My wife and I are driving to Denver in early June. We would like to take a southern route through New Orleans and prefer to avoid interstate highways as much as possible. We are in no hurry and like to explore interesting places as we travel. All suggestions will be appreciated.
The first part of this is easy for me as I've traveled this route a lot. From Jacksonville take US 98 west to Lake City and visit St. Marks National Wildlife Refuge You can stay in Crawfordville Then stay on 98 and take a detour to St. George Island for lunch and maybe to visit the lighthouse (there's one in St Mark's Refuge too). Keep going to Mexico Beach Panama City Beach Fort Walton Beach (there's an Indian mound museum there) and out onto Santa Rosa Island at the end of which is Fort Pickens Go to the Naval Aviation Museum in Pensacola. Then you can either go all the way down to Fort Morgan (Alabama) and take the ferry over to Fort Gaines, or you can go up to Spanish Fort and visit Mobile Either way -you can visit Bellingrath Garden Mis and Home and then be sure to stop at Gulf Islands National Seashore before you get to Biloxi Then take US 90 on to New Orleans. I won't go into New Orleans, but from there take US 90 again to Morgan City - there is a carrillon park there and also an offshore drilling rig that you can tour if you want. Then go on to Franklin (Louisiana), Jeanerette (there's a little museum there), and New Iberia where you can tour Shadows-on-the-Teche. You should make a detour to Avery Island (the home of Tabasco Sauce), and you might want to also visit Saint Martinville which is where the Evangeline story is set. Then go through Lake Charles and near Beaumont is the Big Thicket National Preserve Visitors Center where they have several varieties of carnivorous plants. From here on, you are on your own as the only places I know of between there and Colorado Springs is possibly Denton which has an amazing city hall and an old fashioned ice cream parlor, and Irving where there are the Mustangs of Las Colinas. (a sculpture group)
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