RetroRoadmap trip from Philly to Austin - recommendations?

TRAVEL TIPS, road trip journey queries, motels, coffee shops, drive-ins, bowling alleys, dinner houses, gas stations, giant objects, signs, theme parks, Disneyland, and roadside sites to see along the way

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Mod Betty / RetroRoadmap
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RetroRoadmap trip from Philly to Austin - recommendations?

Postby Mod Betty / RetroRoadmap » Thu Feb 24, 2011 10:12 am

Hello Lotta...Livvers? ;-)

Mod Betty from RetroRoadmap.com here and I'm wicked excited about our biggest roadtrip yet- RetroRoadhusband and I are driving from Philadelphia PA to SXSW in Austin TX and back, taking almost 2 weeks to do so, and hope to visit as many RetroRoadmap-worthy places as we can!!

Would love to hear suggestions from any locals, or folks who have made a similar journey- we're looking for most everything that would be appropriate on this thread: hotels, motels, coffee shops, drive-ins, bowling alleys, dinner houses, gas stations, giant objects, signs, theatres, luncheonettes, thrift stores and roadside sites to see along the way.

Our trip down brings us through Atlanta, Birmingham, Jackson, Baton Rouge, Houston, and heading home we're going via Memphis, Nashville, Cincinnati and Newell WV.

Looking forward already to staying in a Wigwam motel in Cave City, KY, visiting the American Sign Museum, re-visiting Homer Laughlin (Fiestaware!) and of course, Graceland.

Thanks in advance for the help, and if you ever are visiting the Philly area we can give recommendations as well!

:-)

Mod Betty & her RetroRoadhusband
http://www.RetroRoadmap.com
Your source for Retro, Vintage and Cool Old Places worth visiting!

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Postby Futura Girl » Fri Feb 25, 2011 3:26 am

have to think about that one??? that's a tall order of a trip! sounds like a BLAST! we did a cross country road trip years ago... i want to do it all over again, but spend longer on the road. it's so fun...
Graceland was a highlight! Not Mid Century Mod - but fun - if it's sunday go visit the reverend Al Green in Memphis.

Atlanta has a cool area call five corners that has some nice vintage stores.

Have an awseome trip!
I'm gonna keep on the run... I'm gonna have me some fun if it costs me my very last dime.
If I wind up broke up, well, I'll always remember that I had a swingin' time

Mod Betty / RetroRoadmap
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Postby Mod Betty / RetroRoadmap » Fri Feb 25, 2011 5:04 am

We actually will be in Memphis on a Sunday, I'll have to do some investigation - thanks for the tip!

We're very very excited about this trip, I've wanted to do a big ol' American Roadtrip for years now, so we decided to just do it. Time flies!

I know the fact that we're covering a lot of ground will mean we'll miss a lot of cool old places and towns that we'd love to hang out in, so we're trying to balance the driving to places we need to be with the hanging out and checking out cool stuff, and figuring out what roadfood to eat while still fitting into our clothes :-)

I'll be posting on RetroRoadmap about our trip and the places we visited ,but will make sure to write a recap for this thread if there places we found that would be of interest to LL'ers.
http://www.RetroRoadmap.com

Your source for Retro, Vintage and Cool Old Places worth visiting!

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Postby Perks » Sat Feb 26, 2011 9:47 pm

I did a big-ol' American road trip last October. 23 states, 3000+ miles, starting in Atlanta...working west to Shreveport, LA, then north to Wahpeton, ND, then south and east through Minneapolis, Madison, Chicago, Indinapolis, Cincinatti, Knoxville, Asheville, and back to Atlanta.

One of the best vacations in my life!

From the route you've proposed, I think you're pretty much covering completely different territory than I did, but I'll tell you how I traveled that time anyway.

I said forget the big cities. OK, not entirely, but my stops there were brief. Instead, I hit every little town along the way that I could. OK, not *every* town, but I did hit 100 of them in less than two weeks. Visited every little downtown. Saw every courthouse square I could. Ate only in small-town diners. Took literally thousands of photos.

I've never vacationed that way before, so it was a totally eye-opening experience specifically skipping the big-name places and consciously exploring the random towns. What I saw was so much more fascinating than had I picked out just a few "big" things to see instead. I suppose it helps that I'd been through many of the larger cities already.

Anyway, just thought I'd share my road trip experience. Next time I have a big road trip planned, I'm totally doing it that way again.

I can't wait to see your posts on RetroRoadmap! :D
Andy Perkins, Broker/Owner
Perkins Realty Group

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Postby Slim and Gabby » Sun Mar 20, 2011 12:00 pm

Betty-

you helped us out with some great suggestions for our Pittsburgh trip last summer, so I was hoping I had something to contribute here.

My experience with most of the areas you mentioned is quirky at best. I had family members who owned a string of cheesy tourist traps throughout the Smoky Mtn. area, but most are gone now. I just can't in good faith send you through the glut of Gatlinburg just to see old Uncle Bill's replica of the Space Needle. Poor Slim suffered through the crowds and was rewarded with some great neon on the North Carolina side. Lots of disturbing Indian imagery, but definitely mid century.

I just don't think it's on your way, but one of the few places that really held up around there was this family run cave tour at Tuckaleechee Caverns in KY. Crusty old guys who kept calling our sweet ponytailed college student guide "Simon and Garfunkel"....just like it was when I was there in the early 70's... More here:
http://www.tuckaleecheecaverns.com/index.htm

Image


Anyway. I'm in sales and marketing for schools and colleges, and go to a lot of out of the way places in my travels. Plus I have driven cross-country for fun at least a dozen times. Can't stress enough what Perks is saying about the joys of staying off the main roads and being open to seeing what is out there.


If you are thrift hounds like we are, I find a lot of great thrift stores near bus stations. My theory is that since many are 'mission' oriented, they like to go where transients come into town. Likewise, thrift and junk tends to be really good anywhere near a military installation. Those folks often don't take a lot when they move, and sometimes have really nifty souvenirs.

Another tip that has served me well: I will go up to 100 mi out of my way to see anything prefaced by "devil". I've been to Devil's hellhole, Devil's Elbow, etc. etc. Sometimes, you just get great geology, but often you get some swell old touristy stuff.

I always love your picks. I know you'll have a ball. Can't wait to read about it on your site.

Gabby
Pen-gu-ins is pracatically chickinz, and I hates to see chickinz cry so much, I has to put’em outta ther mizzery!

Mod Betty / RetroRoadmap
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Postby Mod Betty / RetroRoadmap » Sun May 15, 2011 6:31 pm

Thanks so much for the tips! We had a fab time and I'm still catching up on posting about it on RetroRoadmap.com. I'm bound and determined that each place we visited gets a decent writeup, even if it takes me forever!

Here are some of the places we visited that I'd recommend:

VA: Texas Tavern, Roanoke
SC: Northgate Soda Shop, Greenville
LA: La Place Frostop, La Place
TX: Cream Vintage, Austin
AL: Goal Post BBQ Anniston
MS: Mayflower Cafe, Jackson
TN: Arnold's, Nashville
OH: American Sign Museum
WV: Homer Laughlin Factory

I'll be posting about all of 'em, but if anyone wants details or recommendations before I do that, feel free to contact me - and thanks again!
http://www.RetroRoadmap.com

Your source for Retro, Vintage and Cool Old Places worth visiting!


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