Strap in and prepare yourself as we bring you along for an epic 7 day road trip to 7 different cities. Ximena and myself started our summer adventure by travelling to her brother’s house near St. Augustine, Florida – a visit to see her two young nieces was the perfect way to begin our journey.
After spending two nights at Mena’s brothers and a day trip to stop #1 (St. Augustine, Florida), it was time to officially begin our summer road trip which includes visiting the following cities: Savannah, Georgia, Charleston, South Carolina, Asheville, North Carolina, Gatlinburg, Tennessee, Knoxville, Tennessee, and Nashville, Tennessee.
Let’s break down our entire trip, starting with our day trip to St. Augustine:
Stop #1 – St. Augustine, Florida
Our first city to visit on the summer trip was St. Augustine which never gets any less amazing no matter how many times you visit. The historic buildings and cobblestone roads make this city a must-see if you have never been – our stops for this quick day trip included Castillo de San Marcos and Kilwin’s for some ice cream.
Stop #2 – Savannah, Georgia
Following our visit with Mena’s family we woke up early the next morning and hit the road for Savannah, Georgia. Prior to leaving Florida we booked an Airbnb that was a short walk from Forsyth Park in Savannah.
I must say I am always a little hesitant when booking an Airbnb but this house in Savannah was absolutely perfect! After checking ourselves in and dropping off our bags we began to explore what Savannah had to offer by walking to two breweries.
First up was Hop Atomica which was by far our favorite brewery and stop on our entire trip – the atmosphere, food, and beer were amazing. After grabbing a bite to eat at Hop Atomica, we then walked to Two Tides Brewing Company which is an old Savannah house that was made into a brewery – it is a close second to Hop Atomica as their beer was excellent and we absolutely loved the layout of the brewery – each room had art on the walls and it was just a great experience.
Now that we had some local beers under our belt and food, it was time for us to head to Forsyth Park. The park spans over 30 acres and is a must see if you are visiting Savannah – we had an excellent time walking through the park and it did not fail to impress.
After walking off all of the beer and food from the breweries earlier in the day – Mena and myself decided to head down to the Plant Riverside District. The view of the sunset from the river was absolutely incredible and we decided to grab a bite to eat right on the water – there are a ton of spots to eat outside with a variety of different food choices. Our pick was District Seafood where we had fish and chips while watching the Florida Panthers game and throwing back a couple more beers.
Our night ended with walking through the historic Savannah riverside, grabbing some ice cream and heading back to our cozy Airbnb – rest was needed as we were heading to our third stop, Charleston, South Carolina, early the next morning.
But First! Once we woke up we were dying to get some breakfast and stumbled upon the Little Duck Diner for an epic meal and we can’t fail to mention their infamous souvenir rubber ducky!
Stop #3 – Charleston, South Carolina
Mena and I hit the road to travel to the next [quick] stop on our summer road trip – Charleston! The weather was not in our favor on this leg of the trip as it was raining once we arrived in downtown Charleston, South Carolina. We quickly took to a super touristy gift shop to purchase umbrellas and yes, we did grab a few souvenirs as well. Once we purchased the umbrellas it stopped raining – of course!
Our trip to Charleston was brief but we did walk around town and through the historic Charleston City Market which was packed with people exploring the local vendors. A new city would not be complete without visiting a local brewery – we love craft beer! Upon looking up breweries close to downtown, we ended up walking to Revelry Brewing which was a little farther of a walk than expected – we definitely ordered an Uber back to the truck that we left in the parking garage downtown. Revelry Brewing was decent (the rooftop area was closed because of weather) and the food truck they had parked out back offered some amazing tacos.
Mena and I decided to forego staying in Charleston and headed to Asheville for 2 nights – we rented another Airbnb in the mountains and let’s just say it was quite rustic.
Stop #4 – Asheville, North Carolina
Charleston had a lot to offer and we definitely need to go back to see more of it as half a day was not nearly enough. That being said, Asheville is next on our list and we arrived at our Airbnb pretty late – I believe it was around 11 p.m. and finding the place in the dark was interesting to say the least. Once we settled into our cabin in the woods mountains – it was time to rest for night 1 in Asheville.
Waking up to the sound of the creatures in the mountains was amazing and we both agree that it was a welcomed change to living in a busy city.
Stop #5 – Gatlinburg, Tennessee
Luckily Gatlinburg, Tennessee was extremely close to where we ended the Blue Ridge Parkway so we decided to rent an Airbnb for the night. While the “boutique hotel” we found on Airbnb was not the greatest inside, the location was well worth it.
The Airbnb was a few blocks from the main strip in Gatlinburg and had its own parking lot for guests – we did not have to deal with the insane traffic from all the visiting tourists. We arrived around 9:00 pm to the hotel and decided to hit the main strip while they cleaned our room and got it prepared for us.
As busy as Gatlinburg, Tennessee is, everything closes early so it was difficult for us to find somewhere to eat dinner. Mena had wanted to try out a brewery she had seen on her last trip to Gatlinburg and it turns out they were open until 1 am AND they had a full kitchen as well.
Gatlinburg Brewing Company was our savior after a long day on the road – the beers were great and the food (pizza and wings) was even better! With full bellies and a clean-ish hotel room, it was now time to tuck in for the night.
Day 2 in Gatlinburg was met with a sunny day and both of us were ready to explore Anakeesta in downtown Gatlinburg, Tennessee.
But first, breakfast at an epic pancake spot! Pancake Pantry has a lot of hype surrounding it and I promise you that it lives up to all that hype. Arrive early, get a number from one of the hosts outside and even though there will be a massive crowd, they are super efficient and the line moves quickly.
Mena and I decided to try an omelet, pancakes and crepes and they were freaking incredible. Pancake Pantry will not disappoint and you MUST go if you are visiting Gatlinburg, Tennessee.
It was now time to head to Anakeesta and we do recommend pre-ordering your tickets online as the line to get in can get a little crazy.
Anakeesta Theme Park sits high atop the mountains in Gatlinburg and the views overlooking the city are incredible. The gondola ride up was beautiful and once we arrived at the top we could not believe our eyes.
They were not kidding when they said it was a theme park – they have several different areas to visit, an incredible restaurant with breathtaking views and while we were there they had a band playing live music! I cannot express how much I recommend going to Anakeesta if you are visiting Gatlinburg, Tennessee – don’t let the lines discourage you as it is a must-see attraction.
Stop #6- Knoxville, Tennessee
Fun Fact: I lived in Knoxville for a brief stint about 14 years ago which is why we decided to stop here for a night and visit my aunt and uncle in Karns, Tennessee. I must say that this was a great decision and I am super thankful for my aunt and uncle for allowing Mena and myself to crash at their house.
Once we reunited with my aunt and uncle for a bit we decided to head to downtown Knoxville for a quick bite to eat. The city has changed a lot since I lived there and for dinner we went to the Blackhorse Pub & Brewery – this place had excellent food and their in-house craft beers were great after a long day of travel.
After our bite to eat we went back to my aunt and uncle’s house to meet my cousin’s two sons for the first time – they were quite the characters. We all chilled at the house for a bit and then we headed off to bed as we were waking up bright and early for our last city on our epic road trip.
Stop #7 – Nashville, Tennessee
For the final leg of our road trip we made our way to Nashvegas – yes, that is what kids these days call Nashville and I hate it just as much as you probably do. Now that my quick rant is over, let’s get back on track with our last stop. Mena’s college friend, Barbara, has a place near Nashville and she was kind enough to let us crash there – it was a welcomed change from the questionable Airbnb’s we had stayed in.
Once we arrived at Barbara’s apartment we headed into the belly of the beast, downtown Nashville! Mena and I had been driving all day so we decided to go to The Pub and it was packed but we scored some seats at a makeshift table. The food was delicious and they had the Euro Cup on the televisions so it was a great decision to stop there first.
After soccer and food, we decided to walk around and walk right by the long line to get a picture in front of one of the trendy murals – Mena opted to go for the one made for children and it turned out to be a great photo without the long wait for the main mural.
A short while later we found ourselves in a crowd that rivaled DIsney World during tourist season – Broadway was a bit too crowded and overrun with drunken bachelorette dance parties for our liking.
Needless to say, while it was great to meet Barbara and hang out in Nashville, it was definitely a disappointment as far as the downtown area goes. Once we walked back to Barbara’s apartment we decided we had to hit a brewery while in town and Southern Grist was only a few miles away.
We all thoroughly enjoyed Southern Grist – their beers are incredible! They definitely made up for the lackluster showing that Broadway had to offer. With a few fancy beers down we were all getting hungry and we went on quite the adventure for some pizza – I am glad we all made it back in one piece!
To wind down the night we had our pizza and just chilled around the apartment as we had a long drive home the next morning.
The Long Trip Home
To conclude our trip Mena and I hopped in the truck and began our trek back to Florida – it took us about 14 ½ hours to get home from Nashville. Georgia was the worst state to drive through because somehow their drivers are worse than Florida.
All in all we both had a blast on our road trip and hope that everyone enjoys our little recap. Be sure to check out the reviews of all the stops we had along the way for more in-depth photos and commentary.