I-40 East Driving Vacation Recommendations

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#1 Pokes Fan

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Mar 27, 2012
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#1
My wife and I are taking a "family truckster" type vacation August 23 through September 2. We are driving east from Oklahoma on I-40 with no destination or plans in place. Anyone know of any "have to go" places or events along the way or during these dates? We've been to Graceland, Grand Ole Opry, Lookout Mountain, etc... (Tourist type places) We are looking for more off the beaten path type of places for short day trips along the way. Heading north or south off of I-40 is definitely on the table as well. We would like to avoid major cities (Atlanta, DC, Philadelphia, Charlotte, etc...) just because of the traffic.
 

CocoCincinnati

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Feb 7, 2007
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#2
If you're the type that likes scenic drives.

Everytime I go to Broken Bow I take the scenic route. Exit I-40 at Sallisaw and head south. Only in your case you could turn back east half way to broken bow and drive through the Ouachita national Forest and pick up I-40 again at Little Rock.
 
Aug 16, 2012
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#3
My wife and I are taking a "family truckster" type vacation August 23 through September 2. We are driving east from Oklahoma on I-40 with no destination or plans in place. Anyone know of any "have to go" places or events along the way or during these dates? We've been to Graceland, Grand Ole Opry, Lookout Mountain, etc... (Tourist type places) We are looking for more off the beaten path type of places for short day trips along the way. Heading north or south off of I-40 is definitely on the table as well. We would like to avoid major cities (Atlanta, DC, Philadelphia, Charlotte, etc...) just because of the traffic.
Cannot speak to much else, but have to eat at Nick's near Carlisle, Arkansas. Stupid good BBQ.
 

#1 Pokes Fan

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Mar 27, 2012
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Wishing I was in Stillwater
#4
If you're the type that likes scenic drives.

Everytime I go to Broken Bow I take the scenic route. Exit I-40 at Sallisaw and head south. Only in your case you could turn back east half way to broken bow and drive through the Ouachita national Forest and pick up I-40 again at Little Rock.
We love the slower paced, scenic drives. We do day trips about once a month. No destination, just drive until we get there. (Last one was to Stillwater two weeks ago. :D We hadn't been recently and were suffering withdrawals) We aren't opposed to continue south to I-20 or even I-10 if we can find worthwhile destinations.
 

keystonecowboy

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#5
We love the slower paced, scenic drives. We do day trips about once a month. No destination, just drive until we get there. (Last one was to Stillwater two weeks ago. :D We hadn't been recently and were suffering withdrawals) We aren't opposed to continue south to I-20 or even I-10 if we can find worthwhile destinations.
I highly recommend venturing south into Louisiana. If you have been and experienced the food and culture, maybe not so much... but every little town in that state has some form of incredible Cajun food and the scenery is unlike anything you will find in Oklahoma. I am not a huge fan of trees being from out west, but I thoroughly enjoy the huge trees and Spanish moss along scenic routes in the boot.
 
Feb 25, 2008
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#6
Checkout https://www.roadsideamerica.com/

You can select a state and their map to see places of interest along your way. I used it recently on a trip to DC and back. Planned a few "bathroom breaks" at some places of interest instead of a gas station or fast food place.

We spent a few hours in Knoxville Tennessee to see the worlds largest Rubik's Cube, eat a a french bakery, go up in a viewing tower, etc. before going to Gatlinburg Tennessee for late afternoon/evening.
 

#1 Pokes Fan

Territorial Marshal
Mar 27, 2012
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Wishing I was in Stillwater
#8
Checkout https://www.roadsideamerica.com/

You can select a state and their map to see places of interest along your way. I used it recently on a trip to DC and back. Planned a few "bathroom breaks" at some places of interest instead of a gas station or fast food place.

We spent a few hours in Knoxville Tennessee to see the worlds largest Rubik's Cube, eat a a french bakery, go up in a viewing tower, etc. before going to Gatlinburg Tennessee for late afternoon/evening.
That is a pretty cool site. My dad is leaving this morning for Steamboat Springs and I loaded it on his phone for him to use along the way. Looks like it will be a great tool for our trip as well. Thanks!
 
Feb 7, 2011
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#9
At Ozark, Arkansas, turn north on highway 23 to go to Turner Bend. It is a very scenic drive to the store. The store has rental cabins, campgrounds and canoes. It sits on the Mulberry River.

After you cross the Mississippi River at Memphis go to the River park and walk across the Mississippi on the pedestrian bridge.

Natchez State Park, which is just off I- 40 is a favorite of mine. The lodge is a bit dated but the setting for the swimming pool plus the hiking make up for any downside of the lodge.

Big Creek Campground in Great Smoky Mountain National Park. The trail along the creek is an all time favorite with me. It is not a very steep trail and it has waterfall after waterfall.