Atlanta to New Orleans Fly Drive Road Trip – Atlanta is known for it’s southern hospitality, diverse musical heritage and number of world records! It also has the busiest passenger airport in the United States of America the Harts-field Jackson Atlanta International Airport, which draws over 50 million people annually! This makes it a popular starting point for many great US road trips!
One we most recently did was a fly drive road trip from Atlanta to New Orleans with stops in places such as Tupelo, Mississippi (Birthplace of Elvis), Memphis, TN and of course New Orleans. We then looped back around via Mobile and Montgomery Alabama before heading back to Atlanta International Airport to fly home.
How far is New Orleans from Atlanta?
Driving Direct via I-85 S, I-65 S and I-10 W past Montgomery the distance is 470 miles (6hr 42 mins), other routes range up to 492 miles and take approximately 7 hours 36 mins. Of course I would recommended stopping of a few places along the way such as Montgomery, Tupelo and Memphis.
Map of Atlanta to New Orleans Road Trip
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Atlanta to New Orleans Road Trip Loop Itinerary:
- Tupelo, Mississippi
- Memphis, Tennessee
- Jackson, Mississippi
- New Orleans
- Mobile, Alabama
- Montgomery, Alabama
As stated previously, Atlanta is home to busiest passenger airport in the USA (Harts-field Jackson Atlanta International Airport). Atlanta is famed for its southern hospitality, musical heritage and also the birth place of the civil rights movement.
Things to Do in Atlanta:
Dive into the Georgia Aquarium
The Georgia aquarium is the largest Aquarium in the world!It was designed around a 6.3 million US gallon (24,000 m3) whale shark exhibit, making it the only Aquarium outside of Asia that houses the giant species! It also houses 100,000 other sea creatures in over 10 million US gallons of fresh and salt water!
Address: 225 Baker St NW, Atlanta, GA 30313, United States
World of Coca-Cola
The World of Coca-Cola is an interactive museum which showcases the history of The Coca-Cola Company, which debuted in Atlanta in 1886. Highlights include, a large Vault which contains the famous recipe, Bottle works, Coca Cola Polar Bear and even a 4D Theatre!
Address: 121 Baker St NW, Atlanta, GA 30313, United States
Admission cost to the World of Coca Cola?
Centennial Olympic Park
When the kids have got that caffeine rush from the World of Coca Cola, head to the Centennial Olympic Park. This is a 22-acre public park located in downtown Atlanta, it was built by the for the 1996 Summer Olympics so the perfect place to let of some steam!
Address: 265 Park Ave W NW, Atlanta, GA 30313, United States
Martin Luther King, Jr. National Historical Park
“I Had a Dream” Of course you couldn’t visit the birthplace of the Civil rights movement without exploring a little about its history. The National Historic Park is spread over several sights such as Martin Luther King Jr.’s boyhood home and the original Ebenezer Baptist Church, where King was baptized.
Atlanta Botanical Garden
The Atlanta Botanical Garden is spans over 30 acres and is located adjacent to Piedmont Park in Midtown Atlanta.
The garden’s mission is to “develop and maintain plant collections for the purposes of display, education, conservation, research and enjoyment.” It’s a nice place to escape the Atlanta madness and get back to nature. The gardens also run events such as light shows, frog feeding and even cocktail parties.
Visit the Largest Hindu Temple in the World (Outside of Asia!)
Atlanta holds a number of records and is surprisingly the home to the largest hindu temple in the world! (Outside of Asia). Due Atlantas fast growing international population (one in 10 people in Atlanta were born outside the United States). Atlanta has become home to over 1,000 places of worship including churches, synagogues, mosques and both Hindu and Buddhist temples.
Where to Eat in Atlanta?
Visit the worlds largest drive inn Restaurant!
Another Atlanta record, covering over two acres in Downtown Atlanta, Varsity is the worlds largest drive in Restaurant and can accomodate up to 600 cars outside and over 800 people inside. The venue is especially popular when Georgia Tech plays at home.
Fun Fact: Varsity makes over two miles of Hot Dogs, 5000 fried pies and 300 gallons of Chilli daily!
For something a little more classy head to Bacchanalia West Midtown is a seasonal, farm-to-table spot that’s great for client dinners or a big night out. The menu changes daily and you can have multiple dishes for each of the four courses. The Maine lobster with fennel, ginger is unreal!
Address: 1460 Ellsworth Industrial Blvd NW Suite 1, Atlanta, GA 30318, United States
Staplehouse is the hottest table in Atlanta this charitable Old Fourth Ward spot delivers “artfully prepared” New American meals that “push your palate’s boundaries”. Reservations only.
Address: 541 Edgewood Ave SE, Atlanta, GA 30312, United States
2. Tupelo, Mississippi
Although not on the direct route to New Orleans, Tupelo, Mississippi is a must visit place if your a fan of the King of Rock and Roll Elvis Presley. As the birth place of Elvis you will find many statues and you can visit his childhood home which still has the original 1930s furniture. Afterwards head to the Elvis Presley Museum which showcases his early family life and music.
Afterwards you can check out Buffalo Park and Zoo, which is home to bison, zebras and giraffes.
If your a History buff, head down to the Tupelo National Battlefield which was the site of a Civil War battle.
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:
3. Memphis, Tennessee
Following in the Kings footsteps take the 108 mile (1hr 42 min) drive to Memphis Tennessee. 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.
Where to Eat in Memphis?
Paulette’s Restaurant is an iconic and charming eatery which offers an inventive menu of French & Hungarian dishes along with regional eats.
Address: 50 Harbor Town Square, Memphis, TN 38103, United States
Cozy Corner Restaurant
This place offers one of the best Barbecues in town, take a seat in one of the torn vinyl booths and enjoy some of the mouth watering ribs & wings. The Cornish game hen ($11.75) is unreal aswell!
Address: 735 North Pkwy, Memphis, TN 38105, United States
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.
Each evening be sure to tuck into the complimentary peanut butter & jelly bar.
4. Jackson, Mississippi
Driving towards New Orleans you will drive past Jackson, the capital of Mississippi.
Conveniently at the junction of Interstates 20 and 55, this is a cool place to stop and see one the great Museums which cover everything from civil rights, to African American Culture, Natural Sciences and Art. The Mississippi Children’s Museum is a great place to take the family there motto is “We take fun seriously”.
For some real nature head down to LeFleur’s Bluff State Park which is home to home to a 50-acre lake (popular with fishing) , a 9-hole golf course, and the Mississippi Museum of Natural Science.
5. 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!
With “Let the Good times Roll” as New Orleans Unofficial motto this is a true symbol of the vibes expected. 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 me and my wives favourite 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.
- Evening Jazz Cruise
- Louisiana Bayous 2 Hour Swamp Tour
- High Speed Airboat Ride (This is great for groups of friends!)
- New Orleans Day Cruise – Steamboat Natchez
For something a little difference the Hurricane Katrina tour is a real eye opener to what went on in the great city.
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
Where to Eat in New Orleans?
Top foods you must try in New Orleans include:
- Muffaletta sandwich from Central Grocery Co.
- Jumbalaya from Remoulade in the French Quarter.
- Beignets and a Cafe au Lait at Cafe du Monde.
- Lobster PoBoy from GW Fins
- Turtle Soup from Commander’s Palace.
Other foods to try here include: Deep Fried Soft Shell Crab and Raw Oysters.
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 favoured 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 – Bywater (Trendy Neighbourhood!)
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.
When you arrive ask if you can have a room with a balcony overlooking the street, to really take in the New Orleans Atmosphere.
6. Mobile, Alabama
If your driving back to Atlanta, to fly home via Hartsfield–Jackson Atlanta International Airport, I suggest taking the drive via Mobile Alabama. Mobile, Alabama features in baseball lore, with more players in Major League Baseball’s Hall of Fame than any city except New York and Los Angeles!
It was also the setting for one of the most famous lines of the American Civil War. In addition, Battlefield Memorial Park features the USS Alabama, for more info check out: 15 Epic Maritime Museums: USA Navy!
7. Montgomery, Alabama
Montgomery is the capital city of Alabama. Here you will find a variety of cultural and historic landmarks including an exhibition centre which is used to Commemorate the Civil Rights Movement. To the 1850s Alabama State Capitol building, the First White House of the Confederacy and the Alabama War Memorial.