Friday, April 8, 2016

The Journey: Panama City Beach, FL to New Orleans, LA


The Journey

Another long drive.  Start Early.


48 No Interstate Back Roads Road Trip Panama City Beach, Florida to New Orleans, Louisiana




The Route


Hwy 30 takes you down the main drag of Panama City Beach, FL.  All the necessary beach town accouterments are there: hotels, surf shops, mini-golf, seafood shacks, advertisements for spring breakers, and a good white sand beach!


Road trip from Panama City Beach, Florida to New Orleans, Louisiana on back roads with 48 No Interstate
Behind My Eyes, a novel written by Nick's sister, at a pier in Panama City Beach, FL.   Great travel read by a first-time author!

Road trip from Panama City Beach, Florida to New Orleans, Louisiana on back roads with 48 No Interstate
Water tower in Destin
From Hwy 98 just past Destin, FL we turned on Hwy 399 and rode the bridge to Navarre Beach, where we stopped for a picnic lunch.  Now here was a beach!  Miles of white sands, guarded by sand dunes, stretch across the Gulf Islands National Seashore between Navarre & Pensacola. 

Road trip from Panama City Beach, Florida to New Orleans, Louisiana on back roads with 48 No Interstate
Quick stop for a picnic lunch in Navarre Beach

Road trip from Panama City Beach, Florida to New Orleans, Louisiana on back roads with 48 No Interstate
We enjoyed the ride on Gulf Blvd (Hwy 399) through the dunes before entering Pensacola, FL.


Road trip from Panama City Beach, Florida to New Orleans, Louisiana on back roads with 48 No Interstate


Road trip from Panama City Beach, Florida to New Orleans, Louisiana on back roads with 48 No Interstate


Road trip from Panama City Beach, Florida to New Orleans, Louisiana on back roads with 48 No Interstate

As Hwy 90 crosses into Alabama near Seminole, there is an immediate change in scenery from beach towns to lush green roadway over hilly terrain, surrounded by tall pines.
Road trip from Panama City Beach, Florida to New Orleans, Louisiana on back roads with 48 No Interstate


Road trip from Panama City Beach, Florida to New Orleans, Louisiana on back roads with 48 No Interstate
US 90, Southern Alabama

Road trip from Panama City Beach, Florida to New Orleans, Louisiana on back roads with 48 No Interstate

Hwy 90 passes by the USS Alabama as it goes over Mobile Bay, then through the Bankhead Tunnel under Mobile Bay, into Mobile, AL.  Not long before entering the tunnel under the bay, we spotted an alligator along the side of the road in the marshy area beside the day.  But we weren't fast enough to snap a picture of it!

Road trip from Panama City Beach, Florida to New Orleans, Louisiana on back roads with 48 No Interstate


Road trip from Panama City Beach, Florida to New Orleans, Louisiana on back roads with 48 No Interstate


Road trip from Panama City Beach, Florida to New Orleans, Louisiana on back roads with 48 No Interstate

In Mobile, we detoured onto Dauphin St. and rode first through the downtown blues, jazz, & liquor joints with stringed lights overhead, then through the historic homes of the old South. 

Road trip from Panama City Beach, Florida to New Orleans, Louisiana on back roads with 48 No Interstate


Road trip from Panama City Beach, Florida to New Orleans, Louisiana on back roads with 48 No Interstate

From Mobile, Hwy 90 crosses into Mississippi and rejoins the Gulf Coast in Gautier, MS.  Along the coast you pass by the massive casinos of Biloxi, then the historic old homes of Long Beach, MS.  There are numerous interesting wood statues carved from old trees along the road on this stretch of Hwy 90 as well. 
Road trip from Panama City Beach, Florida to New Orleans, Louisiana on back roads with 48 No Interstate

Road trip from Panama City Beach, Florida to New Orleans, Louisiana on back roads with 48 No Interstate

Road trip from Panama City Beach, Florida to New Orleans, Louisiana on back roads with 48 No Interstate

As we crossed the Louisiana state line into the Bayou Sauvage National Wildlife Refuge, the sun was setting over Lake Pontchartrain.  This stretch of Hwy 90 as you approach New Orleans is a beautiful, peaceful ride.  You will see Bayou homes, Bayou birds,  and Bayou folks.  On this stretch of road, named Chef Menteur  ('Lying Chief') Highway, you do not feel like you are fast approaching one of the most lively and bustling cities in America.
Road trip from Panama City Beach, Florida to New Orleans, Louisiana on back roads with 48 No Interstate


Road trip from Panama City Beach, Florida to New Orleans, Louisiana on back roads with 48 No Interstate


Road trip from Panama City Beach, Florida to New Orleans, Louisiana on back roads with 48 No Interstate

Continue reading for ideas of what to do and where to eat on a low-key weekend in the Crescent City!


Road trip from Panama City Beach, Florida to New Orleans, Louisiana on back roads with 48 No Interstate

Thanks for visiting, and check out these groups for more travel inspiration!


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13 comments:

  1. Very cool. Memories to last a lifetime.

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  2. Quite an interesting ride. I like all the colors along the route (sunsets, water towers, street sculptures, and of course, New Orleans).

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  3. Great journey from Panama City Beach to New Orleans. I love both places especially the white sandy beach and the journey in between. Stunning photos and thanks for sharing :-) #feetdotravel

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  4. I love a good road trip! We love Gulf Shores and my daughter lives in Tallahassee, so we traveled part of this route many times.

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  5. This is one of the most charming drives in the whole country. I can't wait to do it again one day :) Beautiful post guys!

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  6. Considering how many times I've traveled from Texas to DisneyWorld, it's surprising that we still haven't decided to do it by road. This path looks very scenic, and I'd love to have the excuse to explore Alabama and Mississippi, two states that I have yet to visit. I really like that they turned those old tree trunks into statues. #WkendTravelInspiration

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    1. A great new route for your next trip - with plenty of options for adding a day at the beach on the way home to console yourselves after leaving the most magical place on earth!!

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  7. Looks like an epic road trip. Always fancied doing a road trip across the USA. Must be so much fun!

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    1. Set aside plenty of time; it's a big place with so much to see and a vast difference in scenery in every corner! I would love to take a road trip around the English and Scottish countrysides in the future. How about arranging a car swap one day! :-)

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  8. Road tripping the US. You guys must be having a blast!

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    1. It's certainly a unique opportunity to do it all at once! Can't see everything, but we're so grateful to be able to take this trip at all!

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  9. What a great stretch of road! I would love to pull my trailer through here someday! Thanks for adding your inspiration to the linkup! #wkendtravelinspiration

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