Itinerary in brief:
- 3 nights New Orleans
- 1 night Houston
- 2 nights Austin
- 2 nights Dallas
Day 1: Arrive New Orleans
On arrival in New Orleans, you’ll pick up your rental car at the airport and drive to your hotel, where you’ll check into your hotel for three nights
Days 2 & 3: New Orleans
New Orleans is a foodie’s paradise, as Rowena found out on her trip to the city. Plan your time here before setting off on your Deep South road trip, so that you don't miss out on any local treats! Start at Café du Monde, famous for its beignets and coffee – you’ll be queuing along with the locals for this taste of New Orleans history. A po’boy is another famous snack, so why not share one of these delicious fried shrimp sandwiches before splitting a pot of gumbo for dinner? Finish with bananas foster, where rum, vanilla, bananas and cinnamon come together in the most delicious New Orleans dessert.
Food aside, there are many other fascinating ways to spend your time in New Orleans. Wander through the spooky ornate cemeteries or stroll along Bourbon Street, listening to saxophone solos that escape from open jazz club doors. If you want to get out of the city, why not drive to visit one of the nearby plantation houses or take a tour of the bayou on the lookout for alligators.
Day 4: Drive to Houston
Today you’ll make the long drive to Houston. It’s a 5-hour journey, so why not break it up with a lunch stop in Lafayette? Here, you can dig into a bucket of boiled crawfish cooked in Cajun spices. On arrival into Houston, you’ll check into your hotel for one night. The fourth largest city in the USA, Houston is a bustling urban sprawl with a relatively small downtown area. Most visitors head straight for the NASA Space Centre, just outside the city, to learn about Mission Control for the space shuttles and Apollo projects. In terms of food, Houston is one of the most ethnically diverse cities in the country, with large Jewish, Ethiopian, Chinese, Nigerian and Korean communities all cooking up their own specialities. Despite this array of international cuisine, Houston is most famous for one thing only - Tex-Mex. Whether you fancy fajitas, tostadas or street food tacos, you’ll be in heaven!
Day 5: Drive to Austin
Spend the morning in Houston (breakfast burrito anyone?) before driving over to the capital of Texas - Austin - a town of music and barbecue. On arrival, you’ll check into your hotel for two nights and head out into the city to explore.
Day 6: Austin
During your stay in Austin, be sure to visit the State Capitol building, which is taller even than its counterpart in Washington DC! Other than that, Austin is all about smokehouses, bars, jazz clubs and dance halls. It's a city obsessed with barbecue, from juicy ribs and brisket to mouth-watering pulled pork. If you get in the queue early, you might just score lunch at Franklin’s BBQ, known as one of the best spots in the entire country. If you have time, try to fit in a football game at the University of Texas campus – thousands of fans dressed in orange cheering on the Longhorns is a spectacular sight! Finish your night tapping your feet at one of the many live music bars, playing everything from rock and country to jazz and bluegrass. On your way home, grab a late-night snack from one of the city's thriving food trucks.
Day 7: Drive to Dallas
Spend the morning in Austin, before heading north to Dallas. There are two ways to get to Dallas, so you can pick your route depending on your interests. The highway north will take you through Waco, where you can stop at the Texas Rangers Hall of Fame and learn about the state's favourite baseball team. Alternatively, the scenic route follows smaller roads through the Texas countryside, past vineyards and cattle ranches towards Dallas. If you take these roads, you can stop in for a swim at Hamilton Pool on the way. When you arrive in Dallas, you’ll check into your hotel for two nights.
Day 8: Dallas and Fort Worth
You’ve got a full day to explore the twin cities of Dallas and Fort Worth. Why not head to Fort Worth this morning, where the wild west begins? This former livestock market is chock-full of Texan shops and restaurants. Be sure to catch the twice-daily cattle drive, when cowboys walk their speckled longhorns through the square.
Try a local steak for lunch before heading back to Dallas to explore the museums and botanical gardens, as well as Dealey Plaza, where you can learn about JFK’s assassination. Top off the evening with a frozen margarita. Invented in Dallas, these zesty cocktails can be found in many of the city’s rooftop bars and they're far too good to miss!
Day 9: Depart Dallas
Today is the final day of your Deep South road trip, so after a morning in the city, you’ll drive out to the airport to drop off your rental car and catch your onwards flight.