Seven states, six days, two girls.
That was the premise of my best friend I’s little road trip to visit some of our friends this summer Basically we were going from Greenville, SC to Nashville, TN to Auburn, AL, to Fairhope, AL to New Orleans, LA…and back.
Planning this road trip out we realize we weren’t taking necessarily an easy path by going more northern then driving farther down south and back up. However, visiting friends for different reasons just so happened to all work out that week so rather than rescheduling separate road trips another time we just decided to combine them all in one!
So naturally, I grabbed my headscarf and was ready to channel my inner Romy and Michele/Crossroads persona. Packing clothes for this trip was a struggle to say the least. I clearly didn’t want to be lugging around a 40lb suitcase to every place we were staying…but a girl needs to have options. I tried to pack a good combination of basics and fun pieces that I could interchange with one another throughout the trip, but traveling with your best friend and her suitcase also came in handy throughout outfit changes too.
Suitcases packed to the brim, snacks and drinks to last us through a small snowstorm, and a tank full of gas started us on our journey. Rather than giving you a play by play of every little detail, I’m gonna give some highlights of each place we stayed, what we did there, and where we ate.
First stop…. Nashville.
One of our good friends had just moved to Franklin, TN (right outside Nashville) the week of our road trip. Moving five hours away from home definitely calls for celebration in your new city! This wasn’t our first trip to Nashville or Franklin, so while there we did some of our favorite things as well as tried some new things! Here are some of our favorite stops while in Nashville…
Hattie B’s- Nashville hot chicken at its finest. This was actually my first experience eating true Nashville hot chicken and I LOVED it! I actually got the medium and it tasted like great fried chicken with a kick, so I think I definitely could have bumped it to the hot. (Better safe than sorry, right?) So basically what you do at Hattie B’s is wait in line to order and then you’ll order based off of what type of meat you want. I ordered the small white which includes a breast and wing and each meal comes with 2 sides, bread, and a pickle. I got the fries and cole slaw and both were amazing! The line can be overwhelming; so a little tip-you can call your order in and pick it up without having to wait in the line!
Pinewood Social- Whoever thought of building a place that has a bowling alley + swimming pool + coffee shop + bar + restaurant is simply a genius. Unfortunately, I didn’t get to partake in any of the fun activities while at Pinewood but I did eat probably one of the best salads I’ve ever eaten in my life while there. Hands down Pinewood Social has the coolest ambiance of almost any place I have been. It truly is a place to go and socialize with friends both old and new!
Acme- Classic Broadway bar with the absolute BEST view of Nashville. This multi-story bar has a little bit of something for everyone! Live music on one floor, swanky couches and dim lighting on another, and a gorgeous rooftop!
Okay, so Auburn definitely isn’t unfamiliar territory for us. Those of you that know me know that my friend that I was traveling with, Taylor, lived in Auburn for two years, our other friend and her husband attended Auburn University, and my boyfriend is from Auburn. In terms of our road trip, Auburn was more or less a stop along the way so we wouldn’t be driving forever. It actually worked out perfectly in our plan because my boyfriend was home visiting friends and family while we were driving through so we got to stay with his family. Even though we just stopped by for the night, I still got to fit in a few of my favorite places while there. (Don’t judge the amount of restaurants that are on this list for a 24-hour stay…midnight snacks are a real thing.)
Arigato– My favorite place to grab sushi whenever I’m in Auburn! The thing that is so funny, but also awesome about Arigato’s is that it’s basically happy hour everyday because all of their sushi is always half priced!
Sky Bar– Anytime anyone asks me what to do in Auburn I ALWAYS tell them Sky Bar! Sky Bar is practically as much a landmark as the trees are. While it can get pretty packed out during game day weekends, it’s just like any other bar during the week. They always have their first floor open, which you can listen to live music, watch the game, or play trivia at. Then they have a back section where the big dance floor is, and then a rooftop overlooking downtown Auburn!
Momma Goldberg’s– Another Auburn classic. Sub-style sandwiches, soups, salads, and nachos. My go-to meal: Momma’s Love all the way + Momma’s Nachos with cool ranch Doritos.
Crepe Myrtle-I only discovered Crepe Myrtle a few months ago but I’m obsessed with everything about it. The place is part produce stand-part bakery/deli. It has the cutest décor and such great, fresh food! I’ve gotten a few different crepes when I’ve gone and have loved everything I’ve ever got! Their fresh squeezed orange juice that they can in mason jars is a MUST…and if you get to eat outside you’ll get a friendly visit from some of the chickens!
Never heard of Fairhope, Alabama? That’s okay because I hadn’t either before our friend, Brittany, and her husband moved there a little over a year ago. Fairhope is located about thirty miles away from Mobile, Alabama and the Gulf Shores. That being said there are TONS of amazing things to eat, do, and explore in Fairhope and the surrounding area. During this particular trip we traveled to a place I had been dying to go to in a neighboring town and got to experience something new in Fairhope for breakfast!
Lambert’s Cafe– I’m pretty sure I died and was reborn on my first visit to Lambert’s, home of the throwed rolls. I’ve seen Lambert’s on a number of food network shows so when I figured out that there was one thirty miles away from where Brittany lived I absolutely had to go. Not gonna lie the wait was long…like two hours long…but it was totally worth it. The deal with Lambert’s goes way beyond them throwing rolls at you. Whatever entrée you order you get to pick 2 sides + there are 5 different “pass around” sides that they continually bring around and give you as much as you want. When I say that I ate chicken fried steak + mashed potatoes and gravy + creamed corn + turnip greens + steamed cabbage + fried okra + black eyed peas + roll (s) with molasses and honey…I AM NOT EXAGGERATING. It was magical and miserable all at once, and yes I waddled out holding an enormous to-go box.
Warehouse Bakery and Donuts- The cutest breakfast spot with literally something for everyone. Coffee, breakfast bowls, pastries, pies, biscuits…you want it, chances are they have it. Fun fact: Allison Williams ate there while filming Get Out.
Last stop…New Orleans
Ah the Big Easy….a place known for it’s intriguing culture, addictive food, and a good time. I’ve been to NOLA one other time, but this was my first time being able to actually spend the night there. If you’ve ever been to New Orleans you know as well as I do that you can visit this city ten times over and still not skim the surface of everything this city has to over. We tried our best this trip to try to explore more of the city and do a few new things…but some things in New Orleans you just have to do each time. (I’m talking to you, beignets.)
Harrah’s– Okay, so before this trip the only gambling I had done was buying a one dollar scratch off from the gas station. Going to a casino for the first time was very exciting, but after advice from friends I went in knowing I was not going to spend more than $20….and I lost all $20. All the same, it was SO fun and something a little bit different than the same old same old!
Hotel Monteleone (Carousel Piano Bar & Lounge)– Okay this place was seriously SO unique! The entire bar is a carousel that takes about 10 minutes to make one full rotation. Other than the carousel, the whole piano bar area is so swanky and Sauvé, and just classic NOLA.
W.I.N.O.– A quant self-serve wine bar. They have an enormous selection of automated machines that you use your “tasting card” to select the amount you want and pour. Try a little of this, and then a little of that! They also offer a light menu of tapas!
Café Du Monde- I’ve written about getting beignets from here before, but I will say it again; the ONLY place to get your beignet and café au lait fix.
Ritz Carlton- I’ve been to a Ritz Carlton to eat before, but never have I ever had the pleasure of staying in one myself before this trip. The Ritz Carlton in New Orleans exceeded my expectations by a million miles. The service was impeccable and the hotel is walking distance of everything in the French Quarter! Definitely recommend the splurge for your next trip!
Going on this road trip was both exhausting and exhilarating. Staying in different cities and a different bed for only a night or two can be super tiring on oneself, but traveling with one of my best friends to visit some of our other best friends really does bring people closer together. We belted some of our favorite musicals, listened to the entire S-Town podcast (if you haven’t, you HAVE to listen to it), and honestly just talked. I honestly feel like going on a road trip even if it’s a short one is something everyone needs to experience at least once.