This itinerary uses Atlanta as starting and ending point. If you are coming from Asia, there’s a direct flight from Korea to Atlanta by Korean Air. Flying to Atlanta is not as popular as flying to New York but it has many advantages:
– It is cheaper than flying to New York
– Atlanta’s airport is the busiest airport in the world so there are many flights coming and departing from this airport, which gives you many options and freedom to plan your itinerary
– Atlanta is in the middle of New York and Florida which can serve as a nice base and transition point to explore different states along West Coast
– Atlanta has many touristy things to do
Tips on car rental: remember to bring your International driving permit (especially Asian countries). This permit is in additional to your driving license. In Singapore, you can get this at AA. I was told by a Hertz agent that she has turnt away a few customers because they didn’t carry the International Driving Permit with them.
The recommended time to make this trip is during the festive season (obviously), because:
– Seeing the decorations everywhere and feeling Christmas in the air is the best thing in the world
– You’ve got to be at Time Square for the biggest New Year’s Eve party in the world
1. Part 1: Exploring states in the South of Atlanta by car
b. Atlanta to Savannah (250 miles/ 400 km)– Savannah is charming with its historic architecture. Personally, I find it’s rather boring but it’s worth a rest stop.
c. Savannah to St Augustine (180 miles/ 290 km) – St Augustine has the oldest village in Florida which is worth visiting or stopping for a cup of coffee in the village garden.
d. St Augustine to Orlando (100 miles/ 167 km)
Orlando is the city of all theme parks for all ages: Disney World, Sea World, Universal Studio, Legoland… If you have visited the Universal Studio in Los Angeles, you can skip the one here because simply it is not as good as the real studio in LA.
Tip: It’s better to hunt for cheap entrance tickets on Craiglist or eBay.
e. Orlando to Miami (235 miles/ 380 km)– nude beach and party capital
f. Miami – Key West (160 miles/ 257 km)– Cuban style town, furthest point of USA
g. Key West – Orlando – Destin passing through Alabama state
You will be clocking your miles most of the time on this stretch. It’s interesting to pass by Alabama state. You would know it when you are in it without being prompted by any GPS system.
h. Destin – Atlanta