Road Trips - 11 min read

New York to New Orleans Road Trip Itinerary

Town and Tourist

Town and Tourist, Updated September 2, 2023

New York City is one of the greatest & most iconic cities in the world, filled with skyscrapers such Empire State Building, one world trade center and the Rockefeller centre!

In addition, to it being a melting pot for culture, from Chinatown to Little Italy.

As the hub of the east coast its the ideal launching pad for some epic road trips! Especially an Epic Road trip to the “Big Easy” New Orleans, Louisiana.

New Orleans is a city with soul, history and great locals who really go out of there way to make sure your have a fantastic time.

Expect that famous “Southern Hospitality” to not disappoint!

Driving via Nashville (route 3 below) , will give you a scenic drive as you head through Natchez Trace Parkway, which offers sweeping roads & breath taking views.

There is also highway 61, which is the well know blues highway!

To help plan your road trip I have outlined an a Full Road Trip Itinerary & Interactive map for three multiple driving routes

which members of the Town&Tourist community have tried!

So start your engines & let the good times roll! 

How long does it take to road trip from New York to New Orleans?

Driving direct between New York & New Orleans would take you approximately 19 h 26 min as you cover a massive 1,304.9 mi via I-81 S and I-59 S. 

Of course this is without stop offs, which is dam near impossible even with multiple drivers (even the car needs a break sometimes!). ]

Mardi Gras New Orleans - Road trip with Bus USA
Mardi Gras New Orleans – Road trip with Bus USA

How many days should you budget for a road trip?

The best way of planning how many days you should budget for your road trip, is to think of the number of miles you wish to cover per day on average comfortably.

This is obviously dependent on the number of drivers and you also need to take into account rest days where you don’t drive at all.

For example, with 1,305 miles between New York & New Orleans.

Covering an average of 130 Miles per day the trip would take you 10 days! 

Of course some days you can drive, 200 miles and others zero as long as the average is still 130 miles per day. 

As we spent a few nights in places where we didn’t drive at all, we planned our road trip to cover 14 days.

Which meant it was a comfortable journey with many stops and minimal driving per day! Of course you could do it in much less or more depending upon your situation.

For more tips on planning an epic road trip check out: How to Plan a 6 month Road Trip: USA

New Orleans Rail Vacation
New York to New Orleans Road trip

Should you take the Bus?

If your on a budget the bus is an option! A direct bus to from New York City to Atlanta actually travels directly through Route 1 via Philadelphia on our map.

The price of this is very reasonable at between $50-$70  and it runs every 4 hours. The operator is greyhound. However, be ware this is a direct service.

If you would like to stop off at many cities enroute I suggest you book split tickets for each leg, this is likely to cost more.

For the best booking deals check out: Best Public Transport Booking Tools? Trains, Buses, Ferries!

For traveling by Rail check out: Jazz, Blues & Rock n Roll Rail Vacation

Interactive Map (New York to Dallas) 

Dive into our Interactive map below!

In the map below i have outlined three driving Routes:

  • Route 1 Via Philadelphia, Atlanta and New Orleans
  • Route 2 via Savannah, Charleston
  • Route 3: Via Blue Ridge, Nashville, Memphis (Blues Highway)

(The Routes are very similar for the first leg to Charleston, NC. Full Itinerary below)

User guide: Use the +/- buttons to zoom in and out of the attractions.

Top Tip: Many visitors choose to share the post on Facebook to inspire friends and help plan their road trip.

Hit the link below to share!


Road Trip Itinerary (New York to New Orleans)

In the map above I have outlined three driving routes for this epic road trip:

(I have highlighted the common part of the routes in orange)

Route 1 Via Philadelphia: 

  1. New York City 
  2. Atlantic City – Optional 
  3. Philadelphia 
  4. Baltimore 
  5. Washington D.C
  6. Raleigh, NC
  7. Charlotte, SC
  8. Blue Ridge Parkway 
  9. Atlanta, GA
  10. Mississippi
  11. New Orleans, LA
Charlotte Travel Guide 1 day Itinerary
Charlotte Travel Guide 1 day Itinerary

Route 2: Via Savannah, Charleston: 

  1. New York City 
  2. Atlantic City – Optional 
  3. Philadelphia 
  4. Baltimore 
  5. Washington D.C
  6. Raleigh, NC
  7. Charleston, SC
  8. Savannah, GA 
  9. Jacksonville, FL
  10. New Orleans, LA

Route 3: Via Blue Ridge, Nashville, Memphis (Blues Highway)

  1. New York City 
  2. Atlantic City – Optional 
  3. Philadelphia 
  4. Baltimore 
  5. Washington D.C
  6. Raleigh, NC
  7. Charlotte, SC
  8. Blue Ridge Parkway 
  9. Nashville, TN
  10. Memphis, TN
  11. Blues Highway
  12. New Orleans
Blue Ridge Parkway Travel Guide Itinerary
Blue Ridge Parkway Travel Guide Itinerary

Road Trip Highlights:

Savannah, GA – Route 2

Savannah is the oldest city in Georgia and one of the original 13 colonies. This quaint city is filled with cobblestoned streets, manicured parks and horse drawn carriages.

Due to its age, Savannah is a history buffs dream with a variety of Civil war & Revolutionary sites making it a popular place to visit.

Road Trip Savannah Georgia from New York )
A Road Trip Savannah Georgia from New York has some memorable drives through oak tree tunnels! Source: getty

In the centre of Savannah you will find the stunning Gothic-Revival Cathedral of Saint John the Baptist.

My favorite thing to do here was to drive through Oak tree lane, a breath taking Instagrammable road!

It actually made our list: 25 Most Epic Driving Roads in the U.S.A: Road Trip Ideas!

For more on Savannah and Charleston check out: Atlanta to Charleston Road Trip: Via Savannah

Atlanta, GA – Route 1

Atlanta is famous for its southern hospitality, musical heritage and also the birth place of the civil rights movement.

Atlanta is also home to many other record breaking icons such as the worlds largest Aquarium (home to whale sharks!),

the worlds largest Drive in Restaurant and many more.

For more on Atlanta road trips check out; 6 Epic RV Road Trips from Atlanta

Where to stay in Atlanta?

For our list of recommend places to stay in Atlanta follow the link HERE

Memphis, TN – Route 3

This is the ultimate place to learn about the history of Blues, Soul and Rock ‘n’ Roll.

Check out the famous Sun Studio, where Elvis Presley, B.B King and Johnny Cash all recorded albums.

Other popular attractions include Graceland Mansion, Elvis Home and final resting place. See Celebrity Graves Road Trip: U.S.A.

Memphis, Tennessee 
Memphis, Tennessee

In addition to the Rock ‘n’ Soul MuseumBlues Hall of Fame and Stax Museum of American Soul Music. 

For the full Itinerary on Nashville, Memphis and Blues highway check out Nashville to New Orleans Road Trip: Blues Highway 61

and this post Jazz, Blues & Rock n Roll Rail Vacation

Where to Stay in Memphis?

If you plan on staying in downtown Memphis I recommended:

La Quinta Inn & Suites – A superb hotel in Downtown Memphis. There is an indoor swimming pool, free parking on site and free WiFi throughout the hotel.

SpringHill Suites – SpringHill Suites is another favourite with an outdoor swimming pool and a sun terrace. The rooms are studio style with a refrigerator and a microwave for preparing basic meals.

There are tea and coffee-making facilities in every room. They also allow guests to use their gym and business center.

If you are a Graceland Fan, then you should definitely stay at: The Guest House at Graceland –

A fantastic hotel which is just a five-minute walk from the gates of the Graceland Mansion. There are two restaurants in-house and an outdoor swimming pool.

Insider Tip:
Each evening be sure to tuck into the complimentary peanut butter & jelly bar.

graceland house, Former home of Elvis Presley

For more info check out our: Celebrity Graves Road Trip: U.S.A

Natchez, Louisiana  

The Natchez Trace Parkway, is a national scenic treasure.

It was traveled by Native Americans over 8,000 years ago and spans 444 miles and from Natchez, MS, to Nashville, TN.

This was included in our 25 Most Epic Driving Roads in the U.S.A:

Natchez town itself is the oldest in  Mississippi,and is famed for its historic Mansions of Longwood   and  Rosalie Mississippi State Dar .

These are part of the Natchez National Historical Park. 

Photo by Bryson Moore via Wiki Commons

New Orleans, Louisiana 

New Orleans is a city with soul, history and great locals who really go out of there way to make sure your have a fantastic time.

From the Garden District and Jazz clubs to the bustling Bourbon Street.

After the rebuild from Hurricane Katrina the city has been injected with a new lease of life with the people more optimistic and welcoming than ever.

One of my wives favorite things to do here was the Evening Jazz boat cruise with dinner. This was a perfect excuse to freshen up after that long road trip!

For something a little difference the Hurricane Katrina tour is a real eye opener to what went on in the great city.

Mardi Gras:

If You a traveling here in late February (25th) you may get to experience the world renowned Mardi Gras Festival and Parade! For more info see: 12 Epic Parades in the U.S.A

Mardi Gras New Orleans
Mardi Gras New Orleans

Where to Eat in New Orleans?

Top foods you must try in New Orleans include:

Other foods to try here include: Deep Fried Soft Shell Crab and Raw Oysters.

New-Orleans Road trip with Bus USA/Public Transport Road Trip
New Orleans Road trip

Where to Stay in New Orleans?

I suggest staying in Louisiana for a minimum of three nights to really experience what the place has to offer! I recommended

Hotel Monteleone – French Quarter

Family-owned and operated since 1886, the historic Hotel Monteleone is one of the most famous in New Orleans.

Its luxury rooms were favored by writers like Truman Capote. Tennessee Williams, and William Faulkner.

A highlight of the hotel is the Carousel Bar which offers classic cocktails and musical entertainment,

Royal Frenchmen Hotel – By water (Trendy Neighborhood!)

A renovated Creole townhouse which has everything you need, from cozy, well-appointed rooms with a vintage vibe to a great hotel bar serving craft cocktails.

There is a tranquil courtyard and opulent lobby lounge for guests. You also located very close to the action on Frenchmen.

Insider Tip:

When you arrive ask if you can have a room with a balcony overlooking the street, to really take in the New Orleans Atmosphere.

5 Essential Road Trip Tips:

(You HAVE to know before planning!)

5. Book Your Hotels in Advance!

To avoid having to drive around looking for hotels when your tired (My wife hates this!)

& to get the best prices, Check out our: How to find the Best Hotel Deals??

Jefferson Hotel Richmond Virginia
Jefferson Hotel Richmond Virginia

4. Get the Best deal on Car Rental 

For some vital tips to know before renting a car & to get the best deals check out, Ultimate Car Rental Travel Hacks!

car rental travel hacks
car rental travel hacks

3. Need an RV?

If you fancy an RV adventure, you have to check RV Share

It’s an RV share platform, like airbnb where you can rent someones RV at a fraction of cost compared to normal!

RV motoring show, Auto show USA
Bring your RV to Tiden Park.

2. Bring a Great Travel Camera!

Want to capture those vacation memories? For friends, Facebook or even Instagram!

A phone just doesn’t compare with a high quality travel camera, they are well worth the investment!

Check out our Recommended Travel Photography Gear

Photography Gear
Make sure you are equip with some great Photography Gear!

1. Need Help Planning!?

Do you find planning a trip time consuming and stressful?

An organised tour or vacation could be a great option for you!

They organize Flights, Hotels, Car Rental, Activities and much more!

With expert local travel knowledge & bespoke vacation planning you can’t go wrong.

Check out our reviews here: Which are the Best travel Tours?

Orlando Tours
Orlando Tours

If you plan on driving further on after New Orleans, check out: Ultimate New York to Austin Road Trip Itinerary!

Travel smarter

Join the thousands of travel enthusiasts who are part of our T&T community.

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