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Atlanta to New Orleans Road Trip Itinerary - 8 Places to See

What to Expect on Your Road Trip to New Orleans

Do you know road trips are the most popular forms of travel in the USA? A recent survey by the Vacationer revealed that over 206 million Americans want to take a road trip in the summer of 2022. About 18% of them are willing to take a road trip longer than 500 miles.

A road trip can be a soul-refreshing experience for people who want to explore new destinations, breathe in fresh air, meet new people, taste new foods, or spend time with loved ones.

So what is the best road trip to take in the United States?

Though there are many popular road trips you can take in the United States, the Atlanta to New Orleans road trip is special because can be done as a round trip that starts in Atlanta and covers seven popular destinations such as Birmingham, Memphis, Jackson, Nashville, New Orleans, Mobile, and Montgomery before bringing you right back to Atlanta.

The total distance of this road trip is approximately 1,419 miles and can be done in about 21 hours of driving time.

A trip itinerary provides a clear visualization of destinations to be visited and activities to be carried out at each destination and ensures you complete the trip on time without any hassles.

This article provides you with the trip itinerary needed to cover the most popular destinations you absolutely cannot miss during this specially designed Atlanta to New Orleans road trip.

Your Road Trip from Atlanta to New Orleans

Here is the list of eight destinations you absolutely can not miss during your Atlanta to New Orleans road trip (the list is in order from Birmingham to Atlanta):

  1. Birmingham

  2. Memphis

  3. Jackson

  4. Nashville

  5. New Orleans

  6. Mobile

  7. Montgomery

  8. Atlanta

If you follow a route like the one outlined below, you’re sure to hit all the spots! 

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1. Birmingham

Birmingham is the second-most populous city after Huntsville in Alabama. The city is home to world-class golf trials, national parks, museums, elegant hotels, motels, and zoos.

The major tourist attractions in Birmingham are:

  •  Barber Vintage Motorsports Museum:  If you are a bike lover, don’t miss visiting this museum. It has a collection of 750 vintage motorbikes displayed on walls and platforms across the building.

  • Birmingham Civil Rights Institute: You must visit this museum if you want to know the history of civil rights advocates and the freedom struggles of black Americans. 

  • Vulcan Park and Museum: With the largest cast-iron statue in the world, this location provides a beautiful scenic view of downtown Birmingham.

  • Birmingham Zoo: If you are traveling with children, this zoo is a must-visit place in Birmingham. It is home to lions, zebras, giraffes, sea lions, and African elephants.

Other places you should not miss in Birmingham include the McWane Science Center, Birmingham Botanical Garden, and Birmingham Museum of Art.

2. Nashville

Nashville, the capital city of Tennessee, is the fourth most populous city in the Southeastern U.S. Nashville is known for its country music, and many tourists visit Nashville to attend the live performance of the Grand Ole Opry, the world's longest-running live radio show. Grand Ole Opry provides you with a unique opportunity to witness superstars playing live music. Don’t forget to visit the Grand Ole Opry’s website to check the show calendar before scheduling your road trip. If you have time, you can visit the Great Smoky Mountains National Park located 3.5 hours east of Nashville. 

Nashville also has several auditoriums, art studios, and museums you won’t want to miss. A few of these are:

  • The Frist Center for the Visual Arts

  • Ryman Auditorium

  • Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum

  • The Cheekwood Botanical Garden and Museum of Art

  • The Tennessee State Museum

3. Memphis

Memphis is the second-largest city after Nashville in Tennessee. Situated along the Mississippi River, this city is known for its wide variety of landscapes, parks, museums, and cultural events.  Never miss hanging out at Beale Street if you are in Memphis because it is the location where street performers play live music.

Other points of interest in the Memphis City are:

  • Memphis Zoo: It exhibits a variety of mammals, polar bears, birds, giant pandas, lions, and fishes. The zoo claims that it has 3,500 animals representing 500 species.

  • Memphis Brooks Museum of Art: It is the largest fine art museum in the state of Tennessee. Its permanent collection includes work by Italian Renaissance artists, Impressionists, and others.

Other attractions you shouldn’t miss in the city are Sun Studio, Graceland, the National Civil Rights Museum, and the Peabody Ducks.

4. Jackson

Jackson is the capital city of Mississippi. The city is home to several historical sites, museums, parks, and nature trails. Some of the popular activities you can do in Jackson are kayaking in the Pearl River, cycling on Museum Trial, and visiting museums.

There are over three dozen parks in the city of Jackson. The most popular of them are Buddy Butts, Tougaloo Park, Parham Bridges Park, and Fondren Park.

If you are in Jackson with children, you won’t want to miss visiting the 30,000-square-foot playground at LeFleur's Bluff Education and Tourism Complex.

Other points of interest in Jackson are:

  • LeFleur’s Bluff State Park

  • The Art Garden at the Mississippi Museum of Art

  • Battlefield Park

  • Belhaven Park

  • Mississippi Civil Rights Museum

5. New Orleans

New Orleans is the most populous city in Louisiana. Located along the Mississippi River, the city is famous for annual celebrations, festivals, creole cuisine, and jazz music. Stylish boutique hotels, vintage shops, coffee bars, restaurants, and live music concerts have made the city a popular stop during road trips.

French Quarter is a never-miss tourist destination in New Orleans.  It is home to the finest art galleries, restaurants, jazz clubs, and nightclubs. The major attractions in the French Quarter are Bourbon Street, Jackson Square, St. Louis Cathedral, the French Market, and Preservation Hall.

Other points of interest in New Orleans are:

  • The National WWII Museum

  • Garden District

  • Audubon Zoo

  • Frenchman Street

  • New Orleans City Park