12 States in 15 Days: from TX to FL and back

Flight: Orange County, SNA –> Houston, IAH –> Orange County, SNA
Dura12Statestion
: 15.5 days
Mileage: ~4200
Starting point: Houston, TX
States: TX, LA, MS, AL, GA, FL, SC, NC, TN, MO, AR, OK
Budget for 2 people: $2775 ($590 flight,  $415 car rental, $800 hotel + free points nights, $350 gas, $520 food, $100 other)

Map

  • Day 0: flight from the Orange County, SNA to Houston, IAH; night walk in the downtown
  • Day 1: explore Houston, TX; drive to New Orleans, LA (350 mi, 6 h); explore night life in New Orleans
  • Day 2: explore New Orleans, LA; drive to Biloxi, MS (90 mi, 2 h); drive to Mobile, AL (65 mi, 1 h); drive to Pensacola Beach, FL (70 mi, 1.2 h)
  • Day 3: drive to Panama City, FL (90 mi, 2 h); drive to Crystal River, FL (270 mi, 5 h)
  • Day 4: visit Three Sisters Springs to see manatees, Homosassa Springs; drive to Tampa, FL (70 mi, 1.5 h); drive to St. Petersburg, FL (25 mi, 40 min); drive to Venice Beach (60 mi, 1 h); drive to Naples, FL (100 mi, 2 h)
  • Day 5: visit Everglades from Everglades City, FL (40 mi, 1 h); drive to another entrance from Homestead (80 mi, 2 h); drive to Homestead, FL (30 mi, 1 h through the National Park)
  • Day 6: drive to Key West, FL (130 mi, 3 h due to speed limits); drive back to Miami, FL (170 mi, 3.5 h)
  • Day 7: explore Miami, FL and Miami Beach; drive to Orlando, FL (240 mi, 3.5 h)
  • Day 8: drive to St. Augustine, FL (110 mi, 2 h); drive to Jacksonville, FL (40 mi, 1 h); drive to Savannah, GA (140 mi, 2 h)
  • Day 9: explore Savannah, GA; drive to Charleston, SC (110 mi, 2 h); drive to Columbia, SC (120 mi, 2 h)
  • Day 10: visit Congaree National Park (20 mi, 40 min); drive to Charlotte, NC (110 mi, 2 h); drive to Asheville, NC (130 mi, 2.5 h)
  • Day 11: drive to Gatlinburg, TN (85 mi, 2 h); visit Great Smoky Mountains (~2 h); drive to Nashville, TN (220 mi, 4 h); explore Nashville, TN
  • Day 12: drive to Little Rock, AR via Missouri state (Kennett, MO) (400 mi, 7 h)
  • Day 13: drive to Hot Springs, AR (60 mi, 1.5 h); visit Hot Springs National Park
  • Day 14: drive to Dallas, TX via Oklahoma state (Fort Towson, OK) (300 mi, 6 h); explore Dallas, TX
  • Day 15: drive to Houston, TX (270 mi, 4 h); visit NASA Space Center
  • Day 16: early morning flight back to the Orange County, CA