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6 day road trip - Houston to Miami. Skip NOLA :(??

Ireland
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6 day road trip - Houston to Miami. Skip NOLA :(??
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Hi all. We are travelling from Ireland to visit family in Houston for Halloween. We have 6 days to make our way to other family in Miami.

We're 2 adults and 2 teens. We love the look of laid back 'artsy' small town places, like Abita Springs LA and Fairhope AL. We would love to go to NOLA but we'll have 24 hours max...and a rental car.

We're so torn... Should we skip NOLA?? We keep reading about the crazy traffic. Would it be worth the stress for such a short visit?? Any suggestions of other nice places we can stop on our way to florida? Our nephew is based in Fort Benning GA. Any cool places nearby that we could visit if we decide to detour north to see him?

Thanks!!

17 replies to this topic
Lewes, United...
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1. Re: 6 day road trip - Houston to Miami. Skip NOLA :(??
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I can't make you mind up for you.

I will confirm that car parking can be expensive in NOLA, and few hotels have their own parking, free or otherwise, especially the smaller, unique hotels in the French Quarter. If you're short of time, then to head to NOLA will mean more miles as well as traffic, too.

You don't say time of year, and that might be another deciding factor. It's a city you'll likely want to stroll around and it gets stinking hot and humid - but then so does Houston and any part of Florida!

Another consideration about when this trip will be is that from around mid March to end May (slightly depend on Mardi Gras dates) the city has one big festival or even on every single weekend, or so it seems. That can bump up hotel prices significantly at weekends, and even weekdays for the bigger events. If you are concerned about seeing folk drinking on the streets and maybe a bit merry or worse for wear from that, then it may not suit a family trip.

If you are wanting a direct route between Houston and Miami, and feel that NOLA is likely to not work, I cannot see how heading to Fort Benning is a better alternative, to be honest, but it's not somewhere I know. On the way, though, if you are going there is Montgomery which has a decent American Civil Rights museum/memorial center (but there are better, not relevant to this trip).

You didn't ask, but I need to - do you have your rental car sorted? Prices for all rental cars in the USA are eye wateringly expensive, and one way routes are hard to find if it's a short notice trip. If you've not dealt with this, I would say it's your most urgent thing to arrange, and please ensure you have full and appropriate insurance, suitable for overseas drivers.

SWT

Chicago, Illinois
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2. Re: 6 day road trip - Houston to Miami. Skip NOLA :(??
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The OP mentioned a Halloween visit.

Melbourne, Florida
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3. Re: 6 day road trip - Houston to Miami. Skip NOLA :(??
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We passed through the area on the way to Great Wolf Lodge a couple of months ago. I can tell you there are definitely small towns. Columbus, Ga is the town located next to Ft. Benning and its not very large. We did not stop there so can't help on things to do but check out their forum.

https://visitcolumbusga.com/

I can tell you not to speed in either Alabama or Georgia especially in the smaller towns. You might want to use the google maps app or Waze to make sure you know the correct speed limit as it can drop a lot in a mile or 2. And they love to give expensive tickets in Georgia.

On the route from Houston if you dont stop in NOLA you might like the small towns along Hwy 90 in Mississippi. Bay St. Louis is interesting as is Gulfport, Biloxi and Ocean Springs.

After Ft. Benning consider Cedar Key in Florida which is a small old Florida town not far from Ocala which is horse country.

Then Matlacha near Ft. Myers also an eclectic old Florida town, take a boat ride out to Cabbage Key or drive out the the Tarpon Lodge (that would be my choice of where to stay in that area) or head across the state to Jensen Beach / Hutchinson Island on the Atlantic side.

Lewes, United...
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4. Re: 6 day road trip - Houston to Miami. Skip NOLA :(??
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Ooops, yes - so end October, UK school half term. So still hurricane season! And still quite muggy.

SWT

Atlanta, Georgia
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5. Re: 6 day road trip - Houston to Miami. Skip NOLA :(??
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Near Fort Benning Callaway Gardens and small towns of Warm Springs and Pine Mountain are very nice. They will have nice fall colors.

Hwy 90 along MS coast and Fairhope in AL are good alternatives to NOLA.

Ireland
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6. Re: 6 day road trip - Houston to Miami. Skip NOLA :(??
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SWT, thanks for your response. As mentioned, we are travelling over Halloween. Car rental already sorted. The Fort Benning detour would be to catch up with our nephew who is a long way from home (Ireland), so worth the additional miles. I guess we are just trying to make the most of a very limited gap in our itinerary (6 days) and we're trying to weigh up the pros and cons of a mere 24 hours in NOLA when there could be so many other great things that we might enjoy without the headache of tailbacks and parking. Thanks again for your help 😊

Ireland
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7. Re: 6 day road trip - Houston to Miami. Skip NOLA :(??
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Thank you Peachbelle. These suggestions sound great :)

Ireland
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8. Re: 6 day road trip - Houston to Miami. Skip NOLA :(??
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Bornwithwheels, thanks for the tips on speeding. We will definitely bear this in mind. Your FL recommendations also look fantastic. Wish we had more time!

Little Rock...
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9. Re: 6 day road trip - Houston to Miami. Skip NOLA :(??
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If it is in your budget, I would suggest New Orleans... you can just walk around the quarter, eat something and get a Beignet at afe Du Mond and walk the levee to see the Mississippi... You will get a quick taste of the place.

Do watch for Hurricanes (the storm, not the drink)... forcasting is good, so if there is an issue you will likely know well in advance... and hurricanes can hit Maimi or Houston too...

Randy

Wilmington, North...
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10. Re: 6 day road trip - Houston to Miami. Skip NOLA :(??
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New Orleans is an awesome city and I'd stop there even for just 24 hours.  Hotels in the Garden District are more likely to have onsite parking and you can use the trolley to get to the French Quarter.  There are some FQ hotels with parking and there are public garages.  You might post on the New Orleans forum for very specific advice.

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