It’s a long haul from Orlando, Florida, to the jazz-filled streets of New Orleans, Louisiana. Many people cruise through this stretch without stopping and we think you’ll be making a monumental mistake if you do the same.
If you take I-10, it’s a 3-4 hour drive east to west between Pensacola, Florida, and New Orleans, LA. Like most interstates, I-10 takes you the fastest, most direct, and aesthetically unpleasing route to get you from point A to point B. In lieu of this, we recommend taking the coastal road east to west via Highway 90 and Highway 98 instead. Dotted with great beaches, roadside dives, and rusted, forgotten Americana, this is what you’re looking for in the American coastal south.
Dauphin Island, Alabama, is the first truly great beach along this route headed East. Fort Morgan, Alabama, on Highway 180 is a cool spot in its own right and gets you partially away from the madness of Gulf Shores.
This is shrimp and oyster country. You can’t go wrong with any of the local spots you’ll see along the route. Avoid the chain restaurants and make sure you try a shrimp po’ boy and some hush puppies when you stop. Best of all, for just a few bucks you’ll get enough food to share.
Best Dive Bar
The Flora-Bama – Straddling the border of Florida and Alabama, this is not to be missed. Stop in, grab a cold Budweiser, order a basket of boiled shrimp and a dozen oysters and watch the locals parade by. Known as the “Redneck Riviera” to outsiders and locals alike, you might have such a good time that you sleep in the parking lot. We certainly have.