Our East Coast Road Trip Route | Millennial Snowbirds
Updated: 3 days ago
East Coast Road Trip Route
We are making our first trip down south for the winter this year! What started as a pipe dream is finally coming to fruition and nobody is more excited than me for this east coast road trip. If you have read my recent post about What To Do While Visiting NH you will know that I have lived in many different places and NH is my top favorite of all time. It is true, 9 months out of the year. I am the first to admit, winters are long. I love the changing of the seasons and I am grateful to have all 4 where I live. My husband and I met in Panama City, FL (click here for that story) and we know what it is like to live somewhere that doesn't have all of the seasons. We moved out of Florida for a reason. It didn't feel like home. We aren't Floridians, it wasn't for us...year round. 😏
Now the idea of being a snowbird was no where on my radar for a long time. Although my job allowed for the flexibility in the winter months (I am a wedding photographer) my husband's job didn't. That is, until recently.
So there I was, in the dead of winter 2022, sitting on my couch with 5 blankets on me, a heating pad on my feet, hot tea in my hand and the book "4 Hour Workweek" when suddenly I straightened up, smiled, and stared at my husband with a crazy look in my eyes. I told him this crazy idea that I had. It involved buying a camper and going south for the winter. (After Christmas of course, Florida can't do Christmas like NH can). Not surprising to me, for he is the spontaneous one, he jumped on it. And so our plan started in motion. We bought Callie the Camper and I set out to beat the retirees in claiming prime Florida State Park Camp Sites. Which is an extreme sport in itself... Let me tell you.
Because this is our first year being a snowbird (going south "for the winter") we are thinking of this as a bit of a trial run. So be sure to follow along on our Youtube Channel as well on my Instagram as we pack up our travel trailer and head south. This is bound to be an epic adventure!
First stop...Charleston SC!
Now I know there are a lot of amazing places to stop on the way down the eastern seaboard. I know there is NYC, DC, Shenandoah National Park, Jamestown and The Outer Banks just to name a few. But in the middle of a New England winter, we are going to head down as fast as we possibly can to find refuge far south of the Mason Dixon where the temperature is above freezing!
It will probably take us two days to drive down to Charleston, but once we arrive we plan to camp there for a couple of days. I cannot wait to introduce my children to southern culture. I feel like being born and raised New Englanders, they don't really know of any other culture. We do visit the FL panhandle once a year because of visiting family, but I have never been intentional about teaching them the history and the subculture of the area like I will be doing for this trip. Although we plan on traveling with them quite a bit over their childhood (part of the reason we are homeschooling) this will be one of their first cultural experiences. I am excited to see the spanish moss, mangroves and palm trees, and to teach our kids about the history of the area.
Next Stop...St. Petersburg, FL
Like I mentioned above, my husband and I met in Florida while we were living there. We lived in Panama City, which is in the panhandle. My parents still live on the panhandle and we visit frequently. However, I have a strong desire to explore a little more south. Still on the gulf side of the state (the Gulf of Mexico is my favorite) I want to explore St. Petersburg in hopes that it will be warmer than it is on the panhandle. When we visit my parents in the winter in previous years, it is typically around 50 degrees. That isn't bad when you are coming from temperatures below freezing, but I'm hoping for a tad warmer. So we plan on spending a few weeks in this area to really get a good feel for it.
Florida history fascinates me because it has settlements that are older than New Englands. Which is incredible! I am excited to teach the kids about the Spanish explorers and how the left their influence in the area. The culture of the Tampa area is bound to be vastly different than that of Charleston, and I am looking forward to exploring, learning, and teaching all about it.
This area is really our home away from home. This is the area in which my husband and I lived, met, began dating...and we travel back here every year. We have our favorite spots, but I am looking forward to finding more. We will spend several weeks here as well, camping on the beach and visiting with family. For some great ideas on what to do in the Destin area, click here for my top choices. We also have a vlog from the last time we visited the panhandle here!
Finally...back to NH
After our stint on the Florida panhandle we will head back up to New England. I think how long we take to get home and where we stop is highly dependent on how smooth this trip is. We have family in Raleigh, so we will stop there for sure, but aside from that, I'm not sure yet. One year I absolutely want to take our kids to Washington DC, what a great place to bring a couple of homeschool kids! I would also love to stop in Jamestown, especially because we just went over that settlement this year already. Another really fun place I have never been to and hope to stop at is the Dinosaur State Park in Connecticut. They have one of the largest dinosaur tracks in North America!
Overall I hope to discover beautiful parks and explore hiking trails everywhere we travel this winter as we embark on this snowbird adventure. I can't wait to see the varying architecture and stop at museums along the way and learn all about the local history. Not surprising to any of you reading, I am also very excited for warm sunshine and beaches as well!
Please consider subscribing to our channel on Youtube so you can see all of the adventure (and I'm sure some hilarity) along the way!
What To Do While Visiting NH