Southern USA Road Trip

As someone who was born and raised in Southern California, it may seem unbelievable that I’ve only been 11 of the 50 united states of America…

yet, I’ve been to 43 countries.

While this isn’t shocking news, the USA is a BIG country! With over 300 million people and over 3.8 million square miles in size, it’s one of the largest countries in the world not only by population, but in sheer size.

This a major reason why, when I introduce myself to people when traveling overseas, I tend to say that I’m “Californian” rather than saying “American.” This isn’t because I’m anti-American, but because of the misconceptions many countries have about what it is to be American.

Since the USA is so large, each region (and even each state and different regions of each state) have their own unique culture, food and even language.

For example, did you know that there are over 20 different American English dialects?

California has its own unique culture. And even California culture can be divided between northern and southern norms. You surely won’t hear someone in San Diego say, “hella,” and you will likely here a lot less, “dude,” in San Francisco.

To avoid slipping into to much of a tangent, the point I’m trying to make is that I’ve never been to the south. And, as a Californian, it’s going to be a VERY new experience for me. I don’t know the first thing about the south other than common stereotypes.

Though, if they are true, I’m perfectly ok with rye whiskey, BBQ and blues for the next two weeks!

I’m meeting up with one of my best friends, Matt of Nomadic Matt, to join him on part of his book tour for his New York Times Best Selling book How to Travel the World on $50 a Day.

My bags are packed and I head out on a 17-day road trip from Nashville, to Memphis, through Mississippi to New Orleans and ending in Houston! Check out my itinerary below and send me your tips or let me know if I’m coming to your town!

Southern USA Road Trip Itinerary

February 5-10: Nashville

  • Fly from San Diego, California to Nashville, Tennessee
  • 4 nights in Nashville

I’m so excited to visit Nashville for the first time! I arrived last night and, let me just say, this city has more live music than anywhere I’ve ever been. Literally, every bar (even the tiniest ones) have live music. Every day of the week.

I’ll be hitting up museums, seeing the best sights and finding the best live music!

February 10-12: Memphis

  • Drive from Nashville to Memphis (3 hours)
  • 2 nights in Memphis

I’ll be in Memphis for a couple of nights and cannot wait to visit Graceland! I’ll also be joining Matt at his book event on the 10th, so if you’re in town, be sure to RSVP below and we’ll grab drinks after.

RSVP for Nomadic Matt’s Book Tour Event in Memphis on February 10th!

February 12-16: TBD

  • Drive from Memphis to New Orleans
  • 4 nights TBD

I literally have no plans during this part of the road trip. We will be driving through Mississippi and I’m hoping to stop at some plantations and civil war sites.

Share your recommendations on where to stay and what to see in the comments below!

February 16-20: New Orleans for Mardi Gras

  • Arrive in New Orleans
  • 4 nights in New Orleans

I’m SOOO excited to visit New Orleans for the first time. I’ve always been fascinated by the culture and history there. I’ll be sipping my first Sazerac, grubbing on some gumbo and enjoying some of the best blues!

I’ll also be there for Mardi Gras! We have a balcony organized and are staying in the French Quarter, so I have a pretty good feeling it will be one of the highlights of the road trip. Matt also has a book even in New Orleans if you want to meet up on the 19th.

RSVP for Nomadic Matt’s Book Tour Event in New Orleans on February 19th!

February 20-22: Houston

  • Drive from New Orleans to Houston
  • 2 nights in Houston

Last, but not least, I’m ending my road trip in Houston for a couple of nights of good ol’ Texas fun. I’ve only ever been to Austin for SXSW, so it’s exciting to get to experience another city in the Lone Star state! Again, I’ll be joining Matt for his book event some come on out for a fun travel meet up!

RSVP for Nomadic Matt’s Book Tour Event in Houston on February 20th!

Want to meet up? Matt and I will be stopping in various cities throughout our drive, so let me know if I’m coming to your town. I’ll also be at his book events (mentioned above) so be sure to RSVP and plan on grabbing drinks afterwards.

So that’s what’s next for the adventures of The Blonde Abroad! I’ll also be filming a bunch of new YouTube videos on this trip, so be sure to subscribe to The Blonde Abroad on YouTube for updates.

If you have any recommendations for my road trip or have any questions about my trip, comment below!

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Kiersten Rich
Kiersten Rich is the bikini-obsessed author of award-winning solo female travel and lifestyle blog, The Blonde Abroad, featuring travel tips, fashion, food, festivals and photography from around the world.