The Quintessential Southern Road Trip

Southern Road Trip | 50 States by 25

In my three years of college, my best friends and I have unsuccessfully tried to go to Orlando about five times. This spring break, we tried again, but let’s face it: Disney World tickets and Harry Potter wands are two semester’s worth of textbooks.


I had multiple spreadsheets laid out with different options. There was the “best deal” that gave us the most for our money but was by no means the cheapest. There was the cheapest, which meant sketchy hotels and only one day in each park. There was also the “let’s just splurge” which meant the best time but possibly negative numbers in our bank accounts.

Three weeks before spring break, we found out it would only be three of us going instead of five, which ultimately drove the cost through our brains. I deleted the spreadsheets and started from scratch with a new goal in mind: visit at least three new states and spend less than $500.

This is the itinerary I came up with. We managed at $200 each for a week’s worth of hotels. Using this gas estimator, I figured between $30-40 a person for gas. I then spent no more than 15 minutes looking up ticket prices for everything we wanted to do and estimated $180 for activities with a $10 per day food allowance.

Naturally, we all bought extra souvenirs and spent way more than $10 a day on food, but we still stayed close to $500, which is reasonable when you consider that we visited 6 different cities via 2,000 miles and 3 hotels in a week.

Would we have spent too much more than that in Orlando? Maybe… probably not. I’m great at deal-hunting. But we got to experience so much more! We’ll get to Orlando eventually – I’ve already been there six or seven times, anyway.

I will be posting details about the different cities we visited and stories from each one (pictures and videos included) so stay tuned!


Memphis, TN -> Jackson, MS -> Baton Rouge, LA -> New Orleans, LA – Gulf Shores, AL -> Monroeville, AL -> Moorseville, AL 

(Starting and ending in our home of Nashville, TN)

Day 1 –

  • Drive to Memphis
  • Explore Beale/Lafayette (Dinner @ Lafayette Music Box)

Day 2 –

  • Memphis Zoo
  • Graceland
  • Dinner on Beale Street
  • Drive to Jackson, MS

Day 3 –

  • Explore downtown & capitol building
  • Mississippi Museum of Natural Science
  • Mynelle Gardens
  • Babalou Tacos and Tappas

Day 4 –

  • Drive to Baton Rouge
  • Explore downtown
  • Baton Rouge Zoo
  • Explore LSU
  • Drive to New Orleans
  • Bourbon Street

Day 5 –

  • Mardi Gras World
  • Aquarium / Zoo
  • French Quarter

Day 6 –

  • Cafe Du Bon
  • Jackson Square/French Quarter
  • Bourbon Street/Musical Legends Park

Day 7 –

  • Drive to Orange Beach, Gulf Shores, AL
  • Relax at the Beach
  • Explore the town, eat seafood, souvenir shop
  • The Hangout

Day 8 –

  • Explore Alabama
  • Monroeville, Harper Lee’s former home
  • Moorseville, one of the oldest Alabama towns
  • Head on Home

I’m so glad my best friends came with me.


Written by 

Travel Goals Club owner. Writer. Introvert. Overly obsessed with my two dogs and two cats.

5 thoughts on “The Quintessential Southern Road Trip

    1. I’ll be uploading a full blog on that later in the week! Thanks so much for your support. The #1 must is Cafe Du Monde. Go there for coffee and beignets (French donuts), and it’s right in the French Quarter. My favorite part of the trip was just exploring that area – there are so many shops, restaurants, and things to see. You also can’t pick a bad place to eat, especially if you’re a fan of seafood. I’m not a seafood person, but I still found something to eat everywhere we went (all great southern dishes). Bourbon street is where you want to go if you plan on drinking and getting weird – it’s a scary place.

      Hope you enjoy your trip!

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