Road trip ideas between St. Louis and Decatur
April 24, 2017 10:49 AM   Subscribe

Two nights on the road between St. Louis, MO to Decatur, GA (early June). Looking for ideas...

Looking for ideas or combinations we haven't thought of.

Two main options at the moment:
One night in Memphis, one night in Huntsville or Birmingham
Two nights in Nashville

Obviously it's not a lot of time but we're interesting in a walkable city to explore, scenery, interesting parks..

I know very little about the area so any tips, highlights on the road to check out, or routes to avoid help too.
posted by starman to Travel & Transportation around Denver, CO (3 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
You can See Rock City, if you're coming on I-75.

By the way: when you get to the Atlanta area, from I-75, you should take I-285 over to I-85, and then get off at the Clairmont Rd. exit: BEFORE the closed area of I-85. Clairmont Rd. will take you directly to downtown Decatur. If you tried to take I-75 to the downtown area and then go east, you'd be in the zone of I-85 detours, which is really best avoided.
posted by thelonius at 10:57 AM on April 24, 2017 [3 favorites]

Looking at the route, I'd choose Memphis to Birmingham and then into Atlanta via I-20, which will bypass the whole mess currently going on with I-85, as well as avoiding any issues just in case you're coming down I-75 during Braves traffic. I-20 will run you just south of Decatur, and it's a short trip from the highway into Decatur proper, assuming that's where you're actually going. There is City of Decatur, and then there is a good-sized chunk of unincorporated DeKalb county that has a Decatur mailing address, but either area is accessible via I-20.

I haven't been in Memphis since... 1993, I think. My main memory is that the city seemed to change fairly drastically on a block-by-block level - one block nice old homes, the next run-down houses, then more nice homes, etc. I'm sure that's not exactly true, but that's what has stayed with me. I recall Beale Street being kind of touristy, but there were some fun things to do there. Maybe someone with more recent experience can chime in better than I can.

I recently asked a question about places to eat in Birmingham that got some good responses, and the area in question is just south of the I-59/I-20 interchange. I stayed at the Holiday Inn just by the airport, and took Lyft into the neighborhood, and had no problems. The hotel was one turn off the Interstate, so that made it easy to get to and get out of the next day.

I've only spent the night in Nashville as I was passing through, so I don't have anything to offer there.
posted by ralan at 4:57 PM on April 24, 2017

Ha, I'm doing this same route (Atlanta to St Louis and back) in mid August to see the solar eclipse. Carbondale IL is in the path and some big events are happening there. Will follow this thread.

Regarding thelonius' comment above about the Decatur approach, I-85 will likely be reopened by early June, since the contractor is being offered huge incentives for finishing early. Although obviously check for latest status.
posted by intermod at 5:41 PM on April 24, 2017 [1 favorite]

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