 1. Minimal use of interstate highways, use secondary roads. 2. Never eat at any establishment whose name you recognize, eat local dives only.

Those two rules turned it from a road trip to an experience.

Take your time, explore, enjoy.

From PA down into Appalachia, Blue Ridge Parkway, East to OBX, Coastal non-interstate NC, SC, GA, then secondary roads right down the middle of Fla, the Fla no one ever sees.

Explore...
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Old 12-21-2016, 06:06 PM   #11
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Start at St Mary's GA with a ferry ride to Cumberland and a day walking there. From St Mary's go on over to Fernandina and spend a day there and another wandering Amelia Island.
Then take A1A south, going as slow as you care, all the way to Cape Canaveral. Use the Mayport Ferry, stop for a couple of days in St Augustine, that drinking village with an alcohol problem. From there Anastasia Island, Fort Matanzas, (Marineland if you want), seriously consider a stay at the Hammock Dunes Resort in Palm Coast, and the coastal drive along to Cape Canaveral and the Space Coast.
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Old 12-22-2016, 02:34 PM   #12
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Great pics Pilou. Please don't take this as an insult, but when I saw the two displays on the dash of the car I thought "what's next? radar for a car?" and imagined a radar dome sitting atop of the car roof.
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Old 12-22-2016, 05:30 PM   #13
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Great pics Pilou. Please don't take this as an insult, but when I saw the two displays on the dash of the car I thought "what's next? radar for a car?" and imagined a radar dome sitting atop of the car roof.
I always thought my wife's Expedition could use a flybridge.
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Old 12-22-2016, 05:34 PM   #14
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Also the Natchez Trace is a wonderful slow scenic byway.
https://www.nps.gov/natr/index.htm
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Old 12-22-2016, 05:48 PM   #15
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Wastern Shore of MD including St Michaels. Outer Banks NC ferry to Ocracoke Island ferry to Cedar Island (Beaufort NC area). Drive to ferry and visit Oriental then visit New Bern NC. All NC beach towns. Skip Myrtle Beach and go to Georgetown SC (great waterfront downtown). Next is Charleston. Following Charleston Beaufort SC. Spelled the same but pronounced Bowfort NC Bufort SC. After that I would recommend Fernandina FL (Amelia Island) the waterfront is great. St Augustine downtown and the Tini Martini Bar. Now you are back in Yankee Land and on your own.
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Old 12-22-2016, 05:50 PM   #16
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Greetings,
Mr. DH. Wrong direction... https://carnaval.qc.ca/home
When you get back to PA you'll REALLY appreciate what an easy winter you have. Try the Caribou...Put hair on your chest and places you never thought of.
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Old 12-22-2016, 07:29 PM   #17
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Pilou,

Do you recall where and when you saw this boat? I ask because it is a "blast from my past".

Thanks,
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Old 12-23-2016, 11:02 AM   #18
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Thank you all for your input! Keep 'em coming!

Delightful pics, Pilou.

Bilge, that's the Eastern Shore of MD and Rte 213 from the C&D Canal south through Chestertown with side trips to St Michaels, Tilghman and Oxford is the exemplar of what we're looking for further south. It's our stamping ground and the drive never tires (once we've gotten out of DE).

RT F, you may recall from previous posts that I graduated from McGill U, in MTL. Saw plenty of brisk weather; anything above 0 deg F was balmy in February! MTL's, and McGill's winter carnivals were less showy.

This trip south will be one of the few winter respites that we've not spent in midcoast Maine in the last 25 years.
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Old 12-23-2016, 02:28 PM   #19
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...Two rules: 1. Minimal use of interstate highways, use secondary roads. 2. Never eat at any establishment whose name you recognize, eat local dives only.

Those two rules turned it from a road trip to an experience.
...

From PA down into Appalachia, Blue Ridge Parkway, East to OBX, Coastal non-interstate NC, SC, GA, then secondary roads right down the middle of Fla, the Fla no one ever sees.

Explore...
Have to agree with Ski. Though, the Blue Ridge Parkway in winter might be a bit much if one is trying to escape winter. But it was one of my first thoughts.

One advantage of driving the Blue Ridge Parkway would be to get to Asheville and visit the Biltmore House. I have visited the mansion a couple of times but they decorated it for Christmas and it is supposed to be very nice to see.

Staying away from brand name food places is very good advice. Some of my best meals were in hole in the walls. Some of my worsts meals have been in hole in the walls. Both gave good memories though.

For the NC Outerbanks, go to Carolina Beach, head south to see Fort Fisher. Unfortunately, dredging has caused much of the old fort to be taken by the ocean but the east/west sand fortifications are still in place which is enough to allow one to gauge the size of the old fort. The Union amphibious attack on Fort Fisher was the largest USN operation until WWII. There are now condo's where the Union forces landed before turning left and heading south to attack the fort. The little museum does not take long to see and afterwards one can take the ferry to Southport.

If one likes naval history, the USS NC is in Wilmington and is worth a stop. You mentioned Charleston which has Patriots Point with a few very historical ships that I would like to visit one day.

Stay on the secondary roads in FLA if you want to see the old FLA before the latest population shift. This is a great time of year to visit FLA or at least it used to be. The best Christmas lights I have see have been in FLA. Whole town squares used to be lit up at night. Very pretty. I hope they still do this but I have not been back to FLA at XMAS in years.

As a Florida Native, I have NEVER been to Cape Canaveral. It is one of those things that one wants to do but never had time. It is always there so why put it on the top of the visit priority list? I have been to Biltmore several times. The wife, an NC native, has never been for the same reason I have not seen the Cape.

Unfortunately, two weeks is not enough time!

Later,
Dan
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Old 12-23-2016, 03:10 PM   #20
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Pilou,

Do you recall where and when you saw this boat? I ask because it is a "blast from my past".

Thanks,
Portage Bay,

The pics I posted were a mix of both of my trips to the Outer Banks NC.

The pic you asked for was taken in Ocrakoke Island NC on Saturday June 26, 2010, 07:30 PM local time while I was waiting for the last ferry from Ocrakoke Island to Beaufort SC (pics # 9 & 10).

In my photo files I found another pic of the boat you were talking about (pic # 3).

Cheers,
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