Atlanta, GA is the metro hub of the south. It has the busiest airport in the United States and with all those travelers passing through, it has plenty of things to do. If you are into professional sports they have teams in all the major areas. Regardless of the time of year, you should be able to catch a game, be it football, baseball, soccer, lacrosse, or rugby.
The Georgia Aquarium is a great place to spend a day with the family too. Once the largest aquarium in the world housing 10 million gallons of water, this aquarium is still only one of two places in the world where you can see a whale shark in captivity. This is not the only stunning exhibit you will find here. There are many other great salt and freshwater displays throughout the complex with over 120,000 live specimens to see.
On the historical front, a stop at the Martin Luther King, Jr. National Historic Park is a great option. This park includes the childhood home of Martin Luther King, Jr. including many original furnishings from the time he lived there. Guided tours are available, and open house tours are held on Saturdays from 10 am – 12 pm. There is also a museum with many historical exhibits detailing his life, the Church where he was baptized and gave his first sermon and a fire station which protected the town.
If you are craving some great food, try the Krog Street Market. This is a large complex built out of an old cast iron pot factory. The centerpiece of the market is a 12,000 square foot food vendor's area with individual stalls serving up some great local fare. Regardless of your tastes, you are sure to find something here to satisfy them. When you're done eating, there are a number of shops to browse around in the complex as well. You could almost spend all day here.
The trip to Washington, D.C.is a passage through the deep south. The route is fairly simple. Take I-85 east out of Atlanta all the way to Petersburg, VA. This route will take you through Greenville, SC, Charlotte, NC, Greensboro, NC, and Durham, NC. Once in Petersburg, VA you'll pick up I-95 north through Richmond, VA and on to Washington D.C.
The Raleigh-Durham area of North Carolina has deep roots in the Tobacco Industry. One of the key players in that industry was Washington Duke. His contributions to the area have made the Duke name commonplace in the area, even serving as the namesake for the major university in the area, Duke University.
The Duke Homestead State Historic Site encompasses the original Duke home, factory, and farm as they stood while the Dukes lived there from 1852 – 1874. There is also a Tobacco Museum covering the contributions the Dukes made to the industry in general. 45 minute guided yours of the property are available, or you can explore parts on your own.
Rolling View Campground is located in the Falls Lake State Recreation Area. It is a beautiful campground located right on Falls Lake. It is also close to downtown Durham and only about 25 minutes from the Duke Homestead.
Guilford Courthouse National Military Park is a 125-acre park operated by the National Park Service in Greensboro, NC. The site commemorates the revolutionary war battle between Lord Cornwallace's and General Green's troops on March 15, 1781. This battle raged for about two and a half hours. While Cornwallis' forces emerged victorious, their heavy losses ultimately lead to their defeat and the American victory of the Revolutionary war several months later.
The park now includes a visitor center with a film about the battle and several exhibits covering the events surrounding it. Those exhibits include many artifacts from the battle. There are also guided tours of the grounds which provide an excellent overview of the events on that day. Also located on the property is the Hoskins Farm Site. This is a homestead occupied by two brothers who had fled the war in the north only to have to reemerge in their backyard. You can tour this area by audio tour.
Greensboro KOA is a good campground to stay at. It is close to downtown and convenient to I-85. It is also only about 20 minutes from the military park.
The most popular spectator sport in the United States is NASCAR racing. This sport is especially popular in the south, where it originated during the prohibition era of the 1920's. During those days, bootleggers used stock cars which were modified for speed to deliver their goods. The complete history of the sport can be experienced at the NASCAR Hall of Fame in Charlotte, NC. The hall of fame is part of the five acre Charlotte Convention Center complex. Inside you'll find a large movie theater which plays various NASCAR related films, lots of interactive exhibits, and tons of memorabilia spanning the history of NASCAR racing. It also hosts a number of special events throughout the year which focus on specific areas of the racing industry.
Carowinds Camp Wilderness Resort is a great place to stay in the city. It is located on the southwest edge of the city and it is associated with the neighboring Carowinds Amusement Park, which is a good place to visit while you're here. The RV park provides a quiet space with beautiful, large level sites. Access in and out of the park is also very easy.
Falls Park is a city park located in Greenville, SC. This is an outstanding park with several great attractions. First, there are the many walking trails that wind through the lush greenery of the park. These trails also take you to several scenic overlooks and waterfalls along the Reedy River for which the park is known. Two of the bigger attractions in the park include the Liberty Bridge and the Medusa Tree. The Liberty Bridge is a pedestrian suspension bridge that curves 345 feet over the Reedy River Valley. The bridge provides beautiful panoramic views of the river, waterfalls and park space below. During the summer you can often catch the park theater productions, which include Shakespeare, from the bridge.
The Medusa Tree is one of the most photographed subjects in the park. It is a large Birch Tree growing on a hillside along the Swamp Rabbit Trail in the park. Years of erosion have left a large portion of the tree's root system open see, looking very much like the snake hair of Medusa.
For an overnight stay, Ivy Acres RV Park is a great choice. This quiet park is located off I-85 exit 39 and is conveniently located just 10 minutes from downtown Greenville.
Washington D.C. is an amazing city with rich history, fantastic landmarks and some of the best museums in the world. It would be hard to visit this city and not see something of cultural or historical significance. This is a very busy place and getting around can be difficult. The area is known to have some of the worst traffic in the nation so driving into town can be challenging. Fortunately, they also have one of the nicest subway systems in the nation. For a modest fee, you can be whisked by train just about anywhere in town you would want to go.
Some great places to visit are the Smithsonian National Zoological Park. It is one of the oldest operating zoos in the nation and best of all, there is no admission fee. The beautiful park is home to many great animal exhibits including the Giant Pandas. The area surrounding the zoo is also a great place to stop for a meal. There are several nice restaurants in the area with outdoor patio seating where you can enjoy your meal outside. In addition to the zoo, the Smithsonian operates several world-class museums around the city.
To see the historical sites you may want to take a trolley tour. These tours pick you up and drop you off at specific areas where you can spend as much time as you would like exploring. They make for a great way to get around and see the sites.
To get a true taste of the area, stop by the Maine Avenue Fish Market. Here you'll find floating barges of vendors selling all sorts of locally sourced seafood including blue crabs, a food synonymous with the Chesapeake Bay Area. Grabbing a paper bag of those to cook up back at the campground makes from some great fun, and good eating.
Burke Lake Park Campground is a good place to stay. It is on the southwest side of town and close to Springfield where you can catch the subway downtown.