Any advice for our drive to the beach?

Discussion in 'All About SoWal' started by J.bean, Jun 27, 2007.

  1. J.bean

    J.bean Beach Comber

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    We're coming from St. Louis and plan on stopping in Sikeston, MO for dinner at Lamberts. That should be a good enough break for the kids and then we want to stop for the night somewhere between Memphis, TN & Tupelo, MS. Has anyone stayed in any of the towns between there? I'd like to just drive until we have to stop and pick somewhere, but don't want to end up in a dump for the night. I'd love recommendations if anyone has driven that stretch before. Also, at the end of our drive, Mapquest says to turn Left onto 98 from 331 and stay on it for about 12 miles. With traffic, is that still the best route?

    Thanks!
     
  2. Wekick

    Wekick Beach Comber

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    We usually go from St. Louis 64 to 57 south to 24 to 65 to 331 or go further south to state road 55. There are a number of alternatives. Sometimes we drive it all at once, and other times we stop in Decatur Al. and spend the night. Big Bob Gibson's is there --home of some of the best ribs. We have been driving down that road and and other possible way you can think of to get there for the last 18 years. We have also driven down 55 or alternatives to that like hwy 51. We like to take the side roads sometimes. We have stayed in Tupelo many times but not for the last few years. I think traffic is worse on Saturdays because alot of the condos change out then. You might drive down one way and come back another and see what you like. I kind of think that 64-57-24-65 is the faster route but that can change depending on traffic conditions.
    How old are your kids? One year we went to the space center in Huntsville, Al. We used to stay in the Radisson Suites there because the room slept 6 and sometimes we got free breakfast. Sometimes too we would put them in the car at 3 AM and drive 5 hours before they woke up!
     
  3. seacliffes

    seacliffes Beach Lover

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    I have made this drive 5 to 6 times a year since 1982 and the best route is 55 south to HWY 49 in Jackson, Mississipi to Hattiesburg, Miss. where you pick up state 98 to Mobile, Al. then I-10 to Pennsacola then 110 South to Florida 98 into Destin. The entire route is now divided and has been shortened. There is only 19 miles of two lane the entire route!!! Best place to stay is Grenada, Miss. about 90 miles south of Memphis...
     
  4. 30A Skunkape

    30A Skunkape Mr. Small Box

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    True dat, but if you were heading all the way to 30A, you might really get snagged on HWY 98 this time of year(in Florida, not MS and AL, the stretch of 98 in MS and rural AL was 4 lanes and seemingly brand new when I last rode it a few years back!)...there can be hellacious traffic in Ft Walton and then in Destin...it might be wise to take I-10 all the way to HWY 331.
     
  5. yippie

    yippie Beach Fanatic

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    I would not take the 110 to 98. Stay on I 10 until you get to the Crestview, Hwy 85 South exit. Follow that road to State Road 20, turn East. Follow State Road 20 through Niceville all the way to Freeport, then pick up 331 South. Depending on where you are staying you would go either east or west on Hwy 98.
     
  6. iwishiwasthere

    iwishiwasthere Beach Fanatic

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    Dramamine always worked well on our travels with children;-) :lol: Safe travels and enjoy your time in paradise.:D
     
  7. gsigman

    gsigman Beach Comber

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    In answer to your question, Hgw 78 is between Memphis & Tupelo. It is only about 70 minutes between the two. New Albany is about 20 minutes closer. Both towns have plenty of decent places for an overnight stop. Hope this helps
     
  8. gsigman

    gsigman Beach Comber

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    Also, from Tupelo it depends where you are going to be staying in the panhandle as far as which route is best to take from there. Let me know & I will give you the best way to go.
     
  9. J.bean

    J.bean Beach Comber

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    We're staying in Seacrest. We've come through Destin before and it really killed the great time we had made the rest of the trip. Avoiding that traffic would be best.
     
  10. gsigman

    gsigman Beach Comber

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    Its pretty easy--just take 78 into Birmingham---hit int. 65 there--go south thru Montgomery take Georgiana exit ( I think it is 113) go thru Georgiana hit 55 thru Andalusia to Florala where u hit 331 to 98---that is the best way that I have found.
     
  11. seaside2

    seaside2 Beach Fanatic

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    We live in a Memphis suburb and go to Seagrove all the time (Never enough!!!).

    Anyway, I would plan on stayng either in Memphis or Tupelo, although there are some places in New Albany, mainly because there are more more food choices there. Our route is 78 to Birmingham, then 331 to 98, then to 30A and we're "home". From Memphis, we plan on 9 hours. there is a good restaurant in Florala, "Country Kitchen" or something like that where we usually stop and get our fix on fried chicken.:wub:

    I would stay away from the I 10, 98 thing, but do watch out for the state police in FL. they are strick about speeding. I have more than one "Certificate of Participation" in their speed control program.:yikes:
     
  12. DuneAHH

    DuneAHH Beach Fanatic

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    "CoP":floor::floor:
     
  13. ktmeadows

    ktmeadows Beach Fanatic

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    We have one of those "certificates" compliments of Georgianna, Alabama, as do a couple of our friends. ;-) Speed limit is strictly enforced there....
     
  14. fonesy

    fonesy Beach Comber

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    We always do the 64 to 57 to 24 to 65 to 331 route. Takes about 11 to 12 hours of easy driving. We went thru MS one year to avoid weather from a hurricane that was coming north. Longest trip we ever made to the beach. Mobile was a nightmare.
     
  15. STL Don

    STL Don Beach Fanatic

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    Totally agree that is a no-brainer way to go.;-)
     
  16. seagrovelover

    seagrovelover little sugar

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    You are 100% correct..............best and fastest way to go:D

    When someone we know needs to rest (we always drive straight through) we send them to Hattiesburg Miss, that way they only have four hours or so to go the next day.......but Grenada is great too.:wave:
     
  17. KansasBorn/30ABound

    KansasBorn/30ABound Beach Lover

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    This is exactly our route....and we always stay in Hattiesburg...kind of a long day the first day but the second day is great.
     
  18. J.bean

    J.bean Beach Comber

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    Thanks for all the advice, especially about where the cops are. Good to know.

    One more week!
     
  19. Lady D

    Lady D SoWal Insider

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    The Georgiana exit is Exit 106. :D
     
  20. Lady D

    Lady D SoWal Insider

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    We went through Georgiana and I do not recall seeing any speed traps or cops either. But then again, we may have been going the speed limit through there and we do have radar. And it picks things up a good ways before we come upon the cops.
     

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