Some of the best trips are road trips with no particular plans. When I was a kid my mom took us on random road trips, so my love of road trippin’ started young.
It is a great way to find all the off the beaten path things to do and we have found they often end up to be some of our favorite trips.
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Southeast Coastal Road Trip Overview
For a mother-daughter trip, we flew from Arizona to Florida. Rented a car and then took a road trip from Daytona Beach, Florida to Wilmington, North Carolina.
To keep the trip more spontaneous we didn’t make any hotel reservations ahead of time, with the exception of the hotel in Myrtle Beach. We wanted to stay oceanfront in Myrtle Beach and I didn’t want to take that to chance, so we made a reservation for this hotel ahead of time.
If you drive directly from Daytona Beach to Wilmington the trip is just over 500 miles and around 7.5 hours of driving one-way. Our route wasn’t exactly straight and we went off course to visit a few islands along the way and sometimes took the long route.
Daytona Beach, Florida
While in Daytona Beach we went to the waterpark, the World’s Most Famous Beach Daytona Beach and visited the Daytona 500.
St. Augustine, Florida
We have been to St. Augustine three times now and always find something to do here. It is one of my favorite cities in the USA. If you love historical sites, the ocean, and boutique shops you will enjoy a visit to St. Augustine. Read More……
It rained almost the entire time we were in Jacksonville, but we didn’t let that stop us from enjoying the city and the beach. Read more…
Jekyll Island, Georgia
The north end of Jekyl Island looks like you’ve entered a different world…..a world where beautiful beaches includes fallen trees and driftwood. Driftwood Beach is visually stunning and is a fun day to spend the day. Read more
While we were driving around the island we stumbled across the Georgia Sea Turtle Center, which was very educational and one of my daughter’s favorite impromptu stops.
St. Simons Island, Georgia
Another small island in Georgia. St. Simons Island with salt marshes and sand beaches. The famous lighthouse was rebuilt in the late 1800’s.
Tybee Island, Georgia
If you’re in Savannah and want to go to the beach head to Tybee Island. Just 30 minutes from the city you can be at beautiful sandy beaches. You can also see Georgia’s oldest and tallest lighthouse.
Georgia’s oldest city is also one of my favorite cities. This beautiful city is on the Savannah River has a cool downtown and a great vibe. Read more.
Hilton Head Island, South Carolina
Just 30 miles from Savannah is Hilton Head Island, however with traffic just driving across the intercoastal waterway can take 30 minutes.
Charleston, South Carolina
South Carolina’s oldest city, Charleston is teeming with history and southern charm. You’ll enjoy exploring Charleston’s main streets and her narrow side streets. Read more.
Myrtle Beach, South Carolina
Last time I was in Myrtle Beach was years and years ago, so visiting again was like visiting for the first time. There has been a lot of development here over the years. Myrtle Beach has great beaches, but it has a lot of other fun things to do as well. Read more…
Wilmington, North Carolina
Unfortunately it was raining so hard by the time we reached North Carolina we could barely see the car in front of us. At least it was just drizzling by the time we arrived in Wilmington, however we didn’t get a chance to fully explore Wilmington like we were hoping to.
We walked around Georgetown Historic District to visit some shops and along the Harbor Walk. The rain let up while we were here, but it was too cold to go in the water so we just walked along Wrightsville Beach.
If you drive directly from Daytona Beach to Wilmington and back again the trip is just over 1,000 miles and around 15 hours of driving round-trip. Our route wasn’t exactly straight and we went off course along the way.
I calculated we drove more than 1,250 miles on our mother-daughter trip and spent just over 23 hours behind the wheel round trip.