Day 15: 12 States in 15 Days

This day we only visited NASA Space Center. If you decide to visit it ask for some guidance at the entrance. You need to reserve tram tickets in advance before they are all given away (they are free). There are also several theaters with scheduled shows. The shows tell you a lot of details and we found them very motivating. But most of all we enjoyed flight simulator ($7 / 4.5 min). Makes you feel in a military aircraft where you are controlling it and firing at the enemies.


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Day 14: 12 States in 15 Days

This day we drove to Dallas, TX via Oklahoma state. We stopped in Paris city, TX with their local version of Eiffel tower 🙂

Eiffel Tower

Eiffel Tower

Dallas is a huge city which offers a variety of art museums, amusement parks, shops, restaurants, zoo, and aquarium. It is a modern city and a significant business hub. The city is split into several districts. We only explored the most touristic areas – Dallas downtown and uptown in the evening. Klyde Warren Park looked cozy at night with all the lights and Christmas decorations. We walked from the uptown to the Thanksgiving square and back. Uptown is a popular area for going out to the upscale restaurants.



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Day 15

Day 1: 12 States in 15 Days

Stop 1: Houston, TX

Houston is the largest city in Texas and the fourth largest in the United States. Houston has a number of museums (natural science, arts, children’s, holocaust zoo etc) as well as a large theater district. However, the main attraction of this city is NASA Space Center which we visited on our last day.

We arrived to Houston on our Day 0 at 10 pm and checked in the hotel in the downtown. We spent ~1.5 h on walking in the downtown without visiting any museums (from Minute Maid park to the Theater District). We knew we wanted to spend more time in New Orleans so rushed to pick up a rental car and start driving.

Tip: even though we landed in IAH, we rented a car from HOU airport and returned it in IAH. It saved us ~ $100. You can get from IAH to the downtown on bus 102, and from the downtown to HOU on bus 40. Ticket price is $1.25.

Stop 2: New Orleans, LA

New Orleans offers vibrant nightlife, lots of bars with different music and its authentic cuisine. The city is much more fun at night rather than during the day. We spent several hours walking in French Quarter (Frenchmen street, Burbon street, Jackson square, St. Louis Cathedral), eating famous po-boys, having a few drinks in different places and listening to all the music around. You just need to go on streets and follow the crowds and simply enjoy the atmosphere.

The next day morning we visited the same streets, but night atmosphere was not there anymore. People were cleaning the streets in preparation for the next night. We also drove on Garden District streets to see some nice old houses and visited City Park.

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Day 2

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

Flight: Orange County, SNA –> Houston, IAH –> Orange County, SNA
: 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)


  • 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)
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