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Destination: San Antonio April 28, 2010

Posted by Sarah in BRAC, Moving, Relocation, Road Trip, Tools, Uncategorized.
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A guide to planning your road trip from Washington, DC, to San Antonio

By this time of the journey, the Appalachian Mountains are behind us and the road trip begins to come to a close.  San Antonio is swiftly approaching.

Depending on the route chosen, you may have been stunned by the enormity of Nashville’s Parthenon or found time to unwind by relishing in the peaceful serenity of DeSoto Falls. Either way, the next and final part of this series offers a variety of places to visit before arriving to your destination.

Here’s to safe travels, many adventures and a new life with the US Army Installation Management Command in the Heart of Texas.  Thanks for all you do for Soldiers, Civilians and Families!

Every day is a journey, and the journey itself is home.”

― Japanese Poet Matsuo Basho (1644-1694)

Part 3 of 3: Louisiana, Mississippi, Arkansas and Texas

North Route Road Map (Tennessee, Arkansas and Texas)

Hot Springs National Park (Hot Springs, Ark. – North Route)

Nestled in rolling hills, Arkansas’ Hot Springs National Park has been protected by Congress since 1832, some 40 years before Yellowstone became the world’s first national park. The park offers hiking trails, picnic areas, camping grounds, scenic overlooks and a row of luxurious stone and masonry bathhouses constructed in the early 1900s.  The Bathhouse Row structures are part of a National Historic Landmark District and represent the grandest collection of such bathhouses in North America.

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Crater of Diamonds State Park (Murfreesboro, Ark. – North Route)

Crater of Diamonds State Park is the only diamond-producing site in the world open to the public.  Diamonds up to 40.23 carats have been found in the park.  Uncle Sam, the largest diamond discovered in North America, was found here in 1924. Diamonds range in color from white, yellow, canary and brown. In 2009, 918 diamonds were found weighing a total of 182.97 carats.

Amon Carter Museum (Fort Worth – North Route)

Travel about five hours south west of Crater of Diamonds State Park on Interstate-30, you will hit the final recommended destination on Route 2. The Amon Carter Museum displays an array of art exhibits including Masterworks of American Photography: Popular Culture, Ansel Adams: Eloquent Light and American Modern: Abbott, Evans, Bourke-White (photography).

This collection of art and sculpture by Charles Russell and Frederic Remington is very extensive, with excellent information alongside each to narrate the stories depicted. You may not be a fan of the cowboy life, but these illustrations keep it realistic, with all the everyday detail.  [The] Indian costumes are particularly interesting.”

― TripAdvisor.com member Debora4967 of Philadelphia.

South Route Map (Mississippi, Louisiana and Texas)

African American Military History Museum (Hattiesburg, Miss. – South Route)

The African American Military History Museum has been dedicated to America’s African American Soldiers since 1942.  “From their beginnings as Buffalo Soldiers to their modern-day service in Operation Iraqi Freedom, hundreds of artifacts, photos and unique displays tell the story, so that we may be inspired by their courage and patriotism,” the museum’s website notes.

Confederacy of Cruisers Bike Tours (New Orleans – South Route)

Confederacy of Cruisers is one of New Orleans’ premier tours. Listed as No. 1 of 297 on TripAdvisor.com’s popularity index in New Orleans attractions, Confederacy of Cruisers will give you an intimate, relaxing tour of the Big Easy. The tours are slow paced, allowing you time to soak up the local sights and color. The tour offers a friendly guide, tuned-up bicycles, safety helmets, water and an encyclopedic knowledge of the colorful past of the Big Easy.

The three-hour tour is a leisurely ride around the city, through several different neighborhoods and covering nearly every aspect of New Orleans history and culture. I don’t think I could have learned more living in the city for a year than I did in one afternoon on this tour.”

― TripAdvisor.com member Amanicen of Milwaukee, Wisc.

Creole Nature Trail Map

Creole Nature Trail (Lake Charles, La. – South Route)

Nestled along the Gulf of Mexico in southwest Louisiana is the Creole Nature Trail, one of America’s scenic byways.  Untouched wetlands stretch out across thousands of acres encompassing three wildlife refuges and a bird sanctuary.  Running westward parallel to Interstate 10, this Family-friendly byway offers more than 300 species of birds, toothy alligators and timeless tranquility.

…You will be enchanted by the entwining ecosystems of the coastland and the marshland.  So drive the trail through Louisiana’s very own outback and discover the culture, nature and history awaiting you there.”

― National Scenic Byways Program website

Houston Maritime Museum (Houston – South Route)

Exhibiting more than 150 ship models, 100 types of navigational instruments and numerous maritime artifacts, the Houston Maritime Museum captures and preserves the wonder and influence of maritime history.

It’s a tiny museum in a tiny house, dedicated to model ships and the history of seafaring. They have a remarkable collection of model ships (some quite large). … A friendly [man] gave us the tour and you could tell he really enjoys sharing his knowledge.”

― Yelp.com member Rebecca F. of Providence, R.I.


DISCLAIMER: The Installation Management Command does not control or guarantee the accuracy, relevance, timeliness or completeness of information contained on external linked websites. The appearance of external links does not constitute endorsement by the Installation Management Command, the Department of the Army, or the Department of Defense of the services or products offered on external sites. Links are provided solely for convenience.

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Destination: San Antonio April 26, 2010

Posted by Sarah in BRAC, Moving, Relocation, Road Trip, Tools, Uncategorized.
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Sunset at Morton's Overlook, Great Smoky Mountains National Park, Tenn.

A guide to planning your road trip from Washington, DC, to San Antonio

Part 2 of 3: Tennessee, Georgia and Alabama

With Virginia and North Carolina in the rear view mirror, it’s time to start the second leg of Destination: San Antonio.  If you enjoyed the history of Monticello or the adrenaline rush of Sliding Rock, just wait until you explore Tennessee, Georgia and Alabama.  About a two-hour drive northwest of Sliding Rock and downtown Asheville is Gatlinburg, Tenn., the gateway to the Great Smoky Mountains.

At this point of the journey, the roads diverge and you must decide which route you’d like to travel: south or north; Georgia, Alabama, Louisiana and Mississippi or central to western Texas and Arkansas.  Nevertheless, whichever way is right for you and your Family, the journey will be exciting and memorable.

North and South Routes

Great Smoky Mountains National Park (Gatlinburg)

The Great Smoky Mountains National Park offers a myriad of opportunities for exploring the natural and cultural history of its ancient surroundings. The national park encompasses more than 800 square miles in the Southern Appalachian Mountains. No other area of equal size in a temperate climate can match the park’s diversity of plants, animals and invertebrates. The Great Smoky Mountains National Park provides countless activities such as scenic and historical drives, Elkmont’s synchronized fireflies and white water rafting.

Asheville, N.C., to Gatlinburg, Tenn.

Asheville, N.C., to Gatlinburg, Tenn.

The Parthenon (Nashville – North Route)

Built in 1897 for Tennessee’s Centennial Exposition, Nashville’s Parthenon might have you thinking you’re in Greece. Both the building and a 42-foot statue of Athena are full-scale replicas of the Athenian originals.  The Parthenon, amongst hosting events such as proms and weddings, serves as the city’s art museum.

I’ve been to the Parthenon in Athens, and the experience of visiting the reproduction in Nashville is at least equal to and perhaps surpasses the original.”

―TripAdvisor.com member Snakebite_Survivor of Chapel Hill, N.C.

Graceland (Memphis – North Route)

Driving through Memphis won’t add extra hours to your driving time, so don’t fret! If Tennessee and Arkansas are ideal for your travels, you should visit the King’s Graceland Mansion.

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Many forget that Elvis served in the armed forces and historic items on display serve well to document this period in the King’s life. A visit to Graceland will leave you with a new found appreciation to the man we all know as the King.”

― Yelp.com member Hideki K. of New York, New York

Stone Mountain (Atlanta – South Route)

Frommer’s lists Stone Mountain as one of the 500 Places to Visit with Your Kids Before They Grow Up.  The park is home to the largest bas-relief in the world, which portrays three major figures of the Confederate States of America: Stonewall Jackson, Robert E. Lee and Jefferson Davis.

DeSoto State Park (Fort Payne, Ala. — South Route)

Nestled atop scenic Lookout Mountain in northeast Alabama, DeSoto State Park’s 3,502-acre wilderness is accented by rushing waterfalls and fragrant wildflowers. The park offers hiking, fishing, camping, swimming and horseback riding.  If you’re bringing your horses to Texas and want to stretch their legs – this is the place. DeSoto Falls, located in the state park, is more than 100-feet high and is one of the tallest and most visited waterfalls in Alabama.

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DISCLAIMER: The Installation Management Command does not control or guarantee the accuracy, relevance, timeliness or completeness of information contained on external linked websites. The appearance of external links does not constitute endorsement by the Installation Management Command, the Department of the Army, or the Department of Defense of the services or products offered on external sites. Links are provided solely for convenience.