I am a professor escaping from Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico. So I got here with my wife and tried to make the most of it while the university is being rebuilt. I am now in New Jersey at a friend´s house, and I rented a car for a couple of weeks. Plan to drive to New Orleans and then to Orlando, Florida. What are your suggestions for places along the way to stay cheaply and sights to see?
There are lots of things to see and do in the northeast. Particularly in Washington, DC where all the Smithsonian museums are free. I'd suggest taking a train from New Jersey because that will be more relaxing that trying to drive, and renting the car in D.C. From there you can go down the Skyline Dr (which is free), and connects to the Blue Ridge Pkwy (free) and go all the way down to Great Smoky Mountain National Park (which is free). This is a slow paced scenic drive. The park is partly in NC and partly in TN. From here it is an 8 or 9 hour drive through Birmingham (Alabama) to New OrleansMobile and Pensacola to Orlando It's free to look at the beach and there is a free aviation museum in Pensacola at the Naval Air Station. Fort Barancas is also there.
Mentioned in this answer: