If you read my Civil Rights road trip post, you know we went off track a few times. If you haven’t read the post, read it now and come back. It will make more sense. And no, I’m not trying to get more views by splitting up the post. The Civil Rights post flowed better without discussing our other excursions.
Anyway, here’s where else we stopped on our 3-week road trip.
Between Stop 2 and Stop 3
Chiqamagua National Battlefield Park: Near Chattanooga, Tennessee
We love to stop at battlefields while on road trips. Walking around a battlefield not only provides my kids with a history lesson, but also a chance to get out of the car and stretch their legs. Chiqamagua was one of the largest battles during the Civil War and the second bloodiest (next to Gettysburg) and resulted in a Confederate victory and forced the Yankees into nearby Chattanooga. Although Chiqamagua was a victory for the South, the Confederates suffered and the battle was called a “Death Nell.” 10 Generals perished during the battle and 20% of the forces perished. Later, when General Grant arrived with reinforcements, the controlling Confederates retreated into Georgia.
To receive the most out of the battlefield, stop at the visitor center first and walk through the museum. There, you will find information to download an ap you can use while you drive around the battlefield. There are markers and places to get out and walk around as you study the battlefield.
Lookout Mountain: Near Chattanooga
A short drive from Chiqamagua is Lookout Mountain. My family loves spending time outdoors, so being in a car for a long period is difficult for us. With not much time to spare at Lookout Mountain, we hiked along the paths and enjoyed the beautiful scenery and caves before we had to stuff ourselves back into our vehicle. Some areas require a deep breath to slide through as rocks and both sides close in on you, but this claustrophobic made it.
Off Topic Stops in Atlanta:
The World of Coca-Cola museum was a fun way to look at the history of the company and taste as many Coca-Cola beverages as possible. The Georgia Aquarium might be the best aquarium I have ever visited. And The Jimmy Carter Presidential Museum and Library offers a look into the life of one of our 39th President. You can tie in the Civil Right road trip into the Coca-Cola museum and see the advertisement in which Coca-Cola was the first to use African American sports heroes. And at the Carter Center, you can read about when Jimmy Carter proposed to Congress Martin Luther King, Jr’s birthday should be a National Holiday.
Between Stop 4 and 5
My family is not a motorsports family, but we thought it would be fun to visit the Barber Vintage Motor Sports Museum on the way to Birmingham. It was a good rest stop along the way and my family enjoyed looking at the old motorcycles. There is a race track where you can take a test drive with a race car.
Off Topic Spot in Memphis
How can you possible take a road trip to Memphis and not stop at the home of the King of Rock-n-Roll? The house itself is of humble size, but there isn’t anything humble about what’s inside. As a huge fan of Elvis, I loved every second of walking through his home. Everyone receives a tablet which helped entertain the littles one so I could spend as much time as I wanted looking around the house.
Between Stop 8 and Stop 9
Mammoth Cave Kentucky
My kids are studying geology and we thought it would be a great opportunity for the kids to visit Mammoth Cave. Feeling claustrophobic for much of the hike, I gutted it out so my kids could take in the amazing sights and sounds of the cave. We lagged towards the back of the tour so we could be close to the ranger that was making sure there were no stragglers. My kids pestered the poor guy (who didn’t mind) with many geological questions.
Most of what we did in New Orleans was not Civil Rights related. We incorporated The National World War 2 Museum into our Civil Rights study, but most of what we studied was related to the war. While in New Orleans, we also visited the Audubon Butterfly Garden and Insectarium and enjoyed lots of gumbo. We also took a few strolls down Bourbon Street and ate many beignets at Café Du Monde.
Making these stops helped us be ready for the next section of the Civil Rights experience that awaited us. They were interesting and gave us another view at American life. I can’t stress enough that if you take a Civil Rights road trip, getting sidetracked is okay.