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2022 December Road Trip

My father and stepmother live in Florida, and we decided that a road trip was in order to see them over the December holiday. He is getting on in years, and we had not made it down there since COVID, so the time seemed right. Since we were going down there, we also tagged on a visit to family in Marietta, Georgia outside of Atlanta. Of course, we could not go through a big road trip like this without taking in some local stamp opportunities. It was not terrible ambitious, more just opportunistic, as this was intended for more of a family get together. That said, we were able to break up the drive and see some interesting things!

The route plan worked out well, as the drive to the gulf coast of Florida from Virginia is a bit of a stretch. I have learned that taking time to stop a few times is a much-needed break and this plan allowed us to do just that. We could have been uber ambitious and tried to stop at more of the Forts along the coast of Florida. However, we decided we would not have time to fully enjoy them, so that will have to be for another trip. As I post the trip reports, I will add the links to the table below.

#Park Unit NameLocation
1Reconstruction Era National Historic ParkBeaufort, SC
2Fort Pulaski National MonumentSavannah, GA
3De Soto National MemorialBradenton, FL
4Ocmulgee Mounds National Historic ParkMacon, GA
5Kennesaw Mountain National Battlefield ParkKennesaw, GA
6Kings Mountain National Military ParkBlacksburg, SC
National Park Visit Plan for December Road Trip to SC/FL/GA

We were constrained by time and distance but were able to couple our stopover in Hilton Head, with a visit in the afternoon to the Reconstruction Era site, and to Fort Pulaski in the morning of the following day. That put us in Clearwater a little after our check-in time, so all worked out well! Leaving for Atlanta was similar, as the Ocmulgee mounds were on the way. We really did not venture too far off our normal driving route, which made things very smooth.

Roaming Monks December Road Trip Map

I originally thought I would have time to drive down to Big Cypress National Preserve in Florida, but we just did not have the time. Family first of course, and there was no way to fit in a long drive south. We will plan another visit to catch the rest of the southern Florida parks next year.

Roaming Monk Tip: Make sure to check on the operating hours before you go. I made the mistake of assuming and found the Kings Mountain Military Park Visitors Center closed. While they had stamps pre-printed at a kiosk for visitors, we did not get a ‘full’ visit.

Regarding the other stops, as I mentioned before, they were really easy and along the route, so was a good break and did not really impact the trip too much. We could have roamed more, but this was an ambitious trip in the time we had allotted already.

Overall, the trip was successful! Except for the fact that Kings Mountain Battlefield was closed on the day we drove through, we were able to see all that we intended, and see some family as well. You can see the trip reports for each location in the table above. I will post the link to the trip reports as I pull them together.

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